CFP: 19th C American Literary Seekers and Religious Communities (1/10/07; ALA, 5/24/07-5/27/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Yothers, Brian
contact email:

Proposed special session for the American Literature Association (May =
24-7, 2007; Boston)

Literary Seekers and Religious Communities in Nineteenth-Century =
American Literature

Solitary seekers have had a distinguished history in American literary =
culture, from fictional characters like Melville's Ishmael to essayists =
such as Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson. With the recovery of =
nineteenth-century popular fiction, however, nineteenth-century =
Americanists have become increasingly aware of the role of religious =
communities in shaping fictional worlds--from the influence of =
evangelical piety in such novels as Susan Warner's The Wide, Wide World =
to the exposition of the social ethics of liberal Christianity in =
Charles Sheldon's In His Steps. We invite papers that explore what it =
would mean to develop a reading of nineteenth-century American =
literature that is grounded in a rich understanding of the heterogeneous =
communities that constituted the religious landscape of =
nineteenth-century America as well as the Promethean seekers who =
struggled to transcend, reject, or come to terms with them.

Please send 250 word abstracts in electronic form to Brian Yothers =
( and Liam Corley ( by January =
10, 2007.

Brian Yothers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor=20
Department of English
University of Texas at El Paso

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Received on Sat Dec 09 2006 - 19:00:29 EST

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