Avenging Nature: A Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern and Contemporary Art and Literature

Editors: Eduardo Valls Oyarzun, Rebeca Gualberto Valverde, Noelia Malla
García, María Colom Jiménez and Rebeca Cordero Sánchez.

CALL FOR PAPERS
At the dawn of ‘ecocriticism’ as a discipline of study within the Humanities,
Glotfelty and Fromm (1996), in the first general reader in the matter, defined it
as the critical practice that examines the relationship between literary and
cultural studies and the natural world. In general terms, during the past two
decades, ecocriticism has denounced the anthropocentric and instrumental
appropriation of nature that has for so long legitimized human exploitation of
the nonhuman world. Exposing the logic of domination that articulates the very
power relationships that both connect and separate human culture and natural
life, recent trends in ecocriticism have raised awareness of the ‘otherisation’ of
nature (Huggan and Tiffin, 2015), pointing out the need of assessing insurgent
discourses that—converging with counter-discourses of race, gender or class—
realize the empowerment of nature from its subaltern position.

But such empowerment of nature first requires that the sundering of human
and nonhuman realms is overcome since, as Kate Rigby explains, only by
regaining “a sense of the inextricability of nature and culture, physis and techne,
earth and artifact—consumption and destruction—would be to move beyond (…)
the arrogance of humanism” (2002, p. 152). Yet, recognizing such inextricable
relationship between human and natural while overcoming the arrogance of
anthropocentrism entails the ecocritical admission that all cultural discourses
are in fact exploitative of nature. Rigby states it clearly while explaining,
“culture constructs the prism through which we know nature” (p. 154). We
comprehend nature when we apprehend the world through language and
representation, but nature precedes and exceeds words; it is therefore “real”
(1992, p. 32) and separated by an abyss from the symbolic networks of culture
that write, master, assign a meaning to and attempt to set nature in order.
From this perspective, culture is not exactly the end of nature as much as it is an
appropriation and colonization of nature. Culture masters, dominates and
instrumentalizes the natural world. However, in a time when the “end of nature”
that Bill McKibben prophesized in 1989 has been certified, when we know for a
fact that it is indeed a different Earth we are living in—because by changing the
climate there is not a corner of the planet that has not been affected by our
actions—the evidence of global ecological endangerment compels the ecocritical
debate to install environmental ethics and concerns at the crux of humanistic
research. The critical enterprise is far from easy though. The argument that
cultural representations of nature establish a relationship of domination and
exploitation of human discourse over nonhuman reality is extendible to the
critical task. As humanist critics, our regard of nature in literary and artistic
representation is instrumental and anthropocentric. But the time has come to
avenge nature—or, at least, to critically probe into nature’s ongoing revenge
against the exploitation of culture.

Nature—a different, humanly modified nature—will remain after the climate
change doomsday. Nature precedes our understanding and its
conceptualization. However, despite the unimaginable damage done, it will also
survive us when the Earth becomes inhabitable for humans. There will be
nature after culture, as there is now a rebellious nature that resists in spite of
culture. And thus, we call for articles that explore insubordinate representations
of nature in modern and contemporary literature and art. We press for the need
to reassess how nature is already, and has been for a while, striking back against
human domination. We call for scholars from the fields of literary studies,
postcolonial studies, art, history, gender and women’s studies, film and media
studies, ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, ethnology and anthropology,
and other related disciplines to join us in this interdisciplinary volume that will
re-examine the intersections of culture and nature in literary and artistic
representations and will point out the insurgence of nature within and outside
of culture.

