Friendship and/in the American Renaissance: ALA Panel [proposal deadline Jan. 15]

full name / name of organization: 
The Thoreau Society
contact email: 

American Literature Association
27th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
May 26 – 29, 2016
CFP for Panel Discussion sponsored by the Thoreau Society
Kristen Case and Rochelle Johnson, Organizers
Conference web site:

Friendship and/in the American Renaissance

Let him be to thee for ever a sort of beautiful enemy, untamable, devoutly revered, and not a trivial conveniency to be soon outgrown and cast aside. The hues of the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be seen, if the eye is too near. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Friendship"

Though studies of the American Renaissance have often focused on the era's championing of the individual, friendship was no less central a theme, and no less complex a practice, to writers like Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Dickinson. How might attending to the era's friendships and writings about friendship inform or alter our perceptions of it? We invite papers considering any aspect of this theme. Please send queries or one-page abstracts (for an 18-minute presentation) by January 15, 2016, to: