116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

American Literature before 1865

Session Chair: 
Emily Butler-Probst, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session 5: Saturday 1:25 pm – 2:55 pm
Miller Hall 38


  1. Molly Ball, Eureka College
    Rowson’s 1798 novel, Reuben and Rachel, works to imagine an expanded role for white women and confirm the myth that the early republic is uniquely egalitarian. As female characters’ sentimental performances spur historical “progress,” they demonstrate their merit and suggest that those who fail to execute similar performances deserve marginalization.
  2. Matthew Madre, Radford University
    “Ovid Among the Goths: Poe’s ‘Berenice’ as Classical Parody” argues that the act of dental horror in Poe’s early story is best understood as a parodic reenactment of the Daphne and Apollo myth.  Appreciating this intertextual relationship not only assists in explicating the text itself, but also contributes to an understanding of Poe’s use of Old World culture to probe American literary identity.
  3. Shu-Ching Wu, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen
    The focus on Emerson's personal aura sometimes takes readers' attention away from his writing itself. Emerson's writing is not only about the content but also about his language. In this essay, I will argue that what Emerson claims about words contributes to how he performs with words; nonetheless, his performance might end up challenging his claim of the incapability, the finitude, of words.
  4. Patrick McDonald, Auburn University
    This paper interrogates the mock marrige trope in antebellum city mysteries novels to argue that the genre presents democratic political action as purely performative and, in so doing, calls into question the possiblity of realizing democratic ideals against the backdrop of urban, market-mediated social relations.   
Session Cancelled: