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

Literature of the American West (co-sponsored by the Western Literature Association)

Session Chair: 
Ben Wirth, University of Washington
Session 3: Saturday 8:15 am – 9:45 am
Miller Hall 235


  1. Maria Azar, California State University, Los Angeles
    This presentation traces the (un)natural cycles of life and death in The Salton Sea and Slab City Area since the late 19thCentury to examine how the contemporary landscape of environmental degradation has developed a new “Frontier” culture that has resulted in a new kind of tourism: post-apocalyptic tourism. 
  2. Anthony Manganaro, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
    In both his fiction and nonfiction set in the American West, New Jersey-raised Stephen Crane uses a fictionalized stage as an excuse to view humans as a general category, refreshing for him and his audiences at the turn of the century, who sought simplifying narrative explanations in the deterministic and antimodern styles common to the brief, odd window of literary naturalism just following the 1892 “closing of the frontier.”
  3. Katharine Bubel, Trinity Western University
    Burke’s critical notion of “dramatism,” or the poem as a symbolic act, is employed to explicate Theodore Roethke’s “North American Sequence” as a lyrical drama of reinhabitation, written in a nascent spirit of decolonization. Of particular interest is the agency of the Salish Sea region, or scene, enacted in the poem.  
  4. John D. Schwetman, University of Minnesota, Duluth
    Neal Cassady, under the fictional name Dean Moriarty, hijacks Kerouac's narrative and undermines his efforts to portray him as a mythic American Western figure. On the Road thereby allegorizes Kerouac's efforts to write a regionalist commentary and becomes a prime site of conflict between the New York-based author and the Western American main character.
Session Cancelled: