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In recent years, critics such as Anne Cheng, Heather Love, Ann Cvetkovich, and Jonathan Flatley have explored negative feelings as important resources for theorizing the social. Drawing on this scholarship, our panel challenges the distinction between subjective alienation and collective marginalization, and how experiences of negative affects are instanced through narrative form. We are interested in reading modernist and late modernist forms that represent various accounts of stigma, nonbelonging, and self-dispossession, not simply in terms of individual predicaments, but as an archive of literary forms that afford these social experiences particular affective and ethical resonances. By so doing, our panel seeks to challenge the distinction between the personal and the political, reading affective form as as aesthetic hinge between the linked domains of experience. Despite the famed second-wave feminist formulation, "the personal is political," why are some narratives of social exclusion dismissible as "merely" subjective? How may the form of these narratives help us reframe questions of identity and positionality, of bad feeling and unbelonging? Can the ineluctably individual experience of "feeling bad" as depicted in modernist forms challenge prevailing notions about the proper relation between collectivity and subjectivity, notions that remain mired in the discourses of positive uplift and recuperating the ideal of collectivity?

Possible topics:

Transnational dislocations, minority experience, representations of poverty and caste, narratives of racial uplift, "dirty" modernism, social realism, queer experience, the poetics and politics of form, including narrative form and the scenic method.

Conference Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Conference Starts: August 10, 2017
Conference Ends: August 13, 2017

CFP Submission Deadline: January 25, 2017

For more information, contact: Octavio R. Gonzalez