Solitude and the Modern Metropolis

full name / name of organization: 
Ulrich E. Bach, Texas State University
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Call for Papers: "Solitude & the Modern Metropolis" @ PAMLA in San Francisco 11-6/7-2009

Those modernist texts, which are concerned about the solitude of the metropolis, are in first place texts about the trauma of moving to the big city. For example, the depressive Malte Laurids Brigge and his impending move to Paris, or Esther Greenwood, in Plath's "The Jar Bell" and her move to New York City. It seems that not so much the city renders its residents lonely, but the loners find in the cityscape the space to realize their solitude.

In contemporary literature and film, the loner loses him- or herself in the virtual space of the internet, or the forlorn person tries to sublate the alienation from the environment and the inability to be intimate through rather self-destructive
maneuvers. The PAMLA panel wants to differentiate the ubiquitous phenomenon of solitude through a diachronic comparison.

***Please go to and send a 500-word proposal and 50-word abstract for individual 20-minute papers . The deadline for abstract submissions is March 15, 2009. In the body of the e-mail, please include the following information: name, university and departmental affiliation(s), level of graduate study, and title of paper.