Comfort Books

by Dr Davis on November 22, 2014

I attended a presentation at FenCon in September on comfort books, titled “Too Close for Comfort.” I was thinking about the talk, remembering my own contributions to the discussion during the Q&A and went looking for my notes. Apparently I never put my notes up here about the panel, but I did have my “paper” version. I decided to post my notes, as I think it is an interesting topic.

speaker reading speechPanelists:
Michelle Muenzler (cookie lady)—short story author, book with agent
J. Kathleen Cheney—1902 alternate history, Portugal, book
Rob Rogers–mediator
Michael Ashleigh Finn—short story author, working on superhero pastiche, consultant to Dresden Files comic books
Kim Antell—playwright, artist, trying to break into novels, ArmadilloCon chair

Climbing with BooksComfort books = comfort books for eyes
What drives the phenomena? Why do we like?

Kim= anxiety, need something to calm me
Michael= same thing

Michelle= not anxiety, a little sad or really tired, you want something familiar

Kathleen= less pressure when you are reading a book you’ve read, you don’t have to finish the chapter, you don’t have to be worried, don’t have to stay up all night, maybe read just your favorite scenes… You don’t have to work at it. It’s easy.

Michael = read into the opposite that, Elephant book by Prachett, couldn’t find it, fell asleep looking for it

Can it be a style and not a book you’ve already read?
Kathleen = Yes. Can be a romance novel, pretty darn predictable. That is one of the attractions of the romance novels and watching romantic comedies. You’re in a safe relationship with it.

Kim = That’s why I don’t watch romantic comedies.

Michelle= I read picture books like that.

Michael= Want Tarantino to come out with romance novel.

Rob= cozy mysteries too, Nero Wolfe, Miss Marple, etc.

Kim = I heard romance pop-up novel. That would be brilliant!

study-books-computer-illustration-bigWithout naming the book, please tell me some of the characteristics.
Kathleen = esp w books read before, scenes between principals, like reading the dialogue, will skip the action scenes and read the dialogue, lots of dialogue. Sometimes this is not available in sf. I want to read the personal interactions.

Michelle = lean toward strong emotional scenes, makes me cry, already have the buildup in my head so I can go to middle or last third…

Rob = doesn’t work for me

Michael = stress hormones are in tears, when release them…

Rob = like this emotional impact, then do that

Kathleen = romantic comedies have “all hope is lost” moment about 2/3s of way through. You have this scene. You watch it. You cry. You’ve released your stress.

Michael = Read on Friday so will have 2 days to recover.

Michael = read at conversational speeds, and at bad age for reading, do a lot of audio books. For the audio books, it’s the reader. Sometimes the voice is the deal. If you have good wordsmithing in the novel, then it’s even better.

Kim = reading disability, can’t read large descriptions, need conversation; I choose books that feel more human. I’m weird. Grew up in RCC household in Houston. No one in family like me. Comfort to read about people like me.

Rob = another wrinkle for me, kind of like playing an old song, reminds me of a time when things were calmer, I can go back to that. Outside of SFF I go for Nero Wolfe, Dick Francis. Ties me back to a different time.

Michael = comedic aspect, but plays on heart and brain strings; laugh, laugh, make think, laugh, laugh, make think

reading-illusWhat specific books or authors do you read for comfort?
Michael = Pratchett

Kim = The Sapphire Rose, well-written siege, romance, adventure…
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, high school read, Douglas Adams made me feel good.

Kathleen=sff, Martha Wells’ Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, I love Tremaine so much. Madeline L’Engle first three novels in Wrinkle, Elizabeth Mansfield’s Regency Romances—like her better than Georgette Heyer…

Kim = I do read Regency Romance, but only the good ones.

Michelle = favorite Peter S. Beagle’s books—Innkeeper’s Song, The Last Unicorn… When I moved away from home, my mom was McCaffrey fan. But she had two extra books, so I took her extra copies. And her copy of The Hobbit. Linnea Sinclair is another author I like.

Michael = according to Romantic Times I’ve been reading romance forever, Lois McMaster Bujold… Tolkien didn’t write for reading, but for laying down a mythos.

Rob = David Eddings, Robert Aspirin, Anne McCaffrey.

Kim = Madeline L’Engle’s mainline fiction

green and orange booksHave you ever had any comfort books that stopped being comfort books?
Kim = The last time I read Hitchhiker’s Guide, it wasn’t as good as it used to be. Read it 50 times, but think I have finally read it too much.

Michael = haven’t had that with comfort books, but “That’s brilliant!” the phenomenal ideas. But the book is poorly written. So ideas good, but writing bad. Dresden Files used to be comfort, but now I am a Beta reader and it’s work. Books got dark for a while. Changes was dark. Later come back to the light, humor.

Rob = Piers Anthony. Loved the Xanth books when I was a kid. The punnier they got, the less I liked them. But the story, the magical world, everyone having a talent. As I got older, his writing wasn’t as good. Some was problematic. Myth Adventure series, Aspirin. I can re-read first 6, but after that… not.

Michael = Piers Anthony had brilliant ideas. Execution, not so much.

Kathleen = fallen off the list, not specific books; but series that I really loved and the author went somewhere I did not like, that spoils the series for me. Also another grinding to a halt on 7th book. Gotten tired of it.

Michael = Anita Blake. Don’t hate what she did, but ruined the series for me. Steven Brust books… wandered. First book he mentioned awesome stuff, but he never got back to it.

Kim = Anne Rice does that.

Michelle = high school, college, used to read a ton of Orson Scott Card… My copy of Ender’s Game is worn out. But as I started writing, I got too aware of political issues. Took away that comfort feeling. So I don’t go back and re-read them.

Michael = Cerebus comic series. Some of the giant volumes, absolutely amazing. But later, messed up. Misogynistic.

Michelle = Richard Adams’ book, re-read, heroine is as dumb as a stump. Loved secondary characters and world, but eventually couldn’t take the stupidity.

Rob = off comfort book, gore books… When I was a kid, these were the supermarket books. They were fantasy. First few were interesting. Book or two into it, really kind of messed up. Treatment of women is wrong on many levels.

Michael = gore kept me out of sff for a while.

Kim = when I originally saw title of panel, I thought of books that give us the heebie jeebies. There are a lot of misogynistic books, but I can’t read them. I like books that have strong men and women characters…

writing-tongue-outYou said you were reading and liked the secondary characters. Does comfort reading lead to comfort writing?
Kathleen = I think I know what you are asking. A lot of times when you are reading, you find the secondary characters more interesting. A lot of readers will write fanfic because they like the minor characters. If you read romance novels, this is something you will see. They spin off entire novel series’ this way. Christine Feehan.

Kim = I don’t read or write fanfic. But what I will do, I have a very active imagination and I daydream. I will write off the books. I just don’t write them down. I daydream about them.

Kathleen = same thing. Loved this so much, I want to get involved in it.

Michael = don’t write fanfic… I do mushing. Play feature characters from the books…

Michelle = my writing is so dark. I can’t write about secondary characters. Not comforting when I kill them off.

Rob = wrote a Sherlock Holmes adventure, took characters that I loved… I like it, comfort… Writing is too hard to do as comfort. But what I write tends to be the kind of thing that tends to be what I would want to read. Going to have happy endings.
Can give them a tough ride, but won’t toss them in the grave at the end.
Touch back on secondary characters and wanting to give them spotlight. Didn’t make Watson the hero, but gave him a couple of moments when he was a badass.

Are any of our comfort books dark books?
Kim asked this question.

Michael = One, dark through a large portion of it…

Kim = one I read again and again, but “creepy-ass dark book”

Kathleen = one of my fav ss is dark by Tanith Lee. Loved this one story. Will re-read.

Michelle = like to read books that make me cry. I’m mining emotions out of comfort books, and then I take the emotions and write them down.

drama masks tragedyPrefer in grave or a happy ending?
Uncomfortable change or something in the middle? Something that speaks to a reader’s own issues in life…

Michelle = if it is a book that you connect with on a personal level, that would be a comfort book

Rob = feeling down, I might put in Return of the Jedi, xx is my favorite, but not watch when down

Kim = comfort books are the opposite of what I am going through

Michael = don’t find it comforting, shroedenfraude,

Kim = I want to be so far away from being me as comfort book. I want to be an adventurer.
Rob = comfort books are escapism.

Iron Druid audio books… That man can read. Luke Daniels. He is a one-man radio show, doing all the voices, completely different. If you like Jim Butcher would like Iron Druid. Friend’s brother kept bringing it up and I listened to it and I was addicted.

Jim Dale is also good at reading.

Ilona Andrews Magic BleedsAudience Answers
Serialized romance novels. See the same characters. Almost like I’m a part of the story. Outlander series, in fourth book—lot of rape in that series.
John Steinbeck and Grapes of Wrath.
Heir to the Empire, the whole series by Timothy Zahn
Not sure nostalgia, but watching characters grow up, YA books… Terry Brooks’ Shenarra series, RA Salvatore Forgotten Realms, and Anne McCaffrey’s xx series
My answers: Liad books, first three. Weber’s War God’s Own (esp Oath of Swords). Kate Daniels’ Magic Bleeds: Every time I read it, I am thankful again for my husband and how good our relationship is. The characters have a strong marriage. (Someone else in the audience asked me for the title of the book again because of that comment.)


From Adjunct to FT Professor

by Dr Davis on November 21, 2014

One of my dear friends has been officially hired full-time by the community college for which she has been adjuncting for the last four years.

It can happen!

–Note: I adjuncted there for 8 years and was never hired full-time, though after publications were added to my CV, I did get hired by a different cc full-time.


CFP for Melusine

by Dr Davis on November 21, 2014

Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth

Editors: Misty Urban, Melissa Ridley Elmes, Deva Kemmis

Matriarch, monster, muse, and myth: while the late 14th c French prose romance by Jean d’Arras—in which he envisions her as a foundress of the powerful Lusignan family— arguably remains the earliest version
of the story of Melusine, the figure of the fairy woman cursed with a half-human, half-serpent form traveled widely throughout the legends of medieval and early modern Europe. From Thüring von Ringoltingen’s German iteration of 1456 to related folktales that brought Melusine decisively to the European medieval imaginary, Melusine’s variants surface in countries and centuries far beyond her French inception. One finds her entwined in the ancestry of noble houses across Europe; a Melisende ruled as Queen of Jerusalem; and the philosopher Paracelsus writes of Melusine as one of the four elementals. Today, one finds her in film, novels, video games, and the Starbucks logo, suggesting that Melusine was and remains a powerful, multivalent symbol capable of condensing the fears, myths, and cultural fantasies of any given historical period into a potent visual image.

We seek to assemble a volume of essays that examine the impact and legacy of the Melusine legendary in art, history, literature, and fields beyond. This collection will investigate the many representative instances of this figure over time and space, with analyses that give consideration to the following questions: What
particular valence does the half-serpent figure of Melusine hold for the time, place, and media in which she appears? How has the figure changed over time, and what forces have contributed to these changes? How do these various installations of Melusine deal with the transgressive nature of her hybrid form, and the transformations of that form which are integral to her story? What about this figure resonates across cultural periods, and what meanings herald a particular historical moment? What can Melusine teach us about reading
history (or art, or indeed any sort of cultural artifact) and the ways in which readers continually recreate meaning each time a story is retold?

