John Dos Passos Society Conference

First Biannual John Dos Passos Society Conference


Chattanooga, TN


October 17-18, 2014




The John Dos Passos Society invites papers for its first biennial conference.  Prompted by the centennial of The Great War, a formative event in Dos Passos’s life and career, this conference will facilitate discussion of the author’s responses to war and other defining features of the early twentieth-century in his major and minor works.  The meeting will conclude with an address by John Dos Passos Coggin, who will speak about his grandfather’s “writing life” as it compared with the styles and habits of his friends Hemingway and Fitzgerald.



Possible topics might include Dos Passos’s relationships to:



  • ·      The Great War
  • ·      the expatriate experience
  • ·      the politics of democracy and Communism
  • ·      sex, sexuality, and gender
  • ·      labor, the proletarian novel, and the Popular Front
  • ·      Ernest Hemingway and other luminaries of the period
  • ·      formalist experimentation
  • ·      realist, modernist, and late-modernist aesthetics
  • ·      regionalism and internationalism
  • ·      genre:  histories, travel writing, poetry, and so on
  • ·      “the other Dos Passos”:  painting and the visual arts
  • ·      the Midwest



·     We will also hold a roundtable on “teaching Dos Passos,” and welcome short position papers on classroom experiences with his work.



Nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga, TN was recently listed by the NYTimes as one of the world’s “45 places to go.”  The city boasts a thriving Art District which features the Hunter Art Museum as well as great restaurants and coffee shops—all of which are adjacent to Coolidge Park and the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest pedestrian-only bridge in the Southeast.  Chattanooga also offers a world-renowned aquarium, as well as outdoor adventures and several historic sites pertaining to the Trail of Tears and the Civil War.  The conference has a group discount at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel, a renovated terminal station where participants may stay in conventional rooms or in restored sleeper cars.  The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will host the conference.  The university, currently enrolling almost 12,000 students, is located downtown only a few blocks away from the Tennessee River.



Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief CV to  Please make note of any A/V requests in your abstract.  For more information about registration and membership, traveling to Chattanooga, and previous panels and newsletters of the John Dos Passos Society, please visit our site at