CFP: Realism and the Old Plantation (3/31/07; M/MLA, 11/8/07-11/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Jeremy Wells
contact email: 

Call for Papers
Proposed Special Session for the Midwest Modern Language Association
Convention (Nov. 8-11, 2007, Cleveland, OH)
Conference theme: Reconsidering Realisms

"Realism and the Old Plantation"

While "Realism" is the term used most often to describe U.S. literary
production of the late 19th century, some of the period's most popular texts
embraced a vocabulary that hinted at their unreality. Called-and sometimes
calling themselves-plantation "romances," plantation "legends," or simply
works of plantation "fiction," these texts sought both to idealize
plantation life and to claim this ideality as historical fact. This
proposed special session thus seeks papers that address "what really
happened" on the old plantation. Papers might explore such issues as
dialect and authenticity, the paradox of nostalgia as a form of
truth-telling, and the critiques posed by writers, white and black, in
response to romanticized images of the plantation in circulation throughout
the 19th and 20th centuries. Send 300-word abstracts and a brief vita to
Jeremy Wells ( by March 31.

Jeremy Wells, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Southern Illinois University

Office: Faner 2282; phone: 618-453-6844

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Received on Sat Mar 03 2007 - 15:59:24 EST