CEA Conference panel: The Diodati Circle

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College English Association National Conference
March 27-29, 2008
St. Louis, Missouri

We invite papers on the Diodati Circle for the 39th annual meeting of the CEA.

The famous summer of 1816 witnessed the interaction of two of the most famous poets of the early nineteenth century, one increasingly more celebrated author, and one relative unknown. In the case of the two latter figures, Mary Godwin (later Shelley) and John Polidori, most of the critical attention they have traditionally received has focused on their connections to the two former individuals, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. Nevertheless, in the years immediately following the Genevan summer, Mary Shelley and John Polidori produced the two most enduring literary creations to arise from the ghost story contest. Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein and his creature have never gone out of print, while Polidori's aristocratic vampire Lord Ruthven altered the way in which vampires would be portrayed by later writers, culminating in the appearance of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Papers are invited for a panel that will focus on the various literary interactions among the members of the Diodati circle, including not only the Shelleys, Byron, and Polidori, but also Claire Clairmont, Mary's step-sister. Although biographical considerations are difficult to avoid, participants are encouraged to focus on the intertextual connections among the different figures, hopefully discussing both better known and lesser known works.

Proposals should be submitted via the online database at


by November 1st, 2007.

When you submit your proposal, you may use a pull-down menu to indicate your topic. Indicate at that pull-down menu that your submission should be directed to L. Adam Mekler, chair of the Diodati Circle panel.

You may contact Dr. Mekler with any questions at lmekler@jewel.morgan.edu,
but submissions can not be received at that email address.

Individuals without access to computers will need to send hard copy proposals to the following address via US mail by October 15th:

Marina Favila
CEA Program Chair
English Department
James Madison University
MSC 1801
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

To preserve time for discussion, CEA limits presentations to 15 minutes.

All presenters must become members of the College English Association by January 1, 2008. For membership information, contact Joe Pestino at

For more information about CEA, the general conference theme, or other special sessions, please consult the CEA website:


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