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Call for Papers Archive

This year'?s MSA conference theme of "Culture Industries" provides an opportunity to interrogate again and anew how the university, as a complex cultural and economic formation, structures discourses about poetics--especially practices that are described as "political," "revolutionary," or "oppositional." This panel or roundtable (format TBD) seeks to examine rigorously the relationships among academic institutions, poetics, and movements for economic and social justice. While we are interested in exploring the institutional forces that have determined, and thus incorporated, certain understandings of "political poetry," we also seek to identify critical and poetic practices that, to borrow a formulation from Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, take place in the university but are not of it. We are interested in papers that put pressure on analytic and evaluative terms ("experimental," "political," "leftist," "avant-garde," etc.) as well as those that address questions such as:

How do recent meditations on the university such as Fred Moten and Stefano Harney'?s _The Undercommons_ and Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira's _The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent_ provide new perspectives on contemporary poetics, especially the way we define political and aesthetic avant-gardes?

What is the relationship of poetry to political activism? How do poetries growing out of recent political movements (Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, BDS, Idle No More) call our attention to the interpretive practices and values that have been ingrained in our current disciplinary structures?

How have contemporary poets addressed the structural economic inequalities perpetuated by the university itself (adjunct and graduate student labor, student debt)? How have they addressed the racial injustices perpetuated by current institutional and disciplinary structures?

How do extra-institutional organizing efforts (including community workshops, reading groups, and performance spaces) work in relation and/or resistance to academic institutions?

How might innovative/radical pedagogies proffer effective challenges to the neoliberal university?

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and a brief bio to Sarah Ehlers at by April 8, 2016. (Note: This is not a guaranteed session.)

Conference Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
Conference Starts: November 17, 2016
Conference Ends: November 20, 2016

CFP Submission Deadline: April 08, 2016

For more information, contact: Sarah Ehlers