The Women's Caucus for the Midwest Modern Languages Association is
inviting 250-word abstracts for a panel entitled "Female Academic
Superstardom." The 50th Annual Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association will take place on November 13-16, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This panel will explore female academic superstardom from a variety of perspectives. Successful abstracts might address one or more of the following questions:
How does a critic or theorist become an "academostar," a term used to describe a high-profile academic in a 2001 special issue of The Minnesota Review devoted to academic superstardom?
Is there room on the runway for female "academostars"?
What effects have students, teachers, departments, and/or the academy experienced as a result of academic superstar culture currently prevalent in academia?
What trends have occurred in academic superstardom in the past several decades, and what do they mean for academic women, female students, and/or for the field?
Do female academic celebrities experience superstardom differently than males?
How does the fame of a female academic, like Judith Butler or Elaine
Showalter, perhaps, affect the field differently than the fame of a male academic like Henry Louis Gates, Jr. or Stanley Fish, for instance?
How do race and/or sexual orientation affect academic superstardom?
How do academic memoirs, such as Jane Tompkins's A Life in School, affect the field, both in terms of public perception and actual teaching practices?
How does it affect academics and/or academia that the mention of a
currently "hot" academic superstar, especially one perceived as important politically or especially "difficult," such as Eve Sedgwick or Hortense Spillers, seems an essential component for current academic research?
Please send abstracts by April 16, 2008 to Andrea Powell at
If your abstract is accepted for inclusion on the panel, you will be
expected to register for the conference and to become a member of M/MLA.
Department of English
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47304 Email: email@example.com
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