Jane Austen and The Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem, and Muslin in Portland

Call For Papers

The 2010 Oregon and Southwest Washington AGM in Portland invites proposals for breakout sessions related to the Conference theme, “Jane Austen and the Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem and Muslin in Portland.”

We welcome proposals on Jane Austen’s novel: Northanger Abbey. The novel has not been featured at an AGM since 1998, so it is ripe for exploration. The theme and the time of year (29-31 October: Halloween) lend themselves to mystery and mayhem and the ways that Jane Austen builds suspense in the novel. Mendacity plays its role. Papers could well build on the art, or psychology or pathology of telling lies. The parody of Mrs. Radcliffe’s Gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho needs more attention. The novel genre itself clamours for attention in the discussions between various characters. Henry Tilney is neglected as a hero. Why is that? How can a young man of that era know so much about muslin? Dressmakers and fabric specialists may well enlighten us about Regency use of muslin. We encourage inventive breakout formats as well as traditional lectures, but all should invite lively audience participation. Presentations should be no more than 30 minutes in length, allowing ample time for questions afterward.

Please submit a one-page abstract of your breakout proposal, along with a cover letter indicating your name, affiliation, mail and email addresses, telephone numbers, and a brief biography. Identify any former AGMs you have addressed. Specify what AV equipment is absolutely essential for your session, bearing in mind that AV equipment is very expensive to rent and that its use is appropriate only when images are important for the presentation. Electronic submissions are preferred. The deadline for submissions is October 19, 2009.

Send to:
Professor Mary Margaret Benson
Nicholson Library
Linfield College
900 S.E. Baker Street
McMinnville, OR 97128
Email: mbenson@linfield.edu