Society for Novel Studies / "Novel Worlds" / April 27-28, 2012

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Society for Novel Studies

In April 27-28, 2012, the Society for Novel Studies will hold its first biennial conference at Duke University, sponsored by the journal NOVEL: A FORUM ON FICTION.

This conference is modeled on the conference titled "Theories of the Novel Now" sponsored by the journal NOVEL and held at Brown in November 2007. We are happy to say that the 2012 conference, "Novel Worlds," has the additional purpose of inaugurating a new learned society. Last April a dozen scholars known for their work in various areas of Novel Studies met at Duke to draw up the by-laws for the Society for Novel Studies (SNS) to reach out to scholars in diverse areas of novel studies and bring them into conversation otherwise unavailable at conferences organized by historical periods or national languages and literatures. NOVEL is the official journal of the SNS.

The conference planning committee, composed of the journal's editorial board and elected SNS officers, Kate Flint and Jonathan Arac, is in the process of arranging a series of panels to run no more than 5 concurrently over two days, punctuated by plenary talks, luncheons, and receptions. Registration fees will include lunch on both days, an opening cash bar and closing party: $100 (before January 1) and $115 (after January 1) for faculty, and $50 for graduate students.

We are interested in papers that bring scholars who work in various subareas of Novel Studies together around one of the following problems (papers will be selected according to their willingness to focus rather precisely on one of these topics, as well as to accomplish the society's goal of crossing cultural, historical and geographic boundaries).

Panel topics and organizers:

Global novels: Writing the Now (R. Barnard)
Contemporaneity (M. Dubey)
Neurology, Personhood, and the Contemporary Novel (J. Fleissner)
Novel as Virtual World (J. Plotz)
Fictional Worlds, Real Worlds (T. Moi)
The City without Modernity (J. Marx)
Making the World Human (I. Duncan)
Unoriginal Worlds (R. Walkowitz)
Empire, Cold War, World System (J. Esty)
The World as Game (J. Elmer)
The New World Black Aesthetic (L. Pratt)
Limit Cases of the Novel As World (P. St. Amour)
Forget Foucault, Read Ranciere (N. Bentley)
Writing Muslim Cosmopolitanism (M. Cooke)
Deathwords, Technology and the World Novel (D. Ganguly)
Secularism and the Novel (B. Robbins)
The Novel's Object Worlds (B. Brown)
Modernism and Naturalism (S. Andrade)
Novel World Wars (K. Puckett)
Archive, Documentary, Novel (D. Bell)
Networked Novels, Digital Worlds (P. Jagoda)

We intend to limit the number of participants and the length of the papers to under 20 minutes in the interest of discussion. If you are interested in presenting a paper on any one of these topics, please submit your name, position, and address together with a title and brief (250-word) paragraph proposing a paper to no later than November 15. You should also feel free to propose a panel if you feel we have overlooked a hot topic and can convince us we've done so.

For more information, visit the conference website:

We hope to see you in Durham next year!

The Editorial Board of NOVEL
The Executive Committee of the Society for Novel Studies