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 II: Challenging Borders

Session Chair: 
Michael G. Simental, Independent Scholar
Session 8: Saturday 3:30-5:00pm
Marriott Orangecrest


  1. Chelsea Davis, Stanford University
    Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and Sabina Murray’s The Caprices grapple with the specters of international war. Though separated by nearly two hundred years, both works make repeated use of a distinctive trope: ghosts of soldiers that are unable to speak to the living. I argue that the silence of these veteran spirits reflects the lingering inability of American social structures to account for the potentially liminal ethics of soldiers.
  2. Roland Finger, Cuesta College
    In The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper cultivates paranoia around his female characters. Jane Tompkins emphasizes that Cooper has an “obsessive preoccupation with systems of classification...by which race is distinguished from race, nation from nation, tribe from tribe," but Shirley Samuels notes that Cooper emphasizes classifications mainly to undermine them constantly. Cooper is less obsessed with unmixed systems of classification than about the portrayals of Natives being absorbed but eliminated within an Anglo America. 
  3. William F Bond, Syracuse University
    The image of the dwelling in Walden – Thoreau’s cabin – is the location of tension between Thoreau the authoring and interpreting subject, and Thoreau, a subject of other forces and agents.  Primarily, the experience of home is not a matter of self-assertion and sense-making, but rather of impersonal and sensual contact with unknown external agency: the obscurity of Gaston Bachelard's cellar pervades Thoreau's home-space. Natural external forces are the primary authors of dwelling in Walden.
  4. Laura Dickinson-Turner, California State University Stanislaus
    Informed by theatre director Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints of space & time, this close reading explores scenes within Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, identifying instances of liminality when either characters, space, or time become fluid, not adhering to strict binary poles, thus creating new space for articulation.  Incorporating secondary sources from feminist readings of the text and liminality in literary studies, this work focuses on Robert Jordan and Pilar as narrator and secondary narrator.
Session Cancelled: