This call for papers is for a special session on “Child Labor and American Modernism (1890-1930)” at the 111th annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) to be held at the Bahia Resort in San Diego, California, on November 1-3, 2013. Paper proposals should focus on modern American writers addressing the issue of child labor in the U.S. between 1890 and 1930. By 1905, 2,500,000 children worked in industry in the U.S., and by 1920, 8.3% of all children in the U.S. under the age of 15 were earning wages in industry (often considered “bad” for children) or agriculture (often considered “good” for children). Child labor ends (on a national scale) only with the advent of the Great Depression. The problem thus parallels the development of modernism and the end of the “High Modern” period. Special consideration will be given to papers that focus on representations of childhood and labor in relation to political and aesthetic forms of consciousness, nationalism, race, ethnicity, class, or gender.
Please send your 300-500 word proposals (or completed papers) and a short bio to Tim Randell at the University of San Diego via the online submission form at PAMLA’s website (pamla.org). The deadline to submit proposals is April 15, 2013.
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