Wallace Stevens and Material Culture

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The Wallace Stevens Society
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Call for papers: Wallace Stevens and Material Culture

Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900 (Feb. 21-23, 2013; Louisville, KY)

Stevens' relationship with the objects of the material world has seldom been explored, perhaps in part because of the tendency of Stevens' readers and critics to emphasize his tendency toward abstraction. This panel focuses attention on the many "things" that appear in and fill Stevens' poems—as well as those that don't but might have been expected, in light of his professional and personal life experiences and his abiding interests. The panel may also consider the ways in which Stevens' "things" (and even his use of the word, "things") might be used to theorize his relationship with material culture. Does Stevens make distinctions between ordinary and rare objects in his poetry? Is there a hierarchy of objects that we might perceive? Papers on any aspect of Stevens' treatment of material culture are welcomed, but those attending to the following types of objects are especially encouraged: objects used by Stevens as a poet; objects with religious meaning; objects related to or reflective of modernity; objects associated with or expressive of war; objects expressive of gender; and instrumental and art objects (e.g., musical instruments, writing instruments, etc.). Please send 250- to 500-word abstracts to Kathy Kirk, , by September 15.