In case you haven’t seen this already, Ashley Reis, a UO English alum, has a CfP out for a panel on Foucault:
“I am interested in certain [sites] that have the curious property of being in relation to all other sites, but in such a way as to suspect, neutralize, or invert the set of relations that they happen to designate, mirror or reflect. These spaces, as it were…are linked with all others, which however contradict all other sites” —Michel Foucault 
Michel Foucault’s theoretical oeuvre reaches far and wide and the study of space is arguably one of the fields most prominently impacted and informed by his work. Specifically, Foucault’s theory of heterotopias, introduced during his 1967 lecture, “Of Other Spaces,” affords a means of countering the basic, societal truths of the realms we occupy while “suspect[ing], neutraliz[ing], and invert[ing] the set of relations they happen to mirror, or reflect.” With this in mind, this panel seeks to examine heterotopic spaces, whether—and by no means limited to—physical, geographical, literary, cyber, social, or cultural, in order to illuminate and perhaps even complicate their cultural implications. Furthermore, papers may seek to answer larger, theoretical questions about heterotopias, the benefits of such theoretical applications, and Foucault’s effects on theories of space, more generally.
I encourage and invite abstracts from all disciplines. Please send a 300-word abstract by March 1, 2011 to Ashley Reis at AshleyReis@my.unt.edu. Deadline for panel proposals is March 18, 2011.
 Foucault, Michel and Miskoweic, Jay. “Of Other Spaces.” Diacritics Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring, 1986): 22-27.
Via UPenn Call for Papers
Stephen Metcalf has an interesting piece up at Slate about the merits of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
As an aside, it would be an interesting exercise to address book awards in our reading list. For instance, taking a set of winners of a particular award (National Book Award say or the Booker) as a case study for a term. Probably logistically impossible due to length, but an intriguing prospect. Thoughts?
Vanity Fair has an adapted excerpt from Kenneth Slawenski’s biography of J.D. Salinger up. It’s an interesting piece if for no other reasons than its look at Salinger’s time serving in the army in World War II and his interactions with Hemingway during the war. Still, I’m a little suspicious of the biographical impulse to ascribe aspects of the authors life to the fiction. I’m not saying that Slawenski really oversteps boundaries here. He does make a number of claims about the importance of the war in Salinger’s writing (something I wouldn’t dispute), but I’m unconvinced by the depth of the readings of Catcher in the Rye that he gives. It’s biography rather than literary criticism, of course (and it’s an excerpt so – benefit of the doubt). I’m curious if I’m just particularly sensitive to this motion due to my own work lately. Opinions?
Slavoj Žižek on Wikileaks at the London Review of Books. I thought it might be of interest to group members.
Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature [March 30, 2011]
full name / name of organization:
Brett Josef Grubisic, Tara Lee, Gisèle M. Baxter
Call for Submissions
Please feel free to forward this to any organizations, individuals, or mailing lists that might be interested.
At century’s end and after, a dystopian mood – what Peter Fitting calls “the sense of a threatened near future” – has been evident in daily life and, of course, national literatures. Seeking to explore literary iterations of that mood, the editors of After NAFTA: Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature encourage submissions about a variety of literary genres – novels, short fiction, or graphic novels (written in English or translated) – published by Canadian, American, and Mexican authors between 1994 and 2010.
The editors of After NAFTA have an agreement for publication with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Topics/approaches that might be taken into consideration:
· Ecology, environment, rural/urban
· Sexuality and gender
· Geo-politics, governmental structure, ideology, knowledge
· Community, ethnicity, race, territory, class structure
· Spirituality, religion, mythology, history
· The body, post-humanism, cybernetics, genetics
· Consumerism, media, popular culture
Please send a brief query and/or a 300-word (maximum) proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 30, 2011 and include a brief bio/bibliographical note.
Accepted essays will be due September 30, 2011 and should be between
4000 and 6000 words.
Brett Josef Grubisic, Tara Lee, Gisèle M. Baxter, eds. After NAFTA:
Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature
Department of English, University of British Columbia
397-1873 East Mall, Vancouver, BC CANADA V6T 1Z1
(A post! Gasp and consternation right?)
Edward Docx makes a case for literature against the prominence of authors like Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown in the Guardian. Perhaps a good follow up to our discussion of Larsson last summer.
The title to the post comes via Chelsea who commented that given the tendency to run a good thing in the ground, Larsson’s heroine was likely to run into more mundane problems in the future.