Call for Papers – Poetics of Resistance: Women between Aesthetics and Politics

book-stackCall for Papers

Poetics of Resistance: Women between Aesthetics and Politics

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

Increasing confrontations with totalitarian regimes in the Middle East and Africa have prompted women to find new ways to cope with political and national disenchantment. The dynamics in these movements are complex and sometimes paradoxical. While revolutionary rhetoric celebrates women’s agency, post-revolutionary discourses often instrumentalize them as the bearers of national identity. On the one hand, women find new ways of becoming the subjects of their own history, on the other hand they are summoned to fulfill specific roles in the nation, such as reproduction and the protection of traditional (national) values. This panel proposes to reflect primarily on Arab and African women’s aesthetic and artistic forms of resistance, and to expand our understanding of the contemporary means of protest they deploy to subvert social constructions and barriers. The symposium also proposes to discuss the gender/feminist artistic and aesthetic strategies that advocate for new relational possibilities between genders, between citizens and the state, and across ethnic, classes, space and national divides.
We invite the submission of proposals that express the diverse and complex nature of women’s relationship to art and aesthetics in the midst of political and national turmoil.
Specific topics may include, but are not limited to:
Aesthetic Articulation of Protest
Art and Feminism
Politics and Gender
Women’s Rights: Universalism and Cultural Relativism
Western Ethnocentrism and Arab Women/ Third Worldism
Renegotiating Female ‘Public/Private’ Space
The Secular and the Religious Visual Protests: Photography & Documentaries
Transnational/transversal Feminist Networks

Please send a 150-word abstract in French or English to Névine El Nossery : elnossery@

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association’s tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “the best book you’ll read this year.” The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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