American Literature Association Conversations

American Literature Association Conversations

The American Literature Association, a coalition of societies devoted to the study of American authors (, gathers leading scholars and teachers of American literature for compelling roundtable discussions of the pressing issues that define the discipline today.


December 22, 2020 37 min

In this inaugural episode of our subseries Worlds of the Imaginary, Troy University freshman Jason Frye and Kirk Curnutt discuss the grandfather of all sci-fi novels: H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, first published in 1895 when its author was still in his twenties. Although not the first-ever time travel adventure (Wells himself had previously published a story called "The Chronic Argonauts"), the story of an unnamed sc...

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In our second installment of the ALA Conversations series, Society for the Study of the American Short Story president James Nagel speaks with Kasia Boddy (University of Cambridge) and Oliver Scheiding (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) about the almost alchemical ability of the short story to adapt to new narrative platforms. The unique tenacity of the genre has allowed it to remain vibrant and relevant while competing prose fo...

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ALA executive director Alfred Bendixen explores with a roundtable of faculty from diverse institutions the challenges of teaching American literature during the Coronavirus crisis and the imperative of addressing social-justice issues in the aftermath of May 2020 George Floyd murder. Speakers include Hubert Cook (Connecticut College), Kirk Curnutt (Troy University), Karen Kilcup (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), Leslie Pe...

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