The Politics of Time in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature - ALA 2016 - May 26th-29th

full name / name of organization: 
Molly Ball
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Recent years have seen a great deal of work on the temporality of the nation in nineteenth-century U.S. literatures. Dana Luciano, Lloyd Pratt, Thomas Allen, and others have considered how representations of time both produce and contest the boundaries of national belonging. This panel builds on such work, uniting questions about the political dimensions of temporality with questions about literary form. The panel will explore how plotting, narrative structure, and other explicitly literary ways of representing time organize, rework, and/or unsettle ideas about national time during the long nineteenth century.

For example, how do formal devices that alter the forward trajectory of a narrative – such as analepsis, prolepsis, or ekphrasis – construct national temporality? Do specific regions or populations within the nation elicit specific kinds of plotting? What role does poetry play in constructing and/or altering temporalities of nationhood, or is plotting national time largely the province of prose narrative?

Please send proposals of approximately 250 words to by January 25th, 2016.