114th Annual Conference - Pasadena, California
Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Comparative American Ethnic Literature

Session Chair: 
Barbara Seidman, Linfield College
San Gabriel


  1. Brendan Canfield, Tufts University
    The dominant manifestation of the “trickster” archetype in the Southern plantation tradition is exemplified by Br’er Rabbit, a liminal figure who triumphs over more powerful antagonists through wit and guile. Charles Chesnutt's Uncle Julius, the narrator of The Conjure Woman, breaks sharply with this tradition; a cosmologically central figure, he represents an Americanized version of “Esu­ Elegbara,” the Yoruban trickster god.
  2. Tracee Howell, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford
    My paper explores Jewish identity in the early novels of detective writer Vera Caspary. I argue that Caspary presents a highly coded, deeply ambiguous Jewish experience via non-Jewish characters, characters who are themselves marginalized or exiled to the fringes of 20th century society; Caspary’s stands-in for the abjected American Jew.
  3. Seonna Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    The paper analyzes Jane Jeong Trenka’s adoption memoirs to examine how her performative texts show and intervene in the making of Korean American adoptees into exceptional racial and/or ethnic subjects across the Pacific in and after the Cold War era. 
Session Cancelled: