NeMLA 2020 CFP: Color and Text: Reading Kultur et Phyla

Jorge Serrano's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
March 5, 2020
Location: 
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Area Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

The panel considers readings of text in terms of race, gender, and class. A review of literary works stems from Stanley Fish’s essay titled “Is there a Text in this Class?” and for this panel the idea of reading considers text as more than text and regard the reader’s thoughts involving textual perception. This panel reviews receptions of literary (i.e. cultural) traditions and considers Johnetta Cole’s critique of the “great white tradition.” This panel engages text deemed appropriate and or unappreciated and deliberates identity formation, identity heritage in the guise of canon works.  This panel welcomes ventures into nonbinary spectra as well that serve to reveal notions of alterity, hybridity, intergrading, mimicry; in other words, hierarchical stricture/structure and typology considered phylum. Configuring or rather re-configuring text as trope for sex, race, and or class and or multiple is the goal of the panel. Can there be color and text? Why? Why not?

The 1990s cultural wars continue only in the twenty-first century we have reverted to micro-levels.  The idea that legacies literary, canonized, etc. were attacked back then and it seems the same old feelings of losing the Western essence is presumed. Johnetta Cole’s notion of the “Great White tradition,” and Henry Louis Gates’ Loose Canon (contention presented by the “non” Western) as “high culture” is replaced by nonwhite “high culture” variant reveal the colorizing text effect as reading literary lists are changed and seen in various forms: film, song, literature, history, heritage, etc. etc. etc. An inescapable diversification ensues consider “Oscars so white,” or the universality of Hip Hop in the age of “inclusion,” etc. etc. etc.

Ta Nehisi Coates’ inclusion and association in and with the white realm of graphic novel for example with current work undertaking of Captain America sequela can be construed as another consideration.  The seemingly endless cultural conflict has many aspects.  Coates once noted he no longer looks for the Black Tolstoy, or the Coltrane of white etc. etc. etc. Country trap as intergrade and hybridity and yet still binary and corralled into convenient spaces. Lil’ Nas’s foray into the country music genre can be construed as lingering manifestation of Crowism revealed.  The perpetuity of Mr. Crow in the “Great” Canon of the “Great America” textual landscape reveals much. And this panel serves to converse on alternatives to binary and/or monochromatic constructs: LGBTQ/heteronormativity, Black/Brown/Beige/Red/Yellow/White/Green/Pink/Purple colorization, typology, etc. etc. etc. 

The goal of the panel is to engage with diffusive cultural stances and or notions of demarcation. The panel particularly seeks papers that situate not only literary (identity) representation and or identity heritage in text but also problems of resemblance and freedoms of seeing "the self" in text. Is there a black reading (text)? Does color and text serve solipsistic purpose? Are there any  intersectional attributes in reading color? The panel will involve discusion on cataclysm and collusion and will unveil literary standards seen as impediment to a more fruitful intellectual milieu.

Contact Info: 

Jorge Serrano

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