CFP: Alternate Histories, Alternate Memories (MLA 2017)

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    Kyle Pivetti

    In examples like Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle or Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, we can see the alternate history genre imagine a multitude of possible pasts, both national and individual. It is those possibilities that lead critics to investigate the constructedness of history and notions of past and future. This proposed session, sponsored by the Memory Studies Forum, aims to develop and challenge those readings through the lens of memory studies. How do alternate histories function at the level of collective or individual memory? What are the uses of alternative autobiography? How do necessarily subjective memories achieve authenticity at the level of historical record? How does memory present new possibilities for conceiving of both past and future? How can imagining what might have been change our conceptions of what will be? What can scholars of alternate history gain by attending to the mechanisms of recollection? Please send 250 word abstracts to Kyle Pivetti at by March 15.

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