CFP: Poetry + Assemblage

Call for Papers for NeMLA Conference in Pittsburgh, PA

April 12-15, 2018

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Poetry enables us to be present with one another across space and time. What happens when we read contemporary poetry alongside political philosophy? This session invites reflections on how reading, writing, and sharing poetry–in isolation, in person, or in physical or virtual communities–creates or can create political assemblages. Judith Butler describes “assemblage” as a state of mutual acknowledgement of vulnerability and interdependence and claims it is a fundamental precondition of political action. Butler’s claims for the political necessity of vulnerability merges her career-long explorations of embodied experience with Hannah Arendt’s theory of “spaces of appearance,” the idea that politics emerges through speech and action. Like Butler, Arendt insists that we become fully human only when we approach one another as simultaneously unknowable and interdependent.

Submit 250-word abstracts and brief biographies to Nate Mickelson, Assistant Professor of English, Guttman Community College-CUNY, at

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