Modern Language Association
Washington, DC | January 6-9, 2022
To All Hem’s Literary Friends
Ernest Hemingway’s reputation as a writer is sometimes eclipsed in the popular mind by his relationships. And as James M. Hutchisson’s 2016 biography, Ernest Hemingway: A New Life, demonstrated, Hemingway’s relationships were complex and integral to his creative output. Over the decades, Hemingway’s relationships with key figures have been explored in-depth. William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Dos Passos have each received book length treatments regarding their friendship with Papa Hemingway.
In 2014, at the International Hemingway Conference, the connections between Hemingway and Edith Wharton were explored at a roundtable session, and the result was an intellectually stimulating line of argument. In keeping with the spirit of such inquiry, this panel invites explorations of Hemingway’s relationships to some lesser-known authors as well as treatments on some of the less explored literary connections. What might be gained by putting Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms in conversation with J. R. R. Tolkien’s work? Might there be something of value in contrasting visions of American life in To Have and Have Not and Harry Sylvester’s Dayspring? Given Hemingway’s reading habits, there is much still to be mined in the literary connections between Hemingway and the great wealth of 20th Century authors.
Potential relationships to explore might include:
❖ Catholic poets, such as Conrad Aiken, and religious aspects of Hemingway’s work
❖ Novelists, such as J. F. Powers, and the novels of Hemingway
❖ World War I participants, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, and Hemingway’s war experiences
❖ Nature writers, such as John Hay, and the expressions of the natural in Hemingway
❖ Realism in the works of Henry Lawson and literary references in Islands in the Stream
❖ Textual analysis of Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway
❖ Religious understatement in Ernest Hemingway and Walker Percy
Please direct your 250–word proposal and a short professional bio to Sean Hadley (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline for proposals is March 19, 2021. Papers are generally limited to 15 minutes, however shorter 10–minute presentations and longer 20–minute presentations will be considered dependent upon interest.
Additional details about the 2022 MLA Conference may be found online at: mla.org/Convention
For more information about the Ernest Hemingway Society, please visit the Society’s website at: www.hemingwaysociety.org.