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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Texting Obama" Call for Proposals & Conference

The English Research Institute, the Manchester Writing School at MMU and The Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Research are pleased to announce an interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences conference, "Texting Obama", on September 7-10, 2010. Proposal deadline: March 26, 2010.

"Texting Obama" Call for Proposals & Conference
Confirmed keynote speakers
Paul Cammack (MMU), Bonnie Greer (London), Simon Gikandi (Princeton), David
Theo Goldberg (UCI), Anna Hartnell (Birmingham), Carl Pedersen (Copenhagen),
Ato Quayson (Toronto) and Patricia J. Williams (Columbia).
Readings from - among others - Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and SuAndi.
Organising Committee: Dr. Ellie Byrne, Dr. Julie Mullaney, Prof. Berthold Schoene,
Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
Barack Obama's presidency is widely seen as the beginning of a new era, not only in
world politics but also in global culture, with the present increasingly glossed as the 'Age
of Obama'. Our conference will ask what the terms of this naming might mean by addressing the diverse range of representational forms attached to Obama in contemporary world culture - as a person, icon and phenomenon.
The conference will map and explore the specific historical, political and cultural climates
in which Obama('s) texts operate. It will interrogate the signifiers, signs and processes
that circulate around Barack Obama, and explore his own contributions and interventions
across diverse media.
Proposals are invited for papers or panels that engage with these diverse textualities.
Questions might include:• In what ways do Obama texts 'travel' and
under what conditions?
• How might travelling theory or diaspora
theory engage with Obama texts?
• In what ways might attention to Obama
texts interrogate or develop extant
or emerging frameworks at work in
postcolonial, globalisation, media and
cultural studies?
• How might a focus on transnational Obamas
include or obscure local or national politics
and expressions of black activism?
• How ought we to theorise pronouncements
of a 'post-racial' America or/and a 'post-
Katrina' America?
Possible streams might include:
Postcolonial Obama: Kenya and Indonesia, Globalisation and Cosmopolitanism, Aloha
Obama! Negotiating Hawaii, Obama and African-America, Rhetoric/Orature /Life writing,
The Obama Families, Screening Obama, Obama and Hospitality, Black and Bi-Racial
Masculinities, Race & Racial Politics, Obama in Europe, Publishing/Merchandising Obama, Ghosting Kennedy, Race and Fatherhood, Obama's 100 days, Obama in the Academy, Law and Civil Rights, Black Activism, Obama's Blackberry: New Technologies/Media and Race, Obama and Popular Culture: Watching The
Wire, Obama and pedagogy.
Proposals should be emailed to:
by no later than 26 March 2010.