John Dos Passos and the Other Arts (SAMLA 2015: 13-15 Nov, Durham, NC)
John Dos Passos was undoubtedly one of the most eclectic American writers of his generation. Faithful as he was to the intermedial aesthetics of modernism, he did not limit himself to the role of novelist, but frequently also crossed over into the neighboring arts: as an accomplished painter and illustrator, as a playwright and sometime set designer for the New Playwrights Theatre, and through his work on Hollywood cinema and documentary film. The resulting cross-pollination would fuel Dos Passos's creativity over the years, influencing his most celebrated novels.
In keeping with this year's conference theme, this panel invites proposal for twenty-minute papers that explore aspects of Dos Passos's enduring commitment to "the other arts." Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- his actual work within the other arts
- the influence of the other arts on his work as a novelist
- his engagement with modernist theory and practice: montage, simultaneity, defamiliarization, etc.
- his interest in visual, popular, and commercial culture
- points of affinity with his contemporaries across the arts: Eisenstein, Picasso, Tzara, etc.
- his relationship to the multi-modal artistic movements of the day: futurism, surrealism, cubism
For consideration, please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio (in Word format) to JDPSociety@gmail.com no later than June 1, 2015. Be sure to note any A/V requirements, should they be needed.