CFP: Literature and Photography (9/15/05; NEMLA, 3/2/06-3/5/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Zoe Trodd
contact email: 

Please submit papers for a panel on Literature and Photography at the
upcoming Modern Language Association (North East) conference in
Philadelphia, March 2-5 2006.This panel will explore how American
writers have responded to photography: authors have explored word as
camera and image as pen, and we'll discuss the camera-eye aesthetic in
American fiction. Possible points for departure might be:

How has photography impacted the novel's position as history and
writers' philosophies of history, and what did writers do about their
senses of the past, approaches to time, and philosophies of history, in
the light of photography?

How has American literature incorporated the photograph as both
complimentary philosopher of history and as competition?

How has photography changed the writer's way of seeing and plotting the
past and the present?

Have writers made the camera lens sentimental, nostalgic, or mythical?

Which writers used photography, resisted it, feared it, adapted it?

What was the cultural politics of photography to which writers were

While scientists, historians, philosophers, anthropologists, all
formulated their various responses to photography, what did American
writers do?

What was the effect of photography and the camera aesthetic on realism
and the historical novel's negotiation with issues of memory and

What was the relationship between naturalism and photography, protest
literature and photography?

How did utopian fiction use the camera-aesthetic: what place does the
camera have in bringing about a perfect future, as well as representing
an American past and present?

What happens when character-historians meet character-photographers?

Do American autobiographies and biographies respond to the

How does narrative form respond to and shape cultural conceptions of
photography and time?

Do fictional photographs relate to other systems of history within
novels (archives, newspapers, family history, geneology, etc)?

Is the camera-eye aesthetic different to other visual aesthetics in
American literature?

Papers might consider these questions and others, and use novels,
poetry, drama, literary journalism, autobiography. Papers could also
consider collaborations between writers and photographers; photographers
who built on and challenged accepted literary conventions; or films
about the photographer. Please submit proposals (500 words) and a short
biographical note to Zoe Trodd, Harvard University,, no later than September 15 2005.

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Received on Tue Jun 14 2005 - 15:51:40 EDT