CALL FOR PAPERS: An Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences

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    Alexandra Cuncev

    Call for Papers: An Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences

    TEXTING OBAMA: politics/poetics/popular culture

    7-10 September 2010
    Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    Hosted by English Research Institute, the Manchester Writing School at MMU
    and The Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Research

    Confirmed keynote speakers: Paul Cammack, Simon Gikandi, David Theo
    Goldberg, Bonnie Greer, Anna Hartnell, Carl Pedersen, Ato Quayson, Patricia
    Williams. Readings from Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, SuAndi and others.

    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.

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