CFP for Invisible Circus: An International Conference on the work of Jennifer Egan

full name / name of organization: 
Birkbeck, University of London

Invisible Circus
An International Conference on the work of Jennifer Egan
21st and 22nd March 2014
School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London
Sponsored by the Centre of Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London

Response and Q&A: Jennifer Egan
Keynote speaker: Dr Stephen J Burn (Northern Michigan University)
Q&A chair: Professor Sarah Churchwell (UEA)

Papers are invited for the first academic conference dedicated to the writing of Jennifer Egan.

Winner of multiple awards, including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for the novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, Egan has developed a distinguished body of writing since the publication of her first book, the story collection Emerald City in 1995. Alongside her four major novels Egan has published a substantial amount of non-fiction writing, and won multiple awards for her journalism.

Each of Jennifer Egan's works is a distinct experiment with genre and style. Her works share a preoccupation with memory and mediation, and the way public and private versions of these processes connect and intersect. In a review of A Visit from the Goon Squad Stephen J. Burn notes that 'time is emerging as the master theme of Egan's generation'; Egan's continually evolving approach to issues of memory, history, time, and media place her as a key writer of, and in, the contemporary moment.

Despite much critical acclaim, there has been little scholarly work on Jennifer Egan's writing. This conference seeks papers on Egan's work and on the scene of contemporary American writing more generally. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Adolescence/Adolescents in contemporary literature
Contemporary American literature
Contemporary fantasy
Contemporary gothic
Contemporary short story writing
Contemporary women's writing
Media, celebrity culture
Media, technology, digital culture
Network fiction
New York writers
Pop music and literature
Postmodern/post-postmodern literature
Twitter stories

The conference welcomes proposals for individual papers and panels from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Submissions are welcome from both research students and academics. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper along with your name, affiliation and 100 word professional biography to by 15th September 2013.

The conference is organised by Dr Zara Dinnen (Birkbeck, University of London). It is being supported by the Centre for Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck.

Select papers will be sought for publication as part of an edited collection on the work of Jennifer Egan. For further information please email Zara at

T: @jeganconference