CFP: [General] Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking (9/15/07; NEMLA 4/10-13/2008, Buffalo, NY)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Clare Emily Clifford
contact email: 

Only By Dreaming or Writing: Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking

In her characteristically sparse yet rich prose, Didion’s book recounts
the year in which she was simultaneously grieving the death of her
husband of forty years, John Gregory Dunne, and coping with the
hospitalization and illness of their only daughter. With the current
Broadway staging of Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, featuring
Vanessa Redgrave, the memoir has garnered renewed attention following its
initial publication in late 2005. Halfway through the year, Didion
asks: “Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I
thought?” This panel seeks papers which address Didion’s text, Redgrave’s
performance of it onstage, or which more broadly explore the concept
of “magical thinking” as an escape from or construction of reality, at
the intersection of “dreaming or writing”.

Approaches and connections could include, but are not limited to: death
and dying; grief, mourning, and representation; the physiology of grief;
staging and performing grief; public grieving; the stylistics of
bereavement; trauma studies; crisis management; narrative theory;
narrative medicine and medical humanities; memory and meaning (or the
collapse of meaning); reconstruction and recovery; memoir and
lifewriting. Email submissions preferred; please send 250-500 word
abstracts as MSWord attachments to Dr. Clare Emily Clifford no later than
September 15, 2007 <ccliffor[AT]bsc[DOT]edu>. Accepted panelists must be
or become members of NEMLA by November 2007 in order to present at the

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Received on Tue Aug 14 2007 - 13:47:39 EDT