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Thank you to everyone who proposed a seminar for our March 19-22, 2020 conference in Chicago. The Program Committee has made final decisions about seminars and all acceptance letters have already been sent.

Please use the search below to find your seminar for reference (we recommend searching using only one or two keywords for best results). If you have already received an acceptance email but do not see your seminar listed below this does not mean that the status of the seminar has changed. Contact with any questions.

Theater Studies/Political Theory

Organizer: Martin Harries

Much of the time theatre people who say they are thinking about politics are really thinking about social issues. And for much of the same time political theorists who appear to be talking about... more

Translating the Midwest

Organizer: Yopie Prins

This seminar seeks to foreground a concept of the Midwest as a complex multilingual space, decisively shaped both by the great migration from the American South and by successive waves of immigration... more

First Person/Third Person

Organizer: Theo Davis

Basketball players know when they get the hot hand—when making a basket increases the likelihood of making the next. Yet as the authors of “The Hot Hand in Basketball” (1985) demonstrate, “there is... more

Cruel Encounters

Organizer: Philip Armstrong

Seminar: Cruel Encounters 2020 ACLA Convention Organizers: Philip Armstrong (Ohio State University) and Ashley Pérez (Ohio State University)   This seminar invites participants to consider... more

"Beyond the Facts": Photography and Form

Organizer: Tavid Mulder

When questioned on the simplicity of his photographs of a changing landscape in what he called the New West, Robert Adams answered that “photographs are only convincing if the photographer pays... more

Runaway Genres: the Global Afterlives of Slavery

Organizer: Sangeeta Ray

Title: Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery  In Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery, Yogita Goyal argues that slavery has emerged as the defining template through which... more

Up in the Air: Atmospheres in the Anthropocene

Organizer: Dora Zhang

The concept of atmosphere and its cognates - milieu, ambiance, mood, Stimmung - are increasingly, so to speak, in the air. Although it is a ubiquitous feature of our daily lives and our warming... more

The University We Want

Organizer: Ian Butcher

The University We Want This seminar asks when we let ourselves engage in utopian thinking, what do we want the university to be? We recognize that the university needs to change, but what should... more

Anticommunist Imaginary

Organizer: Alla Ivanchikova

While most cultural theorists, since Edward Said, have been attuned to the dangers of Orientalism, they are less conscious of the long-term othering strategies that originated in the Cold War that... more

Cold War Humanism

Organizer: Peter Kalliney

Note: panelists are pre-circulating papers.  If attendees would like to see the materials, please contact Peter Kalliney ( or Chris Lee ( and indicate... more

Dreaming within/beyond the Crisis of the Present

Organizer: Geordie Miller

What happens to a dream defeated? The dream in question is as old as modernity: the dream of an alternative to capitalism. Current and looming crises would seem to make a mockery of the question. For... more