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Panel: Jane Smiley: A (American Literature Assocation)

Boston, MA
Organization: American Literature Association
Event: American Literature Assocation
Categories: American, Women's Studies, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2019-05-23 to 2019-05-26 Abstract Due: 2019-01-20

Panel on Jane Smiley for

American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA
May 23-26, 2019 at the Westin Copley Place

Jane Smiley: A "Great American Novelist"

In her Harper's essay "Say it ain’t so, Huck: Second Thoughts on Mark Twain" (1996), Jane Smiley questioned the critical prejudices in American literary criticism that have continually been more disposed to ascribe "major" status to male authors, while seeing their female peers as "sentimental" or "regional."  Rumaan Alam similarly has asked why Jonathan Franzen's novels are recognized for their scope, but Jane Smiley's body of work -- in particular her multi-volume The Last Hundred Years (2014-15) -- have not received the same respect. 

This panel seeks to expand the critical exploration of Smiley's novels, that consistently connect the domestic and the regional to the historic, economic and national.This panel is the first step for a planned edited collection. 

Please send 250-300 word abstracts of your proposed paper, pasted in the body of an email, to AbeleE@ncc.edu by January 20, 2019. 

Elizabeth Abele

SUNY Nassau Community College




Elizabeth Abele