Contributors may wish to explore, among others, the following topics:
 Ecofeminism and gender studies: domination and empowerment
 Postcolonial and transnational representations of nature as
(dis)empowered ‘other’
 Econarratives of subversion and rebellion
 Naturalisation of others and otherisation of nature in literature and art
 Literary and artistic representations of ecocides and ecological crisis
 Post-pastoral literature and the redefinition of the poetics of domination
 Social epistemology and ecology
 Environmental ethics applied to cultural studies
 Globalisation and global ecological imperilment
 Eco-social art and literature
 Post-humanism and ecology
 Ecotopias in literature, film and television
 Insurgent nature and the future of humanity
 Gothic nature and eco-horror in dystopic narratives
 Animal Studies and nonhuman sentience
Please submit article proposals for the volume tentatively titled Avenging
Nature, a Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern Contemporary Art and
Literature by July 1st, 2018. Article proposals should include a title, a 500-
word summary, author’s name, institutional affiliation, email address and a
short biographical note.
Articles will be selected following a blind peer-review process and authors will
be notified by October 1st, 2018. Full articles will be expected by March 1st, 2019. The final book proposal will be submitted for final approval to a top-tier
publishing house which has already shown interest in an international launch of
our volume.

Please send your submission and queries to rgualberto@ucm.es

Works Cited

Glotfelty, Cheryl and Fromm, Harold, eds. The Ecocriticism Reader:
Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens, Ga: University of Georgia Press,
1996.
Huggan, Graham and Tiffin, Helen. Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature,
Animals, Environment. London and New York: Routledge, 2015.
McKibben, Bill. The End of Nature. New York: Random House, 1989, 2006.
Rigby, Kate. “Ecocriticism.” Literary and Cultural Criticism at the TwentyFirst
Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2012. Pp: 151-178.
Zizek, Slavov. Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through
Popular Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.

The French Review of American Studies (RFEA)

CFP – RFEA special issue – early 2020

 

America’s Choice

Greatness and Liberties in Critical States 

 

***

This collection of theme-based papers entitled “America’s Choice: Greatness and Liberties in Critical States”proposes to examine and assess the Trump doctrine “America first: restoring and preserving its greatness” at the mid-term of the Trump administration. We will base our analysis on the results of the November 2018 by-elections and mid-term elections. Based on this data and the study of certain more specific fields, the impact of the organized dismantling of the Voting Rights Act (1965) will be assessed, together with the consequences of the redrawing of the boundaries of certain constituencies. How will the questioning of the right to vote and the readjustment of constituencies—to take account of demographic change—affect turnout, and particularly that of minorities, which is always lower at mid-term than for the presidential election? Will the Republican Party suffer a historic rout? Is it not caught between the omnipresence of the President and the hostility displayed by some of the majority’s elected representatives towards his ultra-nationalistic line and his leadership? What campaign strategy will the Trump administration opt for to enable it to keep hold of its majority in Congress? What conclusions will the Grand Old Party draw from the election results, both nationally and in key states, for the presidential election? Our thematic analysis will also aim to (re-)define and articulate the notions of “greatness” and of “freedom” to determine how Donald Trump’s presidency has revived the threat of social upheaval with the emergence of new modes of citizen protest and engagement (#ProtectTransTroops, #MeToo, #NeverAgain, #MarchForOurLives). To what extent may it be said that the restoration of the greatness of America is achieved to the detriment of the demands and the progress made by certain minority groups? In reviving the blatant strategies of erasure and invisibilisation, Donald Trump’s presidential method inevitably rests on chaos and distraction (Jean-Éric Branaa, Trumpland : Portrait d’une Amérique divisée, p.125), aimed in particular at undermining his predecessor’s political legacy.

The greatness and elevation of the presidential function as embodied by Trump have undeniably been clouded by his refusal to stick to “political correctness” by contravening more or less flagrantly the unifying principles of civil religion. In his official tributes to veterans, Trump constructs his presidential image by alternating barely overdone, respectable dignity and sincerity, and venomous verbal jousting to attack his detractors at the slightest opportunity. John McCain, the Khan family and the widow of the black sergeant David Johnson have all thus incurred Donald Trump’s wrath. His lack of compassion did not go unnoticed either when he threw toilet rolls at the inhabitants of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The body language used by the president is the subject of numerous comments, particularly on the web, which oscillate between mockery, tension, interrogation and indignation. Contributions in the field of semiology will be particularly welcome.

