Area Special Events

These events include critically and creatively renowned speakers and are organized by the various areas of inquiry and caucuses represented by the organization.

Emilio Sauri, University of Massachusetts Boston, "Document or Represent? Literature and Art at the Limits of the Present"

American, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies & Media Studies, and Spanish & Portuguese Special Event

Emilio Sauri.

This talk considers three tendencies that have come to define literary and cultural criticism during the last three decades: the emphasis on documentation over representation; the prominence given to the concrete against abstraction; and the predilection for the spontaneous over the deliberate or programmatic. Reading recent fiction and photography from Latin America and the United States together, this talk demonstrates how a renewed attentiveness to the question of art on the part of contemporary writers and artists not only underscores the limits—both critical and political—of these tendencies but also offers a means to think beyond them.

Emilio Sauri is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His research focuses on literature and visual art from Latin America and the United States, and reads these in relation to the development of the global economy from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century.

This event is organized by the American Studies Area, the Cultural Studies and Media Studies Area, the Comparative Literature Area, and the Spanish and Portuguesue Language and Literature Area.

Copyright: Douglas Levere.

Copyright: Douglas Levere

Joseph Valente, University at Buffalo, "Against Type: The Emergence of an Autistic Literature"

Anglophone, British, and Diversity Special Event

Joseph Valente is Distinguished Professor in English and Disability Studies at the University at Buffalo. He is the author of James Joyce and the Problem of Justice: Negotiating Sexual and Colonial Difference, Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness and the Question of Blood, and The Myth of Manliness in Irish National Culture, 1880-1922 and co-author of The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable, forthcoming from Indiana University Press. He is also the editor of several volumes, including Quare Joyce, Urban Ireland, Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siecle (with Amanda Anderson), Ireland in Psychoanalysis (with Sean Kennedy), and Yeats and Afterwords (with Marjorie Howes). In addition, he has published more than 60 essays in Irish and Disability Studies, and his work has appeared in Critical Inquiry, Diacritics, Novel, ELH, Modern Fiction Studies, Narrative, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability, The Journal of Modern Literature, The James Joyce Quarterly, and The Journal of Religious and Critical Theory. His current monograph, Against Type: The Emergence of an Autistic Literature, looks at the formation as a new autistic canon modern narrative art.

This event is organized by the Anglophone/British Literature Area and the Diversity Committee.

A Reading by Christina Milletti, University at Buffalo

Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing Special Event

This event is organized by the Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing Area, with support by Modern Language Studies, the peer-review journal of NeMLA.

The Annual Creative Writers and Editors' Reception will precede the presentation.

Patrick Autréaux, Boston University

French & Francophone Special Event

Copyright: Catherine Hélie / Gallimard.

Copyright: Catherine Hélie / Gallimard

Patrick Autréaux was born in France and is now a permanent United States resident. While studying medicine and cultural anthropology, Patrick Autréaux published poetry and reviews of contemporary art. In 2006, after practicing for 15 years as an emergency-room psychiatrist, he decided to devote himself entirely to writing. The view of illness as an inner experience informs his first cycle of writing, ending with Se survivre (Verdier). He is the author of the novels Dans la vallée des larmes, Soigner, and Le Dedans des choses, all published by Gallimard. He also published in 2015 Les Irréguliers (Gallimard), a novel on illegal immigrant in France. His "standing poem" Le Grand Vivant (Verdier) was produced at the Festival d’Avignon ("in") 2015. In 2017, he published La Voix écrite (Verdier), a creative non-fiction essay on a vocation between literature and medicine; and in 2019, his novel Quand la parole attend la nuit (Verdier). He was writer-in-residence at Boston University in 2018-2019, where he has created the seminar: "Through a writer’s eye," and Visiting Scholar at MIT in Spring 2018. He received the Hemingway grant from the Minister of Foreign Affairs (France) for his first novel translated in English, In the Valley of Tears (UIT Books, NYC, 2019).

This event is organized by the French and Francophone Language and Literature Area.

German Special Event

This event is organized by the German Studies Area.

Millicent Marcus, Yale University, "From the Mirror of Narcissus to Mirror Neurons: What Cognitive Science Has to Teach Us about Films (Italian Ones in Particular)"

Italian Special Event

Millicent Marcus.

This presentation was inspired by recent findings in neuro-aesthetics—the study of the impact of the arts on the nervous system. Cinema has been found to have a particularly strong effect on the part of the brain housing mirror neurons, origin of such psychic processes as identification and empathy. Using clips from Gomorra and Io non ho paura, this presentation will analyze how the cinematic medium creates us as "embodied spectators" whose responses, at the level of neurology, can propel us the highest reaches of understanding and compassion for the plight of the "other."

Millicent Marcus is Professor of Italian at Yale University. Her specializations include medieval literature, Italian cinema, interrelationships between literature and film, and representations of the Holocaust in post-war Italian culture. She is the author of An Allegory of Form: Literary Self-Consciousness in the 'Decameron, Italian Film in the Light of NeorealismFilmmaking by the Book: Italian Cinema and Literary AdaptationAfter Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age, and Italian Film in the Shadow of Auschwitz. Her current research projects include case studies in contemporary Italian cinema, and the argument for a neuro-aesthetic approach to the analysis of film.

This event is organized by the Italian Studies Area.

Marjorie Howes, Boston College

Women's & Gender Studies Special Event

This event is organized by the Women's and Gender Studies Caucus.

Saturday Evening Receptions

Our evening reception features designated areas for networking. All are welcome, especially early career scholars. NeMLA’s board members, administration, and staff visits all networking events, so you meet and share your NeMLA experiences with the people who put this conference together. And of course, meet our Area Special Event speakers in person after their talks to share a conversation.