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Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

"The Image and the Word"

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19) "Intersections between Animality, Disability and Affect Studies in American Fiction"
Panel Chair: Diana Villanueva Romero, Universidad de Extremadura
E-mail: dvillanv@unex.es  


In Guillermo del Toro's latest film The Shape of Water (2017), a mute cleaning-woman, Elisa Esposito, befriends a sea creature trapped in a high-security government laboratory for testing. She connects with this nonhuman being in a way that no one else seems to be able to do, the message conveyed by this situation being that her disability becomes an advantage when it comes to communicating with the more-than-human world. In David Wroblewski's novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (2008), the main protagonist, Edgar, is a deaf boy whose dog Almondine becomes the interlocutor he needs to make sense of the world around him.

These two narratives offer two examples of the ways in which the study of animality, disability and affect intersect in recent American fiction. They highlight the idea that nonhuman animals and the disabled are capable of transcending their image as otherized peoples thanks to the level of empathy they are capable of showing towards each other.

Drawing on the work already done on this subject by Anthony J. Nocella II and Michael Lundblad, this panel invites talks on visual and literary representations of animality and disability in which the expression of empathy creates the possibility of bridging the distance between the self and the other, and redefines what it means to be human.


Please submit all paper proposals directly to the Panel Chair using this form no later than October 15, 2018.

Panel Chairs will notify applicants of their acceptance/rejection no later than November 15, 2016.

For information on the Conference Venue see the Organizing Committee's website.

SAAS members, ASA members, and other scholars (not necessarily affiliated with any of these associations), are invited to submit proposals to the panel of their choice. Donwload this form, fill it out, and send it via email to the chair of your selected panel.

In order to present a paper, participants who are not SAAS, ASA, APEAA or HELAAS members will be required to pay a one year's membership fee (and enjoy the benefits for the following year) plus the conference fee.

Students have to become SAAS members (if they are not SAAS/ASA/APEEA/HELAAS members already) and pay 50 percent of the registration fee (60€ early bird/75€ late registration) if they wish to present a paper and/or attend the "Félix Martín" Doctoral Seminar.

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Further guideliness for participants can be found here.

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