I am writing to let you all know about an exciting, interdisciplinary symposium coming soon to a reserved meeting room near you. The fall Imaginary Vistas Symposium, entitled “Rising Early,” will take place in over three sessions on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3.
The focal concept for “Rising Early” is the idea of earliness itself: early literary periods, early versions of important literary concepts (genre, cultural analysis, etc), methodological approaches that privilege or refuse temporal categorizations, the origins of key critical ideas (global awareness, sexuality, affiliative communities, etc.); ideas about critical inclusion (earlier critics of American literature, earlier theories, approaches, and values, etc.); questions of history, memory, and historicist practice; questions of pedagogy (how to encourage students to engage with early texts, which often have a difficult style and are often obscured by students’ unfamiliarity with the historical context). Any and all of these topics will be up for examination and debate over the symposium’s three sessions.
Loosely organized around three main concepts of “earliness” (the period, the archive, and the concept) all three panels will feature an invited speaker, a member of Penn State literary-study faculty, an interdisciplinary member, and two or three graduate students in English.
Panel One: “Closing Time” Friday, 9.30AM-11.15 in 102 Kern. A panel organized around periodization, featuring Russ Castronovo (University of Wisconsin), Eric Hayot (PSU Comparative Literature), Jeremy Engels (PSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences) Nicolette Hylan (PSU English) and Nate Redman (PSU English).
Panel Two: “Rummaging Around” Friday, 1.30 PM-3.15 in 102 Kern. A panel organized around uses and theories of the archive, featuring Lara Cohen (Wayne State University), Garrett Sullivan (PSU English), Amy Greenberg (PSU History), Tyler Roeger (PSU English) and Eric Vallee (PSU English).
Panel Three “Thinking Backwards” Saturday, 10AM-12 in 8 Mueller. A panel exploring “early” versions of important cultural or theoretical concepts, featuring Peter Coviello (Bowdoin College), Chris Castiglia (PSU English), Jonathan Eburne (PSU Comparative Literature and English), Colin Hogan (PSU English), Joshua Tendler (PSU English), and Erica Stevens (PSU English).
Funding for this even has been provided by the Department of English, the Center for American Literary Studies, and the Department of English Graduate Program. Thanks to all for their support!
Please don’t hesitate to email Sarah Salter (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about the symposium. We hope to see many of you at a session of this exciting event!