Go to the U of M home page


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Paper Proposals for the American Comparative Literature Association Conference

American Comparative Literature Association conference will be held in March in New York City. For their seminar entitled "Urban Mobility/Rethinking the Fl√¢neur," they are looking for scholars working on "fl√¢nerie" and models of urban mobility, particularly in the context of the social, political, and cultural reconfigurations characteristic of late capitalism, to write paper proposals. Deadline for proposals is November 15.

The fl√¢neur - a stroller of city streets and an epicure of urban ephemera - is one of the most frequently invoked figures of urban modernity. Walter Benjamin, its most influential interpreter, saw it as a historically and spatially specific type, a product of the arcades of Paris, "capital of the nineteenth century." In recent years, however, the fl√¢neur has been abstracted and expanded, as scholars have exported it to new cultural, historical, and geographic contexts, spawning a host of variants that include the "fl√¢neuse," the "ethnic fl√¢neur," the "postmodern fl√¢neur," and even the "cyber fl√¢neur" and the "driveur." This seminar will explore various reincarnations of this overdetermined figure, raising questions about its adaptability and historical specificity, particularly in the context of shifting centers of global capital and recent challenges to the center/periphery model. We invite proposals for papers interrogating the fl√¢neur's historical and theoretical contours, speculating about its uses and utility, and using it to generate new readings of texts.
+ new incarnations of the fl√¢neur and the risks and rewards of its expanded applications
+ alternate models of urban mobility, e.g. Michel de Certeau's "wandersmänner," Thoreau's "saunterer," Roberto Arlt's "vago," Frank Thistlethwaite's "globetrotting proletarians," and the Situationist "dérive"
+ the fl√¢neur's relationship to capitals legal, cultural, and demographic
+ the fl√¢neur's relationship to economic capital and structures of privilege emerging from gender, race, sexuality, able-bodiedness, etc.
+ transformations of the fl√¢neur in light of the digitization of text, space, and spectacle
+ alternate contexts for fl√¢nerie (journalism, visual culture, etc.)
PAPER PROPOSAL DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 15. Submit proposals via ACLA website at http://www.acla.org/acla2014/propose-a-paper/