The Kurt Vonnegut Society has two calls for papers for the American Literature Association
Conference in San Francisco. The conference will take place May 24-27, 2018
Those interested in presenting should send 250-word abstracts for either panel to firstname.lastname@example.org
by January 5
. Please indicate to which panel you are submitting in the subject line.
I. Vonnegut and Trump’s America
Kurt Vonnegut is well-known as a satirist, often critiquing, or at the very least complicating, American ideological assumptions and governmental policies and procedures. At times, these commentaries are explicit, and at others, they are implied or metaphorical. Much has changed in the United States since Vonnegut passed over a decade ago. From the first black president in 2008 and openly white-supremacist rallies in 2017 to a recent ban on transpeople in the military and increasing controversy around abortion rights, the country is divided, and not just along Democratic and Republican lines.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to “Make America Great Again.” Some questioned the assumption that America was no longer great, wondering to what era Trump was harkening. Others agreed that America had drastically changed in ways they wished to reverse. Since Trump took office in 2017, many federal policies have changed, altering both the socio-political and cultural climate.
Vonnegut (a member of the so-called “greatest generation”) might have been thought of as wanting to make America great again, too—though in a wholly different register and historical moment. What might the writer have to say about the current social, political, and economic situation(s) we are in? How can his work provide insight into current ideological assumptions being made? What would it look like for Vonnegut to “Make America Great”?
II. Open Topic
We also invite proposals on any other aspect of Vonnegut’s life or work.
Bio: Nicole Lowman is a PhD student in the English department at State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a Co-Vice President of the Kurt Vonnegut Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Modern Language Association and is the President of NeMLA’s Graduate Student Caucus.
In April 2017, she gave a talk on Derrida’s Given Time and Butler’s Giving an Account of Oneself at the CLUE+ Research Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She has given four presentations on Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions at the American Literature Association Conference, which can be found on the KVS website, and has also presented work on Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club at the Popular Culture Association national conference and NeMLA.