Last week, I learned that I’ll be presenting a paper at the C19 Conference at the University of New Mexico, March 22-25, 2018. The conference theme is “Climate.”
My paper is called “In Nemo’s Footsteps: U.S. Responses to Verne’s Oceanic Internationalism.” I’ll be discussing the influence of Jules Verne on American writers in the 1880s and 90s and the removal of political content from Verne’s works by English translators. Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea portrays the ocean as a place for radical transformation of the political status quo. American writers, however, often mimicked the content of the de-politicized Verne bowdlerizations, and (perhaps unsurprisingly, and quite contrary to Verne) their undersea narratives view the ocean as an area for colonization and military expansion.
My paper covers two of the more complex variants of this problem: inventor dime novels featuring Frank Reade, Jr. and Tom Edison, Jr., who each use submarines to facilitate U.S. sovereignty.
C19 is the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists: “the first academic organization dedicated to nineteenth-century American literary and cultural studies.” Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to the other presentations featured at this event.