CFP: Transnationalism and Subjectivity: Across Media and Beyond Area (Seminar at ACLA 2019)

Andrea Mendoza's picture
Call for Papers
September 20, 2018
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Literature, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies

It would be difficult to overestimate the intimate links between the formations of the modern nation-state, the transformations of modern media (film, photography, literature, audio recordings, fiber optics), and the notion of “the subject” (however one might interpret the terms “subject” or “subjectivity”). Although the 1990s and 2000s saw the rise of discourses on the crisis of the nation-state, largely attributed to the popularization of the internet, the expansion of fiber optics, and the globalization of financial and media spheres, it is clear by now that the transnational circulation of media does not eliminate national subjectivity, but rather nuances, modulates, and complicates it. How do transnational contexts structure or restructure the processes of subjectivity? How do media or media studies take up transnationality to address the serious problem of subject formation? Our seminar seeks to interrogate the implications of transnationalism on subjectivity across diverse media.

The turn towards “the transnational” in comparative research most associated with “area” or “cultural” studies represents a movement towards a space of inquiry that traverses the constructed boundaries of not only the nation, but also of class, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and language. In this way, transnationalism challenges both the privileging of nationality or “area” as a field of study as well as the Eurocentric tendencies of other scholarship in the Humanities.

The appeal of the transnational, however, does not always involve a determination or definition of what transnationalism is. Transnationalism, rather, is a reference to a critical framework of interdisciplinary scholarship. We can therefore think of the transnational as both a process and perspective that interrupts ideas about how subjects are constituted in the world. Our seminar seeks papers that: 1) take up a transnational framework to interrogate the construction and constitution of subjects and subjectivity across diverse media, 2) enquire into representations of transnationalism’s relation to the violent entanglements among imperialism, nationalism, and globalization, 3) address the circulation of ideas, images, sounds, data, in both modern and new media, and their impact on the transnational process of subject formation.

Specifically, we hope this seminar explores the relationship between transnationalism and subjectivity with intermedial approaches, including, but not limited to perspectives on: film, literary texts, television, radio, and audio tape recordings. We are especially looking for papers that take up questions of race, gender, sexuality, and class as the foci of their arguments.

Papers may be sent directly to the organizers through ACLA's submission form by 9/20/2018. Please contact the seminar organizers with any questions.

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