As an unpredictable, much-parodied president, Trump masters the art of arrogance, staging and hence the strings of “show” politics so as to deliberately become undecodable by anyone resorting to the traditional communication channels used in the different circles of power. By injecting codes borrowed from reality TV (“You’re fired!”) and by his exclusive use of Twitter, he strategically occupies the media stage to dictate the agenda and impose a frenetic pace both on his staff and on journalists. He manages to deny the slowing down of certain reforms by resorting to artificial accelerations to divert attention and does not hesitate to expose himself publicly in dismissing his collaborators, constantly making shock announcements and rejecting outright the accusations he is subjected to in his various “affairs”. Trump tries to pass himself off as a victim of the system through an emotional approach to communication in order to elicit outrage among his followers and thus consolidate his electoral base. To what extent is Trump taking over and reinventing the cult of personality by deliberately lowering himself to the level of the anonymous masses in their relationship to conflict? How have lobbyists adapted to his style of communication so to be able to keep weighing on the political agenda?

There are also bodily issues, latent as they are, that have marked the beginnings of this administration. In The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, prominent psychiatrists and psychologists claim that the President may be suffering from mental illness. His mode of government is claimed to be dictated by his impulsiveness, recklessness and paranoia, which are in danger of compromising national and international security. It is in this very specific context that Donald Trump’s critics are attempting to have him pronounced as “mentally unfit” by appealing to the 25th amendment (section 4) to get him removed from office. This approach is unlikely to succeed, but it has the merit of raising questions about the paradoxical relationship between presidential greatness marked by outrageousness, and the principle of instability and uncertainty (Branaa, p.244).

In their essay How Democracies Die (2018), Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (political scientists and professors at Harvard) warn us about the potential threat posed to American democracy by this presidency, on the basis of a number of identification criteria that they claim corroborate the thesis that Trump is a danger for a whole system. We will cite just two of them: the legitimacy of any opposition (“mutual tolerance”) and the non-respect of democratic norms in the exercise of power (“forbearance”). As regards Robert Mueller’s investigation into suspicions of collusion with Russia and James Comey’s resounding revelations, can the (guilty?)  resistance / silence on the part of the Republican-dominated Congress be accounted for solely by blind opportunism with respect to long-term ideological stakes concerning the republican identity? To what extent has the President’s style of leadership reinvented itself and adapted to the institutional constraints of the system of checks and balances, faced as he is with the predictability of the Congress on the one hand and with the unpredictability of the Supreme Court on the other? It should be noted that the last conservative judge Trump appointed, Neil Gorsuch, clearly opposed the president’s migration policy by joining forces with some of the progressive judges. It should also be remembered that the president has personally engaged in a sensation-seeking crusade against what he calls “fake news”, thereby questioning the freedom of the press and the reliability of journalistic investigations. His untimely accusations against the “committed” media and the two majority parties also demonstrate the president’s difficulty in accepting the criticism and contradiction that lie at the heart of the democratic pact. These all-out attacks are also symptomatic of his presidential style and his hallmark as if he were seeking to destroy bipartisanship. In this context, how then does “greatness” allow the president to show a certain form of authoritarianism or, conversely, how does the greatness of democracy cause him to suffer a number of setbacks? We will try to pay particular attention to the militaristic culture of the South and the way in which the Sovereignty Movement (“the Tenther Movement”) has positioned itself under the Trump presidency through the mediatization of its Southern muses. In this hyper masculine presidency, what place do Melania and Ivanka Trump, the “first two” ladies in the White House, occupy?

In the face of this resurgence of conservatism, contributors should seek to question the durability of the economic and social successes achieved by the President. To what extent has he restored the dignity and freedom of speech of a fringe of his betrayed and weakened voters? The latter have constantly denounced the excesses of capitalism, the moral decadence of society and the untimely meddling of Washington DC. Can any credible political alternatives be envisaged to somehow reconcile a deeply fractured America?

