CFP: Mark Twain Circle at ALA Conference in San Diego, CA (May 21-24, 2020)

Mark Twain Circle of America at the 2020 American Literature Association Conference

CFP Mark Twain Circle of America for ALA 2020, San Diego, May 21-24, 2020

Title: “Mark Twain Reading/Reading Mark Twain”

Mark Twain was an avid—and participatory—reader, combing through texts with pencil in hand, marking and annotating as he went. His characters read, too–and they leave evidence of their reading in their dialogue and their own writings.  Furthermore, Twain’s own readers show the impact of his writings in the plots, characters, and satirical episodes written in Twain’s wake.  The MTC call for proposals for the 2020 ALA conference focuses on reading broadly defined, including–but not limited to–what, how, and where Twain read, the influence of his reading on his writings, and the impact of Twain’s own works on subsequent writers.

We enthusiastically encourage junior and emerging scholars to present their work.  Graduate students chosen to present may apply for a grant from Mark Twain Circle’s Louis Budd Travel Fund to help defray some of the costs of attending the conference.

While we seek submissions without restriction, all presenters must be active members of the Mark Twain Circle at the time of the conference (information about membership is available at our website https://marktwaincircle.org/join-the-mark-twain-circle-of-america-2/join/

Presentations sponsored by the Mark Twain Circle are often developed into articles that appear in the Mark Twain Annual, published by Penn State University Press.

Send proposals (400 words or fewer) by January 15, 2020 to Larry Howe, president of the Mark Twain Circle ([email protected]).

CFP: American Humor Studies at ALA Conference in San Diego, CA (May 21-24, 2020)

American Humor Studies Association at the 2020 American Literature Association Conference

AHSA is currently calling for abstracts for two panels:

Panel #1 – The American Humor Studies Association seeks abstracts for a session titled “Take my husband … please: Humor and the Home”*for the American Literature Association annual conference in San Diego, Calif., May 21-24, 2020.

AHSA welcomes submissions that explore literary, visual, and performative examples of how American humor has been deployed to critique, analyze, and respond to life in the private sphere: from the physical home, to family life, to sexuality. Abstracts may propose analyses of specific texts and images, from any time frame or medium, including biography, political cartoons, social media, films, plays, television, and stand-up comedy.

Please email a brief CV and 300-word abstract (and please indicate any audio/visual needs) by December 16, 2019 to Teresa Prados-Torreira ([email protected]) using “Humor and the Home” as the subject line. All panelists will need to be current members of AHS

Panel #2 – The American Humor Studies Association seeks abstracts for an “Open-Topic” session for the American Literature Association annual conference in San Diego, May
21-24, 2020.

AHSA encourages submissions on any topic related to American humor for this session.

Please email a brief CV and 300-word abstract (and please indicate any audio/visual needs) by December 16, 2019 to Teresa Prados-Torreira ([email protected]) using “Open Topic Panel” as the subject line. All panelists will need to be current members of AHSA.

CFP: American Humor Studies Association in Austin, TX (June 18-20, 2020)

American Humor Studies Association

The Comedy and Humor Studies SIG of SCMS

Website: https://humorinamericaconference.wordpress.com

“Comedy/Humor” will be held on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin from June 18-20, 2020. The conference will feature paper panels and roundtables on all aspects of American humor, American comedy, and all thing and topics in between.

Please send proposals to [email protected] by February 3, 2020. Notifications will be sent by March 20. Please feel free to contact the conference organizers with any questions at [email protected].

PAPERS: Proposals for paper presentations of 15-17 minutes should consist of a 250-word proposal and A/V requests. 

ROUNDTABLES: Proposals for organized roundtables of 8-10 minute statements from each participant with significant time for discussion.  Include an overview of 100  words for the overall theme, a brief description of each presenter’s topic, a proposed Chair (not required), and A/V requests. 

NOTE: you may participate in one roundtable and give one paper.  

WORKS IN PROGRESS: Participant will submit a working draft of a book chapter or journal article one month before the conference for posting on conference website.  Participants will sign up to read and discuss work in progress during a lunch or breakfast session, with food provided. 

Note: you may submit a “Works in Progress” proposal and a paper or roundtable proposal, but the topics should be different.

ARTISTIC PERFORMANCES: We are willing to consider approaches to humor studies that incorporate non-traditional modes.  We are also willing to facilitate a performance or screening to encourage discussion.  Email with questions.

We welcome proposals for paper presentations on any topic related to American humor and/or American comedy, broadly conceived. Scholars across the humanities are invited to present research on any of the following topics (or others related to humor, comedy, laughter, etc., etc.):

  • the relationship between comedy and humor as conceptual categories, along with all other related questions of theory and terminology 
  • comedy in all its forms (TV, film, stand-up, podcasts, sketch, improv,    theater, improv, etc.)
  •  literary humor (novels, tales, sketches, poetry, children’s books, YA, science fiction, magazines, etc. from all times and places)
  • visual humor, comics, and graphic narratives
  • podcasts, internet humor, memes, and other new media
  • humor and gender, race, sexuality, class, religion, etc.
  • satire, ridicule, parody, wit and other forms of humor
  • humor in “serious” contexts or works
  • humor in regional, national, transnational, international, and other spatial contexts 

We especially welcome proposals from scholars of color, junior scholars, and independent scholars. Graduate students attending the conference will be eligible for “Constance Rourke Travel Grant” to assist with travel funds. We highly encourage scholars to contribute to this fund.  See the conference website for more information.

Attendees must be (or become) a member of the American Humor Studies Association. Presenters will be highly encouraged to submit article-length versions of their work for possible publication in Studies in American Humor, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Humor Studies Association since 1974 and in conjunction with the Penn State University Press since 2015.  

The conference registration fee will be $40 for graduate students, adjunct faculty, and independent scholars, and $75 for tenure-track faculty members. 

British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 4th Biennial Symposium (December 16-17, 2019)

Registration is now open for the conference below, and the discounted rate ends on October 1st. BrANCA is able to offer a number of travel bursaries to graduate students and independent scholars. Those interested in applying for one of these should write to [email protected] for more information by October 1st.

Access to the registration page and a draft program can be found here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/conference/fac-arts/clas/scaling-the-nineteenth-century/index.aspx#Cost

Scaling the Nineteenth Century: British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 4th Biennial Symposium

The concept of the Anthropocene, with its recasting of human culture as part of much vaster realm of geological and climatological processes, has recently prompted – in the words of Mark McGurl – “the appearance of the problem of scale in modern literary history.” But over the past decade there have also been many other spurs for literary scholars to address many other problems of scale: from the challenges presented by digitization’s expansion of the accessible archive, to the re-conceptualizations demanded by a move away from the region and the nation to the Atlantic and the Oceanic, to the controversies engendered by the contest between old and new hermeneutical dispositions such as symptomatic and surface reading. Meanwhile, whatever side they have taken in these debates, all literary scholars in universities have been exposed to the growing dominance of scale, as neoliberal metrics continue to infiltrate teaching, research and administration.

These questions and concerns are not restricted to one period or one location, but nonetheless nineteenth-century America is a particularly productive time and place to take the measure of the “problem of scale.” The U.S. in the long nineteenth century was a key node, for example, in: the social, political and economic networks that fuelled industrialism’s growing dominance over nature; the growth of print and other communicative technologies into mass media; the rise of modern imperialism; and the ascendance of secular hermeneutics. This symposium offers a rich variety of historical and methodological interpretations of these (re-)scalings. 

CFP: Panel on “Afterlives of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” at NeMLA 2020 in Boston, MA (March 5-8, 2020)

Michael Torregrossa will chair a panel on the “Afterlives of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” at the 51st Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Boston from March 5-8, 2020.

