Work in James

deadline for submissions: 
March 22, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Wadsworth / Henry James Society

The Henry James Society

Modern Language Association Convention

San Francisco

5-8 January 2023



The Henry James Society invites proposals for the following panel.

Work in James

Henry James is known as a writer who frequently features artists, art collectors, writers, and the leisure and professional classes, directing readers’ attention away from supporting players or service workers and the “invisible labor” they perform. And yet such figures are not absent from James's oeuvre. How do these characters both important and minor contribute to James’s textual world? What do they add to the overall view of social and individual life?  Topics might range from various characters at work in James’s fiction (a journalist, model, telegraphist, governess, actress, artist, doctor, editor, and businessman) to the meaning of work itself. Papers might also explore James himself on work or at work. How might the question of work reinvigorate or open up new perspectives in our understanding of James’s writing, and/or of James himself?

We welcome proposals addressing any topic relating to the presidential theme “working conditions” in relation to James and his work. Possible approaches might include:

-          Work / labor of James’s characters

-          Service workers / domestic work

-          Invisible labor

-          Emotional labor

-          Creative work / work and creativity

-          Artists and patrons

-          The aesthetics of labor

-          The novelist as worker

-          Writing and publishing, the literary marketplace

-          Editorial work

-          Gender approaches: women and work, masculinity and work

-          Economic approaches

-          Socio-political approaches

-          Henry James at work / on work

-          Work in the James family—Alice James, William James, Henry James, Sr., etc.


Please send 300-word abstract and brief bio to Hitomi Nabae <> and Sarah Wadsworth < >.

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, 22 March 2022.