MLA Panels for 2016 (CFP)

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    Ted Atkinson

    Southern United States Forum (formerly the Southern Literature Discussion Group) at MLA 2016

    Sounds of the South

    When we listen to the South, what do we hear?

    Taking advantage of the MLA Convention’s 2016 visit to Austin, the live music capital of the world, the Southern United States Forum is organizing a panel that aims to bring together sound studies and southern studies. We invite papers examining auditory depictions of the South in music, literature, film, or other media.

    Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio to Jolene Hubbs ( by March 15, 2015.

    South by Southwest/Southwest by South

    The literary distinctions between Southwest and Southern Literature have falsely sequestered one group of scholars from another in a geographical and cultural terrain that is actually porous. We would like to open this border by inviting papers that contest the strict geographic and linguistic boundaries that a history of conquest, nationalism, and southern mythology has imposed on this region. It is time for us to include, as Gloria Anzaldua wrote many years ago, the literature of the “Chicano, indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working class Anglo, Black, Asian” alongside the images of the mythic “black and white” racialized South. We invite papers on all time periods from the early years of exploration and conquest to the present. We invite papers on Hispanic literature, Native American literature, Texas and Arkansas literature and all the infinite geographic and theoretical combinations and perspectives that flow from these rich borderlands. 300-word abstract and CV by March 15, 2015 to Rebecca Mark (

    Critical Grounds: The South and Sustainability

    The Ecocriticism and Environmental Humanities Forum and the Southern United States Forum are planning to co-sponsor a panel for MLA 2016. The organizers invite proposals for papers on cultural representations that make it possible for sustainability studies and southern studies to meet on productive critical grounds. How does culture define relations between the U.S. South and the global imperative of sustainability? How might depictions of southern agricultural practices, industrial processes, and modes of energy production and consumption help to elucidate the history of environmental degradation and the present moment of ecological crisis? How does the South figure in narratives that plot sustainable futures or in those that imagine the risks and consequences of inaction? Proposals for papers that explore these or related questions in works of literature, film, or other media from any period are welcome. Please send a brief bio and a 300-word abstract to Ted Atkinson ( by March 15, 2015.


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