CFP: Remixing the American Renaissance (C19), Sept. 23 / April 12

full name / name of organization: 
Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
contact email: 

Panel: Remixing the American Renaissance
Conference: C19, "Prospects: A New Century," Berkeley, CA, 12-15 April 2012
Deadline: Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

I am seeking participants for a panel at the April, 2012, C19 Conference, to be held at U.C. Berkeley, which will examine remixes of, and applications of remix / adaptation theory by, works written during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Produced at the dawn of the first information revolution in the United States – not just print, but cheap, abundant print, as well as the rise of visual and mass culture – the works of the American Renaissance made conscious use of the strategies which would come to be defined as remix culture (sampling, reappropriation, mixing of genres, repackaging) to tell stories which were central to the United States in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The use of these strategies, then, makes these works themselves uniquely susceptible to the remixture in contemporary society. The natural state key works of the American Renaissance is not one of stasis, but of remixture: adaptation, fluid textuality, reprinting, reapporpraition, distortion.

This view of textual fluidity in the middle decades of the nineteenth century draws on the work of: John Bryant, The Fluid Text (2002); Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality (2004); Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation (2006); Meredith McGill, American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting (2007). The contemporary remix or adaptation, (be it textual, cinematic, televisual, audial, or a variety of these working together under the rubric of new media), then, is not so much an attempt to embody some re-represent some stable textual core, but is the latest in a series of fluid texts and remixes initiated by the initial publication of the works of the American Renaissance.

Especially welcome would be papers that looks at new media applications of remix culture to the works mid-nineteenth-century American literature. But any and all provoking considerations of remixes of and by works written by American authors during the nineteenth century would be welcome.

Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words by Friday, September 23rd to:

Les Harrison
Associate Professor of American Literature
Virginia Commonwealth University