The Arthur Miller Society
Call for Papers for Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention in Harrisburg, PA, April 3-6, 2014
Session Title: Arthur Miller - An American Gadfly
Abstract: Like Socrates and Ibsen, Arthur Miller was a gadfly to the society in which he lived. He used both his art and his presence as a public intellectual to explore the foundations of American values and to reveal areas of ambivalence, inconsistency, and hypocrisy. Perhaps more than any other American dramatist, he understood the ways in which broad national values and ideals Ė which often are incompatible with each other Ė create both opportunities and psychological burdens for Americans. He challenged his audiences to confront authentically both the foundations and the consequences of these values, without embracing mere national mythology or disregarding the moral outcomes that commitment to these ideals engenders.
This panel invites papers on the depiction of American ideals and the ways in which characters struggle to make these ideals coherent parts of their lives in Millerís plays and fiction.
It also encourages papers on Millerís engagement with American ideals in his activities as a public intellectual, for example during the McCarthy Era or his opposition to the Vietnam War.
Papers also are welcomed on Millerís confrontation with these ideals in his personal life, such as his friendship with Elia Kazan or his marriages.
Papers will be welcomed that compare Millerís views of American ideals to the views of other writers.
Proposals of no more than 300 words should be emailed by September 30, 2013, to David Palmer, Humanities Department, Massachusetts Maritime Academy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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