American Studies Symposium -To Honor Emory Elliott: "American Literary History in a New Key"
24 Sep - 28 Sep, 2010
Organized by the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Alumni Association (SSASAA), and co-sponsored by the European Association for American Studies (EAAS), the symposium is open to Fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar as well as other individuals working in the field of American literature. Most participants will be academics from a wide variety of countries around the world. The program will consist of theme-based discussion groups and multiple opportunities for dialogue, as well as presentations and panels by distinguished American Studies scholars. All activities will take place at the historic Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, and the adjacent Meierhof, where participants will be housed. For further information about becoming a symposium participant, please contact symposium director Ms. Marty Gecek, mgecek@SalzburgGlobal.org.
Speakers & Panelists:
Ron Clifton(Co-Chair) - Associate Vice President, Stetson University and retired Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States Paul Lauter(Co-Chair) - A.K. and G.M. Smith Professor of English, Trinity College, Hartford and former President, American Studies Association Teresa Cid - Associate Professor, University of Lisbon Sharon Holland - Associate Professor, Duke University Heinz Ickstadt - Professor Emeritus, Kennedy Institute, Free University Berlin and former President, European Association for American Studies Amy Kaplan - Edward Kane Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania; and former President, American Studies Association Stephen Matterson - Associate Professor, Trinity College Dublin
Emory Elliott's career both spanned and helped define the changes in the literary canon and in the ways we approach cultural texts that have characterized American studies during these years before and after the turn of the 21st century. When Emory went to college, a book like 12 American Authors was standard for courses on American literature. Today, an American literature anthology will have as many as 94 authors in its first volume; apart from texts deriving from tribal origins. Then, we focused almost entirely on the formal qualities-structure, metaphor, irony-of a discreet number of works. Today, we think about the world from which texts emerged and to which they spoke, and how they speak differently to people now, differently situated as we are. Then, we read almost exclusively white and almost all male authors: Hawthorne, James, Hemingway; today, we read a rainbow spectrum of writers from the four corners of the globe: Bharati Mukherjee, Francisco Goldman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Naguib Mahfouz. And today's writers, critics, and teachers, encouraged by the example of intellectual leaders like Emory Elliott, deal with subjects that range from borderlands to imperialism, from the performance of gender to the shape of the book, from the "problem of the color line" to the quest for indigenous nationality.
This symposium not only celebrates Emory Elliott's life and work. It gives us an opportunity to consider where American literary history is now, a decade into the 21st century, and where the study of culture might be heading in a world threatened by environmental degradation and wild disparities in wealth, shadowed by menacing changes in educational institutions, and marked by the transnational flow of money, people, and cultures. We cannot write tomorrow's books today, but we will bring to bear on the future of American literary study the powerful development of new ideas about ecocriticism, gender and critical race studies, globalization and immigration shock on how we write and think about the literature of the past and to come.
Emory Elliott, member of the faculty of several Salzburg Global Seminar sessions, passed away on March 31, 2009. In this interview, made during his last visit to Salzburg on the occasion of the 2008 fall symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Alumni Association, Emory volunteered his views on the impact that the Salzburg Global Seminar made in his life and the importance of the Seminars work, particularly in an increasingly inter-connected world. The Seminar is grateful to have had such a staunch supporter as Emory, and deeply mourns his passing.