Extended Deadline: "Dos Passos Today," Roundtable at the American Literature Association (Boston, MA: May 23-26, 2019)
In a 1968 interview, John Dos Passos commented on what he saw as the growing marginalization of his work by recalling a conversation he once had with Ernest Hemingway. “He always used to bawl me out for including so much topical stuff,” Dos Passos remembered. “He always claimed that was a great mistake, that in fifty years nobody would understand. He may have been right; it’s getting to be true.”
Fifty-odd years later, this roundtable session seeks to examine the validity of Hemingway’s prediction by asking the question of where Dos Passos is today. Where can his influence be found among contemporary writers, both in fiction and non-fiction? What is his present status in the undergraduate classroom? What can be gained from reading Dos Passos in the current social, political, and economic climate?
We invite short presentations on any aspect of Dos Passos’s current standing, influence, and/or relevance. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
* Dos Passos’s influence today, in literature as well as across the arts
* Recent experiences of teaching Dos Passos
* Reading Dos Passos…
- in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis
- in the context of increasingly polarized domestic politics
- in the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle
The session will take the format of a roundtable discussion, where each participant will be given five to seven minutes for their individual presentations, after which there will be ample time for a longer discussion.
For consideration, please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio in Word or PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 28, 2019. Be sure to also note any A/V requirements.