112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Liminality in American Literature I: Changing Borders

Session Chair: 
Stephanie Kay, "University of California, Riverside"
Session 7: Saturday 1:45-3:15pm
RCC Meeting Room 8


  1. Alicia Cox, "University of California, Riverside"
    This paper performs a queer indigenous reading of No Turning Back: A Hopi Indian Woman's Struggle to Live in Two Worlds, which is the as-told-to autobiography of Hopi scholar, educator, and potter, Polingaysi Qoyawayma, who attended Sherman Indian Institute in Riverside, California, from 1906-1909. I argue that Polingaysi occupies the space “between two worlds” as a generative, creative space, not a place of alienation and hopelessness.
  2. Lin Knutson, Mississippi Valley State University
    Octavia Bulter's final science fiction novel, Fledgling (2005), explores ways her liminar protagonist, S?hori, undergoes ritualized transformations while in exile from her home community in order to make and unmake psychological, physical, and social transitions through what Victor Turner and Bakhtin would describe as carnivalesque subjectivities and communities.
  3. Nathan Martinez Pogar, University of Southern California
    John Rechy’s memoir, About My Life and Kept Woman (2008), grants readers a privileged look at the life of a writer whose various slippages across racial, ethnic, class, and sexual identities mark him as occupying multiple liminal spaces.  Rechy passes as white in Jim Crow Texas and as white and straight as a male hustler in urban spaces where his social worlds often exist in tension with each other.
  4. L. Maggie Fanning, California Baptist University
    Reflecting upon the lasting effects of World War II and the ever-present tentions between races, genders, and ideologies, Thomas Pynchon and Saul Bellow both established themseves as unique voices in mid-twentieth-century American literature.  Depictions of the physical boundaries of America in both Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Bellow's Mr. Sammler's Planet suggest a transition in the American consciousness from the limitless frontiers of the early twentieth century to the existential liminality of the 1960s.
Session Cancelled: