William Dean Howells Society – ALA 2019
The William Dean Howells Society will host two panels at the upcoming American Literature Association Conference in Boston, May 23-26, 2019.
1. William Dean Howells and the Affective Turn
In her recent work, Emotional Reinventions: Realist Era Representations Beyond Sympathy, Melanie V. Dawson argues that Howells and other realists introduced a new approach to the analysis and portrayal of affect. This new method, she contends, departed from sentimentalist conventions and anticipated the modernist emphasis on alterity and insular subjectivity. For this panel, we seek presentations on matters of feeling, emotion, or embodiment in the work of William Dean Howells, as well as those that examine his writing from the perspective of affect theory. How did Howells’s treatment of affects diverge from earlier American literature? How have the critical reorientations of the affective turn shed new light on Howells and American literary realism?
2. New Approaches to The Rise of Silas Lapham
In honor of the recent publication of Paul R. Petrie’s new Norton Critical Edition of The Rise of Silas Lapham, we seek presentations that respond to the topics addressed in its selections, including (but not limited to) gender and genre, the politics of realism, and representations of class antagonism in the novel. We are also interested in presentations on teaching the novel, as well as new critical approaches to The Rise of Silas Lapham.
Please send abstracts to Andrew Ball (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 15.