Undercover America at MLA 2013 (3-6 January, Boston)
This panel examines the methodology and genre of the undercover narrative in U.S. literature. From slumming expeditions and Progressive-era social investigations to cross-class passages into the world of the waitress, factory laborer, and tramp, middle- and upper-class writers have undertaken the journey "down and out" in order to understand and represent workers and the poor in their work. What do such "experiments in misery" tell us about the role of class, and cross-class affiliation, in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature? This panel invites papers on any aspect of the American undercover narrative; please send an abstract of 300 words and a CV to Laura Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 5, 2012.