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"Michael Torregrossa, Medieval in Popular Culture" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Oct 2019 19:21:21 -0400
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I'm new to the list. I'm a medievalist working primarily on the reception
of the Arthurian legend in the post-medieval world. Some of my research has
been devoted to adaptations of Twain's *Connecticut Yankee* in comics and
on film/television.

Recently, I've had a session on the general topic of "afterlives" of the
novel approved for NeMLA, which meets next March in Boston.

I have three proposals to date; however, one presenter has had to pull out
due to a lack of funding, and I need to locate at least one more panelist
(two more would be ideal) to complete the session.

I'd appreciate the list's assistance in making the session a reality. The
papers that are included so far are devoted to the *Connecticut Yankee
of *MacGyver *and my own paper on comics versions of the novel/story. It
would be great to have something on other types of illustrated texts, other
film and television adaptations, and/or dramatic retellings.

I append the full call below, and I do also welcome your suggestions for
correctives to the observations included within it. I am also always on the
lookout for examples of the novel's afterlife and any studies about it that
I might have missed.

Thanks for your help,

Call for Papers for Afterlives of *A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s

51st Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association

Boston Marriott Copley Place, in Boston, Massachusetts, from 5-8 March 2020

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Paper abstracts are due by 7 October 2019

Session organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Alliance for the Promotion
of Research on the Matter of Britain

Writer Mark Twain and illustrator Daniel Carter Beard’s *A Connecticut
Yankee in King Arthur’s Court* (1889) has had a long history of adaptation
in popular culture, but the full scope of its reception remains untold.
There are, of course, the obvious texts, both in print and on film, that
merely retell the story. Of these, more work is needed on the illustrative
tradition. Along with retellings, there are also a small number of works
that continue *Connecticut Yankee*. These appear entirely unknown to
Twainians but offer a unique approach to the author’s legacy. More
importantly, *Connecticut Yankee* itself or its story as mediated through
one of its many retellings has also stimulated new narratives detached from
Twain and Beard’s telling that recast characters and restage events. Also
relatively unknown by scholars of the novel, these materials can be found
throughout modern popular culture, and, although Elizabeth S. Sklar
somewhat derisibly labels these as “spinoffs and ripoffs” of the novel,
they are of value (as she suggests) and perhaps more so than the retellings
because such items serve as the base for an extensive corpus of
transformations of the novel that send various protagonists, all characters
more familiar to contemporary readers and viewers than Twain’s Hank Morgan,
into the medieval past and set a common pattern for time travel stories.

In the end, this session will offer a broad view of adaptations of the
Yankee* story to situate both retellings and the lesser known and/or
hitherto unknown continuations and recastings into a new continuum to offer
a more complete picture of the novel’s effect on popular culture and
provide fresh insight into the various ways that the producers responsible
for these re-imaginings have appropriated the story and its time-travel
motif for their own purposes.

This session is a paper panel in traditional format, which will include 3-4
participants, reading a formal paper of 15-20 minutes (2500-3000 words) as
set by the chair, followed by Q&A.

The direct link for this session is Please contact the organizers
at [log in to unmask] with any questions or concerns.

Abstract submissions must be made through NeMLA’s official site. Applicants
will need to login or create an account at Submissions must begin with a
paper title of not more than 100 characters (including spaces) and adhering
to the following: capitalize titles by MLA formatting rules unless the
title is in a language other than English; do not use quotation marks in
the session title or abstract title itself but please use only single
quotation marks around titles of short stories, poems, and similar short
works; italicize the titles of long works mentioned in the paper title; and
do not place a period at the end of the title. Submissions should also
include an academic biography (usually transferred from your NeMLA profile)
and a paper abstract of not more than 300 words; be sure to italicize or
use quotation marks around titles according to MLA guidelines.

Please be aware that NeMLA membership is not required to submit abstracts,
but it is required to present at the convention. In addition, note that it
is permissible to present on (1) a panel (or seminar) and (2) a roundtable
or a creative session, but it is not permissible to present on a panel and
a seminar (because both are paper-based), on two panels or two roundtables
(because both would be the same type). Further information on these and
other policies can be accessed at

Chairs will confirm the acceptance of abstracts before 15 October 2019. At
that time, applicants must confirm the panel on which they wish to
participate. Convention registration/membership for 2019-2020 must be paid
by 1 December 2019.

Michael A. Torregrossa, M.A.

*Founder, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching
of the Medieval in Popular Culture:

*Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of

*Founder, Northeast Alliance for Scholarship on the Fantastic:

Area Chair, Monsters and the Monstrous Area, Northeast Popular
Culture/American Culture Association:

34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States of America