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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009

IU Bloomington symposium to focus on "deep localities" in American studies

April 1, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Scholars from across the U.S. and from Canada will be at Indiana University Bloomington this month to present and discuss papers on the importance of place in modern American literary and cultural studies.

Deep Localities

A symposium titled "Deep Localities: The New Critical Regionalism" will take place April 10 in the University Club of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. It is sponsored by the Americanist Research Colloquium at IU Bloomington and organized by Scott Herring and Jennifer Fleissner, co-directors of the colloquium and faculty members in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Herring said much of the scholarly work being done in American studies takes a broad-based or transnational approach. The "Deep Localities" symposium will complement that tendency with a focus on the role of specific places: for example, Harlem, New Orleans, parts of rural Georgia and Pennsylvania, and California's Central Valley.

Presentations will be organized into three panels: "Race and Place in Nineteenth-Century American Writing," "Queer Regionalities" and "Rethinking Modernism's Byways." The symposium will conclude with a reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The presentations and reception are free and open to the public.

IU Bloomington faculty members presenting papers or moderating panels include Fleissner, Herring, Jonathan Elmer, Denise Cruz and Edward Comentale from the Department of English; Colin Johnson from Gender Studies; and Deborah Cohn of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Other participants are from the University of California, Berkeley, Michigan State University, the University of Toronto, the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota.

Funding comes from the Department of English, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and a New Perspectives grant from the New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program, administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. For more information, e-mail Herring at or Fleissner at