Ruth Rendell, who has recently died, was one of the most prolific and important female authors of the C20th/21st centuries, achieving many literary awards and honours, plus a Labour peerage. Her literary output, both as Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine, transcended generic boundaries and conventional assumptions about character, the police procedural novel, class and gender, amongst many of her other concerns.
The rise of the modern museum was (and remains) a global event that resonates across literary cultures. Germain Bazin termed the nineteenth century the "Museum Age" for the myriad ways the new phenomenon of the public museum redefined the social status of art. This session investigates how this development was received by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Anglophone authors writing during and immediately following the rise of the modern museum.
CFP: Congress 2016—Engaging Communities Comparatively
Knowledge and understandings of shared values are created based on our respect for difference and diversity and our engagement with the communities we live in. A focus on connections between the individual, the local and the global can provoke new ways of thinking.
This panel seeks to explore representations of futuristic cities from all periods in American literature, film, and other cultural mediums. In particular, it seeks papers responding to one or more of the following questions: In what ways have American writers and filmmakers envisioned future urban landscapes? In what ways have these visions changed over the course of American history and why? How have urban theorists, critics, and reformers as well as particular ideologies (Christian, technocratic, socialist, libertarian, environmentalist, etc.) shaped them? In what ways do the past and present (or the erasure of the past and/or present) affect their depictions?
Movies about college have been a staple of American cinema since the silent era. Films like Harold Lloyd's The Freshman and Buster Keaton's College engaged popular ideas about the culture of campus life as it evolved throughout the 1920s, while also setting precedents for future cinematic representations of the college experience. Benchmark films of the genre such as The Paper Chase, Animal House, and The Social Network provide insight into the ways that college has been variously imagined as a middle class rite of passage, a landscape of hedonistic fantasy, a microcosm of societal hypocrisy, a repressive system of deindividuation, and a carnivalesque holiday from "real life," to name just a few of the most conspicuous themes.
This seminar seeks to draw on the growing body of work oriented toward the transnational and global turn in American Studies to trace connections between the Indian subcontinent and the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We invite papers that examine the traffic (of ideas, texts, people, commodities) between India and the U.S. to provide a window into the ways in which India was part of the cultural landscape and imaginary of the U.S. from its inception, and performed important ideological work in domestic conversations such as those surrounding race, nation, religion, gender, and trade.
The reputations of Hartford, Connecticut, residents Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain overshadow the city's antebellum authors. NeMLA 2016 seems ideally situated for a session to raise the academic appreciation and profile of earlier writers who contributed to Hartford's historical literary legacy, which includes Lydia Sigourney, Ann Plato, abolitionist ministers like Lyman Beecher and Amos G. Beman, and Hartford-born pamphlet writer Maria Stewart. Hartford was also a publishing center with a young Samuel G. Goodrich and later, Lewis Skinner, who printed Rev. James C. Pennington's book about African and African American history; lexicographer-journalist Noah Webster was of West Hartford, and The Charter Oak, was Hartford's anti-slavery newspaper.
The Evidence of Realism
[For the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association at Harvard University, March 17-20 2016]
How do texts--and especially realist texts--and their plots use or complicate the idea of evidence? What sort of evidence do such texts seem to assume readers require in order to encounter the "effect of the real"? And how do contemporaneous ideas of evidence from philosophy, legal theory, or science provide context for the consideration of evidence in literary works?
With dynamic individual superhero/superhuman characters populating a world of complex, interwoven mythologies and origin stories, the films and television series of Marvel Comics Studios present an experiment with long-form transmedia storytelling that is at once both commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Given the ongoing debate in film criticism and media studies surrounding the degree to which analyzing films as literature is useful (or not), that such a commercially popular phenomenon also emphasizes artistic elements (e.g.