CFP: Marilynne Robinson Symposium (Deadline 2.18.16)

Marilynne Robinson Symposium
Nottingham Trent University

10 June 2016

Since the publication of her debut novel, Housekeeping, in 1980, critics have celebrated Marilynne Robinson as a singular author of American fiction. A prolific essayist, teacher, and public speaker, she is best known for a trilogy of historical novels set in the small town of Gilead, Iowa: the Pulitzer Prize winning Gilead (2004) and its “partner” novels, Home (2008) and Lila (2014).

This one-day symposium seeks to chart the development of critical opinion on Robinson and welcomes

papers on any aspect of her fiction and collected/uncollected nonfiction. We are particularly interested

in submissions that address the following

 Regionalism and the role of the “Middle West” in Robinson’s writing

 Portrayals of small town America in the work of Robinson and her


 Robinson’s use of domestic spaces and her portrayal of the American family

 The ecocritical concerns of Robinson’s fiction/nonfiction

 The importance of time and temporality in the Gilead novels

 Robinson’s influence on contemporary writers via her role in the Iowa

Writers’ Workshop

 Review culture, prize giving, and the production of “literary” fiction

 Robinson’s stated influences, including Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville,

Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and the Bible

 Robinson’s engagement with history, particularly the ongoing relevance of the American Civil

War and Civil Rights movement to contemporary politics

 The role of Congregationalist and/or Calvinist traditions in Robinson’s


 Robinson and US intellectual history, particularly the forgotten intellectual traditions of the


 Readings of gender and/or sexuality in Robinson’s fiction

 The Gilead novels and their relationship with genre, including popular

religious fictions, romances, westerns, or historical novels

 Robinson’s international reputation

Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words no later

than Monday 18 January 2016.

Speakers will be notified by 19 February 2016.