New Work in Novel Studies Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
October 17, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Novel Theory Across the Disciplines/ Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University
contact email: 

Call for Papers: New Work in Novel Studies

A symposium hosted by the Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University

December 7, 2016

From its earliest forms to its contemporary iterations, the novel remains a radically capacious and evolving genre. As the dominant form of modern literature, the novel assumes various overlapping functions as an aesthetic object, cultural artifact, historical text, and conceptual resource. At the same time, novelistic conventions such as plot structure, narrative technique, and characterization shape and inform scholarly research across an array of disciplines.

The Novel Theory Across the Disciplines seminar will host New Work in Novel Studies on December 7, 2016 at Harvard University. We invite emerging scholars to propose papers that engage in novel studies, broadly conceived. We welcome work that addresses the novel written in languages other than English, and from disciplinary perspectives outside of literary studies. Selected papers will be circulated in advance to symposium participants. Invited faculty respondents will comment on the papers and facilitate the discussion. This year’s respondents are Min Hyoung Song (Boston College) and Katie Trumpener (Yale University). Our hope is to generate a lively conversation that addresses current approaches to the study of the novel.


Topics can include but are not limited to the following:

- The epistemology of the novel

- Genre

- Narrative

- New genealogies of novel theory

- The novel as art form

- The novel and/as history

- The novel and the institution

- The novel as media

- The novel and place (region, nation, hemisphere, world, etc.)

- Novelistic conventions (point of view, character, etc.)

- Translation and intertextuality



Scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Please submit a 500-750 word abstract and a brief cover letter with contact information and institutional affiliation to by October 17, 2016.