American Literature Association a coalition of Societies Devoted to the Study of American Authors 18th Annual Conference on American Literature May 24-27, 2007




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Final Program

American Literature Association


A Coalition of Societies Devoted to the Study of American Authors


18th Annual Conference on American Literature

May 24-27, 2007



The Westin Copley Place

10 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02116

(617) 262-9600


Conference Director

Lauri Ramey

California State University, Los Angeles


Registration Desk (Essex Foyer):


Wednesday, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm;

Thursday, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm;

Friday, 7:30 am - 5:00 pm;

Saturday, 7:30 am - 3:00 pm;

Sunday, 8:00 am - 10:30 am.

Book Exhibits (Staffordshire Room):




Thursday, 10 am – 5 pm;

Friday, 9 am – 5 pm;

Saturday, 9 am – 1:00 pm.



Readings, Book Signings, and Performances


Session 14-C Reading and Book Signing by Thane Rosenbaum (Essex Center)

Session 15-B Herbert Martin: Performing the Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar (Essex Center)

6:30-8:00 Friday: Reading and Book Signing: Marilyn Nelson (Adams Room – 7th Floor)

Session 20-C Roundtable and Book Signing : Detective Writing by: Lynette Carpenter

(aka D.B. Borton), Lynn Miller, Janice Law, and Joanne Dobson (Great Republic -7th Floor)

www.americanliterature.org


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Registration (Essex Foyer): open 7:30 am - 5:30 pm

Book Exhibits (Staffordshire Room): open 10 am – 5 pm


Thursday, May 24, 2007

8:30 – 9:50 am


Session 1-A East Coast Beats: New Scholarship (St George A)

Organized by the Beat Studies Association


Chair: Jennie Skerl, West Chester University


1. “Selfhood in a Culture of Surveillance: Language and Vision in Ginsberg’s ‘Mugging’,” Tony Trigilio, Columbia College, Chicago

2. “‘They caught the kid doing something disgusting’: What William S. Burroughs Learned from Theodore Sturgeon,” Fiona Paton, State University of New York, New Paltz

3. “Jaz ImagiNations: LeRoi Jones on Havana,” Todd F. Tietchen, South Dakota State University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 1-B Stephen Crane, Journalist and War Novelist (Essex Center)

Organized by the Stephen Crane Society


Chair: Paul Sorrentino, Virginia Tech


1. “Honest Reporters and Crooked Newspapers: Crane’s Mission of Personal Honesty,” Erica Geller, SUNY, Oswego

2. “Crane’s War-Machine and the ‘Temporary but Sublime Absence of Selfishness’,” Nicholas Gaskill, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3. “Histories of ‘War Writing’: The Origins of Crane’s ‘Modern War Novel’ in the Victorian Battle Piece,” Corinne Blackmer, Southern Connecticut State University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 1-C John Steinbeck and the 1930s: Collaboration and Innovation (Essex North Center)

Organized by the Steinbeck Society, National Steinbeck Center


Chair: Susan Shillinglaw, San Jose State University


1. “Pioneers and Fugitives: The Intersection of the Frontier Myth and the Fugitive Slave Story in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath,” Erin Royston Battat, Harvard University

2. “Centering and De-Centering Domesticity, Political Activism, and Documentary Realism in John Steinbeck and Dorothea Lange,” Jan Goggans, University of California, Merced

3. “John Steinbeck and Dorothea Lange: Concrete Lessons on Treating Marginized Persons with Dignity and Respect,” Patrick Dooley, St. Bonaventure University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: Powerpoint projector


Session 1-D Carnal Effects: Sexuality, Textuality, Urbanity (Essex South)

Organized by the Society of Early Americanists


Chair: Dennis Moore, Florida State University


1. “Domestic Mysteries: Autonomy and Citizenship in Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer,” Stefanie Head, University of Rhode Island

2. “Sex and the City: Eighteenth-Century Boston Women Look at Marriage and Motherhood,” Kathleen McDonald, Norwich University

3. “The Gothic Locke: Charles Brockden Brown’s Other Individualisms,” Siân Silyn Roberts, Brown University

4. “Paper Bodies: Theorizing Eighteenth-Century American Women’s Epistolarity through the Letters of Eliza Lucas Pinckney,” Kacy Tillman, University of Mississippi

Audio Visual Equipment Required: Powerpoint projector


Session 1-F Banned in Boston (Essex North West)

Chair: Nancy Sweet, California State University, Sacramento


1. “Plainness is Purity: Leaves of Grass, Free Religion, and Boston’s Morals Campaign,” John Tessitore, Harvard University

