General Information

The 20th Annual Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State University
Regarding Iteration: Narratives of Imitation and Innovation
February 11-12, 2010
Keynote Address by Brian McHale, Ohio State University


Reiteration is never merely the repetition of what has been said. Rather, it is what Derrida described as “repetition with a difference,” always deviating significantly from its referent. To tell a story again is to change it somehow. This confluence of imitation and innovation is at the heart of literary discourse. In revising an old myth for a new audience—as Margaret Atwood, John Gardner, and others have done—an author might discover novel ways to reflect upon contemporary issues in the political clime. Similarly, the adaptation of an Elizabethan play for modern moviegoers may offer a diachronic analysis of the gap between two historical moments. Parody, too, is the product of reiteration, as it simultaneously repeats and subverts its subject. At the 2010 Mardi Gras Conference, we will explore the myriad significance of reiteration in works from a variety of eras and media. Our panels will address the repetition and difference one encounters in adaptations, revisions, pastiches, sequels, allusions, recurring themes, archetypes, and tropes. This year's keynote address will be delivered by Brian McHale, Distinguished Humanities Professor of English at Ohio State University and author of Postmodernist Fiction and Constructing Postmodernism. We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Ilana Shiloh, author of Paul Auster and Postmodern Quest: On the Road to Nowhere, as a guest speaker.

Presentation Schedule

February 11, 2010-- Old President’s House

8:30 am-- Conference Room
Revisiting Narratives of the Atlantic
Mitch Frye, Chair

“To Do What a God Would Do”: Jamaica Kincaid’s Unequivocal Origins in My Garden (Book), Jessica Puzzo (University of North Carolina-Greensboro)

“Do dragoons ever moralize?”: The Alterity of Circum-Atlantic Performance in George Washington Cable’s The Grandissimes, Joseph Donica (Southern Illinois University)

Reiteration in George Washington Cable’s The Grandissimes and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, Adam Long (University of Kansas)


8:30 am-- Reading Room
Victorian Women on the Page and on the Stage
Corrie Kiesel, Chair

“Ere she quits her gypsy life for aye”: Gypsies and (Inter)National Discourse in Il Trovatore, The Bohemian Girl, and The Merry Zingara, Catherine Riley (Louisiana State University)

“Troubling” Adaptations: Jane Eyre and the Double Dilemma of Staging Cultural Regulation, Doris Raab (Louisiana State University)

George Eliot and St. Theresa of Middlemarch, Ali Rezaie (Louisiana State University)


10:00 am-- Conference Room
Place and Displacement
Amanda Wicks, Chair

On the Road Again/Mythic Heroes of the West: Francis Parkman’s Influence on Jack Kerouac, Scott Holman (Idaho State University)

Time-Space Compression and the Role of Television in David Foster Wallace's “Little Expressionless Animals,” Andrew H. Banecker (Louisiana State University)

“The Forest of Marble”: The Role of Venetian Images in Ezra Pound’s Cantos, Elena Shabliy (Tulane University)


10:00 am-- Reading Room
Approaching Postcolonial Reiterations
Sukanya Gupta, Chair

The Infidelity Approach to Postcolonial Film Adaptation, Jerod Hollyfield (Louisiana State University)

Future Beyond the Nation-State: Strategies of Postnationalist Indian Science Fiction, Suparno Banerjee (Louisiana State University)

Haunted by History: The Postcolonial Gothic in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Meghan Carlton (James Madison University)


11:30am-1:00pm
Break for Lunch


1:00pm Conference Room
Satire: Reiteration with a Caustic Edge
Andrew Banecker, Chair

“My Immediate Weapons are Necessary and Can Help”: Contemporary Satire in Dawn Powell’s A Time to be Born and The Locusts Have No King, Amanda Wicks (Louisiana State University)

The Joke’s on You: Parody and the Postmodern in Green Grass, Running Water, Conor Picken (Louisiana State University)

Trickster Ex Machina: The Transmigration of Humorous Power in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Pete Pappas (Louisiana State University)


1:00 pm-- Reading Room
Performing and Transforming the Shakespearean Text
Erin Breaux, Chair

Reviewing Reiterations: Nineteenth Century Performance Reviews of Macbeth on Stage, Helena Brigman (Louisiana State University)

Reinventing Shakespeare in the Twentieth Century African-American Novel: The Tempest in Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day, Melissa Browning (University of Maryland)

“I Cannot Say the Words”: The Passion of Celia in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Rebecca Mertz (University of Pittsburgh)


2:30 pm-- Conference Room
Ruminations on Violence
Lindy Dentinger, Chair

Infamous!: Narrative, Repetition, and Violence in Conrad’s The Duel, Nicole Zeftel (City University of New York)

