DFW at the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association 2019

Vern Cisney will be chairing a panel (maybe more!) for the second year in a row on the topic of David Foster Wallace. See the CFP below. Submissions must be submitted directly to the MAPACA website (link below). MAPACA 2019 will be November 7-9 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Even if you don’t go to present, it’s a fantastic conference. Board members Danielle Ely and I attended last year and had a wonderful time (and, of course, learned a lot).

Submission Details: Proposals of no more than 300 words must be submitted through the conference website. You will need to create a MAPACA web account (instructions can be found at the website). 

Hard Deadline: Proposals must be submitted no later than Sunday, June 30th, 2019. 

For more information, consult the website: MAPACA.net

For details regarding submissions and creating a MAPACA account, consult the following: https://mapaca.net/help/conference/submitting-abstracts-conference

Call for Proposals

The American Studies Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association is seeking submissions of an interdisciplinary nature, focusing on the work of American author, David Foster Wallace (1962-2008). Wallace’s writing is situated at the intersections of literature, philosophy, television, cinema, popular culture, postmodernism, and social criticism. The author of the 1079-page masterpiece, Infinite Jest, Wallace explores the human experience through the ethos of the American dream, exposing and challenging its illusory seductions and their concomitant tendencies toward addiction and self-destruction, with a rare mixture of fearlessness and insight. His work thus continues to provide invaluable provocation on the questions of who we are, and who we can be. 

Suggested topics/questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What insights does Wallace’s work offer into the nature of addiction and recovery? 
  • Does Wallace provide a basis for political engagement? 
  • In what ways does Wallace’s writing challenge and/or reinforce patriarchy? 
  • Is Wallace a thinker of affirmation or despair?
  • What purpose does religious language serve in Wallace’s writing? 
  • How does Wallace’s famous ‘E Unibus Pluram’ apply in the age of streaming and smartphones? 
  • In what ways does Wallace’s work challenge/intersect with other American authors, artists, or philosophers? 

If you have any questions, please contact Vern: vcisney@gmail.com or MAPACA American Studies Chair Meredith Guthrie: guthrie@pitt.edu

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