The Literary Legacy of Revelations

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45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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The Literary Legacy of Revelations

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

Always a prominent text in Western culture, the book of Revelations has been in the spotlight during the past year in particular due to the 2012 publication of Elaine Pagel's Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation. Pagel, like many before her, recognizes the largely political nature of Revelations as she considers it from a historical and typological perspective.

This seminar will explore how Revelations has been either commented on or alluded to in works by prominent literary authors coming from a variety of historical and cultural contexts. I want to look at the book of Revelations and its wide-ranging literary legacy with a specific focus on the political or environmental significance of the texts that have made use of it. How have writers altered, adapted, challenged, or capitalized on Revelations?

The influence of Revelations is evident in countless literary works from the Middle Ages to the present day. Writers considered in this seminar might include, but certainly are not limited to, Dante Alighieri, Edmund Spencer, John Milton, the English Romantics, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. B. Yeats, Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, D. H. Lawrence, James Baldwin, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and Tim LaHaye. Ideally, this seminar will include papers representing a variety of writers from different countries, time-periods, ethnicities, and classes; and representing different religious and ideological perspectives.

For the seminar format, participants will submit 10-15 page papers early in 2014. Papers will be circulated and read by all participants. During the two-hour seminar, each presenter will give a five-minute or so presentation—please, no AV. The rest of the seminar will be focused on a structured discussion between all participants.

Please send a 200 word abstract and a one page CV to Todd Williams at by September 30, 2013.

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract and CV:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as "the best book you'll read this year." The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.