Submissions may include case studies and specific examples or may adopt a comparative approach addressing the following areas:

– Electoral campaigns

– Cultural Studies

– Civil rights and protest movements

– Advocacy / activism

– Free press / media

– Religion(s) and religious freedom

– Democracy and culture wars

– Justice and/or checks and balances

– Regression and/or progress for women’s equality / minority rights

– Feminism and/or women’s quest for power

– Liberalism and economic freedom

– Immigration

– Populism

– White nationalism

– Foreign policy and/or « America first »

Special issue guest editor:

Anthony Castet, Université de Tours

A 500-word abstract in English along with a short biographical notice should be sent to Anthony Castet (anthony.castet@univ-tours.fr) by August 2, 2018.

Notification of acceptance will be given by September 30, 2018.

The selected articles should be turned in by July 1, 2019 and should not exceed 30,000 signs (inclusive of footnotes and spaces). They will then go through the peer-reviewing process before publication (January 2020).

Organizer: Anthony Castet

Call for Submissions

49th Parallel Special Issue –

1968: A Fifty Year Retrospective

“There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.” – Robert F. Kennedy,  June 8th 1964.

49th Parallel is delighted to announce a forthcoming special issue devoted to the year 1968 and its impact in the fields of American Studies, Politics and International Relations. This fifty-year retrospective seeks to explore major events of this year through the concept of transformation; how and why did these events change the course of history in both an American and a global context? Within a contemporary transatlantic political climate heavily influenced by nostalgia, ‘dog-whistle’ coded racism and retrograde invocations to reclaim a lost ‘greatness’, it is easy to argue that little has changed. The United States of America is experiencing an escalation of tensions with North Korea; there are renewed threats of nuclear weapons being deployed; and the violence in Charlottesville is a stark reminder of the continued potency of White supremacist ideology in the American political landscape. The editors are keen to receive submissions focused not only on the socio-political events of 1968, but also those that engage with entertainment, pop-culture, sports, music and literature. What conclusions can we draw from the fact that Colin Kaepernick’s silent protests have resulted in his being ostracised by the NFL, half a century after the raised fists and black gloves of the Mexico City Olympics?

We also invite submissions which consider the role of Canada in and around 1968. Above the 49th Parallel, Justin Trudeau is Canadian Prime Minister fifty years after his father, Pierre Trudeau, first held that office. Trudeau enjoys tremendous social media popularity, is a self-identified feminist, and has a reputation as a liberal, ‘forward thinking’ political leader. Clashes between First Nation representatives and the police on Capitol Hill, at an event to mark one hundred and fifty years of Canadian sovereignty in 2017 suggest there is still much work to be done. Similarly, suggestions continue that Canada’s ongoing petroleum extraction in Alberta undermines its position as one of the most ardent voices on the global stage calling for greater conservation and environmental responsibility. What do these tensions reveal about the nature of ideas of ‘progress’? Is the promise of continued improvement always a fallacy predicated on the myth of a progressive history and the perpetual betterment of society? How are narratives constructed around these seminal moments, such as the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and what are the uses and burdens of these narratives in today’s political landscape? What can looking at these events tell us about our understanding of a history which Robert F. Kennedy suggests may never have existed at all?

Events from 1968 which submissions may want to discuss include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The ‘Tet’ offensive in Vietnam and the Mai Lai Massacre
  • Capture of the USS Pueblo by North Korea
  • Assassinations of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1968
  • Glenville shootout and subsequent riots
  • ‘Black Power’ podium protests at the Mexico City Olympic games
  • Richard Nixon’s election as U.S. President
  • Signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • Anti-war protests of the Youth International Party
  • NASA missions Apollo 7 & Apollo 8
  • The Women’s Liberation Movement and the Miss America Pageant
  • Formation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
  • Separatist riot in Montreal at St-Jean-Baptiste Day Parade
  • Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces
  • Cinema releases of Planet of the Apes2001: A Space Odyssey & Night of the Living Dead
  • 60 Minutes and Hawaii Five-0 making their TV debuts and Star Trek airing the first inter-racial kiss on U.S. Television.
  • The Beatles release The White Album, Johnny Cash releases At Folsom Prison, Jimi Hendrix releases Electric Ladyland.

