2014: Art in Interesting Times

0001Art in Interesting Times

The 16th Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group
Keynote Speakers: Fredric Jameson, Kim Stanely Robinson, and Nicholas Brown
March 27-29, 2014 at the University of Florida
Sponsors: The Marston-Milbauer Professorship, The Department of English, and CLASSC

Thursday, March 27

Coffee & Bagels

8:00-9:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 1: Spatiality
Moderator: Nat Deyo (University of Florida)

  • Amber Lee Todoroff (University of Florida) “Reading Central Park and the Myth of a Natural Urban Utopia”
  • Shannon Butts (University of Florida) “The Neo-Bohemian RENT: Artists With and Without Money”

9:30-10:45 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 2: Revolutionary Violence
Moderator: Shannon Butts (University of Florida)

  • Elton Furlanetto (University of São Paulo) “’No More Fantasies, No More Hope. War.’: Political Use of Violence in the Art of Marge Piercy”
  • Lakey (Florida State University) “Bartleby Parallax: Žižek’s Withdrawal from ‘What Is to Be Done’”
  • Patrick Runfeldt (University of Florida) “Ganged Up: Structure and Revolution in White Boy Shuffle, Twilight: Los Angeles and the Gangsta Rap Movement”

11:00-12:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 3: Cinema, Identity, and (Inter)Nationalism
Moderator: Christopher Garland (University of Florida)

  • Cristina Ruiz-Poveda (University of Florida) “Ibero-American coproductions: Film, Industry and Cultural Identity”
  • Colin Bailey Williams (University of Florida) “Return to Wak Wak: Reexamining Lotte Reiniger’s Position in the Weimar Imaginary”
  • Emily Glosser (University of Florida) “Remembering the Past, Not Forgetting the Future: Childhood and Mourning in Marianne and Juliane”


1:45-3:00 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 4: Ecology
Moderator: Elton Furlanetto (University of São Paulo)

  • Kimberly Kaczorowski (University of Utah) “Social Animals: Anne Brontë’s Politicized Nature”
  • Aron Pease (Georgia Institute of Technology) “Representing World Ecology in the Transnational Novel”
  • Derrick King (University of Florida) “From Ecological Crisis to Utopian Hope: Science in the Capital as Realist Critical Dystopia”

3:15-4:30 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 5: Aesthetics/Identity/Politics in Modern & Contemporary Art
Moderator: Scott Sundvall (University of Florida)

  • Carol McCusker (University of Florida) “Helen Levitt, The Photo League, Cold War Politics & Jewish Identity”
  • Marsha Bryant (University of Florida) “Gentry, the New Criticism, and the Aesthetics of Postwar American Masculinity”
  • Craig Smith (University of Florida) “The World Series of Relation: Upon the Literalist Site”

4:45-6:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 6: Class, Gender, and Form in 20th Century Literature
Moderator: Marsha Bryant (University of Florida)

  • Michael Mayne (Kennesaw State University) “Historicizing Claudia Jones”
  • Melissa Macero (University of Massachusetts Boston) “‘The Cosmic Rule for Poverty’: Faulkner’s Pylon, Modernist Autonomy, Neoliberalism, and the Poor”
  • Emily McCann (University of Florida) “Angela Carter, Modernism, Surrealism, Decolonization”
  • Christina Van Houten (Georgia Institute of Technology) “On ‘China’s Journey to Tomorrow’: Realism, Romance, and Socialist Feminism”

6:30-7:00 (Pugh 210)
Stephanie A. Smith (University of Florida): A Reading from The Warpaint Trilogy

Friday, March 28

Coffee & Bagels

8:00-9:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 7: Art Objects
Moderator: Emily McCann (University of Florida)

  • Asmaa Ghonim (University of Florida) “Illegal Public Art/Illegal Utopian Dreams”
  • José Antonio Arellano (University of Chicago) “Objecthood Today:  On Josiah McElheny’s Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism and the Neoliberalism of Object Studies”
  • Tyler Brown (University of Illinois at Chicago) “Obey Aesthetics: (re)covering the Common”

9:30-10:45 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 8: The Body
Moderator: Jonathan Hernandez (University of Florida)

  • Brandon Carr (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) “Divesting Trauma: Destructive Plasticity in Literary Naturalism”
  • Jennifer Dickson (University at Buffalo) “Live Together, Die Together: Postcapital Imagination in The Walking Dead”
  • Mitch R. Murray (University of Florida) “Feeling Futurity in Apocalyptic Time”

11:00-12:30 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 9: Genre and Form in Interesting Times
Moderator: Arun Pokhrel (University of Florida)