Writer Mark Twain and illustrator Daniel Carter Beard’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) has had a long history of adaptation in popular culture, but the full scope of its reception remains untold. There are, of course, the obvious texts, both in print and on film, that merely retell the story. Of these, more work is needed on the illustrative tradition. Along with retellings, there are also a small number of works that continue Connecticut Yankee. These appear entirely unknown to Twainians but offer a unique approach to the author’s legacy. More importantly, Connecticut Yankee itself or its story as mediated through one of its many retellings has also stimulated new narratives detached from Twain and Beard’s telling that recast characters and restage events. Also relatively unknown by scholars of the novel, these materials can be found throughout modern popular culture, and, although Elizabeth S. Sklar somewhat derisibly labels these as “spinoffs and ripoffs” of the novel, they are of value (as she suggests) and perhaps more so than the retellings because such items serve as the base for an extensive corpus of transformations of the novel that send various protagonists, all characters more familiar to contemporary readers and viewers than Twain’s Hank Morgan, into the medieval past and set a common pattern for time travel stories. In the end, this session will offer a broad view of adaptations of the Connecticut Yankee story to situate both retellings and the lesser known and/or hitherto unknown continuations and recastings into a new continuum to offer a more complete picture of the novel’s effect on popular culture and provide fresh insight into the various ways that the producers responsible for these re-imaginings have appropriated the story and its time-travel motif for their own purposes.

This session will offer a broad view of adaptations of the Connecticut Yankee story to situate both retellings and the lesser known and/or hitherto unknown continuations and recastings of the story into a new continuum to offer a more complete picture of the novel’s effect on popular culture.

More information about NeMLA and the convention can be found here. Abstracts should be submitted here.

Call For Papers: Special “Global Huck” Forum in Journal of Transnational American Studies

Global Huck: Mapping the Cultural Work of Translations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Editors: Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Stanford University, USA), Ronald Jenn (Université de Lille, France), Selina Lai-Henderson (Duke Kunshan University, China), Tsuyoshi Ishihara (University of Tokyo, Japan), Holger Kersten (University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)

This Special Forum will explore the cultural work done by translations of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn around the world. It will examine how a range of social, cultural, political, and historical contexts—as well as the agendas of translators and publishers and the expectations of readers—have shaped responses to the novel outside of the US from its publication to the present.  As of 2019, the novel has been translated into at least sixty-three languages, with multiple editions in many languages.

We particularly welcome contributions in the following areas (but are open to many others):

§  How specific translations handle Twain’s social critique

§  What translators’ and editors’ omissions reveal about their social and political anxieties and blind spots

§  How translations intervene in cultural conversations about childhood, education, authority, race, slavery, morality, religion, language politics, dialect, etc., in various countries at various moments in time

§  Comparative discussions of the illustrations

§  How translators deal with offensive racial epithets

§  The influence of translations of Huckleberry Finn on later writers in particular countries

§  How translations shape attitudes about the US around the world

§  How Twain’s humor translates

§  Adaptations and uses of the novel in films, anime, music, advertising, popular culture, etc.

Essays may be comparative in nature, or may focus on a particular translation. We also welcome theoretical translation studies essays on transnational issues rooted in translations of Huckleberry Finn; and short essays by translators on the challenges of translating particular passages (such as Pap’s “Call this a govment” rant in Chapter 6 and Huck’s battle with his conscience ending with “All right then, I’ll go to hell!” in Chapter 31).

While we are open to studies of the racial politics of the novel in a broad range of global contexts, we particularly welcome investigations of this topic in

·      the Afrikaans translation by famous anti-apartheid writer André Brink (Capetown. 1963)

·       the Portuguese translation by celebrated São Tomé-born Afro-Portuguese poet José Tenreiro (Lisbon,1973

We also welcome examinations of the cultural politics of neglected translations including

·      the Yiddish translation published in Kiev in 1929

·      Vietnamese versions published in Hanoi and Saigon in the 1960s

·      translations in languages of the former Soviet Union (Armenian, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Tatar, and Turkmen) and languages of the Baltic countries (Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian)

·      translations into languages of the India sub-continent (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarat, Hindi, and Telugu)

Note: Editors may be able to help with locating particular translations. Just write to us to enquire. [[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>]

Proposals of up to 400 words should be sent to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> along with a short bio of the author. We welcome traditional articles of 4,000 to 6,000 words or micro-essays of 1,200 words.

