The Modern Language Association Discussion Group on "Literature of the United States in Languages Other Than English" was granted permanent status by the Modern Language Association Executive Council in 2001.
The Group is planning a panel at the MLA Convention in December 2002
on the topic of "New Perspectives on American Texts" for which proposals for papers are invited. Abstracts (or fully-written papers) should be addressed to, as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, 2002.
Non-English American texts, written, oral, or otherwise, have in most instances been composed within traditions and cultures that are different from those of mainstream America. Evaluated nevertheless by prevalent approaches, they have, more often than not, been misappreciated.
What are the perspectives and criteria that need to be embraced, foregrounded, developed or negotiated for a just assessment of these American texts? How should current critical theory be transformed to accommodate the complex cultural workings of these transnational texts? What non-English heritages of story-telling, narration and literary representation would need to be canonized? How would this affect in turn the English-language tradition?
This panel proposes to explore and provide a forum for reflection on these issues through critical readings of specific texts. Papers may focus on indigenous American texts as well as American texts in all languages other than English. Comparative studies of any aspect of the topic are also welcome.
phone: +90 (312) 290-2044 or 266-5071
fax: +90 (312) 266-4934 or 266-5071
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