UPDATE: Agency & Performativity of Place in 20th & 21st C American Literature

deadline for submissions: 
June 27, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Megan Cannella/PAMLA Conference, Nov. 9-11
contact email: 

Agency & Performativity of Place in 20th & 21st C American Literature

PAMLA Conference - Bellingham, WA

November 9-11, 2018


Do you have exciting things to say about place in American literature? Of course you do! Want to discus them in beautiful Bellingham, WA? Why wouldn't you! 

Using critical theories of testimony and witnessing, this panel seeks to explore the ways in which place transcends the function of mere setting in 20th and 21st century American literature. Employing broad definitions of both place and what it means to be classified as American literature, this panels seeks to analyze and grapple with evolving understandings and functions of place, with the understanding that its influence is no longer entirely bound by geography.

In novels like House of Leaves, Swamplandia!, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and any number of other contemporary novels, place is integral to the plot and character development of the novel. How does place function in the 20th and 21st century American novel? How do we understand the agency of place? How do we understand the performativity of place? How do we understand place’s role as witness in 20th and 21st century novels? The discussion that this panel seeks to create is especially important as our world and culture become more globalized. When the role of place is no longer limited to strict, definitive boundaries, how does it function in our narratives?


Submit through conference website: http://pamla.org/2018/topic-areas

Questions? Contact Megan Cannella, mcannella@nevada.unr.edu