UPDATE: 21st Century Literature: Now through History (grad) (3/10/07; 3/24/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Brian Whalen

UPDATE: We are now accepting CREATIVE PANELS or presentations for our =20=

conference. MA or MFA students have the opportunity to read their =20
creative work at a conference devoted to 21st Century Literature. =20
Deadline for abstracts is fast approaching, but there are still slots =20=

available for papers.

=9321st Century Literature: Now through History=94

Madison Conference -- March 24, 2007

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

             These imponderables are what I am finally concerned with =20=

=96 our sense of the ground under and around us, our=85 sense of =20=

where is it in time we find ourselves=85 [O]ur relation =96 =
individually =20
and collectively =96 to the idea of past, present, and future has =20=

been radically modified. A great many people now live with the =20
feeling that both the historical and the personal past exist on the =20
other side of a widening gulf, while the future seems to press down =20
with a palpable urgency.

                                     =96Sven Birkerts, =93The Millennial =

While we expect that a number of conference participants will present =20=

papers that focus on current literary production, as our theme =20
suggests, we encourage submission from those whose interests lie =20
outside the contemporary. Our goal in hosting this conference is to =20
gather a number of distinct voices representative of different =20
genres, literary movements, historical periods, theories, and authors =20=

=96 with one common thread: an attempt to connect seemingly disparate =20=

interests to the conference theme. We hope this stretch of past to =20
present, and present to future, will tell us something integral not =20
only about the current state of literature and literary criticism =96 =20=

but also about what it means to be human in the 21st century.

Our conference theme, then, can be interpreted in one of two ways: =20
that the literature of the present is understood through -- and =20
influenced by -- a knowledge of the literature of the past, and/or =20
that the literature of the present provides new epistemological =20
girding that will in turn inform future literary endeavor. We =20
suggest, then, that entrance into the 21st century heralds a =20
transitional moment in the literary arts. If so, where might we =20
begin to locate the roots of literature in the 21st century? Is it =20
grounded in the present or in the past? And where does its future lie?

Keynote Speaker: Sven Birkerts

             Sven Birkerts is editor of the literary journal AGNI, =20
and author of six books: An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th =20
Century Literature, The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry, =20
American Energies: Essays on Fiction, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate =20=

of Reading in an Electronic Age, Readings, and My Sky Blue Trades: =20
Growing Up Counter in a Contrary Time. He has edited numerous books, =20=

and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The =20
Washington Post, The New Republic, The Yale Review, and Esquire. He =20
has received grants from both the Guggenheim and the Lila Wallace-=20
Reader Digest Foundations, and in 1985 was awarded a Citation for =20
Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. He =20
previously taught writing at Harvard University, Emerson, Amherst, =20
and Mt. Holyoke colleges, and is currently part of the core faculty =20
of Bennington College=92s MFA program.

Abstracts of 250 words are due by March 1, 2007. Presentations must =20
be kept to 20 minutes in length.


Fiction, Poetry...*

Send abstracts via e-mail to: jmu.madison.conf_at_gmail.com. Please =20
include name, institution, contact information (telephone, mailing, =20
and e-mail addresses), title of paper, AV and/or special needs. =20
Panel proposals are welcome. Please address any further inquiries to =20=

the conference coordinator: whalenbp_at_jmu.edu (Brian Whalen).

Conference Fee: $ 20.00

*Sven Birkerts will also be giving a reading on campus the night =20
before the conference, Friday, March 23. We will assist anyone =20
interested in making arrangements for overnight stay Friday and/or =20
Saturday. There is limited free space available in our current =20
students=92 domociles (first come, first serve).

Sponsored by the students of the English Graduate Program=

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         or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Mon Mar 05 2007 - 15:57:24 EST