While all proposals will be given full consideration, essays that approach the figure beyond the work of Jean d’Arras are particularly welcome. We invite methodologies that are historically researched or theoretically grounded as well as descriptive in nature. Please send a proposal of 500-800 words, including a short list of projected sources, along with a very brief CV to Misty Urban at [email protected] by January 6, 2015. Final essays of 6-25 pages will be expected by December 31, 2015.

from H-Net


Writing for Journal Publication

by Dr Davis on November 20, 2014

One of my colleagues has requested that several of us come to a graduate class and talk about our experiences with getting published in journals.

To prepare for that, I went back through this blog to look for relevant posts. This post contains some distilled information, some links, and some ruminations based on the discussion in the class.

In November 2009, about a year after I started trying to get published, I wrote a post on my publication/rejection record for my most recent work.
5 papers submitted, 2 accepted, 2 rejected, 1 pending
I try to be very careful in placing my work where it is most likely to get accepted. Even with that, my acceptance rate was a 2:3 ratio. (There were also numbers for creative pieces included in the original post.)

From my CV (and old CVs):
11 journal articles published
6 book reviews
2 chapters (2 others were accepted and not published)
(3 encyclopedia articles accepted but never published–Based on my experience, then, encyclopedia articles are not worth doing.)

At one point I wanted to include on my CV a section labeled “Not Published Due to Recession.”

My experience:
In the last 15 months…
Writing about Writing
Publications and Research
Working on a Revision
4 Ways to Write a Paper in a Hurry

Successful academic writing information:
Good Advice for Successful Academic Research and Writing
Style in Academic Writing
Don’t Get Too Attached

Good advice:
On Publishing
On Writing Book Reviews

Relevant links:
330-word guide to writing book proposals
the down-and-dirty article

Sources for CFPs:

I have also written 2 other articles I didn’t submit. One would probably have been published, but the other probably would not have been. Why didn’t I submit either one?

The first one was on a topic I was (at the time) thinking I needed to quit working on. I should still have submitted the article. I eventually revised the work and submitted it to a journal. If I had sent it in at the time, however, it would already be published, whereas right now it is in the submission process.

The second one was written for a presentation and the possibility of publication. However, for it to have been worth being published I would have had to have done a lot more work on it and it was a “niche” topic that was interesting to the convention I presented at, but less likely to be publishable. It also wouldn’t advance the work I want/need to do, so I am letting that go.

The work I have already put in on the second possibility is not worthless, however, because the process of considering how I could get it done in the limited time available to me (and researching what work I needed to do to make it “complete”) gave me ideas and resources for work that is within the purview of my interests and area.

I have written at least 17 other full articles that were not accepted. Unlike what I should have done, what my colleagues said to do, I have not looked for other places for those to be accepted and gone full-bore forward with the work. Having sat in on the class, I will go back through those works and consider if there is potential in the works–both are other publication sites possibilities and will this work that I’ve already done serve to advance the work I am already doing and will continue to do as I have narrowed my interests/focus.

I hope that this post offers a window into writing as academics because writing is such a large part of the work.


CFP for Book Reviews

by Dr Davis on November 20, 2014

Book reviews
full name / name of organization:
Randy Robertson / Modern Language Studies
contact email:
[email protected]
Modern Language Studies, the journal of the Northeast Modern Language Association, is seeking reviews for the summer 2013 issue. [I assume this should be 2015, as the CFP was submitted to UPenn in November of 2014.]

I am especially interested in reviews of primary sources (including scholarly editions, contemporary literature, art, film, comic books, visual and popular culture), pedagogical works, and hypertext publications. However, reviews are no longer restricted to these categories.

Graduate students are welcome to contribute to the journal. Please submit your review electronically (as a Word attachment) to Randy Robertson, Reviews Editor of MLS, at [email protected]

From UPenn.


CFP Writing Beyond Two Cultures

by Dr Davis on November 19, 2014

Thinking and Writing Beyond Two Cultures: STEM, WAC/WID, and the Changing Academy (3/28/15)
full name / name of organization:
Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing
contact email:
[email protected]
Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing is currently accepting submissions for Volume 3 (2015):

Thinking and Writing Beyond Two Cultures: STEM, WAC/WID, and the Changing Academy

In 2008 The Times Literary Supplement included the publication of C. P. Snow’s 1959 Rede Lecture, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, on its list of the 100 books that have most influenced Western public discourse since the Second World War. Although Snow’s lecture prompted a dustup between scientists and literary elites over who could lay claim to the superior form of knowledge, over time the sides and tenor of the “Two Cultures Debate” have changed. As the debate has expanded throughout the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to include various disciplinary groups and the beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives with which they are bound together as “cultures,” it has evolved into a conversation about how knowledge is recognized, valued, and taught across the cultures of the university. DH invites submissions that explore pedagogical linkages between critical thinking and writing within the unfolding legacy of the Two Cultures Debate.

The deadline for submissions is March 28, 2015.

From UPenn.


CFP Rhetoric in New Zealand

by Dr Davis on November 18, 2014

Reason Plus Enjoyment Conference 2015 10-13 July
full name / name of organization:
School of Arts and Media, University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia
contact email:
[email protected]
Next year marks the ten-year anniversary of the Rhetoric, Politics, Ethics 2005 conference in Ghent, Belgium, which gathered international scholars from a variety of critical perspectives to map recent signature events in contemporary theory. Reason Plus Enjoyment 2015 marks this occasion by inviting critical and cultural theorists to Sydney, Australia to reflect on the theoretical challenges posed in the intervening years. The remit of this second RPE conference is to read the vanishing futures of to phronein (thinking) and to kharein (enjoyment) in the twilight of what Derrida called the great Western metaphysical adventure. Joan Copjec once diagnosed our critical condition in terms of the “euthanasia of pure reason”. This interdisciplinary conference draws on a wide spectrum of interests to explore the endgames of Reason. What new, ‘bastard’ forms of aesthetic, political, rhetorical, sexual and technical rationality (and their enjoying subjects) are emerging in the 21st century?

Conference organisers: Kate Montague, Sigi Jöttkandt, Mark Steven

Please submit abstracts by February 15th, 2015 to Kate Montague kateamontague[at]

From UPenn.


CFP YA SF and Race

by Dr Davis on November 17, 2014

Ambivalent Ambiguities: Depictions of Race in Young Adult Dystopian and Science Fiction
full name / name of organization:
Miranda Green-Barteet and Meghan Gilbert-Hickey
contact email:
[email protected]
Ambivalent Ambiguities: Depictions of Race in Young Adult
Dystopian and Science Fiction

In dystopian series such as Divergent, Blood Red Road, The “Chemical Garden” Trilogy, Legend, the “Pure” Trilogy and The Lunar Chronicles, authors writing young adult fiction have created female protagonists who openly defy the oppressive societies in which they live. In these series, and many others, a young female protagonist challenges gendered limitations, thereby subverting the culturally-prevalent image of a boy-crazy, fashion conscious teenage girl. Indeed, in diverse settings and circumstances, authors writing in this genre offer readers female characters who are active, empowered, and take charge of their own lives. Often, these young, female characters find themselves in positions to fight on behalf of oppressed others, who are marked by gender and, to an even greater extent, class.

Many of these authors, however—specifically those who have achieved commercial success and published with mainstream presses—seem hesitant to delve into issues of race and racial difference. Instead, they employ a variety of techniques to sidestep race, particularly the race of female characters. Racial markers are layered with those of differing categories; rather than create characters who are racially diverse, authors create extraterrestrials, cyborgs, individuals with telekinetic and technological powers, among other differences. Thus, many of these texts appear to confront race directly only to dismiss racial differences as a form of speculative adaptation. In other texts, such differences disappear altogether, under the guise of a post-racial society.

Many lesser-known texts within this genre do feature female protagonists of color, including Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, Nalo Hopkinson’s The Chaos, Karen Sandler’s “Tankborn” series, and others. In creating protagonists of color, these authors challenge the normative assumption of whiteness that so many of their colleagues reinforce. These books, however, aren’t on the best-seller lists, nor are they being made into films, while dystopian texts featuring white female protagonists are.

This proposed anthology seeks essays that interrogate the impulse to prioritize conversations about gender and class, while deflecting attention away from rich work on race geared toward a young adult readership. Specifically, we seek to consider why, in books that so often subvert, transgress, and openly deride gender stereotypes, race is relegated to the margins.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
? The normalization of whiteness
? Subversion of gender stereotypes vs. subversion of racial stereotypes
? Technology as a marker of difference
? Marked and unmarked bodies
? Prevalence of telekinetic powers or other types of mental powers
? Consideration of other forms of difference (i.e., LGBT characters, disabled characters) as they relate to racial diversity
? Role of the environment and race
? Role of publishing industry (i.e., marketing, attracting authors, size of publishers)

We are currently seeking a book contract for this anthology. Please submit a 500-word abstract and a one-page CV to Meghan Gilbert-Hickey and Miranda Green-Barteet at RaceinYAlit at by February 1, 2015.

From UPenn.


CFP Words across Media

by Dr Davis on November 16, 2014

[REMINDER] Word Hoard Issue #4: “Word of Mouth”
full name / name of organization:
Word Hoard/Western University
contact email:
[email protected]
Viva voce—“with living voice,” but also (and more commonly) the phenomenon of “word of mouth.” When incidents of speech, song, or shouting take place, it is the mouth that transforms private impulse into audible sound. Articulatory phonetics tells us that this physiological transubstantiation is little more than the aerodynamic energy of breath rendered into sound waves, or acoustic energy. Yet when do words become more than translations, and mouths more than translating machines?

How do words fare when adapted across different media? From censorship to speech impediments to tensions of class, race, ethnicity, and ability, failures to communicate by word of mouth manifest everywhere. Are these failures being remediated, and if so, by what means have words (and mouths) been altered to increase their accessibility and intelligibility? On the other end of the spectrum, how do we prevent our private words from becoming word of mouth in an age of precarious internet privacy and information circulation? Between social media and the ever-increasing digitization of the arts and humanities, do we still need mouths for our words, or words delivered in person? Tell us about phatic speech, about “walking the talk” in activism and academia, about speech and performance. What do we make of dirty mouths, dirty words, and the place of obscenities or vulgarities in the arts and humanities? Or, if one wishes to avoid such pollution, what are the ethics of taking words from another’s mouth via journalism, citation, or plagiarism? We have our ear to the ground for your rumours, avowals, suspicions, aphorisms, declarations, and slips of the tongue, and we seek submissions from all disciplines relating to the arts, culture, and the humanities.

Word Hoard is soliciting articles, essays, and interviews for our fourth issue (please find our previous issues at: We invite submissions between 3,000-5,000 words related to the provocation and concept of “Word of Mouth,” which will be due by 5 December 2014. Accepted submissions can expect online and print publication in the summer of 2015. All submissions will undergo a blind peer review from which all authors receive detailed and constructive feedback, and all accepted submissions will be responded to within our dialogic, multi-generic format.

Submissions should be formatted according to MLA guidelines, and should also include a brief biographical sketch of the author. Abstracts are appreciated, but not required. Submissions should not contain the author’s name or obvious identification marks to ensure an objective blind peer review process. To submit, or for more information, please contact us at [email protected]

From UPenn.


CFP in Cultural Studies

by Dr Davis on November 15, 2014

Age of Alterity: Age of the Other
full name / name of organization:
Cultural Studies Association Working Group on Critical Pedagogy
contact email:
[email protected], [email protected]

Cultural Studies Association Working Group on Critical Pedagogy

13th Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association, May 21-24, 2015

Riverside Convention Center, Riverside California (Greater Los Angeles)

Theme: “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy”

The Cultural Studies Association’s Working Group on Critical Pedagogy invites submissions for the 13th Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association (U.S.), “Another University Is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy,” to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California, May 21-24, 2015. This year, we will be constituting a panel and a workshop.

A governing concept for this year’s panel and workshop is Alterity: The Age of the Other. We invite you to consider issues of adjunctification, the recent resignation of the Los Angeles Unified Schools District Superintendent, and the loss of language arts-focused curricula. We welcome work that draws inspiration from the work of such authors as Arundhati Roy, Carter G. Woodson, Paolo Freire, Toure, and those with similar critical philosophies. In The Miseducation of the Negro, (1933, 2000), Carter G. Woodson discusses service and what it means to be a participant in daily life, as opposed to a spectator. He writes, “Under leadership we have been made to despise our own possibilities and to develop into parasites; by service we may prove sufficient unto the task of self-development and contribute our part to modern culture” (p. 119). The Critical Pedagogy Working Group asks whether a servant/leader dichotomy characterizes the current moment in education. If so, how does this binary impact educators, students, administrators, parents, and Others? The Cultural Studies Association Critical Pedagogy Working Group seeks to respond to the question of alterity both inside and outside of the classroom while simultaneously attending to fundamental questions of what cultural studies pedagogy looks like. What role should we, as critical educators, assume?

Panel: In the spirit of the conference theme and our subtheme of alterity, we seek papers that address the question of what cultural studies pedagogy does, should, or can look like. Panelists might address questions like the following:

How might cultural studies’ interest in power relations, knowledge production, and social change define a uniquely cultural studies pedagogy? What typifies cultural studies pedagogy? What theorists should or do inform it? What does it look like in practice?
Should cultural studies be a classroom subject taught in K-12 and college curricula? How does it become a dominant field of study in K-12, community college, and four-year college? Should cultural studies emphasize STEM? Does the world need more philosophers? How does cultural studies become “popular” in the academy? Should it? Does it exist primarily in academia or can we envision a pedagogical approach that does not presuppose an academic setting?
How can or should a critical pedagogical approach respond to the current political, economic, and cultural context? For example, what has the Obama presidency meant for cultural studies praxis and theory in the context of education? What is financial education, and how can a cultural studies critical pedagogy offer a solution to educational disenfranchisement? Has the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed? If so, why? If not, why? Is adjunct-work over? If so, what will become of higher education?
Workshop: We seek proposals to test classroom assignments, exercises, and other activities informed by cultural studies pedagogy in a workshop environment. This workshop will offer each participant a few minutes to contextualize one exercise or activity and then test it with the other workshop participants and receive feedback. We seek participants whose curriculum and pedagogical approach is informed by cultural studies. We are especially interested in proposals that involve alternative or non-traditional approaches to teaching and welcome activities designed for a non-academic setting.

We also welcome proposals that may not fit these parameters, but are concerned with critical pedagogy.

If interested in participating in the panel, please submit (via email) the following by January 15, 2015:

a. Your name, email address, department, and institutional affiliation.

b. A 500-word (or less) abstract for the paper proposed, including a paper title.

c. Audio-visual equipment needs (requests for AV equipment cannot be honored later).

d. Include in the email subject line: Critical Pedagogy Panel Submission.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit (via email) the following by January 15, 2015:

a. Your name, email address, department, and institutional affiliation.

b. A 500-word (or less) description of the activity you’d like to workshop, including a title, and an explanation of why you’d like to workshop this activity with cultural studies practitioners.

c. Audio-visual equipment needs (requests for AV equipment cannot be honored later).

d. Include in the subject line: Critical Pedagogy Workshop Submission.

Please send all required information to the Co-Chairs of the Working Group on Critical Pedagogy: Gail Taylor ([email protected]) and Sara Mitcho ([email protected]).

From UPenn.