The new MLA Forum TC: History & Literature seeks to open up a space to consider the complex relationship between these two disciplines. Whereas literary history is one expression of the synergy between history and literature, the forum’s primary focus will be on creating a sustained conversation about how two distinct disciplines inform each other’s methodologies and shape innovative interdisciplinary research. Described in broad strokes, we can distinguish historical inquiry as being concerned with the documentation of actual events, whereas literature’s engagement with history is interpretative, based on the reading of texts (construed broadly here as they could be images, film, and other forms).

CFP: The Horror of Capitalist Modernity: the Vampire, Zombie, and Cannibal

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    Tiffany Yun-Chu Tsai

    The Horror of Capitalist Modernity: the Vampire, Zombie, and Cannibal 

    Session Proposal (MLA 2021 – Toronto)

    Tiffany Yun-Chu Tsai

    The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina

    “Capital,” Marx tells us, “is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks;” for a century, the devouring monsters of vampire, zombie, and cannibal (or other monster, you name it) in literature and popular culture represent deepest fears for consumption in capitalist consumerism. This session intends to demonstrate cultural and sociopolitical history and analyses of vampires, zombies, and cannibals, and how representations of these bloodthirsty creatures embody the anxiety over capitalist modernity that all of us cannot escape from. The session welcomes proposals of paper working on any of the topics in all cultures; all literary genres and time periods will be considered. The session organizer will contribute a presentation on China’s cannibal modernity. Please send Tiffany Yun-Chu Tsai ( a 300-word abstract, a CV, and a short bio that demonstrates how your research contributes to this session by March 15, 2020.

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