Reviews of The State of Fiction: Don DeLillo in the Twenty-First Century

Two reviews of the conference have been recently published:

If you are aware of any others, do let us know!


Publishing Event with John N. Duvall and Peter Boxall on 11 June

We are pleased to announce that at 2-4 on 11 June, the day after the conference, John N. Duvall, our keynote speaker and editor of Modern Fiction Studies, will be leading with Peter Boxall, editor of Textual Practice, a workshop for Arts and Humanities postgraduates on how to get published in an academic journal. The event will be held in Jubilee G31. Attendance is free. All are welcome.

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Registration Now Open

Tickets to Don DeLillo: The State of Fiction can now be purchased through the Sussex online shop. The programme for the day will be uploaded in due course.

Entrance is £20 (£15 for students and other concessions, and £10 for University of Sussex students). The cost includes lunch and a wine reception. Information on how to get to the University of Sussex and on where to stay in Brighton can be found here.

Call for Papers

The State of Fiction:
Don DeLillo in the 21st Century
10 June 2015, University of Sussex

Writing also means trying to advance the art. Fiction hasn’t quite been filled in or done in or worked out. We make our small leaps.
Don DeLillo, 1982

This one-day conference will address the state of fiction in contemporary American culture by focusing on the extensive oeuvre of Don DeLillo, from the 1970s to the present day and beyond. DeLillo commented shortly after the publication of The Names that fiction had not yet been ‘filled in,’ ‘done in,’ or ‘worked out.’ How do we read this thirty years later, in the shadow of not only DeLillo’s major works but also the events that have characterised our move into the Twenty-First Century? How have DeLillo’s small leaps between the New York of Players (1977) and the New York of Falling Man (2007) ‘filled in’ fiction? Has DeLillo’s pervasive influence across contemporary American culture ‘done in’ postmodernism? Is the novel in the Twenty First Century already ‘worked out’?

Proposals for presentations of 20 minutes or for pre-formed panels of 1 hour are invited; topics, which should be rooted in the work of DeLillo, may include but are not limited to:

  • The novelist in contemporary (American) culture: canonicity, influence, consumption
  • New contexts: 9/11, Occupy, neoliberalism, globalisation
  • ‘The Power of History’: the state and the shadow-state, popular culture, paranoia
  • New realisms: crisis, terror, apocalypse, childhood, metafiction
  • Language: the individual and the crowd, the everyday and the event, ekphrasis
  • New forms: genres, adaptations, translations, multilingualism
  • The ends of postmodernism? Forebears, afterlives, lateness
  • Environment, global warming and waste

Submissions that are interdisciplinary in nature are particularly encouraged. Abstracts of up to 250 words in length and a brief biographical note should be submitted by clicking on the ‘submissions’ tab. The closing date for the abstracts is the 19 March 2015.

Keynote Speaker Confirmed: Professor John Duvall (Purdue University)

We’re very pleased to confirm that Professor John Duvall (Purdue University) is to give the keynote speech at The State of Fiction: Don DeLillo in the Twenty-First Century.

John’s research focuses on modernism and postmodernism in American fiction, with a particular focus on racial and sexual identity. In addition to his prolific work on DeLillo, John has published on William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, John Barth, Ishmael Reed, and many more. John is also the editor of Modern Fiction Studies. Further information on John’s research can be found in the Purdue English directory.