NeMLA 2017 Panel: Dying in American Literature: Death Spaces, Dream Spaces, No Spaces

Trevor Jackson's picture
Call for Papers
September 30, 2016
Maryland, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Literature, Sexuality Studies, Philosophy, Cultural History / Studies

Dying in American Literature: Death Spaces, Dream Spaces, No Spaces

The 48th NeMLA Annual Convention

Baltimore, Maryland

March 23-26, 2017

This panel seeks to explore how space and death actively produce new subjects and subjectivities. Considering that it is through space that we arrive at temporality and through temporality that we can gesture toward subjectivity and ontology, it is space that links the subject to death as a curious intersecting locus of time and freedom in all its iterations. Understood beyond its most direct delineation as physical reality and geographic allocation, we take space to represent the variety of places in which things can transpire and subjects can arise and communicate: social and psychological, mental and ideological, interpretive and interpellative. Space, however it is articulated, remains the only inevitable area in which subjects can be generated, altered, confined, and determined. In conjunction, death as well represents a singular inevitability but also gestures toward a vast array of iterations: death can occur on physical, psychological, social, ideological, and interpretive levels. Taken together in their ubiquitous iterations, placing space and death in conversations represents a viable strategy for interpreting and understanding American literature, to say nothing of contemporary American culture.

By embracing or evading their impositions, space and death make liberating and demanding effects upon our constitution as cultural subjects. In what ways are bodies, genders, races, and perceptions determined by and discharged from their normative frameworks via the employment of alternative perceptions of space and death? By what means, and to what effect, does space and death produce subjects of thought to contest the world, and by such locate being-in-the-world and being-from-the-world as a potentially monstrous creations pushing conceptualizations of normativity and sovereignty to limit points? Finally, does this liberate subjectivities from their spatial, mortal, and ideological enslavement, or rather create rhizomatic fractures that increase space’s placement of the body and the mind as confined and overdetermined? Ultimately, this panel is concerned with the problem of proliferated subjects that are made to die.

To submit a proposal, please go through the NeMLA website and locate the panel under the Call for Papers:


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Submissions are due by September 30, 2016.


Contact Info: 

Trevor Jackson

University of California, Merced

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