 

Submissions related to film, music, and the arts can take the form of reviews as well as article submissions. Articles should be between 6000-8000 words and adhere to Chicago Manual of Style referencing. For full submission guidelines, please see the Submissions page on the 49thParallel website. The deadline is 5th March 2018. Please submit articles and direct any enquiries to editors@49thparalleljournal.org.

Call for Papers

A century and a half after the abolition of slavery in the United States, the Underground Railroad, the formal and informal network of routes and people that helped fugitive slaves escape from the slaveholding South to freedom between the end of the 18th century and the Civil War, still draws considerable scholarly attention, whether it be through investigating its history or debating its many representations in public memory, literature and various art forms (Schulz, 2016). Considered “a model of democracy in action,” “the nation’s first great movement of civil disobedience since the American Revolution,” and “an epic of high drama” (Bordewich, 2005, p. 4-6), the Underground Railroad has offered many fruitful opportunities for scholars and artists to deepen, question and even contest knowledge of the institution of slavery and understanding of abolitionism, as well as the representations of various aspects of the “color line” in the United States and North America more generally. In this issue of LISA-ejournal, we would like to survey the ongoing research on the Underground Railroad since the turn of the 21st century, in order to highlight the plurality of the concept itself by encouraging transdisplicinary dialogue between history, memorialization strategies and fictionalization in the arts and literature. The history of the Underground Railroad has long been characterized by its permeability to mythic language. Early works on the issue, often written by abolitionists, evinced an interest in showcasing the heroic acts of men (and sometimes women) involved in a network primarily depicted as focusing on helping fugitive slaves escape from the slaveholding South to reach the Northern free States or Canada. Wilbur H. Siebert’s groundbreaking /The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom/ (1898) is a case in point: its approach emphasized a national conception of the network, glorified white abolitionists by collecting their personal memories, and promoted the view of an essentially northward route of the Railroad. When, in 1961, Larry Gara published /The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad/, the book was hailed as a successful attempt to alter this perception by establishing more firmly the mythical dimension of the Underground Railroad, which basically relied on the supremacy of white heroes to the detriment of free Blacks and the fugitive slaves themselves, on a tendency to overestimate the number of fugitives who actually fled using the Railroad, and on the silencing of the voice of the slaves who remained captive in the South. Forty years later, David W. Blight’s /Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory/ expanded on Gara’s argument by presenting the history of the Underground Railroad as told by Siebert and his disciples as an opportunity for white abolitionists in the Northern United States to seek an “alternative veteranhood,” while their “homespun tales of helping slaves escape may have been a kind of white alternative slave narrative” (Blight, 2001, p. 234). In 2015, Eric Foner’s masterly /Gateway to Freedom/ on the Underground Railroad in New York State was published to critical acclaim, as its author’s historical expertise “dispels the lingering aura of myth surrounding the Underground Railroad” (Varon, 2015).

We thus encourage contributions dealing with the historiography of the Underground Railroad, by showing the various ways in which history and myth have continued to interact or, conversely, disassociated themselves in the past fifteen years, through renewed interest from historians in writing a history of the Underground Railroad that is altogether more complex, nuanced, and ostensibly more scholarly. The following list provides possible topics for discussion, including:

– an evaluation of how historians have recently reassessed the role of the Underground Railroad both inside the major centers of abolitionism like Philadelphia, Boston or New York as well as outside, in a periphery that proved essential over such a vast territory;
– an appraisal of the current trend toward a more transnational perception of the Underground Railroad, as exemplified by the publication in 2016 of The Fluid Frontier which focuses on the borderland between Detroit and Canada;

– an assessment of the efforts recently made to document other “geographies” of the Underground Railroad, which include Florida, Mexico and the American West for example;

– an analysis of new insights into unconventional guises of the Underground Railroad, such as the “reverse Underground Railroad” that sent kidnapped Northern free Blacks to Southern slavery or, for example, the early escape of fugitive slaves from Upper Canada towards the Northern United States between 1770 and 1793 (Simcoe’s Bill);

– a review of how gender issues as well as issues related to intra- and inter-ethnic relationships have altered the more recent writing of the history of the Underground Railroad.

