Panel on cars at ACLA

One of our members organizes a seminar on cars at ACLA 2019 in Chicago. For anyone interested in assembly lines, energy humantities, petroculture or fordism, please consider sending in a proposal!

Here is an excerpt from the presentation (for full seminar description, click here):

A major proposed theme for this seminar is how artistic and literary experimentation and political engagements meet in cultural reckonings with the automobile. Therefore, papers that not only address the car or road trip as a theme, but also explore the ways that automobility has spurred formal experimentation, are particularly welcome. The innovations of authors, artists, and movements as diverse as Gertrude Stein, the Futurists, the French New Wave, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha, are all difficult to imagine without assembly line production and the automobile as means of mass transport and symbol of mass consumption. While there exists a body of scholarly literature on the automobile in novels and movies, other genres such as poetry, painting, photography, music, experimental videos, and plays have often been neglected. The automobile has also served as a vehicle for artistic collaborations across genres, and contributions that engage with some of this diversity are encouraged. The car, furthermore, appears peculiarly situated for analysis through a wide variety of theoretical lenses, such as both old and new materialisms, petrocultures and energy humanities, as well as mobility studies. One might finally ask if it makes sense to distinguish the automobile from other commodities and technologies, and papers that productively challenge the premise of this seminar are also welcome.


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