“A Cross of Blood”: R.M. Bird’s Nick of the Woods as a Response to J.F. Cooper’s Frontier Gothic, Bob Hodges (University of Mississippi)

Family Feuds: Mark Twain’s “Private History” and Repetitions of the Fireside Family after the Civil War, Robert Arbour (Indiana University)












2:30 pm-- Reading Room
Fantasy and Chivalry
Rich Cooper, Chair

History, Mystery, or Conspiracy?: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Knights Templar, Arwen Taylor (Indiana University)

Reiteration and Simulacrum in Jeff Vandermeer’s “The Hoebgotten Guide to the Early History of Ambergris” by Duncan Shriek, Rich Cooper (Louisiana State University)

Questioning Authority: Philip Pullman’s Authority and John Milton’s Satan, David Riche (Louisiana State University)


4:00 pm-- Conference Room
The Referential Fiction of Walker Percy
Deighton Zerby, Chair

The Role of Reiteration in the American South: A Tour of Three Authors, Three Genres, and Thirty Years, Katharina Worch (Goethe University-Frankfurt)

A Text on Derrida’s Dissemination and Percy’s The Moviegoer, Michael T. Smith (Purdue University)

Fighting the Burden of Grief with Laughter: Oppression, Violence, Death, and Humor in Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces and Percy’s The Moviegoer, Anna Nelson (Louisiana State University)


4:00 pm-- Reading Room
The Detective Fiction of Paul Auster
Kris Mecholsky, Chair

Adaptation, Repetition, and Amplification in City of Glass: The Graphic Novel, Cara Williams (University of North Carolina-Greensboro)

Navigation Narratives in Paul Auster’s City of Glass, Lindsay Bartkowski (University at Buffalo)

“You’re Breaking Up With Me?”: Paul Auster’s Alterations to the Author/Reader Relationship, Jeffrey Blanchard (Drew University)


6:00 pm-- Old Law Building
Keynote Address-- Models and Thought-Experiments, Dr. Brian McHale


7:30 pm-- The Faculty Club
Conference Dinner








February 12, 2010-- Old President’s House

8:30 am-- Conference Room
Adaptation and Alteration on Stage
Doris Raab, Chair

Singing the Secret: Wilkie Collins and Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Woman in White, Carrie Lynn Sickmann (Indiana University)

“Go Back to the Beginning”: Legacy, Desire, and Ghosting in the Playwriting Workshop, John Patrick Bray (Louisiana State University)

“Fog People”: Escape, Regression, and Addiction in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, Natalie Chambers (Indiana State University)


8:30 am-- Reading Room
Print Culture and Communication
Jaime Cantrell, Chair

Reiterating Media: Subjective Communication Technologies in John Dos Passos’s The 42nd Parallel, Travis Rozier (University of Mississippi)

Samuel Richardson’s Experiment: Remaking the Fable in Clarissa, Collin Jennings (New York University)

“writing ghost writing”: Susan Howe as Bibliographical Re-animator in Eikon Basilike, Jeremy Burgess (University of Louisville)


10:00 am-- Conference Room
Modernism on the Fringe
Conor Picken, Chair

Almost the Same, but Not Quite: Ironic Appropriation of For Whom the Bell Tolls in Carlos Bulosan’s The Cry and the Dedication, Robert Brown (George Washington University)

Post-Expressionist Magic Realism and the New World Baroque in the Transatlantic Aesthetics of Jorge Luis Borges and William Faulkner, Deighton Zerby (Louisiana State University)

Reiterating Speech in Ring Lardner’s Fiction, Al Dixon (Louisiana State University)


10:00 am-- Reading Room
Twentieth Century Poetry
Tom Sowders, Chair

The Structure of Rime: Robert Duncan’s Poetics of Reiteration, Matt Clothier (University of Kansas)

Allen Ginsberg and the Marketing of the Cold War Queer Body, Brigitte McCray (Louisiana State University)

“I Just Wrote that I Did”: Confession as Alteration in Sexton, Eric Doise (University of Florida)



11:30 am-1:00 pm
Break for Lunch


1:00 pm-- Conference Room
Sequels, Adaptations, and Fascists: Reiteration on Film
Laura Marks, Chair

“Everybody Deserves a Second Chance”: Hamlet 2, the Inspirational Teacher Film, and the Restaging of the Culture Wars, David McAvoy (Indiana University)

Revolutionary Road: A Story of Terminations, Shane Smith (Georgia State University)

No Place for Softness: The Fascist Aesthetic in Zack Snyder’s 300, Kris Mecholsky (Louisiana State University)


1:00 pm-- Reading Room
(Re)Modeling our Others: Draculas, Jasons, Michaels, and Freddies
John Browning, Chair

Horror-fying Whiteness: Slasher Conduct, Masculinity, and the Cultural Politics of Halloween, Tiffany Bryant (James Madison University)

Hybridity is Monstrosity for Beowolf: The Lines of Identity in the Old English Poem and the 2007 Film, Linda Dolan (New York University)

The Evolution of Zombies from Monsters to Heroes, Rachel Van Sickle (Louisiana State University)


2:30pm-- Conference Room
(Re)Visions in/of Rhetoric and Composition
David Riche, Chair

Literacy among Deaf Students, Andrea Sonnier (Louisiana State University)

Writing for the Public: The Intersections of Journalism and Composition, Eleni Economides (San Francisco State University)

Revising the Freshman Composition Course Using Cultural Studies Criticism and Non-Canonical Literature, Diana Yildiz (Georgia State University)


2:30 pm-- Reading Room
In Theory
Peter Pappas, Chair

Loose Vowels: Lil Wayne, Linguistic Waste, and Other Shit, Lindsay O’Connor (University of Virginia)

Originality and Boredom: Repetition, or Something Like It, Macy Patrick Todd (New York University)

Rosemary Waldrop and the Texture of Wittgenstein’s Writing, Andy Nicholson (University of Nevada- Las Vegas)


4:00 pm-- Conference Room
Diverse Verse
Brigitte McCray, Chair

Petrarchan Satire: The Painted Female Body in the Sonnets of Gaspara Stampa and Sor Juana Ines de Cruz, Alani Hicks-Bartlett (University of California-Berkeley)

Kubla Kahn: The Romantic Republic, Olga Gudkov (Louisiana State University)

The Matter of Prophecy: The Alchemical Character of Spiritual Transformation for Blake and Milton, Cory Teubner (Wichita State University)


4:00 pm-- Reading Room
Mysterious Fictions
Kris Mecholsky, Chair

White Man’s Burden: Blood, Vomit, and Light in August, Mary Timothy Wilson (Louisiana State University)

The Original of Laura as Nabokov’s Entrance into the Critical Conversation Surrounding Lolita, Paul Ardoin (Florida State University)

Metaphors of Paradox in Detective Fiction and Film, Dr. Ilana Shiloh (Guest Speaker)

Jim Springer Borck Essay Prize

The Mardi Gras Conference sponsors an annual essay contest to honor the memory of Prof. Jim Borck. All presenters are eligible to enter.

Submit electronic entries to mitchfrye@gmail.com by January 20, 2010. We are using a blind submission format (author's name and affiliation removed from the essay), so papers will need to be prefaced by a cover letter providing contact information and essay title. These entries will be forwarded to a reading committee comprised of two LSU professors and two LSU graduate students. Papers will be judged on their overall quality, and the prize will be awarded at the conference dinner.

The contest winner will receive $150-- with the stipulation that $100 must be donated to the American Diabetes Association.

Conference Details

Below you will find helpful information about the conference, including suggestions for hotel accommodations and some specifics about conference events. Many aspects of the conference are still in development, so this entry is subject to change.

Hotel Accommodations

We have reserved a block of rooms at the newly opened Staybridge Suites on Nicholson Drive. Room rates are approximately $124 per night for a single suite and $200 per night for a double. If you are calling to make reservations, please mention that you will be attending the EGSA Mardi Gras Conference.

Panel Locations

All panels will be hosted on campus in the Old President's House, home of LSU's historic Southern Review. A listing of panel topics and presentation times will be made available as we near the actual conference dates.

Keynote Address

Brian McHale will deliver the conference's keynote address on Thursday, February 11 in the auditorium of LSU's Old Law Building.

Conference Dinner

Attendees are invited to attend the conference dinner at the LSU Faculty Club on Thursday night following the keynote address. Winner of the Jim Springer Borck Essay Prize will be announced at this event. Reservations and payment ($26, check payable to EGSA) must be made ahead of time. You will be able to choose your entree of choice, but the sides are fixed. The tentative menu is listed below:

Salad-- Mixed Garden Greens w/ Choice of Dressing
Entrees-- Mahi Mahi, 10 oz New York Strip, or Grilled Vegetable Platter
Starch Side-- Twice-Baked Potato
Veggie Side-- Green Beans Almondine (vegetarian style, no bacon)
Dessert-- Peach Cobbler

Facebook Group
For more frequent and detailed updates, join our Facebook group. Search "EGSA Mardi Gras Conference" at Facebook to find our page and become a member.