Meanwhile, we invite submissions that will explore the ways in which the evolution of historiography mentioned above has influenced or not memorialization strategies regarding the Underground Railroad and its various representations in literature and the arts. Though David W. Blight’s Passages to Freedom (2004) has already tackled some aspects of this question, new material and new topics have emerged since then and remain to be addressed. We thus welcome any scholarly writing on research dealing with: – the heroes and heroines of the Underground Railroad and their role in shaping the United States’ collective memory, with special emphasis laid on the many implications of the induction into the Underground Railroad’s hall of fame of its most famous “conductor”, Harriet Tubman. We welcome scholarly work on her many biographies (from Sarah Hopkins Bradford’s 1869 version to Seith Mann’s upcoming biopic), the various versions of her story published in YA literature in both the United States and Canada, the string of memorials dedicated to her, the diverse works of art her life has inspired, and the forthcoming reproduction of her portrait on the back of the $20 bill;
– recent documentaries dealing with the Underground Railroad such as Underground Railroad : The William Still Story (Laine Drewery, 2012) or Dawn of Day : Stories from the Underground Railroad (Rusty Earl, 2016); – TV series like The Book of Negroes (Clement Virgo, 2015) and Underground (Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, 2016);
– recent literature like The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2016, National Book Award), Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (2016), The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier (2013) or Song Yet Sung by James McBride (2008). Though belonging to genres as diverse as sci-fi, roman noir, romance and historical fiction, these works all use the Underground Railroad as a powerful motif to reinvent and distort the past while inviting contemporary North American readers to face the dark sides of their common history and confront the moral, social and political ambivalences apparent in the ways in which diversity is perceived and practiced there today.

Proposals (abstract and bio, not exceeding 500 words) should be sent to Sandrine Ferré-Rode (sandrine.ferre-rode@uvsq.fr) by January 10, 2018 (extended deadline).  The deadline for completed articles will be May 1st, 2018.

Articles should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length and follow the editorial style presented on the peer-reviewed Revue LISA / LISA e-journal website (https://lisa.revues.org), ISSN: 1762-6153, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Revues.org.

CFP: Rethinking Black Love Since E. Franklin Frazier
by Kathryn Vaggalis

“Rethinking Black Love Since E. Franklin Frazier”

A special guest-edited issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color by

Ayesha K. Hardison and Randal Maurice Jelks

Submission deadline: February 1, 2018

In this special issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color the editors are soliciting scholarly contributions that rethink what the affective word “love” means in Black communities.

In 1939, when the sociologist E. Franklin Frazier published his study The Negro Family in the United States, he had no idea he was initiating a discussion about Black life, love, and family that would be debated well into the twenty-first century. Three years after Franklin’s death in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s public policy report used information gleaned from Frazier’s research to assert that Black families, purportedly dominated by Black women, were largely pathological. Moynihan’s damaging conclusions were both sexist and racist by today’s standards, as well as those of his day, and failed to consider the non-normative familial connections and LGBTQ relationships that have historically been a part of Black communities. His work also overlooked the emergence of new perspectives on Black sexuality and families, including Black feminism amidst the Civil Rights Movement. Although a great deal of sociological and historical work has been done to countervail these depictions and their reverberating consequences, popular culture, media, law, research, and social practices continue to conscribe Black families with racially biased, patriarchal tropes that stem from the work of Frazier and his intellectual descendant, Moynihan. These often-unquestioned assumptions regarding Black families’ structures, welfare, and sustainability are at the root of conflicts over Black love in its many forms, including the erotic, familial, platonic, and communal expressions of love among Black people.

