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When: 3/1/2011
Contact: Vicky Unruh
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Call for Papers for PMLA


Deadline for submissions: 1 March 2011

Coordinator: Vicky Unruh (Univ. of Kansas)

The Editorial Board invites essays that focus on work as an analytic category. They may address any literary or cultural  genre, historical period, or region and may take any theoretical perspective. In 1883 the French socialist Paul Lafargue attacked the "love of work” as a "disastrous dogma” and "mental aberration” over which priests, economists, and moralists had cast a "sacred halo,” and he proclaimed laziness the "mother of the arts and noble virtues.” In 2009, on the fi ftieth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, the Spanish philosopher Carlos Fernández Liria resuscitated Lafargue: instead of promoting a communal "cult of work,” he wrote, Cuba should ensure the "right to laziness” as a model for the low-growth, sustainable development required for saving the planet and feeding its inhabitants. How do such crises in economic, political, or cultural authority play out in literary and artistic imaginings of work? What can site-specifi c cartographies of work reveal about the movement and social networks of local and transnational human communities? What is a work ethic, and what do specifi c work ethics illuminate or conceal? When is a work ethic unethical? How do  declarations of work as an international human right interface with globalized divisions of labor? What role do contending concepts of work and leisure play in crosscultural transactions? What are the distinctions between the concept of work and its close relatives: labor, job, enterprise, industry, productivity, and creation? How do changes in conceptions of academic or scholarly work—within and outside the academy—register key shifts in received truths about culture, the economy, or political life?

Submissions must be by MLA members and meet the other requirements in the statement of editorial policy, printed in each January, March, May, and October issue of PMLA and posted at Manuscripts should be submitted by the deadline to the Managing Editor, PMLA, Modern Language Association, 26 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10004-1789.

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