NEMLA 2014 Call for Papers: Transnational & Comparative Literatures

Set in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Northeast Modern Language Association’s 45th annual convention continues the association’s tradition of generative scholarship. The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops; and will have a special emphasis on drama and creative writing. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention.

Located on the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country and antique shops. The 2014 convention will be downtown at the Hilton Harrisburg and the Crowne Plaza. Events with transportation will be planned to help you make the most of your stay.

The convention will be held April 3-6. Here are some of the calls for papers on Transnational and Comparative literature in Spanish and Portuguese.


1898 and the fin de siglo in Spain
This panel seeks papers on any topic related to 1898 and the fin de siglo in Spain. The topics of the panel include, but are not limited to: transatlantic perspectives on the Spanish-American War, regeneracionismo, the end of the Spanish empire, the articulation of national identity, and new perspectives on the generation of 98. Please send 250-500 word abstracts in English or Spanish (MSWord or PDF) to
¿A dónde (nos) lleva el río? Where does the river lead (us)?
Whether followed on a journey or crossed as a threshold, the river forms an important symbol that is oft-used by the Latin American author, poet, dramaturge and screenwriter. The organizer of this panel seeks papers that explore twin visions of the river in Latin American literature or cinema, bring together parallel, and perhaps opposed, meanings in the 20th and 21st centuries: joining and separating; beginnings and endings; communication and concealment; etc. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts to Alex Waid at
Adaptations as (Re)Creations of Discourses in Latin American Theater and Cinema
A trend in contemporary Latin American theater and cinema is the adaptation of hybrid and fictional texts. This panel explores these adapted texts and how playwrights and filmmakers deal with the ‘original’ texts and the creation of the adapted works into new social and aesthetic conventions. This panel welcomes critical works on individual or a set of theatrical and cinematographic creations that stand out in other texts. Please send 250 word abstracts in English, Spanish or Portuguese to María Magdalena Olivares,
Aesthetics and Violence in Latin American Literature
This panel seeks to explore the relationship between formal violence and socio-political conflict in Latin American literature. It is open to all genres: poetry, narrative, theatre. The following topics may be taken as guides to the debate: formal innovation and revolution, language and subjectivity, the politics and poetics of crisis, modernization and aesthetic appropriation, genre development, and the representation of socio-political conflict. Please submit 300 word abstracts in English or Spanish to
Celebrating Nicanor Parra’s 100th Birthday: Antipoetry and Its Legacy
In 2014 Chilean poet and antipoet Nicanor Parra will turn 100. As a tribute to one of our greatest living poets, it is time to reexamine the trajectory of his work and the legacy of antipoetry: its impact on other poets (the Beats, conversational poetry, dramatic monologues, poetry as concrete object, etc.) and prose writers (e.g. the work of Bolaño, Piglia) and its intersection with postmodern theory and thought. This panel invites papers in English or Spanish. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts to
The Crack Generation and the Writers of the Boom
This panel seeks to explore/analyze the rupture between the ‘Crack Generation’ and their predecessors, the writers of the ‘Boom.’ Has the ‘Crack Generation’ really abandoned post-colonial and historical preoccupations? Has Macondo finally turned into ‘McCondo’? Topics include the generations’ views on literature, globalized themes/language, and the universal settings of their actions. Please send 250 word abstracts to David Mongor ( and Vincenzo Bollettino (
Cruzando siglos en la poesía hispánica (Roundtable)
This panel will address the relationships and connections between the poetry of the early modern and contemporary periods (Spain or Latin America). Analyses may focus on confluences, transformations, perspectives, thematics, cultural context, literary traditions, poetic techniques, etc. Please submit electronically: 250-500 word abstract, contact information, and a brief biographical statement to: Joan Cammarata ( and Marlene Gottlieb (
