Novel Theory: May 31-June 2, 2018

The biennial conference of the Society for Novel Studies at Cornell University

What is the theory of the novel in the 21st century? How do novels theorize?

highlights to include…

Keynote by Ursula Heise, “Scale and the Novel in the Anthropocene”

Plenary panel on “Theories of the Novel Now,with Nicholas Dames, Kate Marshall, Ignacio Sanchez Prado, Sofia Samatar, and Jordan Stein

Panels led by Venkat Mani on refugees, Dierdra Reber on post-truth culture, Anne Garland Mahler on the Global South novel, John Plotz on the episode, Jonathan Culler on optional narrator theories….

Closing plenary discussion with Sianne Ngai

Seminars around keywords in the field, including….

  • Nancy Armstrong and Tim Bewes, with Priya Joshi, Roberto Dainotto, Alexander Millen, and Peter Boxall: contemporary
  • Namwali Serpell with Stephen Best, Glenda Carpio, Nadia EllisUri McMillan, and Ismail Muhammad: BLACK
  • Anna Kornbluh and Oded Nir with Kasia Bartoszynska, Bruce Robbins, and Phil Wegner: totality
  • John Marx and Jesse Rosenthal with Tess McNulty, Kalyan Nadiminti, Richard Jean So, Ted Underwood, Megan Ward: data
  • Jen Fleissner with Amanda Anderson, Chris Freeburg, Andrew H. Miller, Paul Stasi, and Katherine Snyderinteriority
  • Kelly Rich with Janice Ho, Caroline Levine, Sangina Patnaik, Jill Richards, Michael Rubenstein and Susan Ziegerinfrastructure
  • David Coombs and Elaine Auyoung with Jonah Siegel, Anna Henchman, and Jonathan Kramnick: empiricism
  • Yoon Sun Lee with Pardis Dabashi, Elaine Freedgood, Billy Galperin, Brian Richardson, and Wendy Xin: plot
  • Talia Schaffer and Elsie Michie with Daniel Hack, Michaela Bronstein, Jos Lavery, Anna Maria Jones: memory/influence
  • Jed Esty and Paul St. Amour with Rachel Buurma, Tommy S. Davis, Nathan Hensley, and Nirvana Tanoukhigenre/scale
  • Chris Holmes and Tim Wientzen with Sarah Brouillette, Stephanie DeGooyer, Urmila Seshagiri, and Christian Thorne: limit
  • Amanda Claybaugh and Jen Spitzer with Martin Quinn, Shirley Wong, and Dora Zhang: detail
  • Beth Blum with John Lurz, Günter Leypoldt, Emily Lordi, Megan Quigley, and Robert Volpicellicharisma

Seminars on novels….

  • Deidre Lynch and Katie Trumpener: Madame de Lafayette, La Princesse de Cleves
  • Julia Chang and David Kurnick: Benito Pérez Galdós, Tristana
  • Ulka Anjaria and Aarthi Vadde: Vivek Shanbhag, Ghachar Ghochar
  • Rebecca Walkowitz and Martin Puchner: Yoko Tawada, Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Award-winning novelist Helena Viramontes will do a reading followed by a conversation with critic Dean Franco.


Questions? Contact cel235 at

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