This is a preliminary call to gauge interest in a conference on George Saunders in New York City next year.
Organizers will seek to publish a volume of critical essays which will include papers presented at this conference (tentatively slated for April, 2013).
Please send a brief note to Brendan Beirne at firstname.lastname@example.org -- formal proposals are not required at this time.
George Saunders is the author of several books, including the short story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation, as well as a novella entitled The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. Saunders has also published essays and a children's book called The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip.
Papers may focus on any aspect of Saunders' work, but potential topics include:
-- Dystopian / post-apocalyptic themes
-- Artificial worlds, cosmology
-- Literary precursors and influences
-- Saunders' use of corporate-speak & colloquial language
-- Economic crisis & (sub)urban decay
-- Surreal / speculative aspects of Saunders' fiction
-- Post-human themes
-- Verisimilitude / realism
-- Environmental crisis / governmental collapse
-- What philosophical and critical approaches are most useful for understanding Saunders?