New Directions in Sherwood Anderson at ALA 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Peter Nagy (Lehigh University)
contact email: 

Proposed Panel for the 2014 American Literature Association Annual Conference (ALA) to be held in Washington, D.C., May 22-25, 2014

"New Directions in Sherwood Anderson"

This panel seeks paper proposals that offer new perspectives on the fictional and non-fictional works of Sherwood Anderson. We invite a broad range of Anderson related topics that include his influence on /relationship with writers of his era, such as Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner; his current reception among literary critics; and his future within an expanding literary canon.

The organizers of the panel especially welcome proposals for papers that address in new ways Anderson's conception of gender, race, sexuality, and social class in novels such as Poor White, Dark Laughter; short stories from Death in the Woods or Horses and Men; and non-fiction like Perhaps Women and Hello Towns! In what ways do works such as these display Anderson's investment in emerging or transitioning conceptions of: white/black, masculinity/femininity, heterosexual/homosexual desire? To what degree did early twentieth century discourses on racial and sexual identity shape Anderson? What impact did Anderson's engagement with early twentieth-century feminists like Margaret Anderson and Floyd Dell have on his understanding of gender and relations between modern men and women? To what extent did Anderson's socialist sensibilities and his encounters with figures from the literary left such as Max Eastman inform his writing?

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to Peter Nagy ( by January 1, 2014 for full consideration.