UPDATE: Henry James and Jane Austen (11/20/05; ACCUTE, 5/27/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Emsley
contact email: 

New deadline:

"The Unconscious Master: Henry James and Jane Austen=94

(27 May - 4 June 2006 at 75th Congress of Humanities and Social=20
Sciences; the ACCUTE conference will take place over 3-4 days within=20
that timeframe)

Henry James, himself known as the Master, praised Jane Austen for her=20
master-strokes of imagination," suggesting that the reason for her high=20=

reputation "has been in part the extraordinary grace of her facility,=20
in fact
of her unconsciousness." While James may have been reluctant to=20
acknowledge his own debt to Austen's art, several writers and critics=20
have linked the two. Tony Tanner, for example, comments that James=20
probably learned as much from Austen as she had learned from=20
Richardson. In Rudyard Kipling's story "The Janeites," one character=20
quips that Austen didn't die barren, but left "lawful issue in the=20
shape o' one son; an' 'is name was 'Enery James.=94

Why did James characterize Austen as an "unconscious" artist? To what=20
extent do Austen and James share an understanding of the relation=20
between fiction and ethics? Are the similarities between their novels=20
superficial, or can James be seen as working within the same tradition?=20=

What do James's American girls (such as Daisy Miller and Isabel Archer)=20=

owe to Austen's young women? Edith Wharton has been called "Henry=20
James's heiress"; what might we gain (or lose) by thinking of James as=20=

"Jane Austen's heir"?

This panel proposes to examine connections between James and Austen,=20
and to begin to map the extent of their literary relationship. Papers=20
might explore
the authors' approaches to the art of fiction, the country-house novel,=20=

and the
novel of manners and morals. Papers discussing thematic intersections=20
in their
writings, as well as gender and class relations, are also welcome.

NEW DEADLINE: Paper proposals should be sent by November 20, 2005 via=20
email to the panel organizers at semsley_at_fas.harvard.edu or=20

Proposals should be 300-500 words in length, and should clearly=20
indicate the
originality or scholarly significance of the proposed paper, the line of
argument, the principal texts the paper will speak to, and the relation=20=

of the
paper to existing scholarship on the topic. A "Works Cited" section=20
should also
be included. Submitters must be members of ACCUTE. Membership details=20
available at http://www.accute.ca/become_a_member.htm

Those whose proposals are accepted by the organizers will be notified by
late November, and the panel will then be submitted for approval to the=20=

ACCUTE vettors.

Sarah Emsley
Expository Writing Program
Harvard University
8 Prescott Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mich=E8le Mendelssohn
Department of English Literature
The University of Edinburgh
David Hume Tower, George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9JX
United Kingdom

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Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 10:27:17 EST