Cormac McCarthy and Modernity - NeMLA Convention 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Benjamin Mangrum / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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This panel will address the fiction of Cormac McCarthy in relation to "the modern," conceived of as an interdisciplinary concept with multiple literary, philosophical, and socio-historical resonances. We invite the submission of abstracts that explore the ways in which McCarthy's complex works further, represent, or critique the varied legacies of this modernity. Among other topics, papers may consider McCarthy's novels in relation to questions of literary periodization (modernism/postmodernism), the discourses of modern philosophy (consciousness, ethics, rationality), the emergence of socio-economic modernity (technology, industrialization, [late] capitalism, globalization), as well as modernization considered as a contradictory historical force, one that simultaneously invokes ideals of progress and enlightenment, and specters of atavism or apocalypse. Broadly, then, this panel aims to grapple with how McCarthy conceives of or reacts against modern modes of writing, thinking, and living. We welcome paper proposals that investigate these questions by comparing McCarthy's novels with texts - literary or otherwise - by other authors. Please submit 250-word abstracts to Theo Finigan ( and Benjamin Mangrum ( Deadline: September 30, 2012