American Self-Making

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Davis
contact email: 

For a proposed special session at the 2012 MLA Convention in Seattle.

I am seeking papers that explore the origins, development, and/or challenges to the self-made man myth in American literature and culture. How do the categories of race and gender shape or contest notions of American self-making? What is the relationship between self-making and the American dream?

Please submit abstracts (up to 250 words) and brief CV no later than 15 March 2011. Participants must be members of the MLA by 7 April 2011.