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BNS 2020: Willa Cather, Settler Colonialism, Indigeneity

This year’s Brandeis Novel Symposium, on Friday November 6, 2020 (with follow-up student seminars the next morning) will be fully online, via this Zoom link.

Welcome to the Brandeis Novel Symposium. Each year, this one-day conference has a dual focus: both on a particular novel and on theoretical and scholarly questions raised by the novel more generally. Last year’s symposium raised theoretical and critical questions about the graphic novel; the 2018 symposium was about science fiction and centered on The Three Body Problem; the inaugural event in 2017 was on Karl Ove Knausgard’s My Struggle.

This year’s symposium examines the genre’s relation to issues of settler colonialism, land, and indigeneity. The focal text is Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925). As in previous years, papers will explore these larger questions from diverse theoretical, historical, and formal angles, taking Cather’s novel either as focus or simply as a point of departure. Both the papers and the discussion will zero in on the particular attributes of Cather’s Modernist experiment, and on the nativist legacy of settler colonialism out of which the work arises––and into which, perhaps, it falls.

As always, we encourage but do not require you to read  Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House in advance of the conference, and if you are not a graduate or undergraduate student, we encourage you to buy it at an independent local bookstore. If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, we are pleased to offer you a free copy of the novel. Email plotz@Brandeisandeis.edu for details after registering.

See our Program page for more details about the scheduled talks; and if you are a graduate or undergraduate student, when you register please indicate if you are interested in a Saturday morning Zoom seminar; a chance to study and debrief in good company.

Check us out in the Brandeis Hoot

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