Vonnegut, Narrative, and (Re)Shaping American Identities (NeMLA 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Tom Hertweck / Kurt Vonnegut Society
contact email: 

This session will be part of the March 5-8, 2020 NeMLA convention in Boston, MA: http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html.

All abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA submission portalhttps://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/18217. Submission deadline is September 30, 2020.

Please contact Tom Hertwerk (tomhertweck@gmail.com), Vice President of Kurt Vonnegut Society, with questions. 

Call for Proposals

Writers and scholars alike are in a unique position to consider the myriad ways that narrative and language shape individual consciousnesses, identities, and stories (both personal and national). The Kurt Vonnegut Society’s allied-organization panel seeks papers that consider Vonnegut’s role in (re)shaping conventional wisdom about Americans and American identities. Papers need not tarry with the concern so directly, but may consider a broad range of approaches including, but not limited to, the following questions:

What critical relationships do readers see between Vonnegut’s characters and his various formal narrative contrivances?

To what ends do Vonnegut’s genre concerns give shape to his realism, and vice versa?

How does Vonnegut’s public desire for social justice bump up against the shapes of his often vexed depictions of characters from non-dominant identity categories?

What ways did (and does) Vonnegut shape new approaches to ethics and/or global citizenry?

How might Vonnegut’s efforts to shape his public persona position his fiction across his career?

How does Vonnegut the teacher produce and shape a lasting legacy within fiction through his students and their works?

Any original approach will also be considered. Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words, and a short bio of no more than 100 words.