2. “Subverting Sex: Burlesque and Its Opponents in 1930s Boston,” Lauren Gutterman, New York University

3. “From Briefs to Bulldozers: The Destruction of Boston’s Old Howard,” Theresa Lang, Boston College

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 1-G Popular 19th-Century Women Writers and the American Literary Marketplace

(St George B)


Chair: Earl Yarington, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania


1. “‘How (and Why) Mary Jane Holmes Saved the New York Weekly, and Other True Stories’: Mary Jane Holmes and the 19th-Century American Literary Marketplace,” Lee Ann Elliott Westman, Ferris State University

2. “The Hidden Harlot: Alternative Ideals of Womanhood in 19th-Century Women’s Fiction,” Susan M. Cruea, Bowling Green University

3. “Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time: How Sentimentality Can Change the World,” Alison Van Nyhuis, University of Florida

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 1-H Racing/Erasing Masculinities in Recent U.S. Literature (St George C)


Chair: Deborah Clarke, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park


1. “Ghost in the House: Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination and the Threatening Presence of Black Anti-Heroes,” Howard Rambsy II, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

2. “Either Masculine or Native American: The Double Bind of Race and Masculinity in Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues,” Holly Flint, University of Alabama, Huntsville

3. “(E)Racing Embattled Whiteness in Chang-rae Lee’s Aloft,” Kristin J. Jacobson, Stockton College

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 1-I Alien/Asian: Enfiguring a Racialized Future (Essex North East)

Organized by the Circle of Asian American Literary Studies


Chair: Betsy Huang, Clark University


1. “Disruptions: Race, Gender, and Human Being in Battlestar Galactica,” Christopher Fan, University of California, Berkeley

2. “Mythological Futures and Chinese Modernities in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl,” Paul Lai, University of St. Thomas

3. “Fantastic Formulations of Race and Sexuality in the Matrix Trilogy and in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Through the Arc of the Rainforest,” Aimee Bahng, University of California, San Diego

4. “Alienated Asians, Asian Territories and Extra-terrestrials in Mass Market Speculative Fiction,” Greta Aiyu Niu, University of Rochester

Audio Visual Equipment Required: Digital projector


Session 1-J Violence, Vision and Speech: Seeking (I)Resolution in Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and Sam Mendes’s Jarhead (St George D)


Chair: Ryan Simmons, Utah Valley State College


1. “Pulp Rhetoric: Verbal Weaponry in the Films of Quentin Tarantino,” Andy Smith, Lafayette College

2. “Jarhead: Violence, Voyeurism, and Pornography,” Stacey Peebles, The University of Houston

3. “Menageries, Melting Pots, Movies: Tennessee on America,” Janet Haedicke, University of Louisiana at Monroe

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Thursday, May 24, 2007

10:00-11:20am


Session 2-A Postmodern Renderings of Religion (St George C)

Organized by the American Religion and Literature Society


Chair: Susan Rushing Adams, University of Texas, Dallas


1. “On the Revision of the Seven Joys of Mary in Diane Di Prima’s Loba,” Alan LaCerra, University of Central Florida

2. “‘No Popery’ Redux: Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and the Tradition of American Anti-Catholic Fiction,” Michael DiMassa, Yale University

3. “Pragmatist Faith Post-9/11: John Barth’s The Book of Ten Nights and a Night,” Jonathan Hall, University of Balamand, Lebanon

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None

Session 2-B Hamlin Garland: The Evolving Writer (St George B)

Organized by the Hamlin Garland Society


Chair: Kurtis L. Meyer, Independent Scholar


1. “Hamlin Garland’s 1887 Travel Notebook: Becoming a Writer,” Bridget Wells, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

2. “‘The End of Love Is Love of Love’: The Problematic Ending of Rose of Dutcher’s Cooley,” Stephen C. Brennan, Louisiana State University, Shreveport

3. “The Melody of Rebellion: Decentralization and Dissent in A Son of the Middle Border,” Melissa Leavitt, Stanford University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-C Howells and Marriage I (St George A)

Organized by the William Dean Howells Society


Chair: Elsa Nettles, College of William and Mary


1. “A Grammar of Marriage: Love in Spite of Syntax in Silas Lapham,” William Rodney Herring, University of Texas

2. “The Art of Marriage: Taking the Woman Artist as Wife in A Hazard of New Fortunes,” Sherry Li, National Taiwan University

3. “Marriage and the American Medical Woman in Dr. Breen’s Practice,” Frederick Wegener, California State University, Long Beach

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-D Bodies of Knowledge/Knowledge of Bodies: Depictions of the Body in American Travel Writing I (St George D)

