Kurt Vonnegut at ALA, San Francisco, CA, May 27-30, 2010 (proposals due Jan. 15, 2010).
The Kurt Vonnegut Society (www.vonnegutsociety.net) invites proposals for papers to be presented at two sessions of the 2010 American Literature Association in San Francisco, CA, May 27-30. Presenters need not be members of the Kurt Vonnegut Society (though we certainly hope they will join). Please send a 250-word abstract for 15-minute presentations, along with a brief CV, to Robert Tally at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2010.
1. Vonnegut, his Precursors, and his Successors
Jorge Luis Borges once noted that "every writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past as it will modify the future." Less paradoxically, perhaps, the writer will also create successors, as the work reaches into the past and toward the future simultaneously. There may be something Tralfamadorean about this whole business. Vonnegut has certainly been linked to such notable forebears as Melville, Twain, and Hemingway, and his work has influenced subsequent generations. We invite papers that consider Kurt Vonnegut's work in relation to his precursors as well as to his successors, including other writers, filmmakers, or other artists.
2. Teaching Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut's writings combine readily accessible prose with profound artistic, philosophical, social, political, and psychological content. As such, Vonnegut remains popular with students and offers excellent pedagogical opportunities, whether teaching Vonnegut's work in itself or using it in connection to other themes (e.g., war, politics, history, etc.). We invite papers addressing any aspect of teaching the work of Kurt Vonnegut, at any level (high school, college, or graduate) and in any context (such as introductory American literature, more specialized courses, American history, or other).