Cultural Agents and Literary Canon Formation in Today’s Spain
How are literary prizes in Spain shaping the literary canon? Are literary prizes helping or hurting literature? How are anthologies, publishers, marketing campaigns, media, and the like contributing to the articulation of the literary landscape in Democratic Spain? The panel seeks papers on the role of past and present political and cultural agents in canon formation and literary consumption in Spain. Please send inquiries and 300-500 words abstracts in Spanish or English to Olga Guadalupe, University of Pennsylvania,
The Cultures of the Hispanic Caribbean and their Political Imaginaries
This panel examines the relationship between culture and politics in the Hispanic Caribbean and its Diasporas. How have cultural projects hindered or contributed to the creation of political imaginaries? How do questions of sovereignty and social change relate to questions of aesthetic self-fashioning? How do literary and visual works allow people to imagine themselves not only as part of a cultural community, but also as part of a political one? Please submit a 250 word abstract and bio to Cristina C. Pérez-Jiménez at
Españolas protagonistas de la transición a la democracia
Este panel pretende analizar la labor de aquellas mujeres que desde distintas perspectivas (la de la editora, la política, la escritora, la periodista, la artista etc.) han contribuido en los últimos años a redefinir la Transición y matizar la exclusividad masculina otorgada al proceso por parte de la historiografía oficial. Envíen por favor sus propuestas de no más de 500 palabras y su CV a Noelia Domínguez-Ramos,
Gender Trouble and Bodily Transformation in Spanish Literature and Film
This panel seeks papers on the representations of gender and the body in contemporary Spanish narrative and film. Papers may focus on the destabilization of gender constructs and sexuality, the questioning of traditional archetypes, and the blurring of the masculine and feminine. Please send a 200-300 word abstract, in English or Spanish, to Antonia Delgado-Poust (
The Hispanic Transatlantic Avant-Garde
This panel aims to discuss the idea of a Transatlantic Hispanic Avant-Garde in the period 1909-1929. Preference will be given to comparative readings of visual and literary works, analysis of material and symbolic spaces, notions of crossing as an aesthetic experience, and theories of space and/or transportation related to the transatlantic Hispanic context. Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief biographical note of up to 70 words to Papers can be presented in English or Spanish.
Identity and Otherness in the Plays of J. Mayorga, I. Pascual and J. P. Heras (Seminar)
Postmodern Spanish theater seeks to capture identity and otherness through the tension between a variety of oppositional concepts such as the seen and unseen, the presentable and non-presentable, past and present, actor and character, myth and reality, and center and periphery. This seminar will address how Spanish playwrights Juan Mayorga, Itziar Pascual and Juan Pablo Heras represent the protean nature of identity and otherness in postmodern times in the context of gender, race, space and memory. 150-200 word abstracts
Imagining Mexican Cities: An Interdisciplinary Approach
This panel examines the construction of urban space in Mexican cultural discourse, particularly how the national, the local and the subjective intersect in these constructions. Papers will explore the role of urban space in Mexican culture. We look to approach this topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, proposals are not limited to literature but open to film, music and other disciplines. Submit 300-word abstracts in English or Spanish, in Word format with biographical information to Mayra Fortes
Interpretations of Alternatively-abled Women in the Spanish-speaking World
This panel explores the interpretation of alternatively-abled women as they are portrayed in literature or film written by women in the Spanish-speaking world. (Dis)ability studies, especially as pertains to women in the Spanish-speaking world and their socio-political realities and creative cultural representations, is of particular relevance. Panelists must join both NeMLA and Feministas Unidas, Inc. WGSC Co-sponsored. Please send 250-word abstracts (English or Spanish) to Dawn Slack (<>).
