MMLA: The Short Fiction of George Saunders [respond by June 4, 2012]

full name / name of organization: 
Brendan Beirne New York University
contact email: 

Topic: The Short Fiction of George Saunders

This panel explores the work of George Saunders, author of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation, and The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. By engaging with the aesthetic, cultural, and/or philosophical dimensions of Saunders' narrative fiction, this session will develop critical approaches to Saunders' work, and contextualize the author's significance for the contemporary moment and the short story form.

Although the conference theme of Debt is particularly apt in the case of George Saunders, respondents may also wish to consider the significance of issues such as…

-- Dystopian / post-apocalyptic themes

-- Artificial worlds, cosmology

-- Literary precursors and influences

-- Corporate-speak & colloquial language

-- Economic crisis & (sub)urban decay

-- Surreal / speculative aspects of Saunders' fiction

-- Essay / Reportage
-- Post-human themes

-- Preterition

-- Satire

-- Gender

-- Verisimilitude / realism

-- Environmental crisis / governmental collapse

Please send 400 word abstracts to Brendan Beirne ( by June 4, 2012.