Washington Irving and Politics (Jan. 10, 2014)
Since Washington Irving (1783-1859) was named after George Washington, met the General, and also spent time in Washington on political business, the American Literature Association's venue of DC seems an appropriate place for a round table on Irving and his politics.
After being offered several political appointments and finally accepting the ambassadorship to Spain in 1842, Irving was concerned with political matters. And even before becoming a professional politician, Irving made a name for himself as a "man of letters" with his HISTORY OF NEW YORK (1809), a satire on the Dutch colony's history but also a political jab at Irving's contemporaries.
Since the American Revolution and the Civil War book end his life, Irving had much political angst to include in his writing. He hints at such anxiety in "Rip Van Winkle," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," A HISTORY OF NEW YORK, A TOUR ON THE PRAIRIES (1835), among other texts. Additionally, Irving's relationships with Aaron Burr, Dolly Madison, and other prominent figures might also allow for a lively discussion.
Please send "Washington Irving and Politics" abstracts of 250-300 words to Tracy_Hoffman@baylor.edu by January 10, 2014.
For further information about the American Literature Association's 25th annual conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill on May 22-25, 2014 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend), please consult the ALA website: http://americanliteratureassociation.org; http://alaconf.org