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Call for Papers website provided by the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania




Open Yale Courses


Free access to courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.




Félix Martín Gutiérrez, Retorno a la historia literaria norteamericana: itinerarios críticos y pedagógicos, PUV, 2014




Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke (2013). Ed. by Francisco Collado.



A Contested West: New Readings of Place in the American West (2013), Ed. by M. Simonson, D. Río and A. Ibarrarán



Unsteadily Marching On: The US South in Motion (2013), Ed. by Constante González Groba



Women in Transit Through Literary Liminal Spaces (2013), Ed. T. Gómez Reus & Terry Gifford




De-Centring Cultural Studies (2013), Ed. by Patricia Bastida Rodríguez et al.



La década del miedo: Dramaturgias audiovisuales post-11 de septiembre (2013), Ed. by Marta Fernández Morales.



Landscapes of Writing in Chicano Literature (2013), Ed. by Imelda Martín Junquera.





T. S. Eliot & Salvador Espriu (2013), Didac Llorens Cubedo.





The Backyard of the U.S. Mansion (2013). José Antonio Gurpegui & Isabel Durán. Eds.




SAAS Conference 2011

American Secrets: The Politics and Poetics of Secrecy in the Literature and Culture of the United States (2011), Ed. by E. Barros Grela & J. Liste Noya


American Secrets


SAAS Conference 2007



T. S. Eliot & Salvador Espriu (2013), Didac Llorens Cubedo.







Josep Mª Armengol, Masculinities in Black and White: Manliness and Whiteness in (African) American Literature


American Secrets






SAAS-Jaen 2005


SAAS-Vitoria 2003


Full Panels and Talk-Shops for Our Next Conference

"The Image and the Word"


1) “Illness as Metaphor? The Limits of Language in US Cancer Narratives”

Panel Chair: Marta Fernández Morales

Institution: Universidad de Oviedo

E-mail: fernandezmmarta@uniovi.es


Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor (1977) is a classic in the analysis of illness narratives and their language. Her criticism of the metaphorical uses of cancer is a point of reference for both creative authors and scholars. Likewise, Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain (1985) has become ineludible in discussions about the difficulty of expressing physical pain, including that wrought by disease. In the post-millennial context, Kathlyn Conway, who has lived with and written about cancer, has published Beyond Words (2007), which explores the limits of language to deal with illness and disability, including conditions such as cancer, polio, chronic fatigue, AIDS, blindness, and paralysis, among others.  

Touching upon a corpus of literary, artistic, and cinematic narratives produced in the US, this panel explores different expressions of cancer that engage the verbal, the non-verbal, and the visual. Each speaker will analyze a selection of one to three primary texts, delving into the interaction between the image and the word, and discussing issues like the need for and effectiveness of metaphorization, the relationship between (self)representation and language, and the consequences of the authors’ meaning-making processes for the final formal structure of their works.


a) Máximo Aláez Corral, Universidad de Oviedo, “Self-exposure of Cancer in Alicia Suskin Ostriker’s ‘The Mastectomy Poems’ and Hannah Wilke’s ‘Portrait of the Artist with her Mother, Selma Butter’: A Comparative Analysis”

E-mail: malacor.01@gmail.com


b) Marta Fernández Morales, Universidad de Oviedo, “Finding Words for the Silent Killer: Metaphorization in Eve Ensler’s Cancer Memoir”.



c) Carmen Pérez Ríu, Universidad de Oviedo, “Embodied Subjectivities in Pain through Verbal and Visual Metaphor”




2) “Race and the Body: Pathologizing Blackness in the US South”

Panel Chair: Constante González Groba

Institution: Universidade de Santiago

E-mail: constante.gonzalez@usc.es


Throughout history the human body has been one of the main targets of ideology. The body is the site where ideological practice occurs, a practice that ultimately consists in situating bodies. The racialized body, a product of racism, is formed through racist doctrine and belief, and it becomes the channel and point of transmission for a racist notion of humanity; and a racialized body entails severe limitations on the experience of the body as belonging first of all to an individual self.

