PAPERS FOR THE PEOPLE:
A SYMPOSIUM ON THE DIME NOVELS OF BEADLE & ADAMS
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION AND REGISTRATION FOR DIME NOVEL SYMPOSIUM OPEN THROUGH: MARCH 13, 2020

ABOUT THIS SYMPOSIUM

In 1860, Beadle & Adams published the first dime novel, introducing a format of inexpensive fiction that became widely popular in the United States and remained relevant well into the early 20th century. These short novels included “the silly, insipid tale, the coarse, slangy story in the dialect of the barroom, the blood-and-thunder romance of border life, and the exaggerated details of crimes, real and imaginary,” as moral crusader and dime novel critic, Anthony Comstock, described them in his Traps for the Young (1883). But they also provide insight into the lives of the millions of Americans who consumed them, including women, children, and the working classes. To celebrate the digitization of more than 7,000 dime novels published by Beadle & Adams through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, NIU, in coordination with Villanova University, will be hosting a one-day symposium on the dime novel on Sunday April 5, 2020.

 

Papers for the People: A Symposium on the Dime Novels of Beadle & Adams will feature a keynote address from dime novel scholar Marlena E. Bremseth and a workshop for educators, followed by a tour of Northern Illinois University’s dime novel collections and panel presentations in the afternoon. This event will offer regional educators, academics, and students at the graduate and undergraduate level the opportunity to present, learn, and experience dime novels directly from experts in the field. 

 

Educators who also wish to attend MCLLM may be eligible for a stipend to cover registration fees. The three best papers will be awarded a one-year subscription to the Dime Novel Round-Up based on their abstracts.

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KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Papers for the People is honored to host dime novel scholar Marlena E. Bremseth (editor of Dime Novel Round-Up and Who Was Guilty?: Two Dime Novels) as a keynote speaker

The publisher and editor of Dime Novel Round-Up since December 2012, Professor Marlena E. Bremseth is an American Popular Culture literature scholar whose areas of expertise include nineteenth century dime novels and story papers, detective fiction literature, and other popular culture literature genres. A veteran English professor, she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Howard University, Old Dominion University, Hawaii Pacific University, and The College of William & Mary, among other higher education institutions.

 

The author of Who Was Guilty? Two Dimes Novels by Philip S. Warne and Howard W. Macy, which chronicles the first person of Negro descent to publish a mystery story in the United States, and numerous published articles about popular culture literature authors, works, and genres, Marlena has also been a member of the Popular Culture Association since 1997, an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America since 2005, and has served on the Horatio Alger Society’s Board of Directors since 2014.

 

A native of southern California, Marlena currently resides in Round Hill, Virginia with her husband, a retired naval officer and consultant.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Papers for the People: A Symposium on the Dime Novels of Beadle & Adams is currently accepting proposals for 15-20 minute presentations on topics related to dime novels, especially those published by Beadle & Adams. As part of a partnership with Northern Illinois University’s annual Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media (MCLLM), the symposium shares in the theme of “Vision 2020,” and particularly seeks papers that explore topics concerned with representation and participation among a variety of identities. Papers may also cover (but are not limited to) any aspect of the following: authors, publishers, major characters, themes, readership, bibliography or research methods, social commentary, early or noteworthy genre forms, print culture, and special collections.

 

Proposals may be submitted online through Friday, March 13, 2020

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

 

Check back for updates

Unfortunately, due to  safety precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Papers for the People has been delayed until later in the year. Check back for new dates in the future. Thank you.

Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media

Northern Illinois University

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy

DeKalb, IL 60115

mcllm@niu.edu

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