The John Dos Passos Society activities include the organization of biennial conferences, as well as panels regularly set up in other conferences such as ALA and SAMLA. The Society also seeks publication opportunities and works towards the dissemination of the Dos Passos legacy. Furthermore all our members receive our NEWSLETTER by mail yearly.
For more information see below.
Calls for papers
“Dos Passos and/in the 1920s”
Panel at American Literature Association 30th Annual Conference
May 23-26, 2019: Boston, MA
The 1920s was undoubtedly an important decade for John Dos Passos. For one, it saw his debut as a published novelist (One Man’s Initiation), and as the decade unfolded, he won critical success with early career standouts (Three Soldiers, Manhattan Transfer). Over the course of the decade, he also moved from being inspired largely by French and American naturalism to quickly absorbing the various -isms emanating from Europe and incorporating them into his work. Experimentation was the order of the day, and Dos Passos found a variety of outlets for his creativity: not merely novels, but also poetry (A Pushcart to the Curb), travel writing (Rosinante to the Road Again, Orient Express), theater (The Garbage Man), and painting (as recently covered in The Paintings and Drawings by John Dos Passos, eds. Pizer, Nanney, and Layman). The expansive exploration and experimentation found in his work during the decade also had a parallel in his personal life, which saw the author living in multiple locations (New York, Paris) while traveling widely (Middle East, Soviet Union). Brought on by his involvement with the Sacco-Vanzetti case in 1927, the decade also marked the full formation of Dos Passos’s political consciousness, which would go on to define his work in the following decade. Not surprisingly, then, Dos Passos would return to the eventful
1920s throughout his career, both in his fiction (The Big Money) and non-fiction (The Best
This panel invites proposals for twenty-minute papers that explore any aspect of Dos Passos and/in the 1920s. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- his published work during the decade, both fiction and non-fiction
- his work dealing with the decade, both fiction and non-fiction
- his modernism
- his travels
- his developing political consciousness
- the Sacco-Vanzetti case
- his contemporaries in the 1920s
- the “Roaring Twenties”
- his relationship to “the other arts” (cinema, painting, theater)
For consideration, please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio in Word or PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2019. Be sure also to note any A/V requirements.
“Dos Passos Today”
Roundtable at American Literature Association 30th Annual Conference
May 23-26, 2019: Boston, MA
In a 1968 interview, John Dos Passos commented on what he saw as the growing marginalization of his work by recalling a conservation he once had with Ernest Hemingway. “He always used to bawl me out for including so much topical stuff,” Dos Passos remembered. “He always claimed that was a great mistake, that in fifty years nobody would understand. He may have been right; it’s getting to be true.”
Fifty-odd years later, this roundtable session seeks to examine the validity of Hemingway’s prediction by asking the question of where Dos Passos is today. Where can his influence be found among contemporary writers, both in fiction and non-fiction? What is his present status in the undergraduate classroom? What can be gained from reading Dos Passos in the current social, political, and economic climate?
We invite short presentations on any aspect of Dos Passos’s current standing, influence, and/or relevance. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Dos Passos’s influence today, in literature as well as across the arts
- Recent experiences of teaching Dos Passos
- Reading Dos Passos…
- in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis
- in the context of increasingly polarized domestic politics
- in the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle
The session will take the format of a roundtable discussion, where each participant will be given five to seven minutes for their individual presentations, after which there will be ample time for a longer discussion.
For consideration, please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio in Word or PDF format to email@example.com by January 15, 2019. Be sure to also note any A/V requirements.
Past Calls for Papers
THIRD BIENNIAL JOHN DOS PASSOS SOCIETY CONFERENCE
Third Biennial John Dos Passos Society Conference (June 20-22, 2018. Lisbon, Portugal)
Abstract Submission Deadline: January 31, 2018
Graduate students wishing to be considered for supplemental travel funding must submit a full paper by February 28, 2018
The John Dos Passos Society invites papers for its third biennial conference to be held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The famous American modernist John Dos Passos remained fascinated with his ancestral Portuguese homeland throughout his life. Over the course of that life, he visited both mainland Portugal and Madeira on several occasions. On his first trip to Madeira, in the year 1905, he was a child still going by the name of Jack Madison (using his mother’s surname). The sights and smells of that trip, Dos Passos recalled years later in The Best Times, stayed with him his whole life. No doubt these and other memories are what compelled the author to publish The Portugal Story, a history of Portugal’s celebrated nautical past, a year before he died.
Hosted by the Geographical Society of Lisbon, the 2018 conference encourages papers that connect the theme of exploration (however broadly construed) to the life and writings of Dos Passos; however, even papers that do not address exploration are still welcome.
Possible topics may include Dos Passos and. . .
—Portugal, Madeira, or Portuguese culture
—Brazil and/or Portuguese-influenced lands and culture
—the Spanish/Iberian World
—war and/or violence
—the expatriate experience
—his ideological journey/changing politics
—sex, sexuality, and gender
—labor, the proletarian novel, and the Popular Front
—Ernest Hemingway, José Robles, and/or others involved in the Spanish
—his relationships with other authors and artists
—realist, modernist, and late-modernist aesthetics
—regionalism and internationalism
—genre: histories, travel writing, poetry, essays and so on
—painting and the visual arts
—his own influences
—his influence on contemporary literature
—We will also hold a roundtable on teaching Dos Passos, and welcome
short position papers on classroom experiences with his work.
