Chuck Palahniuk: Literature or Trash? (NeMLA 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association)
contact email: 

NeMLA Annual Convention - Pittsburgh, PA - 12-15 April, 2018

Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most prolific American authors of the past twenty years, averaging more than a book a year since exploding onto the scene with Fight Club (1996), which was made into a cult feature film by David Fincher, featuring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter and Jared Leto. The author made a name for by combining the comically absurd and grotesquely horrific in his tales of transgressive fiction and with time has developed a tendency to transgress his own writing style, experimenting with narrative forms as well as penning graphic novels and even a drawing book.

Palahniuk’s early work has been critically acclaimed for both style and substance, including its challenges to social norms and philosophical undertones, drawing much interest from scholars. However, his later publications were received to more lukewarm reaction and have been largely ignored by the academic community. This panel seeks to re-approach Palahniuk’s oeuvre to ascertain its place within the literary canon. What has changed: author or reader? What is the worth of Palahniuk’s writing? Is there still a place for transgressive fiction in the current era? These are just some of the questions that the panel hopes to address. Particularly welcomed are proposals that will examine Palahniuk’s newer and more forgotten work.

Please submit 300 word abstracts alongside a short bio before September 30th (confirmation will be sent by October 15th) through the NeMLA submission page:

Applicants are not required to be NeMLA members at the time of submission but accepted speakers will have to become members by December 1st, 2016.

For further information contact Eyal Handelsman at or consult