Kurt Vonnegut Society at the American Literature Association 35th Annual Conference
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago Illinois
23-26 May 2024
The Kurt Vonnegut society invites proposals for presentations at the 35th annual American Literature Association conference in Chicago. The society aims to offer two panels: one themed, and one an open session. Information follows below; questions and/or proposals of less than 300 words (along with a brief biographical note) can be submitted to the Society directly at its e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) using the subject line “ALA 2024” before 20 January 2024.
Panel A: Vonnegut and the Politics of S/election
In this coming election cycle, it seems only appropriate to turn our attention to the ways in which Vonnegut was invested in the complicated mechanics of how societies shift and change under the sign of progress—of course through the science of natural selection (e.g., Galapagos) and of presidential politics (e.g., Jailbird), but also in terms of how we see the intimacies of chosen families and communities alternately enhance or overpower those into which we are born (e.g., Slapstick). This panel is interested in any notion of selection/election as it relates to Vonnegut’s fiction or nonfiction, and seeks to engage a key question: how does Vonnegut allow us to see our miniscule individual choices intervene into the vast and seemingly implacable public sphere? Proposals are welcome to address single works, or to consider these ideas among several texts.
Panel B: Open Topic
We invite innovative or provocative proposals about any aspect of Vonnegut’s life or body of work that do not fit into the themed panel above.