The current Black Lives Matter movement, born when the verdict acquitting the murderer of Trayvon Martin came down, is raising awareness in a country whose narrative of race is largely written on the black body, cannibalized through slavery and segregation and today still disproportionately incarcerated and killed in the streets. As Ta-Nehisi Coates warns his teenage son in Between the World and Me (2015), the black body is “more fragile than any other in this country”, and “you cannot forget how much they took from us, and how they transfigured our very bodies into sugar, tobacco, cotton and gold.” In Colson Whitehead’s best-selling The Underground Railroad (2016), a runaway slave girl time-travels through different phases in the history of a capitalist nation that is “an engine that did not stop, its hungry boiler fed with [black] blood,” from the time of slavery, when forced breeding was the norm for black women, to the 20th century, when forced sterilization and eugenics programs became prominent features of public policies that invited comparisons to Nazi Germany.

In the US South, the body became a site of acrimonious political contention about how bodies are represented, defined, or assigned spaces, and the culture of segregation was based on the binary opposition of the elevated white body and the degraded black one, a self-defeating hysterical separation of black and white bodies. The body of the white woman was supposed to be far removed from sexuality and at the same time severely endangered by it, especially by black sexuality. It was a culture in which social control was tantamount to the control of the black body, a body that had to be reduced to fragments to contain its sexual terrors.  


a) Constante González Groba, Universidade de Santiago, “The Use of Illness as Political Metaphor to Combat Racism in the American South”

E-mail: constante.gonzalez@usc.es


b) Ewa Luczak, University of Warsaw, “When Science Goes Wrong: The Discourse of Eugenics in Toni Morrison’s Home and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad”



c) Urszula Niewiadomska-Flis, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, “‘[A] stomach full of race mixing, and a lap full of little mulatto grandchildren’. The White Body, Cross-racial Contact and the Politics of Food in the American South”




3) “Poe On-line: Text and Image”

Panel Chair: Margarita Rigal Aragón

Institution: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

E-mail: Margarita.Rigal@uclm.es


The panel will present the main results offered by the Research Project “Poe On-line: Text and Image,” granted by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (HAR2015-64580-P). The project’s main goals were to promote a multidisciplinary methodology of work. To do this, the members of the project have undergone a dilated trajectory working in shared projects which have combined two or more disciplines; to develop the first online archive on Poe’s life and works in Spanish, following the model the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore has been developing for years; to translate into Spanish those works of Poe that are not yet available in this language; to develop the first online catalogue of illustrated editions of Edgar Allan Poe, following the model of the “Proyecto Cervantes,” hosted at Texas A&M University, in which some of the current members have been involved; to create online didactic resources of a high level of profit both for the student and the academic; and to promote knowledge of the reception that Poe’s works have had in Spain. To do this, we have the experience of some of the members of the project, who have worked widely on Poe and popular culture, both in Spain and abroad.

One of our goals (perhaps the main one) is to highlight the development of a digital catalogue to offer free access to the illustrations that, since the 19th century onwards, have accompanied some of the best editions of Poe’s works. Illustrations are a key element when dealing with the interpretation of a text and, due to this, it is necessary to develop a tool that allows us to analyze the image along with the text. This is especially relevant when dealing with Poe, since he always used a highly pictorial language and included continuous references to the world of the image in his texts. Illustrators have also reflected how Poe has been understood and read in every period and in every society, and their work is a first-hand resource in understanding the development of this process. In this sense, it is significant to see how the first illustrators were mainly interested in the beautiful and picturesque aspects of Poe’s poetry, far away from the gothic-grotesque image that is today associated with his production and which has been chosen to illustrate more recent editions.


a) Fernando González Moreno & Beatriz González Moreno, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, “Key-Illustrated Editions of Poe’s Works in ‘LyA’s Collection”



b) José Manuel Correoso Rodenas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, “National and International Fruits of the Project “Edgar A. Poe On-Line: Text and Image”



c) Alejandro Jaquero Esparcia, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, “Graphic Novel Editions of Poe’s Works in ‘LyA’s Collection”



4) “Houses, Homes and Dwellings: Self and the Domestic Space in the American Literary Imagination”

Panel Chair: Cristina Alsina Rísquez

Institution: Universitat de Barcelona

E-mail: alsina@ub.edu


This panel will look at the troubled relationship of the American self with the domestic space, which constitutes a core concern of American literature (Chandler). The recurrence of this troubled relationship between self and domestic space in the American literary imagination reveals a deeper, core crisis of discomfort of the American self with the notion of belonging. We aim at analyzing how the material structure of home as object —house— and lived location—aggregation of experiences— both influences and is informed by the selves imagining and inhabiting it. This panel will address this topic in two different ways. On the one hand, it will zoom in on artifacts and the way they are ekphrastically embedded in literary texts, to be put to the service of character formation or concept building; we will also explore how sometimes those objects become things, to use Bill Brown’s distinction and transcend that service so as to assert themselves as things “thwart[ing] human desire even as they call it forth” (O’Farrell). On the other hand, it will zoom out and reflect on how literature presents unconventional homes and dwellings that demand of the reader a reconsideration of what it is we call home, and what housing instability and the threat of eviction do to the process of subject formation. In both cases, we will bestow centrality on representing the materiality of the house, home and/or dwelling in American literature. This panel presents research results of the research project “Troubling Houses: Dwellings, Materiality, and the Self in American Literature” (FFI2017-82692-P, MINECO/AEI/FEDER, UE).


Session1: Panel Chair: Cristina Alsina Rísquez


a) Cynthia Stretch, Southern Connecticut State University, “Mi Casa/My Crib: A Neighborhood Response to the Bureaucracy of Eviction”



b) Eva Puyuelo Ureña, Universitat de Barcelona, “Domesticity, Self and Politics in U.S. Prison Fiction: The Formation of Black Nationalism in Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice



c) Elena Ortells, Universitat Jaume I, “Houses and Homes in the American Graphic Novel”



Session 2: Panel Chair: Cristina Alsina Rísquez


a) Vicent Cucarella, Universitat de Valéncia, “Blackening The Great Gatsby: Affective Transpositions Within the African American Mansion in Stephanie Powell Watts’ No One is Coming to Save Us



b) Joana Masó i Illamola, Universitat de Barcelona, “Charles Baudelaire’s Edgar A. Poe: New Public Spaces, New Interior Scenes”



c) Cristina Alsina Rísquez, Universitat de Barcelona, “Objects Named and not Named in Cather’s The Professor’s House: Exploring the Limits of ‘Home’”



5) “Intermediality in Graphic Narratives”

Panel Chair: Mercedes Peñalba García

Institution: Universidad de Salamanca

E-mail: mpg@usal.es


Over the last thirty years, intermediality studies have become one of the fastestgrowing fields of interest in interdisciplinary research. Since then, an increasing interest in visual culture has led to more indepth investigations of intermedial phenomena within the humanities. While narration takes place in novels, films and graphic narratives alike, and can therefore be considered as a transmedial phenomenon, it is important to highlight the specificities of the respective medium in which a story is expressed.

The copresence of verbal and visual art in graphic narratives clearly asks researchers not only to refer back to semiotics, cultural analysis, close readings and formal textual analysis gleaned from literary and cultural studies in general, and discourse analysis in particular, it also has to build on the findings of iconography and intermediality studies. Since graphic novels are complex narratological cases –they do not only narrate serially, but also involve two media– it is our goal to explore the narrative mode and specific intermedial quality of this genre. We must therefore ask in what ways conceptualizing comics as intermedial narratives based on words and images may deepen our understanding of this medium of visual-verbal storytelling.

In the case of graphic novels, production processes are intimately related to mechanisms and modes of reception. Since production can be assumed to vary depending on the writer’s and the graphic artist’s goal, it is also important to examine how the conditions of the marketplace are affected by, and affect, the respective artist’s view on his art.


a) Maaheen Ahmed, Ghent University, “Rethinking Intermediality through Media Memories”



b) Paul Williams, University of Exeter, “Is It a Book? Is It a Comic? Is It a Print Portfolio? The Ontological Instability of Delany and Chaykin’s Empire: A Visual Novel



c) Mercedes Peñalba, Universidad de Salamanca, ‘“Between the Seeable and the Sayable’: An Intermedial Reading of Adrian Tomine’s Killing and Dying”



6) “Affect(ive) Resistance in Contemporary American Media Culture

Panel Chair: Dolores Resano

Institution: Universitat de Barcelona

E-mail: dolores.resano@ub.edu


The explosion of new media emerging in the first decades of the 21st century coincides with the affective turn, to borrow Clough and Halley’s phrasing (The Affective Turn 2007) and an increase in scholarly attention to the ways in which affects circulate, the way they touch us and, consequently, we are touched by and touch those around us. This panel interrogates the way in which affects of resistance, whether these be rage, fear, hope, shame, discomfort or others, circulate through three different media forms. Firstly, by taking into account cinema, and the “cruel optimism” Lauren Berlant (2011) identifies as key to the ideological sustenance of the increasingly questioned American Dream, the first paper contends with questions of class, gender and sexuality to query the political and aesthetic potential of failure. Secondly, the panel turns to consider television, specifically late-night interview programs that generate conflicting affects of disaffection, complacency and rage through forms of mediated irony. Indeed, this paper questions the extent to which satire is a useful means of affect(ing) resistance in the current political landscape. The third and final paper moves away from the narratives engendered in film or television to consider how new media is generating a form of resistance that takes internet technologies as a jumping off point. In considering the rapidity with which online forms mobilize and circulate affects of resistance, this paper questions the way in which movements like Black Lives Matter, TimesUp, or the more recent March For Our Lives tread the fine line between symbolic (visual) support and material resistance. What the three papers in this panel achieve is a broad look, anchored in specific case studies, of the way in which resistance is stylised in contemporary visual media, and how bringing to bear an affective reading of these forms results in a keener understanding of the way in which contemporary North American society can be understood to be aligned through networks of affect(ive) resistance.


a) Katarzyna Paszkiewicz, Universitat de Barcelona, “The Florida Project: Affect, Crisis Ordinariness and the Fantasies that (Continue to) Fray”



b) Dolores Resano, Universitat de Barcelona, “From Political Depression to Activism: Ironic Responses to Trump in Entertainment Media”



c) Andrea Ruthven, Universidad de Cantabria, “Virtual Protest, Cyber Resistance, and the Potential of Rebellion 2.0”





1) ‘“I celebrate myself, and sing myself’: Teaching Walt Whitman’s Poetry in the Digital Age.

Full Name of discussants:

Eulalia Piñero Gil, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Laura Arce Álvarez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Julia Salmerón Cabañas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid



This talk shop celebrates Walt Whitman’s bicentenary (1819-1892) through the sharing of different teaching approaches to his complex and multifaceted poetry. Our teaching experience with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass has been very enriching and productive in the context of new technologies and the use of what we call “the transliterary dialogue” approach. Whitman is generally taught as one of the leading voices of the American Renaissance, and we design the courses to introduce students to a wide range of issues such as the nature of democracy, the emergent consciousness of America’s place in the world and the American dream, among others.

Our teaching approach is based on the assumption that readers and their relationship to texts is what really matters in an age in which reading is not encouraged in the classrooms. Most of us would probably agree that we want our students, no matter their level, to develop enduring relationships with the texts we assign them and, what is perhaps more important, to read for pleasure. Nevertheless, we are aware of the importance multimedia and digital technologies have in today’s learning process. Thus, it is very important to develop strategies that can incorporate these technologies in the reading process.

Walt Whitman said: “No man has been photographed more than I have”. Prof. Salmerón will explain Whitman’s relationship with photography and how she uses the image and the text to present Whitman’s poetry and biography in the classroom.

Prof. Piñero Gil will present her approach to Whitman’s poetry as a transliterary dialogue with other writers’ poetry such as Federico García Lorca’s “Oda a Walt Whitman,” and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” in order to show how poets speak to other poets thus establishing a very fruitful transcultural dialogue.

Prof. Arce Álvarez will explore how Whitman's revolutionary poetic technique transformed the way of understanding poetry and the verse. That is the reason why it has become a fundamental influence for the modernist avant-garde. The poetry of the Imagists, mainly Hilda Doolittle and Ezra Pound, can be taught through the poetry and legacy of Whitman's free verse.


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