Dramatizing Ideas: Intellectual Hybrids, Heterodoxies, Humanisms in Greenwich Village (ALA 2011, Boston, May 26-29)

full name / name of organization: 
Susan Glaspell Society

American Literature Association 2011 Conference / Boston, Massachusetts, May 26 - 29, 2011
Susan Glaspell Society Panel
Dramatizing Ideas: Intellectual Hybrids, Heterodoxies, and Humanisms in Greenwich Village

Selecting for traits, cross breeding, grafting, Claire Archer, the horticultural mad scientist at the center of Glaspell's 1921 drama The Verge, uses all of these techniques to create a new self-reproducing species of plant, calling her efforts "mad new comings together." In imagining Claire's work in this play, Glaspell hit upon a metaphor for the intellectual life of Greenwich Village, where new ideas in politics, philosophy, science, spirituality, and art were bred and crossbred.
Glaspell's horticultural metaphors for ideas have been linked by recent scholars to the educational organicism of John Dewey, to the Pragmatism of William James, to the Humanism of F. C. S. Schiller, to the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, to the ontology of Henri Bergson, as well as to the evolutionary science of Lamarck, Darwin, and Haeckel. Such metaphors must be seen as the culmination of Glaspell's own long-standing interest in the fusion of different ways of knowing. "When art weds science," Glaspell wrote in her first novel, The Glory of the Conquered, "the resulting library is difficult to manage." Extending these metaphors into a more general inquiry, the Susan Glaspell Society invites papers that address Greenwich Village as a site for the transformation of ideas.
The Glaspell Society is pleased to present its panel as part of the Five Dramatists Societies' series on "Dramatizing Ideas." Papers addressing any aspect of Glaspell's drama and performance are welcome, as are papers dealing with her novels and short fiction. Additional possible topics include but are not limited to:
Glaspell and Science, Religion, Philosophy
Horticulture in Glaspell's Writings
Influence of Science and/or Religion on Greenwich Village Writers or Artists
Pragmatism in Greenwich Village
The Heterodoxy Club and other Ideas of Heterodoxy
Aesthetic Fusions in Modern American Theatre, Literature, and Art
Eastern Religion and Culture in Modern America
Intellectual Genealogies of Progressive Reforms
NY Reception of Continental Philosophy: Nietzsche, Freud, Bergson
(Con)fusions of Philosophy / Intellectual Chimeras
Ideas of Race and Race-mixing in Greenwich Village
Early History of Genetics and Race
Ecology and Art in Modern America
Synesthesia in Modern Art, Literature, Theatre
The Idea of Nature in Early Twentieth-Century America
Intellectual Hybridity in Periodicals: The Masses, The Little Review, TNR, The Nation
Material Conditions of Intellectual Activity
Intellectualism and Political Radicalism
History of Greenwich Village

Please send 300 word abstract and brief bio by January 15th to Michael Winetsky at GlaspellsocietyALA2011@yahoo.com. The American Literature Association Conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, May 26 - 29, 2011. For further information visit www.americanliterature.org.