The Image in American Realism and Naturalism (SAMLA 5/15; 11/5-7)
The Image in American Realism and Naturalism
In The Ferment of Realism, Warner Berthoff notes that "[a]t its most compelling, [. . .] realism points towards an imaginative sociology that is at once objective and visionary. The images it yields up compose the fragments of a book of the people, an essential history of their lives' common conditioning." As Berthoff seems to indicate, it is the image—as opposed to the symbol so dominant in the previous Romanticism—which is both the subject and the object of American realism and, later, American naturalism. Thus, in line with the 2010 SAMLA theme of the "Interplay between Image and Text," this panel seeks to explore the uses of the image—broadly conceived—in texts of American realism and naturalism. While papers should focus on texts from the periods of American realism and naturalism proper (roughly 1885-1925), how these texts are critically or theoretically connected to the concept of the image is entirely open. Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to:
1. The image and/as verisimilitude
2. The aesthetic image
3. The image of the individual or individuality
4. The image of "the world"
5. The image of the Other (be they in terms of gender, race, class, etc.)
6. The image of the city
7. The historical image (images of the fin de siècle, images of modernity, etc.)
8. The image of nature
9. The image of economy
10. The images of success or wealth
11. Cinematic images of/from Realist or Naturalist texts
Please send one page abstracts and a brief bio (including all contact information) to Adam H. Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th.