The Urban Pastoral in Contemporary American Fiction
41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec - Hilton Bonaventure
The pastoral is conventionally defined as a poem that expresses an urban poet’s nostalgia for the simplicity of the rural life of the shepherd. By virtue of this definition the urban and the rural are always in dialogue with one another and as such the genre of the pastoral communicates a strong urban and rural connection to the land, as well as a connection to broader conversations about art, politics or culture. Though the pastoral represents nostalgia for simplicity it does not necessarily connote an isolationist attitude in regards to a rural setting. Authors who use the pastoral against an urban setting are therefore drawing on the multivalent characteristics of the pastoral as both a nostalgic longing for a simpler life and also an artistic creation of an educated, cultured, politically aware mind.
This panel seeks papers examining contemporary American authors who expand the ideas of the pastoral to include urban settings. By looking at authors who use the pastoral in urban settings, this panel hopes to position urban and multiethnic American literature within the broader context of environmental writing as well as develop an understanding of the ways in which the urban pastoral can be used to forge a deeper connection with environment and place. Email 250 word abstracts, including contact information and affiliation, by September 30, 2009 to Amanda R. Toronto at email@example.com.
Deadline: September 30, 2009
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)
The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention will be posted in June: www.nemla.org.
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.
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