Four Dimensions: Spatio-Temporal Shifts Reflected in Nineteenth-Century Literature (conference 4/2010; abstract due 9/30/09)

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Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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Four Dimensions: Spatio-Temporal Shifts Reflected in Nineteenth-Century Literature (panel name)

Indisputably, the categories of space and time shift massively in the nineteenth-century; technology speeds experience just as urban growth and land acquisition distort space. In 1750 it took 3 days to travel from Manchester to London; by 1850, it took 6 hours. In 1866 one could even send a message almost instantly from Ireland to Canada across Cyrus Field's transatlantic cable. The quickening of experiential time was also tied to the spatial developments which required travel technology and created new proximities: between 1810 and 1860, while the country acquired huge tracks of western land, the urban population in the United States increased from 6% to 20%, and by 1861 London, the largest city in the world, reached almost 3 million people. This panel will consider these spatial and temporal developments and their effect on nineteenth-century English language literature on both sides of the Atlantic. How are changing experiences of time and space represented in literary descriptions or emplotment? How do spatio-temporal concerns relate to literary markets and publishing trends such as serialization—that stretching of a story across time in a certain allotted space? Can we graft these notions of changing space and time onto actual events represented in literature? Those who fought or witnessed the Civil War knew they were experiencing a historical moment, one out of time, as they were within it. How do these spatio-temporal concerns relate to imperialism? How do they play out for immigrants, displaced persons, or colonized subjects? Papers focusing on any result of the manner in which time and space experientially alter within the nineteenth-century are welcome. Please send 300 – 500 word abstracts, brief biographical statements, and contact information (postal address, email address, and phone number) for 15 – 20 minute presentations to Lydia Fash (lfash[at] Deadline is September 30, 2009.

About the Conference

41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec - Hilton Bonaventure

The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention will be posted in June:

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Please note that A/V use comes with a $10 fee.

Travel to Canada now requires a passport for U.S. citizens. Please get your passport application in early.