Hidden Nabokov Conference

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Susan Elizabeth Sweeney / International Vladimir Nabokov Society
contact email: 



(July 14-18, 2021, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA)


Deadline: Submit 250-word abstracts (with “Hidden VN Submission” as subject heading) to ssweeney@holycross.edu by midnight, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.


Hidden Nabokov, the first major international conference on Nabokov in North America in over two decades, will take place at Wellesley College, where Vladimir Nabokov began his academic career with two weeks of lectures in April 1941 and then taught for the next six years. The conference is sponsored by the International Vladimir Nabokov Society, Wellesley College, and the Nabokov Foundation, with support from other universities. It will feature three days of panels; an opening reception, keynote address, banquet, and additional programming; excursions to Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology and other Nabokovian sites in the Boston area; and a one-of-a-kind surprise event.


Reasonably priced accommodations on Wellesley’s campus will be available, as well as a limited number of travel grants for graduate students, unaffiliated scholars, and international scholars. We hope conference travel will be feasible by July 2021 but will adjust our plans as needed to ensure everyone's safety. Participants should be IVNS members at the time of the conference (visit http://thenabokovian.org/become-member to join; INVS offers reduced membership rates and sponsored memberships; it also awards annual prizes for Nabokov scholarship and provides members-only features on the website).  Inquiries about the conference, IVNS, or the travel grants are welcome. See http://thenabokovian.org/node/51859 for more information.


These topics are merely suggestions:


  • masks, costumes, clothing, disguises
  • body parts, private parts
  • aliases, pseudonyms, codes, cryptograms
  • observation, voyeurism, eavesdropping, espionage, detection
  • secrecy, privacy, the problem of sincerity and the hidden self
  • racial, sexual, or gendered identities and performances
  • the unseen, unheard, unspoken, unnamed, or overlooked
  • observing, identifying, and classifying previously unknown phenomena
  • discovering and exploring new worlds
  • gnosticism, spiritualism, and the otherworld
  • the unconscious and the forgotten
  • feints, obliquities, and strategic omissions
  • closets, tunnels, and hiding places
  • neglected workCs, genres, themes, or aspects of Nabokov