The Geographical Society of Lisbon (http://www.socgeografialisboa.pt/en/) is housed in a beautiful nineteenth-century building in the heart of downtown. From its front steps one can access, either by foot or by a short metro ride, the city’s major historical sites and cultural venues, including Restauadores Square, the Rio Tejo waterfront, Rossio Square, Castelo de São Jorge, Miradouro de São Pedro Alcântara, Museu São Roque and Sacred Art Museum, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
While there is no official hotel sponsorship for the conference, the Geographical Society of Lisbon itself is situated near a number of lodgings, such as the VIP Executive Eden Aparthotel, Flor de Baixa Alojamento, Residencial Florescente, and the Goodmorning Hostel. The Ibis Lisboa Liberdade Hotel, the Casa de São Mamede, and the Altis Grand Hotel are slightly farther away but still within walking distance or a short ride on the metro. (A list of hotels with appropriate contact information will be sent to all accepted participants.) Most major carriers service the Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS), which has easy metro, bus, and taxi connections to most major downtown sites.
Please send an English-language abstract of 250-300 words and a brief CV to both Aaron Shaheen and Mário Avelar at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively by January 31st, 2018. Graduate students must submit a full paper by February 28th in order to be considered for supplemental travel funds. Make note of any A/V requests in your abstract. Please note that the conference will be exclusively in English.
January 31st: Deadline for abstract submissions
February 28th: Full paper deadline for graduate students wishing to be considered for travel funding
March 15th: Registration opens
Panelists: €100, which includes JDPS membership fee for a year, JDPS Newsletter, and certificate of participation
General Public €35, which includes entrance to conference and certificate of attendance
Students €20, which includes entrance to conference and certificate of attendance
(Participants can consult http://www.x-rates.com/calculator/ or other online sources for the latest exchange rates)
(2.1.) 2nd Biennial John Dos Passos Society Conference
Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio
June 2nd-4th 2016
We welcome proposals on any topic relevant to Dos Passos's career or life. We are especially interested in his relationship to Spain and Spain's relationship to Dos Passos's legacy. The meeting will include a screening of Robles, Duelo al Sol, a new documentary about the fate of José Robles during the Spanish Civil War, and its impact on Dos Passos and his relationship to Hemingway. Possible topics may include John Dos Passos and:
The Iberian World
The expatriate experience
His ideological journey/changing politics
Sex, sexuality and gender
Labor, the proletarian novel and the Popular Front
Ernest Hemingway, José Robles and/or others involved in the Spanish Civil War
Realist, Modernist, and late-modernist aesthetics
Regionalism and Internationalism
Genre: histories, travel writing, poetry, essays and so on
His influence on contemporary literature
We will also hold a roundtable on "Teaching Dos Passos," and welcome short position papers on classroom experiences with his work.
The Conference will be hosted by Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio, at its Madrid-Chamartín Campus where the Faculty of Music and Performative Arts is located.
Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30th, 2016. Make note of any A/V requests in your abstract. And please note that the language of the conference will be English.
May 21-25, 2015
Intersections of E.E. Cummings and John Dos Passos
This collaborative panel invites varied approaches to examining the intersections between E.E. Cummings and John Dos Passos. Their careers overlap and in striking ways: both authors went to Harvard, were visual artists, wrote experimental dramas, served in ambulance services during World War I, endured the horrors of warfare and the censorship of the government, and engaged in the activism of the radical political environment of the early 20th century and the resulting hardships of the literary marketplace. In the 1930s, Cummings and Dos Passos both visited the Soviet Union and wrote about their experiences and impressions of the culture, and both experienced drastic shifts in political beliefs during that period.
We welcome submissions related to form and genre, modernism and modernity, war, gender and sexuality, transnationalism, print culture, archival study, politics, activist writing, and related topics. Collaborative papers and pedagogical approaches are also welcome.
300-500 word abstracts and a brief CV to Victoria Bryan, President of the John Dos Passos Society (email@example.com) and Michael Webster, President of the E.E. Cummings Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 1, 2015.
Teaching Dos Passos: Round Table Discussion
In addition to our regular paper session, we will also hold a teaching round table. This is an open-topic call for 5-8 minute papers focused on bringing Dos Passos's writing into the classroom. Participants may choose to focus on undergraduate or graduate classes; university, community college, or high school settings; writing, literature, theory, or comparative literature classes; etc.
300-500 word abstracts and a brief CV to Victoria Bryan (email@example.com) or the John Dos Passos Society (JDPSociety@gmail.com) by January 1, 2015.
After the 2nd Biennial Conference in Madrid, participants are invited to submit revised versions of their work for publication at an international publisher. A committee will peer review and choose a selection of papers to be published in a single volume. The manuscript volume is subject to approval by the publisher. More information to follow.
The Speech of the People
"U. S. A. is the world's greatest rivervalley fringed with mountains and hills, U. S. A. is a set of bigmouthed officials with too many bankaccounts. U. S. A. is a lot of men buried in their uniforms in Arlington Cemetery. U. S. A. is the letters at the end of an address when you are away from home. But mostly U. S. A. is the speech of the people."
– 42nd Parallel
Our first issue of our newsletter was sent out in February of 2012. This issue includes write ups of our recent panels, information about future panels, and an interview with John Dos Passos Coggin, John Dos Passos's grandson and author of an authorized biography of former Florida U.S. senator and governor Lawton Chiles to be published by Florida Historical Society Press this fall.
Our second issue was sent out in March of 2013. This issue also includes write ups of our recent panels and information about future panels. This year we feature a piece by Fredrik Tydal that recounts some novels recommended by John Dos Passos's in the context of his work and in our contemporary context.
Our third issue came out in February of 2014. This issue includes write ups of panels at the American Literature Association conference and a call for papers for the First Annual Biennial John Dos Passos Society Conference. This issue kicks off with a description of the Official John Dos Passos website, maintained by the family.