Himes symposium set for March 2 on University Park campus

February 23, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State will host a symposium on Monday, March 2, at University Park, celebrating the work of the African-American novelist Chester Himes (1909-1984). The symposium will bring together some of the most exciting new work on Himes by top scholars in the fields of African-American literature, international modernism and literary theory. In response to Himes' increasing prominence in contemporary scholarship, this symposium will examine his career as a writer whose work addresses burning political and cultural issues, both in the United States and abroad.
Symposium Schedule
• 9:15 a.m.: Opening Remarks

• 9:30-11:15 a.m.: Session One
"If He Hollers: Himes's Political Voice"
Assembly Room, Nittany Lion Inn
Chair: Shirley Moody, Penn State
Respondent: Michael Bérubé, Penn State

Norlisha Crawford, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
"Then what about Rabelais? Himes' Search for a Street."
Tyrone Simpson, Vassar College
"I Could Always Feel Race Trouble...Never More Than Two Feet Off: Himes's Melancholic Perception."
Christopher Breu, Illinois State University
"Public Violence as Private Pathology: The Political Return of the Repressed in The End of a Primitive"
• 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.:  Lunch break, Otto's Cafeteria, Kern Building

• 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Session Two
Comparative Literature Luncheon Lecture Series
102 Kern Building               
Steve Cannon (Author, New York City): "Chester Himes and the Absurd"
Respondents: Keith Gilyard, Penn State / Kevin Bell, SUNY Albany
• 1:45-3:30 p.m.: Session Three
"Cast the First Stone: Himes and Form"
102 Kern Building
Chair: Bernard Bell, Penn State
Respondent: Robert Caserio, Penn State
Lawrence Jackson, Emory University
"The Lost Years: Chester Himes in New York, Naturalism, Social Protest and Psychological Realism, 1947-1953"
Will Turner, University of Manchester (UK)
"Creating The 'Pathological' Postwar Detective"
Justus Nieland, Michigan State University
"The Quality of Hurt Feelings: Himes at Midcentury"
• 3:45-5:30 p.m.: Session Four
"Run Man Run: Diasporic Himes"
102 Kern Building
Chair: Linda Selzer, Penn State
Respondent: Alson Nielsen, Penn State
Francis (Pim) Higginson, Bryn Mawr College
"Tone Death: Himes, Blackness, and Music."
Wendy Walters, Emerson College
"Himes's Global Readerships"
Lisa Fluet, Boston College
"The Synoptic Himes"

The Chester Himes Centennial Symposium is sponsored by Penn State's Africana Research Center, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Center for American Literary Studies and the Arts in Public Life group.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015