Edited Volume on the writings of William T. Vollmann

full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Coffman & Daniel Lukes

William T. Vollmann has been publishing fiction, non-fiction and journalism since the late 1980s, acquiring a cult audience and sensationalist reputation in the process. However, the 2003 publication of Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom and Urgent Means (Vollmann's seven-volume, twenty-years-in-the-making treatise on the causes, effects and ethics of violence) and his winning of the 2005 National Book Award for Fiction for Europe Central have arguably explicitly sanctioned his position at the forefront of contemporary mainstream American letters. Scholarly criticism, initially slow in coming, has recently begun to gather speed: the considerable number of forthcoming dissertations devoted in whole or part to Vollmann and the 2009 publication of the first volume-length study, Michael Hemmingson's William T. Vollmann: A Critical Study and Seven Interviews, represent a felicitous turn in this regard.

It is our opinion that an edited volume of scholarly papers on the work of William T. Vollmann is somewhat overdue. We thus solicit abstracts for chapter-length papers on any aspect of Vollmann's voluminous writings so far. Topics or approaches may include, but are not limited to: gender, race, class, genre, stylistic experimentation, interdisciplinarity, investigative history, journalism, fiction, genre, aesthetics, postcolonialism, Orientalism, travel, geopolitics, cartography, theology, technology, sexuality, poverty, security, power and powerlessness, photography, outsider art, violence and/or its tools, ethics, drugs, prostitution, transnationalism, (post)postmodernism, comparativism, engagement, the book as object, excess, and Vollmann's place in the literary landscape in relation to predecessors and contemporaries.

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and a CV including contact information by April 15, 2011 to:

Christopher K. Coffman (ccoffman@bu.edu) and Daniel Lukes (daniel.lukes@nyu.edu).

If accepted, your final essay will be due by December 15, 2011.