CFP: A Paradoxical Appeal: The Novel as "Common" Aesthetics: (4/22/06; MMLA, 11/9/06-11/12/06)

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Proposed Panel for Midwest Modern Language Association
Panel Title: A Paradoxical Appeal: the Novel as "Common" Aesthetics

While "novels" were written before 1741, Pamela's arrival in the literary
marketplace arguably establishes the novel as suitable for "respectable"
readers. Yet Pamela provided the novel with an ambiguous entrance into
literary culture; its association with spectacle and the marketplace
foregrounds the relationship of the novel to popular culture. After Pamela,
the literary status of the novel becomes increasingly contested, as it is
connected with commercialism and circulation among an ever-growing reading
public. Building on this history, this panel explores how permutations of the
novel from Pamela to the present narrow, expand, reify, or blur the definition
of "literature." We invite papers that explore appeals made by various genres
of the novel as they attempt to claim "legitimate" membership in the canon.

Send 250 words abstracts to Elizabeth Neiman ( and Carrie
Wadman ( by 4/22/06

The M/MLA Conference will be held November 9th through 12th in 2006 in Chicago,
IL, at the Palmer House Hilton. Please visit the M/MLA website
( for more information about the 2006 conference.

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Received on Wed Apr 12 2006 - 10:25:05 EDT