Spiritualist Manifestos: Writing the Seance (NEMLA, deadline 9/30/2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Anne DeLong/Kutztown University
contact email: 

43nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012
Rochester, New York – Hyatt Rochester
Host Institution: St. John Fisher College
Keynote speaker: Jennifer Egan, 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Spiritualist Manifestos: Writing the Seance
This panel seeks papers that examine nineteenth-century British and American writing about the Spiritualist Movement, including manifestos, essays, pamphlets, articles and novels containing actual or fictionalized accounts of seances. Papers that examine the Translatlantic Spiritualist dialogue and/or women's involvement in Spiritualism are particularly welcome. Please send 250-500 word abstracts to Anne Delong at delong@kutztown.edu.

The Spiritualist Movement began in Hydesville, NY in 1848 with the rappings heard by the Fox sisters and traveled across the Atlantic in 1852 with Mrs. Maria Hayden, the first Translatlantic medium, beginning a long literary conversation about spirit communication. This dialogue takes place in the letters, articles, essays, pamphlets, and novels of British and American spiritualists. Given its proximity to Hydesville and to Lily Dale, a spiritualist mecca where the haunted Hydesville home of the Foxes now resides, Rochester, NY seems a perfect venue for discussing the Spiritualist Movement.

Deadline: September 30, 2011
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
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A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 43rd annual convention will be held March 15-18th in Rochester, New York at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, located minutes away from convenient air, bus, and train transportation options for attendees. St. John Fisher College will serve as the host college, and the diverse array of area institutions are coordinating with conference organizers to sponsor various activities, such as celebrated keynote speakers, local events, and fiction readings.
Building upon the excellence of past NeMLA conferences, the association continues to grow as a vibrant community of scholars, thanks to the wide array of intellectual and cultural opportunities at every venue. Compact yet diverse, Rochester also boasts important historical connections; it is the site of the home, publication operations, and orations of Frederick Douglass, where he edited the North Star, as well as his eponymous periodical, and delivered the speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?". Visitors can explore the houses of abolitionist, suffragette, and reformer Susan B. Anthony and the inventor of devices popularizing photography, George Eastman, as well as shopping and eateries; attendees will also be within reach of the beautiful Finger Lakes region, known for its local wineries.