Jorge Luis Borges and the Five Senses
This panel will explore the role of the body and its five senses—sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing—in the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges. How do the abstract ideas that Borges presents to the reader rely on (or come in tension with) this sensory information? Topics include, but are not limited to, the strategic construction (or obfuscation) of space, gender, race, violence and sexuality within the context of Borges’ larger emphasis on textual artifice. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts to
La presencia femenina en el seno del espacio teatral latinoamericano
Este panel pretende destacar la presencia femenina en la dramaturgia latinoamericana. Mediante diferentes estilos y lenguajes escénicos, con fuertes proyecciones individuales que revelan conscientemente pertenencias a identidades culturales, sexuales y de clase, se establecen claras posturas políticas en la obra de estas dramaturgas. Invitamos a enviar propuestas que ayuden a reivindicar los aportes de estas autoras al teatro latinoamericano. Enviar propuestas 250-300 palabras a
Liberation Theology and Latin American Narrative: The Decolonial Turn
This panel explores the dialogical interaction between liberation theology and Latin American narrative from a decolonial perspective. Introducing the decolonial turn allows us to consider the significance of colonial exploitation and asymmetrical power relations for liberation theology. Decolonial approaches to specific Latin American works abaout liberation theology and theoretical discussions on the dialogics of liberation theology and Latin American narrative are welcome. 250-word abstracts to Javier Valiente Núñez at
Madness in the Literature of the Portuguese-Speaking World
The aim of this panel is to analyze how madness has been instrumental in constructing alternative modes of reality. These modes explore the dynamics and the intersections between idealized and disenchanted visions of reality that underlie a dialectical vision of the world. Philosophical, gender, psychoanalytic, cinematographic, and other theoretical approaches to the subject of madness are welcome. Please send a 300-word abstract to (PDF attachment).
Muerte, sacrificio, dolor y catarsis en la literatura española.
El presente panel tiene como objetivo abarcar propuestas que analicen en la literatura española de todos los tiempos los temas de la muerte , el sacrificio y el dolor con propósitos ya sea estéticos, ya ideológicos, así como el posible efecto catártico o curativo de la escritura como antídoto frente a estos. Please send 250-word abstracts in English or Spanish to Josefa Álvarez,
Networks of Knowledge: How Ideas Travel from, to, and within Spain
This panel invites 20 minute contributions that explore the connections between epistemological formulations and peninsular cultural creation during any historical period. Topics include cognitive studies, and inquires of science, technology, and society in relation to textual production. We are also interested in the possible interaction among ideas, works, and authors from different periods. Please submit 250-300 word abstracts to Óscar Iván Useche (
Passion and Love in Latin American Poetry and Prose
This panel will explore the concepts and stereotypes that lay behind the vision of love and passionate relationships expressed by Latin American poets and narrators. Its purpose is to create a dialogue about writers’ depictions of love, and how those ideas reflect, renew or challenge Latin American societies and identities. Comparative and feminist approaches in Spanish/English/Portuguese are suitable, but other approaches would be considered. Send abstracts to Dr. María Cristina Campos Fuentes, DeSales University, at
Physical Transcendence: Material and Immaterial in Spanish Literature and Film
This panel will provide new perspectives on how modern Spanish literature and film develop a relationship between the physical – bodies, movement, and objects – and the transcendental. What are the aesthetic, cultural or historical implications of the convergence of the material and immaterial? Topics include, but are not limited to: walking, fetishism, surrealism, construction of urban space, and haunting in literature and film. Please send 300-word abstracts in English or Spanish to or
The Politics of Difference and Similitude in the Colonial Andes
Departing from the common practice of taking for granted the existence of clear differences between colonizers and colonized, this session invites innovative studies of cultural dynamics in the Andean colonial region that examine the politics of difference: how difference and similitude, as part of larger power relations, were understood and used in colonial Andean contexts by the actors themselves. Please send a 200-300 words abstract to Gonzalo Lamana at
In ’Pushing the Boundaries of Latin American Testimony: Metamorphoses and Migrations’, editors identified testimonio analysis as a Latin American genre that moves beyond canonical beginnings and structures. Their study reveals the need and interests of scholars to engage in questions concerning not only Latin American cultural studies but also women’s studies, social justice, trauma studies, to name a few. Our panel seeks to assess new forms of testimonio writing. Send a 250-300 word abstract to: and
Power and Solidarity: Representing Immigrants’ Speech in Hispanic literature
Panel seeks interdisciplinary approaches (anthropology, sociology, cognitive studies, etc.) to literary representations of power, solidarity and identity in immigrants’ speech in Hispanic Literature. Any literary genre, period or migration to and from Spain, Latin America, Africa and Asia that raise theoretical and methodological questions on the dichotomy between literary dialect and real dialect vis-à-vis immigrants’ speech will be considered. Please send 300-400 words abstract to Gerardo Augusto Lorenzino,
Pre-Civil War (1936) Images of Iberian Masculinity(ies) (Roundtable)
This panel will discuss the different types of male hegemonic discourses which circulated in Spain until 1936. Papers will also analyze the types of masculinities that did not follow the archetypical hegemonic characteristics, but shared the same areas of influence and had similar means of visual and textual expression. They will discuss how certain types of masculinity(ies) were manifest in situations of peace and war. Please send 500-word abstracts in Spanish or English to Ana Simon
Queer Belongings: Circuits of Intimacy and Kinship in Latin American Fiction
This panel welcomes research on literary works that explore possibilities of other modes of relating and belonging based on cooperation, support and nonheterosexual/non-reproductive behaviors. Papers on debates surrounding the relationship between gender, sexuality and identity in Latin American fiction are welcome. Areas of interest include: bodies; constructions of femininities and masculinities; queer communities and kinship, etc. Please send 300-word proposals in English of Spanish to
Racial and Religious Transactions in Early Modern Iberia
Inquisitorial Iberia brought about new definitions of race that effectively deterritorialized entire populations and rewrote the meanings of nation, home, self and other. This session welcomes papers that examine how Early Modern Iberian authors wrote race and ethnicity, either in an exclusionary manner or perhaps in terms of hybridity. How were notions of race, gender and ethnicity confounded with religion? Send 250-word abstracts and C.V. to Christina McCoy (
Re-visando el ’Boom’ de la literatura latinoamericana, a 50 años del hecho (Roundtable)
Esta sesión analizará la construcción del ‘boom’ de la literatura latinoamericana desde diversas perspectivas que permitan una revisión de este fenómeno social y cultural. Se busca estudiar entre otros temas: la construcción de un imaginario masculino, el reforzamiento de un machismo-masculinidad en el poder politico,la modernidad tecnológica como ideal social y político, la creación de un nuevo estereotipo latinoamericano, París como centro ideológico, etc. Enviar propuestas entre 250-350 palabras a Dr.Ana Figueroa-Coddou
Re-writing Cervantes’s Fictions from the Stage (Seminar)
This seminar seeks to discuss and explore recent performances, adaptations, and dramatic abridgements of Don Quijote and the Novelas Ejemplares and how they are contributing to create an alternative, experimental way of looking at Cervantes’s prose legacy on the stage. Papers can be in either English or Spanish. Please Send 200 word proposals to Esther Fernández at and Gladys Robalino at
Rethinking Brazilian Literature
This panel invites proposals of 250 words or less (to Carolina Castellanos Gonella, that should explain why the work you wish to present challenges traditional readings and analyses of canonical and non-canonical Brazilian text(s). That is, how does the paper engage with literary criticism and/or theory to shed a new light on a particular text or texts? Possible topics include: sexuality, gender roles, nature, representation of animals, use of language, human rights, and race.
Signing the Latin American City: Elusive Visions
This panel explores the role of transient creativities that shape the urban landscape of Latin American cities in the 20th and 21st centuries. How do pamphlets, graffiti, advertising, embodied culture, performances, architecture and other diverse media work as systems of enunciability and (re)signification of the urban space? How do these processes of inscription create complex city layers? Please send 300-500 word abstracts to Agnese Codebò ( or Wendy Muñiz (
Split Subjects and Textual Embodiment in Hispanic and Lusophone Literature
This panel explores the materialization of masked, fragmented and dissident subjects in Hispanic and Lusophone literature (period open). Possible sub-themes include heteronymic embodiment, transgender literature, hermaphroditism and androgyny. Who is writing? What are the practical and theoretical implications of enacting alternative selves in and/or through language? How does gender inform creativity and enlarge or fragment authorial identity? Send 300 word abstracts to Kathrin Theumer at
Theater and (Subversive) Public Spaces in Nineteenth-Century Spain
This session addresses the relationship between theater and public spaces, both official and non-formalized, in nineteenth-century Spain. We are interested in the construction of subversive spaces and marginal subjectivities in theatrical works as a way to support, confront, question, critique and/or condemn the new socio-political realities and historical tensions of this period. Please send 250-300 word abstracts in English or Spanish to Sara Muñoz (
Transforming Racial Discourses in Contemporary Latin American Literature
This panel explores how contemporary Latin American literature (1980 – pres) creates, develops, and transforms discourses on race and racial identity. In an effort to create a panel that offers a broad scope of material, yet also urges audience members to delve deeper into already-established racial paradigms and power structures, papers that reflect both the diversity and shared experiences of contemporary Latin America through a critical theoretical lens will be given priority. Send abstracts to Rebecca Thompson Span/En
Travelers, Exiles, Wanderers: Visions of Travel in Luso-Hispanic Literature (Roundtable)
This roundtable aims to be a meeting space for Lusophone and Hispanic researchers that dedicate their proposals to the analysis of Travel Accounts (diaries, chronicles, etc.) by Portuguese, Brazilian, Spanish and Latin-American authors. Those interested may submit an abstract of 500 words, along with their academic affiliation to Susana Antunes ( or Dolores Juan Moreno ( Proposals will be accepted in Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Un conjuro literario: analizando la obra de Carmen Boullosa
La mexicana Carmen Boullosa forma parte de la generación sin nombre, su trabajo ha sido reconocido internacionalmente, y como nos dice Jean Franco ‘es una suerte de conjuro, una forma de exorcizar esta suciedad fantasmal que tiene su origen en las instituciones, en la escuela, en la familia, en la iglesia.’. Desde diferentes perspectivas, esta sesión busca nuevas exploraciones sobre su obra completa (poesia, teatro y narrativa). Enviar propuestas de 300 palabras a Cristina Santos y Maria R. Matz
Vidas Nuevas, Vidas Viejas: Latinos in the Northeast
Hispanics are one of the fastest growing demographics in our country. This panel invites proposals that deal with texts by and about Hispanics in the Northeast with a special focus on Pennsylvania. Texts are broadly defined as all types of literary production, song, film and other visual media. Preference will be given to papers that specifically address Hispanics in Pennsylvania. Please submit a 250 word abstract with NEMLA in the subject line to Kelliann Flores, Suffolk County Community College, .
Water Imagery in the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora
This panel seeks papers that highlight, interpret, and problematize the role of water and the sea in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora (20th and 21st century). Its main question is: How does a focus on water and fluidity change our reception and interpretation of literary and artistic works from this region? The panel encourages comparative approaches. Papers are welcome in both Spanish and English. Please send 250-300 word abstracts (as MSWord or PDF attachments) to Rebeca Hey-Colón,
Women, Gender and Sexuality in Lusophone Literatures
This panel will address women and their assertion as subjects in literature and invites submissions that specifically explore the female side of exclusion in the Lusophone world. The topics of the panel include, but are not limited to: motherhood, sexuality, race, violence, religion, family and politics. Presentations can be either in English or Portuguese. Please submit 250-350 word abstracts including your name, institutional affiliation and contact information to Sílvia Cabral Teresa at

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