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

Religion in American Literature

Session Chair: 
Martin W Kevorkian, University of Texas, Austin
Session 3: Saturday 8:15 am – 9:45 am
Miller Hall 135


  1. Bryan Kim-Butler, University of Michigan
    Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland; or, The Transformation (1798) and Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (1799) are propelled by disorientations of the nature of evil. These early American novels work through an exploration of law (particularly that of murder) and the environmental uncanny, contributing to the "eco-gothic," which has roots in Calvinist and Puritan discourses concerning morality and the wilderness of the New World.
  2. Emily Butler-Probst, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    This essay analyzes how Melville uses the deposition at the end of “Benito Cereno” to spark skepticism in his readers that faintly echoes his own conflicted faith. While the deposition claims to clarify the narrative, it contains omissions that cause readers to doubt and reread the story with a critical mind.     
  3. Haein Park, Biola University
    Literary texts became an especially powerful medium for working out the tensions involved in narrating experiences of pain and violence within a secular culture. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises unveil an irony that exists within secular modernity: as individuals confront pain and suffering within a horizon of diminishing transcendence, they display an increasing longing to experience transcendence through pain and violence.
  4. Taran Trinnaman, Brigham Young University
    Critics argue that Flannery O'Connor's depiction of grace is violent and not in line with her beliefs.  I argue against that reading by looking at the theology of grace within Catholicism and Protestantism, comparing it to her stories, and drawing from the bible to argue for a transcendent grace.
Session Cancelled: