Call for Papers: "Pennsylvania and American Modernist Poetry"
45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
3-6 April 2014; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University
In honor of NeMLA's 2014 host state, this panel explores the vital yet unexamined role of Pennsylvania as a hothouse for American modernist poetry. A surprisingly large number of major American modernist poets held significant ties to the state of Pennsylvania. Gertrude Stein was born in Pittsburgh, and Wallace Stevens hailed from Reading. H.D. was born in Bethlehem and lived in North Darby and Philadelphia. Ezra Pound grew up in Wyncote and Jenkintown, courted H.D., and attended the University of Pennsylvania where he met William Carlos Williams, who was studying for his medical degree. Marianne Moore met H.D. when both were students at Bryn Mawr, and she later taught at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. How did Pennsylvania shape these poets? How did they in turn represent the state as the context for their comings of age as poets? How did Pennsylvania frame modernism more widely through them?
None of these poets stayed in Pennsylvania past World War I, but the state and its settings continued to influence their poetry. Although the writing careers of these poets began in the Keystone state, Pennsylvania's place within modernist literature remains overlooked—modernism is considered a movement of the great metropolises whereas Pennsylvania, the land of the trees, is presumed to be too parochial and too rural or perhaps too full of "brotherly love" to have much to do with the great art of the tumultuous early twentieth century. For these poets, however, the state holds an important legacy as the place where their poetic sensibilities first developed and where some of the most crucial relationships of American modernism were first formed. This panel seeks proposals to round out its examination of how various aspects of the early lives of these poets in Pennsylvania were formative to their poetics.
Send 200 word proposals and a short bio to Kelly MacPhail, McGill University, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, October 12, 2013.
Please include with your abstract:
Name, Rank, and Affiliation
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)
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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