Author: Donna Campbell

Professor of English, Washington State University. Late nineteenth- and early 20th-century Americanist and digital humanities. and

Papers and this week

Those of you who requested the automatic extension for Paper 4: the paper will now be due on December 17 by 9 p.m. (via email).

Even if you gave me a paper copy in class, could you also send an electronic copy so that I will have it? The reason: each year the English Department calls for instructors to submit entries to its Graduate Student Essay Contest, and I would like to have copies on hand for that.

I’ll be in on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for meetings this week, so if you’d like to stop by, just let me know.


Today and Next Week

Today for our discussion of journal publication, we have a special guest, Heloise Abtahi, the managing editor of ESQ.  She’ll be with us for the first half hour or so.

Next week, we will have our in-class conference in the Bundy Reading Room.

Conference papers should be 15 minutes long, or about 7-8 pages. This paper, which is a short version of your longer paper, is sent to your respondent. You don’t have to send it to me.

Respondents will prepare a 3-5 minute commentary (can be bullet points) discussing strengths, areas for more development, and future directions.

The full version of the paper is due to me on 12/10, unless you take the extension.

Conference Panels:

Panel I.

  1. “Sex and power in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles”
    Jordan Engleke
    Respondent: Kara Falknor
  2. The Fixing of Women in McTeague
    Kara Falknor
    Respondent: Amy Goldman
  3. “Paper 2 on The Monster”
    Amy Goldman
    Respondent: Jordan Engelke

Panel II.

  1. “Beyond Sex and Greed: Obsession with Ideological Representations of Gender Economy in Frank Norris’ McTeague”
    Curtis Harty
    Respondent: Allyson Herkowski
  2. “Romanticism vs. Naturalism: Naturalism’s Fight for Independence”
    Allyson Herkowski
    Respondent: Amy May
  3. “Solidarity in Viewing the Commodified Female Body Confined: Emilio Pardo Bazan’s ‘Piña’ and Maria Christina Mena’s ‘The Gold Vanity Set'”
    Amy May
    Respondent: Curtis Harty

Panel III.

  1. “The Sympathetic Brute in L’Assommoir, McTeague, and Of Mice and Men”
    Lissa Scott
    Respondent: Richard Snyder
  2. “Zola’s Cybernetic City: Experimental Space in L’Assommoir
    Richard Snyder
    Respondent: Cyn Zavala
  3. “Instinct vs Institution: Gender and Sexual Determinism in McTeague and The Awakening
    Cyn Zavala
    Respondent: Lissa Scott




A Few Sample Proposals

Some of you had asked about seeing sample proposals responding to calls for papers.

Here are some for papers on Edith Wharton that were accepted and will be given at MLA 2016:

These and the panel proposals that you can see at and elsewhere have the characteristics of proposals that we talked about in class:

  • Briefly identify the critical context for your proposed paper: the controversies or arguments surrounding it, the critics who’ve addressed it, etc.
  • As part of this context, you may want to address the theme or topic of the panel or conference.
  • Explain how your paper will address some issue raised in this critical conversation.
  • Provide enough of your argument to show the direction that the paper will take.
  • Indicate the conclusions you will probably draw.

Article Expert: Kara Falknor

Dear all–

Due to a mixup on the syllabus (I thought Kara had an article choice, and she thought, rightly, that I was going to post something to Blackboard), the article is posted late to Blackboard, and it is one of mine since that’s all I had in .pdf form. Here’s the citation:

“Women Writers and Naturalism.”The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism, ed. Keith Newlin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. 223-241. Print.

Mark Twain Gives Advice on Conference Presentations

Optional, and just for fun: Mark Twain on giving a paper. Happy Halloween!

Donna M. Campbell

These excerpts from the new Autobiography of Mark Twain address “a new and devilish invention–the thing called an Authors’ Reading”  rather than a conference presentation, but Twain has some great advice about what not to do. These are from pages 383-384 in the print version, but you can read it online as well.

Twain had been asked to speak and foresaw disaster: “The introducer would be ignorant, windy, eloquent, and willing to hear himself talk.  With nine introductions to make, added to his own opening speech–well, I could not go on with these harrowing calculations.”

1. It takes a long time to create a readable short paper.

“My reading was ten minutes long.  When I had selected it originally, it was twelve minutes long, and it had taken me a good hour to find ways of reducing it by two minutes without damaging it.”

2. Time your presentation. Even…

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Lily Bart’s New York in Films, 1896-1905

Strictly optional but may be of interest to you all — Donna

Donna M. Campbell

A few links that let you see the New York of Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, with a few additional links just because they’re interesting.  I’ll keep adding to this post as I find more.   Several of the individual films are available on DVD from such collections as Treasures from the American Film Archives.

  1. Visual Tour of New York 1896-1901, with added street sounds:

The “Visual Tour” has an extended sequence of a man with a snow shovel, possibly looking for work in a way reminiscent of what Hurstwood saw in Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.

2. Oldest Footage of New York with maps of today:

3. This Was New York has Hester Street, Ellis Island, and other locations:

4. via Irene Gammel @MLC_Research on Twitter: Audio recording of a dinner party in London, October 5, 1888, addressed to Thomas Edison:

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