Stowe Panel at ALA 2014 (May 22-25, Washington DC; proposal deadline Jan 24, 2014)
Beyond the Paradigmatic Stowe: New Critical and Pedagogical Approaches
In her introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cindy Weinstein argues that Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin has “become, in recent years, a critical white whale.” She goes on to explain, “And I don’t mean as the bearer of interpretive capaciousness, but rather as an object to be spatially isolated (in terms of [Stowe’s] career), hermeneutically contained, and thereby classified once and for all.” Indeed Stowe’s famous abolitionist novel seems, at times, caged in its paradigmatic role as the ultimate specimen of nineteenth-century, domestic, sentimental fiction. Critically defined by her white whale of a text, Stowe too seems likewise trapped.
This panel seeks new approaches that challenge or transcend the paradigmatic Stowe. In what ways, for example, do Stowe’s texts move beyond affect and sentimentalism? How do politics muddy Stowe’s domesticity? What are the contradictions in her treatment of Christianity? How does knowledge of her life complicate the reading of her fiction? What new categories of critical inquiry might be brought to bear on Stowe studies? What original pedagogical approaches can inform the Stowe classroom?
Please submit one page proposals and one page CVs to Mary Wearn (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 24, 2014.
While you need not be a Stowe Society member to submit a proposal, you must become a member to present on the Stowe panel at ALA.