REMINDER: "Philip Roth and Sports" at 2018 ALA

deadline for submissions: 
January 25, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
The Philip Roth Society

The Philip Roth Society invites papers for a panel entitled “Philip Roth and Sports” at the American Literature Association conference in San Francisco, CA from May 24-27, 2018.


Sports play a variety of roles in the fiction of Philip Roth, sometimes figuring centrally into his plots, and sometimes hovering in the background or at the periphery of his narratives. As early as Goodbye, Columbus, sports and athleticism factor into the relationship between Brenda Patimkin and Neil Klugman. Moreover, while baseball is featured most notably in The Great American Novel, it also makes its way into Portnoy’s Complaint and Nemesis. The Swede in American Pastoral is known for his athleticism, most particularly as a high school basketball star. Additionally, boxing figures into both The Human Stain and Exit Ghost. This panel aims to address the function of these references across Roth’s body of work. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: the role of sports in character development; the symbolic nature of sports; the relationship between sports and national identity; and athleticism and masculinity.


Proposals (not exceeding 300 words) for 15-20 minute papers should be emailed to the Roth Society Program Chair, Maggie McKinley, at by January 25, 2018. Please include institutional affiliation and full contact details. To present a paper as a part of a Roth Society panel, participants must be members of the Philip Roth Society in addition to registering for the conference. For membership information, please see the Society’s website at