The Persistence of the Short Story: Traditions and Futures 🗓

The Persistence of the Short Story: Traditions and Futures 🗓

“The Persistence of the Short Story: Traditions and Futures”

International Symposium Co-Hosted by the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, the Society for the Study of the American Short Story, and the American Literature Association, and the European Network for Short Fiction Research.

Mainz, Germany, July 10–12, 2024

Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitÀt (JGU), Mainz, Germany Conference Venue:
Helmholtz Institute Mainz Staudingerweg 18, 55128 Mainz

You can view or download the conference booklet here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024 

3:00 pm  Registration

4:00 pm   Conference Opening (FakultĂ€tssaal, Philosophicum I) Jakob-Welder-Weg   18, Room 01 – 185, 55128 Mainz

Director, Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies: Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung

Conference Organizers: Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding, Prof. Dr. Jochen Achilles

4:30 pm   Roundtable: Short Fiction Research in a Transnational Context

Chair:  Michael Basseler (Justus-Liebig-UniversitĂ€t Giessen): Project Manager Short Forms Beyond Borders-EU Strategic Partnerships

American Literature Association (ALA): Olivia Carr Edenfield, Director (Georgia Southern University), Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director (Princeton University)

Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS): James Nagel, President (University of Georgia; online)

European Network for Short Fiction Research (ENSFR): Michelle Ryan, Director (UniversitĂ© d’Angers), Ailsa Cox, Associate Director (Edge Hill University), Elke D’hoker, Communications Coordinator (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

Studies in the American Short Story: James Nagel, Editor (University of Georgia), Kirk Curnutt, Associate Editor (Troy University)

Journal of the Short Story in English: GĂ©rald PrĂ©her, Editor (UniversitĂ© d’Artois) 
Short Fiction in Theory and Practice: Ailsa Cox, Principal Editor (Edge Hill University)

6.00 pm Welcome Reception

Thursday, July 11, 2024
Conference Venue: Helmholtz Institute

9:00–10:20 am Session 1: Aesthetic Dimensions
Jochen Achilles (Julius-Maximilians-UniversitĂ€t WĂŒrzburg)

Ailsa Cox (Edge Hill University), “Beyond the Collection”
Elke D’hoker (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), “Serializing the Short Story”

Michelle Ryan (UniversitĂ© d’Angers), “The Ethics of Short Forms in Rikki Ducornet’s Late Career Writing”

10:20–10:40 am Coffee Break

10:40–12.00 am Session 2: Historical Dimensions
Oliver Scheiding (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitÀt Mainz)

Alfred Bendixen (Princeton University), “New Voices Confronting the Silence: The Emergence of Feminist Traditions in the American Short Story”

Monika Elbert (Montclair State University), “Wealth, Handicaps, and Poverty: Women’s Gothic Tales of Dis-Possession”

Philipp Reisner (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitĂ€t, Mainz). “American Short Fiction in Light of the Chinese Exclusion Act”

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch

1:00–2:20 pm Session 3: Current Trends

Chair: Laura Dietz (University College London)

Michael Basseler (Justus-Liebig-UniversitĂ€t Giessen), “Is there a Postsocialist North American Short Story?”

Gudrun M. Grabher (Leopold-Franzens-UniversitĂ€t Innsbruck), “Every Patient has Their Unique Story: The Significance of the Short Story for Medical Humanities”

Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University), “Weird Madness: Brief Encounters Against the Anthropocene”

2:30–3:50 pm Session 4: Region
Caroline Jesussek (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitÀt Mainz)

Alessandra Boller (UniversitĂ€t Siegen), “The Politics of Encounter: B/Order Crossings in Transnational (Irish) Short Fiction”

Olivia Carr Edenfield (Georgia Southern University), “The Poetic Landscape of Breece D’J Pancake”

GĂ©rald PrĂ©her (UniversitĂ© d’Artois), “The Past in the Present, or the Enduring South in Elizabeth Spencer’s Starting Over (2014)”

3.50-4:10 pm Coffee Break

4:10–5.30 pm Postgraduate Roundtable on Short Fiction Research

Chair: Alessandra Boller (UniversitĂ€t Siegen)

Maegan Bishop (Georgia Southern University), “Re-imagining the American Landscape: Visual Rhetoric and the Influence of Image on the 21st-Century American Short-Story Cycle”

Verónica Frejo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), “Short Stories as Videogames: A Transmedia Analysis”

Carolin Jesussek (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitĂ€t Mainz), “Disability Gothic in William Alexander’s Short Story ‘The House on the Moon’”

6:00 pm University Lecture Hall (P5)

University Hall-Lecture:
James Nagel (University of Georgia), “The American Short Story in Academia: A Personal Report” (online)

Friday, July 12, 2024
Conference Venue: Helmholtz Institute Mainz

9:00–10:00 am Session 5: Diversity

Chair: Michelle Ryan (UniversitĂ© d’Angers)

Erik Redling (Martin-Luther-UniversitĂ€t Halle-Wittenberg), “Modernist Politics of Race: Allegorical Readings of Zora Neale Hurston’s Early Short Fiction”

Hertha Dawn Sweet Wong (University of California, Berkeley), “The Future of the Indigenous Short Story; or Indigenous Short Story and Futurity”

10:10-11:10 am Session 6: Horror and Crime
Olivia Carr Edenfield (Georgia Southern University)

Will Norman (University of Kent), “Paul Linebarger, Cordwainer Smith and the Affordances of Mid-Century Science Fiction Tales”

Whit Frazier Peterson (UniversitĂ€t Stuttgart), “The Sunken and the Ascending: Black Horror Short Fiction”

11:10–11:30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am –12:50 pm Session 7: Media and New Approaches

Chair: Oliver Scheiding (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitĂ€t Mainz)

Kirk Curnutt (Troy University), “Prophecies of Extinction, Prospects for Evolution: Whither the Future of the Short Story?”

Bernardo Manzoni Palmeirim (Universidade de Lisboa), “Paying Attention in Lydia Davis and Short Forms”

Ines Maria Gstrein (Leopold-Franzens-UniversitĂ€t Innsbruck), “The Affordances of the Short Story Collection: Ali Smith’s Free Love and Other Stories as a Case Study”

1:00 –2:00 pm Lunch

2:00–3:20 pm Session 8: Digitization
VerĂłnica Frejo (Universidad AutĂłnoma de Madrid)

Laura Dietz (University College London), “Digitization and Short Story Authorship: Authorial Careers on Emerging Platforms”

Jana Keck (UniversitĂ€t Stuttgart), “Fact or Fiction? Computational Analysis of Short Stories in Nineteenth-Century German-American Newspapers”

Damien B. Schlarb (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitĂ€t Mainz), “Short Stories, Longplay: Formal Influences of the Short Story on Digital Games and the Integration of Narrative and Play”

3:20–3:40 pm Coffee Break

3:40–5:30 pm Session 9: Science Fiction
Sabina Fazli (Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitÀt Mainz)

Anna McFarlane (University of Leeds), “Science Fiction and the Fix-Up”

Andrew M. Butler (Canterbury Christchurch University), “‘The Flimsiest of Tissues’: Pamela Zoline’s ‘The Holland of the Mind’”

Sarah Lohmann (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ZĂŒrich), “‘Like Children Dying in a Forest’: The Science Fiction Short Story and the Morality of Machine Cognition in E.M. Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’ and Ray Bradbury’s ‘August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains’”

Gary Westfahl (University of La Verne), “Confronting the Alien in the Science Fiction Short Story” (online)

7.00 pm  Conference Dinner Weingut Peter Dhom

Jakob Braunwart Weg 3

55129 Mainz-Hechtsheim

Maps (Hotels, Campus, and Venues)

Frankfurt Airport to Mainz (S-Bahn)

Take the train from Frankfurt Airport to Mainz Central Station (tram line: S8). Tickets can be purchased at the airport vending machines (approximately 9,90€). Both hotels are a short walk from the main entrance of the train station.

Mainz Station to University (Tram lines 51, 53, and 59)

There are a variety of buses and trams from Mainz Central Station to the JGU campus. We recommend you take the trams (lines 51, 53, or 59) to travel to campus, since they all stop at the university (cf. (2)) and the Friedrich-von-Pfeiffer Weg (cf. (3)). It will take about 5 minutes from Mainz Central Station to the JGU campus and a ticket will cost 2,50€.

Follow the directions on the map below to find your way to the conference venues. Please keep in mind that there are different venues (Wednesday: FakultĂ€tssaal (Faculty room, 01 – 185); Thursday-Friday: Helmholtz Institute (cf. (A)).

Mainz Station to City Hall (Tram lines 51, 52, and 53)

Thursday evening, we invite participants to join us for a reception at Mainz City Hall, as well as a City Hall-Lecture held by James Nagel (cf. program above). Similar to the route from Mainz Central Station to the JGU campus, there are a variety of buses and trams from Mainz Central Station to Mainz MĂŒnsterplatz (cf. (2)). We again recommend you take the tram (lines 51, 52, or 53) and then walk to City Hall (walking distance roughly 500m).

This conference is made possible by the funding of the DFG.