Deadline Extended: American Literature Call for Proposals: Pedagogy: Critical Practices for a Changing World
Call for Papers Date:
Historically, literature produced and circulated in the United States has negotiated a range of contradictory demands to “teach” diverse peoples how to inhabit the geopolitical space and cultural terrain of the nation. Indeed, the concept of American literature was forged amid debates about the connections among literacy, citizenship, and pedagogy. As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, the editors of this special issue of American Literature turn our attention to pedagogy, asking both how our scholarly engagement with American literature has produced a distinct set of pedagogical practices and how our pedagogical practices raise new questions about the relevance and role of American literature. How has US participation in a transnational field reanimated and recalibrated our understanding of pedagogies of domination and oppression? What kinds of counterhegemonies and subaltern literacies emerge in our contemporary pedagogy? And most centrally for American Literature, how have shifts in our understanding of the historical object, American Literature, altered pedagogy or been altered by our collective pedagogical practice? As teachers, what critical practices can we employ and what objects and histories can we now teach—or allow to teach us—about the urgent literacies of our time?
With this special issue we offer an opportunity to consider pedagogy as increasingly the site where political and economic pressures are grappled with and addressed, including the widening gap between the sophistication of scholarship and critical practice in the field of American literature and the current direction of institutional politics and practices. We thus ask contributors to consider how critical practices that define our work as scholars and educators must adjust to, revise, intervene in, and be repurposed for a world where for-profit online companies, state and federal mandates for measurable learning outcomes, and budget constraints are driving educational practices toward instrumentality and commodification. To this end, we seek essays that rearticulate the value of our work by reconsidering pedagogy in relation to the field of American Literature broadly construed.
Rather than focusing on a particular teaching strategy or text, we seek essays that approach the topic from larger philosophical perspectives. We also seek essays that chart the influence of current critical practices on the field of American Literature. How does teaching American literature in prisons across the country, for example, address issues of canon in relation to long and broad histories of genocide and incarceration, or how have bilingual teaching practices in Latina/o, American Indian, or immigrant communities shifted the terrain and political engagement of American literary study? Why teach literary texts and why teach literary texts that purport to be nation based? In addition, essays addressing the effect of cross-sectoral pedagogy on the discipline might look at how American literature moves beyond the academy into alternative learning spaces, through service learning, online education, or crossover training for graduate students. This issue also asks how the robust efforts of our field in transnational, multicultural, gender/sexualities, and race-based theories have led to the rearticulation of a richer pedagogy/critical practice as well as a more expansive understanding of “American literature” historically, materially, and in the context of globalization.
Submissions of 11,000 words or less (including endnotes and references) should be submitted electronically at www.editorialmanager.com/al/default.asp by October 30, 2013. When choosing a submission type, select “New Submission-Special Issue.” For assistance with the submission process, please contact the office of American Literature at 919–684–3396 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions please contact any or all of the coeditors: Carol Batker (email@example.com); Gillian Harkins (firstname.lastname@example.org); Augusta Rohrbach (email@example.com); Alys Weinbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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