Working Group on the History of the Novel in America

SEA attendees can begin participating in Saturday’s discussion session on the early American novel and American literary history already–by visiting our blog, Working Group on the History of the Novel in America. There you’ll find eight provocative posts from the session participants (with one more to come!), each of which identifies a different forgotten, neglected, or overlooked early American novel and speculates about how its recovery might lead us to tell a different story about early American literary history and the role of the novel in it.


Read about wigs and Mormons, messy novels and novels in fragments, serialization and secrecy, novels set on ships and novels set on the islands where ships wreck. Begin the discussion early by adding your comments or questions to any of these posts.


Our session aims to take a somewhat unorthodox form in order to center discussion–both among the session participants and the audience. Think less conference panel and more classroom. We invite you to join us on Saturday for a discussion of these and other novels (bring your own examples!) and for some collective speculation about what new shapes and forms our literary histories of the early American novel might take in 2017 and beyond.

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