Extended Deadline CFP: Queer Print Cultures (2021 MLA Toronto) (New Deadline 31 March 2020)

Vance Byrd's picture


19th- and Early-20th-Century German Forum

MLA Convention in Toronto (January 7–10, 2021)


One can write, print, and read queerly. The papers in this panel series will challenge traditional histories and theories of the book, material and visual culture, and publishing. We are interested in how the colonized, the marginalized, the oppressed, or the deviant mobilized print culture for queer forms of resistance and subversion. Papers may consider what printed materials tell us about the history of gendered and sexual embodiment, as well as how books interact with us, with each other, and with other objects. Queer print culture resists a nineteenth-century tendency toward standardized forms and genres. We seek papers that investigate queer print use, content, publication form(at), typography, and illustrations, especially in relation to gender, race, sexuality, or ethnicity. Who were the communities of makers who produced queer books? What technologies and techniques did they use? Which topics did they choose to print? How was literature written and read queerly in spaces such as the home, schools, barracks, and libraries? We welcome contributions that reveal the queer potential of unauthorized and counterfeit editions, political pamphlets and ephemera, alternative forms of authorship and collaboration, experiments in printing processes and technologies, as well as innovative book-making practices and alternative publishing venues that could reach unintended audiences. Queerness can be a productive way to shed light on the history of censorship, mutilation, vandalism, and the destruction of blasphemous or beautiful printed objects. To what extent did critical editions and institutions erase queer voices and uses of print? Finally, we welcome critical engagement with the use of the term “queer” in the context of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century print culture. Comparative approaches are encouraged.

Please submit a title, 350-word abstract, and a short bio to Vance Byrd (byrdvl@grinnell.edu) by Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The MLA Forum and the MLA Program Committee will take under consideration that it may be difficult to develop the most detailed and polished proposals at the moment. If your proposal is accepted, you must be an MLA member by April 7, 2020. You may only have two roles at the convention.