This is a call for papers for a panel on Doris Lessing being proposed for the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, to be held at the University of Louisville, KY from February 20-22, 2014.
In her 1957 essay “The Small Personal Voice,” Doris Lessing laments that British writing is still provincial in theme and outlook despite “the great whirlwind of change” in the world of the Cold War unleashed by “the great dream and the great nightmare” of the splitting of the atom and the resulting proliferation of nuclear weapons. Lessing calls on writers to make “the effort of imagination necessary to comprehend” these earth-shaking transformations, and to speak with “a small personal voice” to their readers rather than declaim from a standpoint of collective belief.
This proposed panel intends to examine how Lessing’s own writing makes the necessary effort of imagination to comprehend and interrogate the cultural politics of the Cold War. We understand the Cold War through a broader timeframe, ranging from 1945-1991 instead of the 1950s and 1960s, in order to open up more of Lessing’s work for discussion.
We welcome papers discussing Lessing’s writing from 1945-1991 in the context of the politics and culture of the Cold War, both with regards to Britain and concerning anti-colonial or decolonizing movements and countries.
Note: This panel has not yet been approved by the conference organizing committee. The panel and paper proposals will have to be submitted together before a final decision is made by the organizers.
Please direct questions to Weihsin Gui -- weihsin.gui “at” ucr.edu. Please submit 300-word abstracts to weihsin.gui “at” ucr.edu by September 16, 2013.
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