We invite scholars, writers, and artists to join us in contemplating themes of Black love in literature, religious thought, philosophy, history, and popular culture to inform and expand readers’ understanding of the emotional and affectionate bonds within Black communities.

Contributors may address the following topics, though this list is not exhaustive:

  • Current issues in Black romantic life
  • The sacred meaning of Black love
  • The role of media, people, or space in the construction and shaping of our appreciation of Black love
  • Gendered notions of love and their effect on Black family socialization and expectations
  • Issues of employment and education and the relationship of these variables to Black love and families
  • Sexuality and physical intimacies
  • Parenting and child rearing
  • Divorce and single parenting

Please submit a 250-word abstract in Times-New Roman, size 12 font, and a brief two-page CV to wgfc@ku.edu by February 1, 2018.

About the Journal: Women, Gender, and Families of Color is a multidisciplinary journal that centers the study of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American women, gender, and families. Within this framework, the journal encourages theoretical and empirical research from history, the social and behavioral sciences, and humanities including comparative and transnational research, and analyses of domestic social, political, economic, and cultural policies and practices within the United States.

About the Editors:

Ayesha K. Hardison is associate professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. She also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of African and African-American Studies. Her award-winning book, Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2014) examines representations of Black women and the politics of Black literary production during the 1940s and 1950s. Hardison has published book chapters and reviews as well as articles in African American Review and Meridians, and she has received fellowships and awards from the Ford Foundation, Schomburg Center, Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, and Kansas Humanities Council. Recently, she co-organized with Randal Maurice Jelks “Black Love: A Symposium,” a week-long series of events celebrating the 80thanniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God at the University of Kansas.

Randal Maurice Jelks is a professor of American Studies and African and African-American Studies. He also holds courtesy appointments in History and Religious Studies; he is the co-editor of the journal American Studies; and he is an ordained Presbyterian clergy (PCUSA). Jelks is the author of two award-winning books: African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights Struggle in Grand Rapids (The University of Illinois Press, 2006), which won the 2006 State History Award from the University and Commercial Press of the Historical Society of Michigan, and Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (University of North Carolina Press 2012), winner of the 2013 Lillian Smith Book Award and the 2013 Literary Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He recently co-organized with Ayesha K. Hardison “Black Love: A Symposium,” which celebrated the 80th anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.  Currently, Jelks serves as an executive producer for the two-part biographical documentary I, Too, Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled, a film collaboration with the Dream Documentary Collective and the Lawrence Arts Center supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

CFP – Surveillance, Architecture and Control – Edited Collection

As our current political and cultural climate elucidates, the modern world has become
increasingly fascinated by surveillance systems. Popular television series’ such as Westworld
and The Handmaid’s Tale speak of our fears of being controlled by those watching us, whilst
remastered movies such as Blade Runner 2049 harness our inherent desire for, and ultimate
reliance upon, technology’s advancement. The systems of hypersurveillance shored up in
these examples demonstrate not only our Orwellian fear of being immersed in such
systems, but also our active participation in their creation and perpetuation. In both
examples, it is the architectural frames and division of boundaries which plays a
fundamental part in controlling and dominating the individual. Westworld’s Robert Ford
(Anthony Hopkins) controls his androids and their ‘roles’ via the vast network system at
Westworld’s headquarters, which in turn controls the space of the ‘game’; Offred is
controlled by Gilead’s network of spies and informers, as well as by her position as the
handmaid, confined to the attic’s uncomfortable surroundings. Both examples demonstrate
the power of architectural space to maintain prescribed roles, and the manner in which
these frames create boundaries which cannot be transgressed (the space of Westworld’s
hyperreal landscape and the territory of Gilead).

