"Agency, Fate, and the Forces of History in Nineteenth-Century European Narrative," NeMLA, March 21-24, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Julie Meyers / NeMLA
contact email: 

Panel: "Agency, Fate, and the Forces of History in Nineteenth-Century European Narrative"

44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts
Host Institution: Tufts University

In the wake of the novels of Walter Scott, the precise description of specific places and times became the norm both in fiction and in historical accounts. Explanations of geographical, socio-economic, and cultural forces often acquired an unprecedented density within the narrative. As an imposing presence, these factors became almost a character in their own right as they wrestled with their human counterparts for control of events. Also vying for narrative supremacy were the "Napoleonic" individual hero who created his own destiny and the people or Volk, relentlessly pushing towards their collective fate. This panel proposes to explore how authors negotiated the tension among these "characters" (both the human and the impersonal). It will examine how writers employed rhetorical devices and imagery to assert or deny the agency of individuals and collectivities and to advance their own vision of human potential and of the dynamics of historical events.

Submissions on nineteenth-century fictional or historical narratives from anywhere in Europe (including Eastern Europe) are welcome. Please send a 250-550 word abstract in English as a Word attached file to Julie Meyers (jmeyers@uchicago.edu).

Deadline: September 30, 2012
Please include with your abstract:

  1. Name and Affiliation
  2. Email address
  3. Postal address
  4. Telephone number
  5. A/V requirements
  6. How many abstracts you have submitted to panels or seminars at the 2013 NeMLA

Please note that, if your paper is chosen, you will need to join the NeMLA for the 2013 calendar year.

The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. http://www.nemla.org/convention/2013/cfp.html