  • Wendy McMahon (University of East Anglia) “What’s the Big Idea? Crisis, Narrative, and Imagining Hope in Steve Tomasula’s In & Oz: A Novel”
  • Thomas A. Laughlin (University of Toronto) “George Eliot: From Sentence to Totality”
  • Eric D. Smith (University of Alabama-Huntsville) “Feeling the 60s in the Age of Reagan: Failure, Repetition, and History in Eddie and the Cruisers”
  • Matt Gallman (University of Florida) “Americans Going to War, and Humorists Mocking Them: Some Thoughts on Artemus Ward and Mark Twain”


2:00-3:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 10: Art and the Market
Moderator: Kayley Thomas (University of Florida)

  • Donald Hedrick (Kansas State University) “Shakespeare’s ‘Interesting Times’: Entertainment Revolution, Value Critique, and Theater Bubble”

3:30-4:45 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 11: Digital Technologies and New Accumulation Strategies
Moderator: Asmaa Ghonim (University of Florida)

  • Jonathan Dentler and Spencer Janyk (University of Southern California) “The Prosumptive Moment”
  • Daniel C. Miller (Kent State University) “The Alan Lomax Online Archive—A New Source for Primitive Accumulation”
  • Carolyn Elerding (Ohio State University) “Rents and Realization in the ‘Leveraged’ Classroom”

5:00-6:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 12: Poetry
Moderator: Sam Grenrock (University of Florida)

  • Patrick McHenry (Georgia Institute of Technology) “Charles Reznikoff, Testimony, and Capital Aesthetics”
  • Cameron Williams (New York University) “Frank O’Hara’s Musical Works”
  • Brendan Parsons (UMass Boston) “Poetic Possibility as Relative Autonomy in Leaving the Atocha Station”


8:00 (Ustler Hall Atrium, Second Floor)
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Nicholas Brown (University of Illionis, Chicago)

Reception to follow

Saturday, March 29

7:30-8:00 (Pugh 210)
Coffee & Bagels

8:00-9:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 13: Speculative Fiction
Moderator: Cristina Ruiz-Poveda (University of Florida)

  • Rachel Shields (Florida State University) “Cloning, Cora and Clarice: An analysis of perversion and the threat of the clone in Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast”
  • Andrew Hageman (Luther College) “When Cogs Narrate Machines”
  • Kylie Lemon (University of Alabama-Huntsville) “New Ways in the World: Ender’s Game, Globalization, and the Bildungsroman”

9:30-10:45 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 14: Cinema and Temporality
Moderator: Rebekah Fitzsimmons (University of Florida)

  • Ameen Mettawa (University of Florida) “Time-Out: Temporality, Power and Labor in Le Bonheur and Jeanne Dielman”
  • Peter Gitto (University of Florida) “City of Decay: Framing Instability in Jia Zhangke’s Still Life”
  • Maureen Turim (University of Florida) “A Time of Historical Weight and Feminist Consequence in the Films of Jia and Hou”

11:00-12:30 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 15: Dystopia and Apocalypse
Moderator: Asmaa Ghonim (University of Florida)

  • W. Oliver Baker (University of New Mexico) “The Cynical Turn: The Consolidation of a Capitalist-Present in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian”
  • Carl F. Miller (Palm Beach Atlantic University) “The Cultural Logic of Post-Capitalism: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Popular Dystopia”
  • Mika Turim-Nygren (University of Illinois at Chicago) “Bourdieu’s Restricted Field: Theorizing Universalist Aspirations Within Yiddish Literature”
  • Rebekah Fitzsimmons and Casey Wilson (University of Florida) “Overcoming Dystopia: The Utopian Pedagogy of YA Dystopian Trilogies”


2:00 -3:15 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 16: Politics and the Postcolonial
Moderator: Robin Nuzum (University of Florida)

  • Mark Tabone (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) “Art Is Not Enough: Twenty-First Century Utopianism and the Case of Ben Okri’s In Arcadia”
  • Rithika Ramamurthy (University of Illinois, Chicago) “Ending in Nothing: Narrative and the Aesthetics of Failure in Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm”
  • Maria Elisa Cevasco (University of São Paulo) “Political Commitment in Postmodernity: a View from the Periphery”

3:30-4:45 (Pugh 210)
PANEL 17: Totality and Form
Moderator: Susan Hegeman (University of Florida)

  • Emilio Sauri (University of Massachusetts, Boston) “The Novel, Totality, and the Global Contemporary”
  • Robert Seguin (Hartwick College) “Form and History in Posthumanist Aesthetics”
  • Phillip E. Wegner (University of Florida) “‘I was once cook at the Café Anglais:’ Utopia, the Work of Art, and the Event in ‘Babette’s Feast’”

5:00 (Ustler Hall Atrium, Second Floor)
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Fredric Jameson (Duke University)


8:00 (Uslter Hall Atrium, Second Floor)
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Kim Stanley Robinson

Reception to Follow