Trump Fiction (NeMLA)
Donald Trump was a public figure long before he became President of the United States, one who became familiar to American audiences through his appearances in a wide variety of media over a period of several decades. While much has been made of Trump’s selling of himself to the American public in branded productions that identified him as their author or producer, ranging from books such as Trump: The Art of the Deal to his reality-TV Apprentice franchise, less attention has been paid to the treatment of Trump in works of fiction produced by authors other than Trump. This panel will examine the treatment of Trump and his fictional analogues in films, television programs, and literature, with an emphasis on works that took up the subject of Trump before his successful presidential campaign. How can these works’ treatments of Trump in their imagined worlds anticipate and shape the discourse that has surrounded his presidency? Subjects might include (but are not limited to):
- Trump’s 2005 appearance as a barely fictionalized version of himself on Days of Our Lives
- Sesame Street’s recurring Trump parody, Ronald/Donald Grump
- Trump’s role as Patrick Bateman’s idol in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (1991)
- Amy Waldman’s roman-à-clef-style treatment of Trump (not to mention his general-election opponent, Hillary Clinton) in The Submission (2011) and its tale of Islamophobic paranoia
- Thomas Pynchon’s explicit comparison of villainous tycoon Gabriel Ice to Trump in Bleeding Edge (2013) and its narrative of 9/11 conspiracy theories, Russian hackers, and the American deep state
Please submit abstracts of 250 to 500 words through NeMLA’s online submission system by September 30, 2017, at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16949.