“Border States” Dickens Society, MMLA 2016

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2016

Dates: November 10-13, 2016

Location: St. Louis, MO

CFP from VICTORIA-Listserv

The Dickens Society invites proposals for a sponsored panel at the 2016 conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association in St. Louis, Missouri. Papers on any aspect of Dickens’s works will be considered, but we are especially interested in proposals that engage the broader MMLA conference theme, “Border States.”  The theme is inspired by the 2016 conference location in the historic and culturally rich city of St. Louis, Missouri—a site shaped by indigenous, French, Spanish, and U.S. contact and conquest; by efforts to maintain and topple the institution of slavery; by western expansion; by the Great Migration, white flight, and urban renewal; and by refugee resettlement. Today, St. Louis serves as a continued reminder of both stubborn divisions and promising coalitions across lines of race, class, region, and nation that continue to shape lives and inform literature. We therefore encourage papers that tackle the issue of “Border States” in both literal and figurative senses.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: Dickens’s imaginative engagements with geographic borders, empire, nationalism, or cosmopolitanism; with travel, crossings, and cultural and economic exchanges; with psychology and states of consciousness; with states of matter and transition; with inter-generic adaptations and innovations; with Victorian urbanization and suburbanization; with the evolving stat(us) of authorship, publication, and the book market; or with states of personal, biological, or psychological transition such as adolescence, migration, marriage, parenthood, or illness and death.

Please send 500-word abstract and brief (1-page) CV to Sean Grass at scgrass@iastate.edu. Proposals are due April 30, 2016, and authors will be notified by June 1, 2016.

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