DEADLINE EXTENDED: “Insane Clown President”: Narratives of the Rise of Trump

deadline for submissions: 
July 10, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Cody Chun / Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
contact email: 

PAMLA 2019 (San Diego, CA)

November 14-17, 2019

Conference Website:


At the heart of Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President (2017) is the attempt to rationalize how an event which at first seemed impossible could become not only possible but also very real: the election of an “insane clown president.” What, it asks, were the historical, cultural, and sociological conditions which conspired to make such an event possible? Who, if anyone, is responsible for this newest phase in our history? How did the election of an “insane clown president” controvert or confirm our understandings of our historical moment and our beliefs about historical process? This panel welcomes papers that reflect on the various narratives which purport to explain the rise of Donald Trump and the type of politics that he represents, in the interest of comparatively assessing each narrative’s explanatory potential. In so doing, this panel hopes to cultivate a multifaceted understanding of a phenomenon which cannot be understood except multifacetedly.


Note: Interested applicants must submit an abstract using PAMLA’s official submission portal ( Questions can be directed to Cody Chun (