Deadline: August 15, 2020
Between Estate and Class in Russia’s Long 19th Century:
Literary Responses to Social Transformation
Proposals are being accepted until August 15, and should be sent to the head of the Stream division, Dr. Meghan Murphy-Lee firstname.lastname@example.org. Although this is a panel about literature, we welcome submissions from beyond literary studies, e.g. from historians who find the topic interesting. Feel free to email Helen Stuhr-Rommereim directly if you are unsure whether your proposal would fit the stream. As AATSEEL will be fully online this year, presenters can attend the conference from anywhere.
The estate (soslovie) designations of noble, merchant, clergy, and peasant that solidified as a means of administrating the Russian population in the early eighteenth century became increasingly inadequate by the mid-nineteenth century, especially following the emancipation of the serfs. Noble properties fell into decline, peasants moved to cities, and sons of priests left the clergy. This stream seeks to confront the literary-historical problems that appear as estates dissolve: What are the effects of new social designations and how does literature both instill and disrupt them? How does literature contribute to efforts to stabilize estate categories or make visible the messier realities behind them? We invite papers that consider these questions in relation to narrative technique, form, and genre, as well as work dedicated to the social history of the period, and encourage efforts to expand the archive by engaging works from outside the canon. Possible themes include: labor theory and conceptions of work; the class dynamics internal to literature as an institution; the gendered aspects of social identity, social mobility, and work; political ideologies such as liberalism, populism, and Marxism as they are attached to notions of class and estate; the emergence of professions as a form of social identity (professors, students, doctors, writers). Panels and papers will be organized so as to facilitate focused discussions of specific aspects of the broader problematic: papers may be organized chronologically, or around specific estates or classes. (https://www.aatseel.org/program/2021-streams/)