Organized by the Society for American Travel Writing


Chair: Valerie Smith, Quinnipiac University


1. “‘They touched all my clothes’: Somatic Impressions in Ida Pfeiffer’s Travels in America,” Ulrike Brisson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2. “‘The Dogs Provoke Me, and the Women are Veiled’: 19th-Century Afro-American Bodies in Oriental Worlds,” Robina Josephine Khalid, City University of New York Graduate Center

3. “Mediterranean Bodies: Travel and The Victorian Sexual Imagination,” Benjamin E. Wise, Harvard University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-E The Poetics of Wallace Stevens (Essex North East)

Organized by The Wallace Stevens Society


Chair: George Castellitto, Felician College


1. “Dying to be Reborn: The Transformation Drive in Wallace Stevens’s ‘Metamorphosis’ and Thomas Pynchon’s ‘The Aqyn’s Song’,” Denise Frusciante, Lynn University

2. “Wallace Stevens: Notes Toward a Supreme Autobiography,” Louis Renza, Dartmouth College

3. “The Soldier and the Poet: Lemercier and Stevens at War,” Kathryn Mudgett, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Audio Visual Equipment Required: Microphone


Session 2-F Nineteenth-Century African American Authorship (Essex Center)

Organized by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing


Chair: Dawn Coleman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


1. “David Walker and a Half-Century of the American Revolution,” John Saillant, University of Western Michigan

2. “‘Bid the Vassal Roar’: George Moses Horton and the Aesthetics of Colonization,” Leon Jackson, University of South Carolina, Columbia

3. “William Wells Brown: Plagiarist,” Ezra Greenspan, Southern Methodist University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-G Remembering Working-Class Writers: Tillie Olsen (Essex South)

Organized by the Society for the Study of Working-Class Literature


Chair: Renny Christopher, California State University, Channel Islands


1. “Tillie Olsen and the Ideology of Providential History,” Charles Cunningham, Eastern Michigan University

2. “Coming to ‘Clearness’: Olsen’s Yonnondio and Johnson’s Now in November,” Jenn Williamson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3. “Silences and Jabber,” Paul Lauter, Trinity College


Session 2-H The Dramatic Alcotts (Essex North Center)

Organized by the Louisa May Alcott Society


Chair: Sandy Petrulionis, Penn State, Altoona


1. “Gothic Elements and Movie Adaptations of ‘The Witch’s Curse,’” Jennie MacDonald, University of Denver

2. “Jo March as Playwright: Success or Sellout?” Laura King, University of Chicago, Graham School of General Studies

3. “‘Don’t laugh, act as if it was all right!’: The Witch’s Curse and other Clumsy Gender Theatrics in Little Women,” Julie Wilhelm, University of California, Davis

Audio Visual Equipment Required: LCD projector and screen


Session 2-I Uncle Tom’s Descendants (Essex North West)

Organized by The Harriet Beecher Stowe Society


Chair: Theo Davis, Williams College


1. “‘A Union of Opposites’: Stowe, Marriage and the Ends of Slavery,” Tess Chakkalakal, Williams College

2. “A Comparison of White Women’s Activism in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Clotel,” Leslie Petty, Rhodes College

3. “Uncle Tom’s Children: Anti-Lynching Protest and the Abolitionist Politics of Performance,” Zoe Trodd, Harvard University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-J Writers Responding to War (Adams- 7th floor)


Chair: Lavina D. Shankar, Bates College


1. “Popular Front Cinema and Hemingway’s Style in For Whom the Bell Tolls,” Jeff Ludwig, University of Denver

2. “ West of the Imagination: Walt McDonald’s ‘Aesthetic du Mal,’” Michael Hobbs, Northwest Missouri State University

3. “There Goes the Neighborhood!: The World War II Housing Crisis, The New Yorker, and John Cheever’s ‘Town House,” Christopher Craig, Tufts University

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None


Session 2-K Business Meeting: Beat Studies Association (Great Republic- 7th Floor)


Thursday, May 24, 2007

11:30 – 12:50pm


Session 3-A “Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke Box”: Poe and Twentieth Century Poetry

(Essex North West)

Organized by the Poe Studies Association


Chair: Stephen Rachman, Michigan State University


1. “Coronation Verse: Poetry Devoted to Poe Early in the Twentieth Century,” John E. Reilly, College of the Holy Cross

2. “The Circular Portrait: Examining Jack Kerouac’s Juxtaposition of the Poetic and the Popular Poes,” Gregory Specter, University of Delaware

3. “Juke Box Heroes: Poe and ‘Outis’ Discuss Dylan and Timrod,” Scott Peeples, College of Charleston

Audio Visual Equipment Required: None

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