Proposals are due by January 1st, 2020

Notification of acceptance by February 1st, 2020

Final essays due June 15th, 2020

Publication will be contingent on acceptance by peer-reviewers and the JTAS editorial board. Essays should be in English. They may include direct quotations in other languages alongside English translations of those quotations.

The first book-length study of Mark Twain published anywhere came out in Paris in 1884, penned by French critic Henry Gauthier-Villard. Scholars who have examined Mark Twain’s international appeal include Archibald Henderson (1911), Roger Asselineau (1954), Howard Baetzhold (1970), Robert M. Rodney (1982), Carl Dolmetsch (1993), Holger Kersten (1993, 1999, 2005), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (1997, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019), Raphaele Berthele (2000), Judith Lavoie (2002), Tsuyoshi Ishihara (2005), Ronald Jenn (2006), Selina Lai-Henderson (2015), and Paula Harrington and Ronald Jenn (2017).

Asselineau, Roger. The Literary Reputation of Mark Twain from 1910 to 1950: A Critical Essay and Bibliography. Paris: Librairie Marcel Didier, 1954.

Berthele, Raphaele. “Translating African-American Vernacular English into German: The Problem of ‘Jim’ in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 4, no. 4 (2000): 588–613.

Baetzhold, Howard G. Mark Twain and John Bull: The British Connection. Bloomington: University of Indiana University Press, 1970.

Dolmetsch, Carl. “Our Famous Guest”: Mark Twain in Vienna. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1993.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. “American Literature in Transnational Perspective: The Case of Mark Twain.”  Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies.” Edited by Caroline  F. Levander and Robert S. Levine. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

———. “DEEP MAPS: A Brief for Digital Palimpsest Mapping Projects (DPMPs) or ‘Deep Maps.’” Journal of Transnational American Studies. 3:2.

Winter 2011. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/92v100t0<https://escholarship.org/uc/item/92v100t0>

———. Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

———. “‘Originally of Missouri, Now of the Universe’: Mark Twain and the World.”  In Nadja Gernalzick and Heike C. Spickermann, eds. Developing Transnational American Studies. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019.

———. “Transnational Twain.” In American Studies as Transnational Practice, edited by

Donald Pease and Yuan Shu.  University Press of New England, 2015.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher, editor. The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on his Life and Works. New York: Library of America, 2010.

Gauthier-Villars, Henry. Mark Twain. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1884.

Henderson, Archibald. Mark Twain. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1911.

Ishihara, Tsuyoshi. Mark Twain in Japan: The Cultural Reception of an American Icon. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2005.

Jenn, Ronald. “From American Frontier to European Borders: Publishing French Translations of Mark Twain’s Novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (1884–1963).” Book History 9 (2006): 235–60.

Jenn, Ronald, and Paula Harrington. Mark Twain and France: The Making of a New American Identity. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2017.

Kersten, Holger. “Mark Twain and Continental Europe.” In A Companion to Mark Twain, edited by Peter Messent and Louis J. Budd. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.

———. “‘Human Natur in a Forren Aspeck’: Mark Twain’s Encounters with German Culture.” Mark Twain Review (The Mark Twain Circle of Korea) 4 (1999): 47–72.

———. Von Hannibal nach Heidelberg: Mark Twain und die Deutschen. [From Hannibal to Heidelberg: Mark Twain and the Germans]. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1993.

Lai-Henderson, Selina. Mark Twain in China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

Lavoie, Judith. Mark Twain et la parole noir. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2001.

