NEMLA 2014: Locating the Gothic: American Gothic and its Local Variations

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Northeast Modern Language Association
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Locating the Gothic: American Gothic and its Local Variations

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

This panel seeks to explore possible regional variations on the Gothic genre in America. Is there such a thing as "Pennsylvania Gothic"? "Mid-Atlantic Gothic"? Or are they subsumed under "New England Gothic" and "American Gothic"? While the tropes of the Gothic โ€“ castles, found documents, and aristocratic villains โ€“ are perhaps too unreal to be tied to merely mundane surroundings of real places, to what extent does the Gothic reflect the concerns, geographies, and cultures of the place where it's written or set? Since several key American Gothic texts hail from Pennsylvania -- George Lippard's Monks of Monk Hall and many of the works of Charles Brockden Brown and Edgar Allan Poe to suggest a few โ€“ it seems possible that the area has offered some Gothic inspirations. In light of NEMLA's conference location this year, the panel organizer has a preference for papers that focus on texts that are connected to Pennsylvania specifically, but Northeastern U.S. or American Gothic more generally will also be considered. In what ways is the Gothic "local"? Are there resonances of Civil War Gothic? Revolutionary War Gothic? What other aspects of real places emerge within the Gothic? How does the Gothic transmit, transform, and transcend the realities of locality? Can there be "local color" in the Gothic?

Please send inquiries or 250-300 word abstracts (preferably MSWord or PDF attachments) to

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

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." NeMLA's Keynote Speaker will be David Staller, Producer and Director of Project Shaw. Mr. Staller presents monthly script-in-hand performances of Bernard Shaw's plays at the Players Club in New York City.

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.