In these narratives of urban futures, architecture’s capacity as a vehicle for surveillance
appears to be both inherent, and silent in its power exertion. Architectural frames can be
both large and yet hidden; both unremarkable and active. They are spaces which can
observe and not be observed. With the advancement of technology, Bentham’s panopticon
no longer requires the centralisation of localised sight, but rather, can be omnipresent
throughout a system of spaces. Flows of people and of culture between interior and exterior
spaces are central to many contemporary narratives, and to use McLuhan’s term ‘the
medium is the message’, structures and spaces play an integral part in fictions of control.
As Laura Poitras’ film Project X (2016) demonstrated, architectural frames perpetuate the
division between visible and invisible, being themselves part of the matrix of observer and
observed. In a world of surveillance practices and control regimes, traditional design
specialisms have broken down. Architecture, service design and public art are all affected by
and affect surveillance practices and have profound consequences for the division between
private and public space. The ambition of modern architecture to blur the division between
inside and outside is surely realized, yet the omnipresence of glass and of ‘being seen’ is no
longer about transparency, it is about surveillance. The window is a technology of control.
Recent work in the field of surveillance studies has demonstrated the potential for the gaze
to transgress the lens of technology, and instead, to reside within systems relating to art,
literature, film, and the body. This collection seeks to expand the interdisciplinary nature of
concerns over the surveillance of the individual into that of architecture. Drawing on some
of the themes in the editors’ previous collections Spaces of Surveillance: States and Selves
(2017), and Surveillance, Race, Culture (forthcoming in 2018), this collection seeks to
explore instances of surveillance within and around specific architectural entities, both real
and created, in works of fiction, film, photography, performance and art. Drawing on both
Bentham’s and Foucault’s frameworks, we seek contributions from scholars working within
the humanities, social sciences and technology, design and environment. This collection
takes a cultural studies approach to depictions of surveillance and seeks to engender new
debates about canonical and new narratives.

Chapter topics may include but are not limited to:

• Narratives of spatial design and surveillance.
• Urban futures and architectural forms on screen.
• Digital technologies and branded spaces in narratives of the future.
• The manner in which frames (built, figurative, symbolic) can create/inhibit identity
narratives, and the impact of surveillance on bodies within specific environments.
• Confining structures; disability, illness and mental health settings.
• Alternative bodies in alternative spaces.
• How the built space (cities, landscapes, etc) can shape individuals into types of
citizens, and can categorise bodies.
• The performativity of gender, race and sexuality within spatial locations under the
camera eye, and the manner in which it is framed and manipulated by the gaze.
• The role of art installations and gallery space in determining how art is viewed, read
and inscribed.
• The role of architectural spaces/surfaces (windows etc) in enabling the surveillance
of bodies and the surveillance of others through literature, film and television.
• The geographical and physical positioning of surveillance technologies and the
manner in which location can permit/prohibit identity creation through active
viewing.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words including a title, along with a biographical
note and email address, to Dr Antonia Mackay antoniamackay@brookes.ac.uk and Dr Susan
Flynn s.flynn@lcc.arts.ac.uk by 20th of November 2017.

Dara

American women ghost stroiesDara Downey lectures at University College Dublin. In American Women’s Ghost Stories in the Gilded Age (Palgrave, 2014), she explores how closely late nineteenth-century American women’s ghost stories engaged with objects such as photographs, mourning paraphernalia, wallpaper and humble domestic furniture. Featuring uncanny tales that range from the big city to the small town and the empty prairie, she offers a new perspective on an old genre. Rather than seeing the spectres that stalk the pages of women’s writing in Gilded-Age America as mere hallucinations or signs of mental disturbance, Downey examines the unusual motif of haunted houses without ghosts. Rarely appearing as ghosts, the dead women in the tales studied here hide away in the patters of furniture and wallpaper, offering a radical critique of the male gaze that reduced female bodies to alluring objects. Covering murderous nightcaps, haunted boarding houses and spectral china closets, it allows the object matter of the ghost story to, almost literally, come out of the closet.

To find out more, or to buy a copy, click on the book cover.