Rodney, Robert M., editor and compiler. Mark Twain International: A Bibliography and Interpretation of his Worldwide Popularity. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982.

CFP: C19 Biennial Conference at Coral Gables, FL (April 2-5, 2020)

2020 Theme: Dissent

CLICK HERE for 2020 Conference “Dissent” Website

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks submissions for its sixth biennial conference, which will take place April 2-5, 2020 in Coral Gables, Florida, with the generous support of the University of Miami and Florida International University. We invite individual paper, panel, and roundtable proposals on literature and culture in and beyond the United States during the long nineteenth century.

The long nineteenth century was a time of political, social, and cultural volatility, marked by conflict, strife, discord, protest, and disagreement. It was an age of rebellion, riot, and revolution; it was an era in which social movements, such as women’s rights, labor rights, abolitionism, civil rights, Indigenous rights, land rights, anti-imperialism, and religious dissidence coincided with ideological revolt/s, such as communism, communitism, socialism, and spiritualism. It was an epoch of bodily dissent that incited and galvanized resistance to enforced and coerced gender, racial, class, and sexual norms. It was also a time in which literary and cultural formations expressly challenged artistic orthodoxy in favor of experiments in both content and form.

With this theme, we aim to inspire a broad consideration of varied forms of “dissent”: nonconformity to existing identities, institutions, policies, practices, and norms in the long nineteenth century. What constitutes “dissent” in this period? How do we think through genealogies of dissent–that is, the ways nineteenth-century dissent might or might not offer a way to frame contemporary circumstances and formations?

We also hope to engender discussions about dissent in scholarship and pedagogy. How might we challenge dominant or conventional theoretical and methodological approaches within nineteenth-century American literary and cultural studies? Do we need reformulations of what constitutes analysis, proper objects of study, disciplinary boundaries, and field formation? How might the particular historical and archival labor of nineteenth century American studies challenge the scholarly values of the twenty-first century university?

Lastly, how might we theorize divergences from dissent, such as accord, consensus, convention, and acceptance, or reactionary forms of dissent, such as nativism and revanchism? To what extent might dissent itself, so often framed as a form of negation, risk closing off intellectual and political possibilities in our work and in our classrooms? Are there limits to “critique”? In what ways might we productively dissent from dissent?

In addition to submissions related to our theme, we invite papers and panels on other topics, especially those engaging literary, cultural and historical perspectives on nineteenth century Florida and its location within the circum-Caribbean. We particularly encourage transhemispheric, transoceanic, and transnational approaches; presentations attending to migration, movement, and travel, and those examining the complex lives, afterlives and ecologies of settler colonialism, indigeneity, slavery and empire.

Format

C19 welcomes proposals for roundtables, workshops, dialogues, and innovative presentation formats, as well as traditional panels and individual paper submissions. We prefer that proposals with multiple participants reflect a diversity of institutional affiliation, academic rank, and disciplinary background. Please include at least four presenters on a panel, one of whom might be a respondent. All group proposals must leave time for discussion (each session is 90 minutes long). Individuals seeking potential collaborators may wish to use the C19 listserv, the discussion board on C19’s Facebook page, or Twitter, using the #C19Amlit hashtag or by tagging @C19Americanists.

C19: 2020 will once again feature a series of seminars which will provide participants the opportunity for a collaborative conversation around a particular topic. Each seminar will be capped at 15 participants and will be run by leaders with expertise in the topic. Typically, each participant will submit a five-page paper before the conference to be read in advance by the other participants; time in the seminar itself will be reserved for discussion. Seminar participants will be listed in the program. Participation as both a presenter and seminar participant will be allowed only as space permits. Leaders are chosen by the Program Committee. Topics and seminar leaders will be announced soon.

Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a substantive role (presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and one appearance as a session organizer, chair, seminar participant, or speaker/facilitator on a professional support session. Please submit only one proposal for a substantive role.

