CFP: [American] Melville and His Books, MLA 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Peter Norberg
contact email: 

Modern Language Association Convention
Philadelphia, 27-30 December 2009
Sponsored by the Melville Society

Herman Melville: A Writer and his Books

What Harrison Hayford referred to as the “defiant anomalies of genre” in
Melville’s major works was largely the result of wide-ranging reading.
Sponsored by the Melville society, this panel will examine how Melville’s
interest in an author, group of authors, or literary period influenced his
fiction and poetry. How did Melville’s engagement with different literary
figures, movements and traditions (ie, renaissance drama, the picaresque
adventure narrative, epic and dramatic poetry, British and European
romanticism) inform his work? What rhetorical strategies emerged from his
efforts to negotiate between literary works that sparked his artistic
ambitions and literary works that served as models of saleable fiction?
To what extent did his reading influence his efforts to make his poetry
and fiction topically relevant to the political issues of the day (the
allegory of Mardi, the polemics of White-Jacket and Redburn, the satire of
The Confidence-Man, the reconstructive appeal of Battle-Pieces, etc.)?
How did his study of literary criticism, art history and aesthetics
influence his conception of poetry?

Please send two page proposals by March 5, 2009 to:
Dr. Peter Norberg, English Dept.
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395.

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Received on Fri Jan 16 2009 - 12:27:26 EST