Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference CFP, "Playing Our Part: Social Hierarchy and the Performance of Class in Literature"

deadline for submissions: 
May 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
John D. Schwetman / University of Minnesota Duluth
contact email: 

While historically a product of birthright, and more recently associated with merit, social class has always presented itself as a set of expectations setting the stage for encounters between unfamiliar people. Whether sincerely or in masquerade, everyone adopts a social class as a role to be played before an audience. In line with this year’s conference theme “Acting, Roles, and Stages,” this panel, examines social class as performance and focuses on literary works across genres and eras that present class accordingly. From estates satire to the minstrel show, from social realism to the theater of the absurd, we will consider ways that literature either enacts the performance of class or dramatizes its enactment.

This panel invites proposals for presentations that examine the performance of social class as represented in literature or enacted by literature from different genres, cultures, and time periods.

Submissions will be welcome in the following topic areas:

            Social class as masquerade

            Class satire

            The physical trappings of class

            Class consciousness in literature

            Class and literary regionalism

            The intellectual class

            The performance of class as a linguistic phenomenon

            Present-day performances of social class in literature and politics

            Any other mode of engagement with class as performance in literature

Paper proposals must be made via our online system found here:

Potential panelists are welcome to email me with questions about the panel.

Note: The PAMLA Conference will take place over the November 9-11, 2018 weekend at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. All presenters must become members of PAMLA to present at the conference.