Organization: Northeast MLA Conference (NeMLA 2024)
This creative panel will be dedicated to nonfiction stories of excess and loss, of fear and humiliation. Through personal accounts that unfold around moments of trauma—of violences big and small—we will explore the place of resilience and revelation amid a surplus of pain.
The panel draws inspiration from chronicles of normalized racial discrimination such as Marco Avilés’ No soy tu cholo (2018), as well as from works like Lo que no tiene nombre (2013), Piedad Bonnet's book on how schizophrenia devastated her son, and Annie Ernaux’s brutally honest account of an illegal abortion in the autobiographical novel L’événement (2000). Similar impulses can be found in contemporary English language authors of memoirs and essays such as Tara Westover (Educated, 2018), Maggie O'Farrell (I am, I am, I am, 2018), and Emilie Pine (Notes to Self, 2019). "It is essential to write about things that hurt and isolate so that we feel less alone,” O’Farrell has said. In agreement with her statement, this panel's organizing principle is that, by writing about our moments of greatest vulnerability, we may be able to create a space of authentic communion with other human beings.
Send 250-word proposals. They must include a short sample of the text that you're proposing to read. Up to six personal stories written in (or translated to) Spanish will make up this panel. Given time limitations, the texts selected for reading should be between 900 and 1,000 words long.
Please use this link to send your proposal: