"Imagining Frontiers: Identity and Movement in Early American Literature" M/MLA; 4/15/09; 11/12-15/09

full name / name of organization: 
Sean Kelly, Wilkes University
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"Imagining Frontiers: Identity and Movement in Early American Literature." In keeping with the conference theme, "Migration," this panel will examine the ways in which the issues of emigration, migration, expansion, and settlement in early American literature, from William Bradford's depictions of landing in Plymouth to James Fennimore Cooper's novelistic representations of the frontier, inform constructions of personal and national identity. How, in other words, does the literal reality of geographic migration and the settlement of North America by Europeans and early Americans translate into spiritual and national understandings of the self in works as varied as slave narratives, puritan captivity narratives, travel literature, and the early American novel? All critical approaches are welcome. Please send inquiries and abstracts (250 words) to Sean Kelly, sean.kelly@wilkes.edu, by April 15, 2009.