Submissions will be due September 2, 2019. Detailed submission information on conference website will be available shortly.

CFP: Mark Twain Circle at SAMLA in Atlanta, GA (November 8-10, 2019)

South Atlantic Modern Language Association — NOVEMBER 8th – 10th, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia
Call for Papers

Power: Elements, Aspects, and Instances in Mark Twain Studies

The Mark Twain Circle invites papers for a panel at the SAMLA 2019 convention that analyze elements, aspects, and instances of power in Mark Twain’s works, including but not limited to his fiction, essays, or autobiography. This panel seeks papers that explore how power is presented in Twain’s works, who holds power, how it is maintained, how power is reinforced, challenged, subverted, or undermined. Other areas of interest include how power is determined or denied based on wealth, occupation, political advantages or disadvantages, gender, race, social status, or other factors, and how characters who lack power navigate within, around, or under powerful characters or institutions. Additional inquires might explore questions regarding the extent to which power contributes to a sense of personal, regional, or national identity, or whether language functions as an indication of power or powerlessness? Other inquiries regarding power are welcome as well.

Send 150-250 word abstracts (electronic submissions are welcome) by May 1st, 2019 to: 
Gretchen Martin
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA 24293 [email protected]

CFP: Nineteenth Century American Forum of the MLA in Seattle, WA (January 9-12, 2020)

The Nineteenth Century American Forum is planning to sponsor three panels at MLA 2020 in Seattle. Please consider submitting an abstract for one of the CFPs listed below.

New Approaches to Reading (in) Nineteenth-Century America


How might scholars formulate new approaches to reading (in) the nineteenth century—especially in ways attuned to race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. Send 250-word abstract and biography to [email protected] and [email protected]. Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 15, 2019

C19 Comparative Race and Indigeneity


Comparative and/or relational frameworks for analyzing race and indigeneity in connection with the 19th-century U.S. Send 250-word abstract and brief bio to [email protected] by March 15. Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 15, 2019

Confederate Monuments, Memory, and Memorials: The Uses and Abuses of the Nineteenth Century(co-sponsored with LLC Southern United States)

In light of the terrorist events that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 11-12, 2017, medievalists and classicists were very publicly forced to address the white supremacist (mis)uses of their historical eras. Historians of the US Civil War and the US Civil Rights Movement also weighed in on everything from Lost Cause paraphernalia to the removal of Confederate monuments around the country.  Literary specialists, however, have not as readily been called upon to enter the conversation.  Given that the popular resurgence of confederate idealization and romanticization deeply involves nineteenth-century US literary cultures, this panel seeks expert commentary on this topic from those who specialize in the postbellum period, and especially those who study African American literatures and/or literatures of the southern United States. Panelists might comment upon the relationship between literary representations of the US Civil
War and the installation of confederate monuments, the relationship between Reconstruction and Confederate memory, and/or how to responsibly teach the Confederacy in US literature courses. Please send 250—word abstract and brief bio to Marlene Daut ([email protected]) and Jarvis McInnis ([email protected]). Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 15, 2019

CFP: Mark Twain Circle at MLA in Seattle, WA (January 9-12, 2020)

“Mark Twain and Globalism”

Illustration from The Innocents Abroad; or, The New Pilgrim’s Progress,
American Publishing Company, 1869.

Although Mark Twain is often characterized as a quintessentially American writer, he is almost as frequently noted as a citizen of the world. The Mark Twain Circle seeks proposals for papers that investigate Twain’s writings in a transnational context, interpreting representations of the American and the other in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, international politics, and cultural contact.

MLA requires that presenters be members of MLA at the time of the panel’s submission to the program. We also encourage panelists to become members of the Mark Twain Circle. We are especially eager to receive submissions from emerging scholars and members of underrepresented groups. 

Send proposals to Larry Howe, President of the Mark Twain Circle:  [email protected]
Deadline:  March 15, 2019