Submit an Abstract for NeMLA 2020, Taking Place 5 - 8 Mar. in Boston; Sessions on Comp/ Rhet, Pedagogy, Literature, Cultural Studies, More

Maria Plochocki's picture
Call for Papers
September 30, 2019
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Composition & Rhetoric, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Languages, Literature
Apologies for cross-posting; please review the below, and pass on to anyone else who may be interested.
The deadline to submit abstracts is 30 Sept.  The full CFP appears here; contact the session chair directly with any questions you may have:
Here are descriptions and links for the two sessions I'm convening:
Detective Fiction and the Revival of Reading
That reading and literacy rates are falling is no news: regardless of medium, we seem to be reading less and less, and doing so less well, whether in terms of comprehension, retention, or critical thinking. What potential does detective fiction hold to reverse this trend and even enable literacy, however defined, to survive and thrive in our digital era and beyond? The very traits of the genre that cause some to hold it in disdain, still, may hold the promise of rescuing reading and literacy. Firstly, the very disregard with which the genre is still treated by some, despite growing scholarship on same, allows it to be interrogated more easily; thus, critical and readerly standards can be exposed and challenged more easily. Its engagement with social ills (reputation as a conservative and escapist genre notwithstanding) also engage riders, allowing them to practice this skill, even attempt to remedy these ills and (in an evocation of Sidney’s “In Défense of Poesy,” among other examples) enter a world better than the “real” because constructed, which serves to keep them reading. Finally, the susceptibility of this genre, more than others, to serialisation and adaptation – novels written around the same detectives and milieux, often spawning films, television series, even games and other merchandise – keep readers, as P. D. James and many others have noted, hanging on and hoping for more, even forming relationships. Papers addressing these and related potentials for the genre – to support literacy and allow it to evolve and survive – are sought.
Submti an abstract at Session Expiration.

Media Attention to the Adjunct Plight: Helpful or Harmful? 

In the last few years, attention to the adjunct plight, to include poverty-level pay, limited job security, as well as lack of respect for us personally and acknowledgement of our professional credentials and accomplishments, seems to have intensified, reflected in a variety of media outlets, from more liberal ones like The Atlantic and Washington Post to even the ultraconservative Fox News. Though, to adjuncts, some of these revelations are no news and, in fact, only recap what we’ve long known and experienced, they are shocking to some, from students who question the purpose of pursuing higher education and/ or adjunct professors’ authority and fitness to teach to, of course, parents and others who invest in educational institutions by paying tuition and taxes. The spectrum of responses evoked by these revelations has also been broad, from the aforementioned shock and sympathy to victim-blaming. So is this media attention helping or hurting our cause – for ex., exerting pressure on lawmakers and administrators to improve our working conditions or exposing those who speak out to retaliation and ridicule? What impact is this attention having on higher education more broadly? For ex., could it lead some to wonder whether it’s worth investing effort and funding in, which could lead to further cutbacks and even dismantling? Papers examining specific case studies, as well as treating the issue more broadly, are sought.
Submit an abstract at: Session Expiration
See you there, I hope!
Contact Info: 

Maria Plochocki

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