Tim O'Brien Panel for the ALA Symposium on American Fiction, Oct. 8-10, Savannah
"The sense of uncertainty must be very similar — the soldiers' hearts in Iraq must be similar to the soldiers' hearts in Vietnam." ~ Tim O'Brien, 2005 to an audience in Valparaiso, Indiana
Tim O'Brien often speaks about using fiction as a way to get to the truth of war. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of The Things They Carried, this panel seeks papers examining parallels between the Vietnam War, as represented in the fiction of Tim O'Brien, and the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
--treatment of civilian Others, i.e. Mỹ Lai Massacre, US soldiers recently implicated in murder of Afghan citizens
--political representation of conflicts
--narrative as healing, reconstructing the trauma story
--capacity for evil in human nature
-- "tricks" of survival
--comparisons between O'Brien's fiction and film or literary representations of current conflicts
Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, brief CV, and contact information to T.J. Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10, 2010.
Please note that no audio/visual will be available for the symposium.