The American Short Story: New Horizons

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany

October 5-7, 2017

Throughout its history, the American short story has been praised either as a highly polished gem or condemned as literary fast food. Despite such rise-and-fall predictions, the short story has always been a demanding form. Its narrative economy in terms of time and space records decisive, intimate moments of life that give the American Short Story a broad social resonance. As such, the short story offers a vibrant field of research. There is a renaissance in progress not only in terms of the short story’s productivity but also in terms of innovative theoretical questions. The current state of research is, however, probably best described as “ripening.”

The conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons” invites both panels and papers that address fresh and original questions relevant to studying the American short story. The conference thus seeks to explore the American short story as a coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature, presently culminating in a digital culture in which brevity rules.

We are delighted to announce that Lorraine López (Vanderbilt University) will give the opening keynote address on Thursday, October 5.

We are also pleased to announce that Kasia Boddy (University of Cambridge) is the second keynote speaker on Friday, October 6.


Travel Grants:
The organizing committee especially welcomes papers from graduate students. A limited number of travel grants will be awarded to graduate students. Please indicate in your proposal if you like to be considered for one of these grants.


Please fill out this form and send it to Anette Vollrath by August 15th, 2017.