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In examining popular genre fiction, from gangster novels, detective novels, alternate histories,
science fiction, etc., one is often able to access marginal discourses on major topics. Everything
from race to historiography to gender takes on strikingly different tenors through literature that
either stands on the margins of, or completely apart from, canons of American Literature. Please
submit abstracts (limit to 250-500 words) on papers for possible presentation at ASA 2008 on
any topic related to popular genre fiction and how its marginal status provides unique insight
into unexpected topics. Possible paper topics include African American detective fiction,
including Chester Himes, Walter Mosley, and Rudolph Fisher; issues of gender in science fiction,
both in conjunction with racial issues, as in the works of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany, or
formulations of masculinity or femininity; the ideological space of alternate history novels;
American identity and religious fundamentalism in the Left Behind series.
The subject of the 2008 American Studies Association conference (to be held in Albuquerque,
NM from October 16-19, 2008) is "Back Down to the Crossroads: Integrative American Studies in
Theory and Practice." The conference seeks to examine how intersections between transnational,
international and ethnic area studies have impacted on the field of American Studies. While
looking across borders to assess the influence of other cultural studies on the field, this panel
proposes to assess literary dialogues within American national borders which also serve to
unsettle discussions within American Studies.
Email abstracts to cleader_at_fas.harvard.edu by January 15th.
5th Year Graduate Student, African and African American Studies
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Received on Thu Dec 13 2007 - 21:46:10 EST