The English Department holds a biennial symposium focusing on literature, race, ethnicity, and other topics. Each symposium features a variety of distinguished guests—writers, professors, journalists, and others well recognized in their fields—who speak and lead discussions during the course of the three day event.

Several book volumes have been published based on papers given during the symposia. Please consult the menu on the left to read more about each volume and to see the list of Past Symposia.

2013: The 30th Alabama Symposium on English and American Literature


Sponsored by:
The Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies
Department of English, The University of Alabama
College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Alabama

Thursday 4/25:

8 pm:  Keynote Address.  Greensboro Room at the Bama Theater, downtown Tuscaloosa.  Doors open at 7:30 pm.

Cary Wolfe, “The Biopolitics of Human and Animal Bodies”

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University, where he is also founding director of 3CT:  Center for Critical and Cultural Theory.
His books include Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), What Is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2010), The Other Emerson (Minnesota, 2010), and Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (Chicago, 2012).

Friday 4/26:

Bryant Conference Center, Birmingham Room.

9:00—10:15 am: Lowell Duckert, “Earth”

            Lowell Duckert is Assistant Professor of English at West Virginia University

10:30—11:45 am: Karl Steel, “Creeping Things, Matter's Own Life”

            Karl Steel is Assistant Professor of English at Brooklyn College, CUNY.

Lunch Break

1:00—2:15 pm:  Valerie Allen, “Airy Something”

            Valerie Allen is Professor of English literature at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY.

2:30—3:45 pm: Jeffrey Cohen, “The Sea Above”

            Jeffrey Cohen is Professor of English and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at the George Washington University.

4:00—5:15 pm:  Julian Yates, “Wet”

            Julian Yates is Associate Professor of English and Material Culture Studies at University of Delaware.

Saturday 4/27:

Bryant Conference Center, Birmingham Room.

9:30—10:45 am:  Sharon O’Dair, “Muddy Thinking” 

            Sharon O’Dair is Hudson Strode Professor of English and Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. 

11:00—12:15 am: Steve Mentz, “Phlogiston” 

            Steve Mentz is Professor of English at St. John’s University

Lunch Break

2:15—3:30 pm: Anne Harris, “Pyromena, Fire’s Doing”

            Anne Harris is Associate Professor of Art History at DePauw University

3:45—5:00 pm: Chris Barrett, “The Quintessence of Wit: Ether and the Material Joke”

            Chris Barrett is Assistant Professor of English at LSU.

2013 Symposium Program