115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

American Literature after 1865 II

Session Chair: 
Elsie Haley, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Session 4: Friday 3 – 4:30 pm
Henry 223


  1. Aaron Henson, "University of Wisconsin, Madison"
    This paper explores the role homosexual panic plays in Henry James’s The Beast in the Closet. While critical consensus views Marcher as a homosexual male, I propose an alternative reading of Marcher’s sexuality as an asexual male who experiences homosexual panic, as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick argues in “The Beast in the Jungle.” I respond to Sedgwick’s argument in order to update it with recent research conducted on asexuality. Marcher’s asexuality, panic, and closeting expands the variability of queer male experience, especially as presented in literature.
  2. Molly Hatay-Ferens, University of Oregon
    Many scholars have devoted attention to the ways bodies function as commodities Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905). However, there is little work on the roles food refusal and anorexia nervosa play in this novel. My paper examines the fraught nature of Lily Bart’s food refusal.
  3. Michael Oishi, Leeward Community College
    This paper examines Jack London’s short story “Koolau the Leper” against a history and cultural politics of U.S. imperialism that transforms the story from a simplistic, naturalist romance into a revelatory biopolitical allegory concerning the colonial management of Native Hawaiians on the eve of the U.S.’s overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
  4. Kimberly Honda, City College of San Francisco
    While scholars have explored Nightwood's upheaval of long held categories of gender identity, few investigate the way the novel disrupts the tenuous divide between humanity and animality. While the disavowal of such rigid structures is often figured as freeing, what is truly tragic about Nightwood is the characters’ realization that no one is free from the symbolic order that demands strict adherence to the category of human.  
Session Cancelled: