[UPDATE] "Narratives of Community" -- Pre-1900 American Literature (SAMLA, 11/6/09-11/8/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Debbie Lelekis
contact email: 

South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
November 6-8, 2009
Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown
Atlanta, GA

"Narratives of Community"

Chair: Debbie Lelekis, University of Missouri

During the nineteenth century, many writers were grappling with the isolation and fragmentation brought on by rapid urbanization, immigration, and industrialization, resulting in texts that respond to this vision of a fractured world through a focus on the idea of community in both rural and urban spaces. Women writers in particular, often created communities in which unlike people came together through shared everyday experiences and values. Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs is a prime example of this type of fictional community. In contrast, male writers more often seem to explore communities forged out of extraordinary circumstances and conflict. In both cases there is an emphasis on the building of community and the reliance on that community for success.

This panel seeks papers examining any aspect of the construction of communities in pre-1900 American literature. Papers that focus on women writers are particularly welcome. Please send brief proposals (250 words) by May 15, 2009 to Debbie Lelekis at drlgz5@missouri.edu.