Conferences & Symposia

Ulysses ProjectUlysses Project
January, 2011
The 90th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses on February 2, 2012, is likely to set off worldwide celebration and tribute.

Bowdoin Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum has got the jump on the Joyceana jubilee. During spring 2011, she is mounting The Ulysses Project, a semester-long series of events, classes, and exhibitions celebrating Ulysses, the famously fascinating—and difficult—novel that is widely acknowledged as one of the great works of Modernist literature.


Tomorrow's Parties: A Queer Americanist ColloquiumTomorrow's Parties: A Queer Americanist Colloquium
April 30 & May 1, 2010
An important recent development in queer studies has been a turn to considerations of temporality - of time - as a way to reimagine questions about sex and history, the body and social life, and the place of queer people in the stories we tell about the past and, especially, the future. This two-day mini-conference features some of the most prominent young scholars in the overlapping fields of queer studies and American studies who will gather to consider which questions, and which thinkers, are now the most pressing for queer Americanist work as it moves forward. Keynote address by Kathryn Bond Stockton, professor of English at the University of Utah.

Sponsored by the English department, Africana Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies

Establishing the Past: Problems in 19th Century African American Literary StudiesEstablishing the Past: Problems in 19th Century African American Literary Studies
April 9, 2010
In the past decade scholars have uncovered or recovered a number of texts that challenge the definition and scope of African American literature. In 2002, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. edited and introduced The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a novel written by Hannah Crafts in the late 1850s. Appearing for the first time in print, the New York Times Book Review called the novel “a remarkable historical discovery” and Gates’s meticulous introduction to the novel provides a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the discovery. In his efforts “to print the novel as it appeared in the original holograph,” Gates reproduced the novel with Crafts’s revisions and errors, which she had crossed out in the original version. As a result, readers are presented with a novel that resembles the original in almost every way. William Andrews and Mitch Kachun in their 2006 edition of Julia C. Collins’ 1865 novel, The Curse of Caste; or, The Slave Bride take the work of recovery a step further. Calling this novel “A Redisovered African American Novel,” the editors take the audacious step of composing an ending to the novel that its author, having died before completing the novel, left unfinished.

These newly discovered novels, pose useful challenges to the definition of African American literature in the twenty-first century. This symposium brings together leading figures in early African American literature to discuss the changing contours of tradition as they confront editing works of early African American literature today.