Organization: Midwestern Modern Language Association
Event: MMLA2019 Conference
This year MMLA will look at the theme of “Duality, Doubles and Doppelgangers.” There are many ways to look at this theme. One may identify the doppelganger as a character in a literary work. For instance, the main character of Michael Redhill’s Bellevue Square (2017) is obsessed with finding Ingrid Fox, her alleged double. Similarly, in Timothy Taylor’s The Rule of Stephens (2018), the protagonist encounters her doppelganger after experiencing a plane crash. One could even argue that the handmaid in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale lives a “double” life – the one before Gilead and one during.
While one can look at the theme in the literal sense, one must also consider the cultural and linguistic duality that has formed Canadian literature. Historically, this duality arises out of the fact that both the French and English colonized Canada leading to areas which spoke English and areas that spoke French. Since the 1980s, Canada's ethnic and cultural diversity have been openly reflected in its literature, with many of its most prominent writers focusing on ethnic minority identity, duality and cultural differences. In his 2009 article in The Globe and Mail, Ken McGoogan argued that one must not define Canadian literature by this hybrid duality but by “attitude and sensibility.”
This CFP asks presenters to take a broad approach to this theme and its connection to Canadian literature. Topics can include, but are not limited to:
Doubles, doppelgängers, twins, mirror images, reflections in world literature(s);
Identity, transcultural identity, transgender identity, psychology studies, cultural studies, literary criticism, gender studies;
Double-meanings (linguistics, semantics, multiple interpretations);
Duality of texts and parataxis
Double entendre: humor, jokes, dark humor, all aspects of laughter (laughter as a social construct, laughter as a cultural construct);
Literal/metaphorical; Transnational/ global/local
Translations and translators (translating double meaning, cross-cultural interpretation, choosing the right word, translating the word vs translating the idea);
Reproductions, mass productions, copies, reproducing the written word (printing press, mimeograph, electric pen, consumerism, capitalism).
Please send abstracts of 250 words to Ellen Feig at firstname.lastname@example.org