Twain For Teachers: “The N-Word In The Classroom” (C19 Podcast)

Teachers at all levels may be intrigued by this recent episode of the C19 podcast featuring (and produced by) Koritha Mitchell of Ohio State University. The episode is not exclusively about Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mitchell considers a range of texts by authors from various historical periods and with various racial identities. But Twain’s novel is prominent and she also alludes to the NewSouth edition of the novel which replaced the n-word with slave. Mitchell says, “The Huck Finn example is important because C19 scholars likely believe its more directly related to their work than the aforementioned books by [Randall] Kennedy and [Jabari] Asim. But what makes it even more important is that people working on the 19th century also seem to view the debate in terms of whether Twain is being censored, rather than considering how they might hold themselves to a higher standard as teachers and scholars.”

Central to Dr. Mitchell’s pedagogical perspective is her classroom covenant, portions of which she discusses in detail. This document, along with further commentary, can be viewed in full at her website: KorithaMitchell.com

You can subscribe to the C19 podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and other popular platforms. Check out other projects from C19: The Society of 19th-Century Americanists at their website: C19Society.org

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: 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