Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Call for Papers: Boyish Reading and Writing (NeMLA Convention, Tufts University)

Post date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Deadline: 30 September 2012

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in her paper ‘How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys,’ noted, ‘the gay movement has never been quick to attend to issues of effeminate boys.’ Indeed, Sedgwick’s paper and Carol Mavor's *Reading Boyishly: Roland Barthes, J. M. Barries, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marcel Proust, and D. W. Winnicott* (2007) serve as the impetus, at least in part, for this seminar.

It seems there is much to be said about the ‘boyish’ figure not only in terms of literary texts (the archetype of Peter Pan immediately comes to mind) and theory, but also in cultural terms. Germaine Greer writes, ‘every male who survives boyhood must agree to annihilate the boy in him and confine himself to the narrower scope available to him in patriarchal society.’ Her totalizing discourse serves as a challenge to scholars: is it true that ‘every male [...] must agree to annihilate the boy in him’? What if it is true that every male must do this? What is at stake in losing, annihilating, destroying one's ‘boyish’ past?

This seminar is interested in papers drawing on Spanish and Portuguese texts, but it is also and equally interested in comparative approaches that move beyond the Luso-Hispanic context. While much has been said, for instance, about Latin masculinity, particularly with regards to the macho and the maricon (last year’s NeMLA hosted a panel called ‘Machos, Maricones, y Mucho Más’), what can be said of the boy, the boyish man, the effeminate man? This seminar seeks to explore questions and representations of ‘boyishness’ in literature and film, while building on last year’s panel ‘Machos, Maricones, y Mucho Más,’ this panel seeks to include and move beyond Latin America to a more global, comparative, worldly approach to the question of ‘boyishness.’

Please send abstracts of 250 words and a brief biographical statement to jonathan.allan [at]

Please include with your abstract:
  • Name and Affiliation
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Telephone number
  • A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.


For inquiries: