Novel Theory: May 31-June 2, 2018

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

CFP and other ways to participate

Novel Theory has many formats!

Novel seminars: you may participate in one of the discussions of novels led by two scholars in the field. If you choose one of these when you register, we will include your name on the program as a participant. You may also attend one or more keyword and peripatetic seminars if you wish. Your name will appear on the program once.

Keyword seminars will be two-hour events that start with several short presentations, and will be followed by lots of time for discussion with participants.  Seminar leaders are now set, but there may still be room for presenters. Please contact leaders directly if you are interested in presenting. You will have a chance to rank the seminars you would like to attend when you register for the conference. Some keyword seminars will be concurrent, but you may attend more than one if they meet at different times. You may also attend a novel and a peripatetic seminar if you like. Your name will appear on the program once.

Panels and papers: please feel free to submit proposals for standard conference papers and 3-4 person panels. See the CFP below. A proposal for a single paper will be considered as part of a general pool.

Pre-circulated paper workshops for graduate students: submit papers by March 1 here (please note extended deadline). We will let people know whether their papers have been accepted before the March 1 deadline so that grad students can apply for the workshops then.

Peripatetic seminars: Two seminar discussions will take place during walks or hikes before and after the conference proper. One, organized by John Plotz, will take place before the conference (Thursday, May 31) and one, organized by Penny Fielding, the day after (Sunday, June 3). Please email John Plotz ( if you are interested in participating in his peripatetic seminar on “Speculative Fiction,” and email Penny Fielding () if you would like to join her discussion of the “Uses of Genre.” N.B. These seminars are meant for all: please make Professors Plotz and Fielding aware of any mobility or accessibility constraints when expressing your interest, so that the nature of the walk/hike can be planned accordingly.

Please note that to broaden participation as much as possible we ask people to appear no more than ONCE on the program as a panelist or presenter.

CFP: Novel Theory: what is the theory of the novel in the 21st century? how do novels theorize?

Call for individual papers or whole panels

Submit by December 1, 2017:

  • Abstracts for 15-minute papers related to the theme of “Novel Theory”:
call for 15-20 minute papers related to the theme, "Novel Theory"
  • Proposals for 3- or 4-person panels related to the theme of “Novel Theory”:
call for 3- or 4-person panels related to the theme "Novel Theory"
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