IALJS 3 2008 Conference

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Dr. Thomas Connery
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IALJS 3
Conference Report
by Isabel Santos





International Association for Literary Journalism Studies
CONFERENCE PROGRAM WITH ABSTRACTS


"Literary Journalism: Theory, Practice, Pedagogy"
The Third International Conference for Literary Journalism Studies


Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa - TULisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

15-17 May 2008

                      
 

Thursday, 15th May 2008

Session 1     9.00 - 9:30 Introduction and Welcome

John S. Bak (I.D.E.A., Nancy-Université, France)
João Bilhim, Director, ISCSP (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal)


Session 2     9.30 - 10.30 Poster/Work-in-Progress Session I

Session Title: "Literary Journalism: Process and Prospect"

(NOTE: Poster Presentations are 10 minutes each)

Moderator: Sam G. Riley (Virginia Tech, University U.S.A.)

1. Douglas Whynott (Emerson College, U.S.A.), "Observations on Nonfiction Book Structures"
Books that fall into the category of literary journalism, or narrative nonfiction, often utilize some common narrative structures. Writers use these structures but also innovate upon them. The author presents observations on these structures, and how they work, with analysis of Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains and House, (5-part structures), Seabiscuit and Travels with the Archdruid (3-part structure), In Cold Blood and Driving Mr. Albert (4-part structures), and A Civil Action and Beautiful Swimmers (12-part structures), and other books. Though awareness of these structures and their functions do not necessarily provide outlines for the composition of book-length narratives, such structures can provide pathways toward organization of materials, as well as serve as a useful tool for the teacher of techniques of literary journalism. Knowledge of these structures can also shed light on a particular writer's method.


2. Mike Doherty (Post-doctoral fellow, The London Consortium, U.K.), "'Being in the World': Fiction Writers and Literary Journalism after 9/11"
As Martin Amis has noted, "An unusual number of novelists chose to write some journalism about September 11." For Amis, these novelists "were playing for time," as their imagination had been "fully commandeered." Focusing on 9/11 and its aftermath, my paper will consider fiction writers' use of journalism as a means not just of stalling, but of finding new ways to fashion narrative out of events that seem to stop time. I will discuss a set of fiction writers' journalistic essays, taking as a theoretical starting point Zadie Smith's conception of the fiction writer's "personality" as a "manner of being in the world." Writing fiction subsumes this "personality" into style; by reporting on events and reflecting on them journalistically, one can make explicit one's way of structuring thought and experience. Literary journalism about traumatic events is often understood in terms of bearing witness or giving testimony; it can also enable a writer to work through stasis and understand trauma as part of a larger narrative. Indeed, fiction writers' responses to 9/11 tend to report on and rail against a sense of narrative disruption, from Philip Lopate's observation that the attack was an "affront to one's proper autobiographical arc" to A.M. Homes's sense that her imagination was "stilled" to Paul Auster's evocation of New Yorkers waiting in darkness on a stalled subway car. A work of literary journalism, I argue, can combat paralysis, kick-start the imagination, and reassert the value of the written word against terrorism's propaganda of the deed.


3. Nathalie Collé (I.D.E.A., Nancy-Université, France), "Literary Journalism and the French Concours"
To become a secondary school teacher in France, one has to pass either the C.A.P.E.S. or the more difficult Agrégation concours, both competitive state exams. Of the many individual exams which make up both concours, there is a "Synthèse de documents" exam, which collects three documents (one literary, one historical, and one visual) on a similar theme or issue and asks students to analyse and present them to a jury in a synthetic manner, that is, to find parallel themes, concepts, images, etc., and formulate a coherent argument about them, with necessary reference to their contexts of production. I have taught a course on how to prepare for this exam for nearly eight years now, and this past year I decided to prepare a dossier entitled "Literary Journalism and the American Depression." The dossier contained the following three texts: a "literary" passage from James Agee's Now Let Us Praise Famous Men (1941), a Walker Evans photograph from The Passengers (1938-41), and an interview from Stud Terkel's Hard Times: An Oral History of the American Depression (1970). While nearly any theme or type of text can potentially be used to prepare a dossier, I felt that literary journalism was most appropriate because it allowed students to tap into the rich literary and journalistic cultures of America during the Depression era. Many will have already read John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, as it also is on this year's concours programme, so they will have had the necessary background to examine the Agee text and appreciate the photograph by Evans as well as the interview from Terkel. This allowed me to focus more with the students on the impact of the literary journalistic elements found in each document. In French academic society, where one has to be either a literature specialist or a "civilization" specialist (or a linguist), I have found literary journalism the perfect genre to demonstrate how one can and should be both. Since each text is an example of literary journalism in its own right-Agee's prose description of the Ricketts' fireplace is as poetic as it is journalistic in detail; Evan's photo of railroad travellers is as narrative as it is photojournalistic; and Terkel's interview with Jim Sheridan is as dramatic in nature as it is historical in fact-they all serve to show that there is no clear-cut distinction between the literary text, the civilization text, and the photographic text, and that they all narrate the same (his)story (or at least that is what the students are supposed to develop in their synthèses) while historically documenting a precise moment in the life of an individual or a nation. They breakdown the distinctions assigned to varying "genres" and demonstrate instead the unity of "texts." Literary journalism, then, proves to be the best example of where the boundaries between aestheticism and objectivism blur when humanity is concerned.


4. Sharon Norris (Roehampton University, U.K.), "Schindler's Ark or Schindler's List: Fact, Fiction or Both"
In 1982 the Booker Prize, Britain's top literary award, went to Schindler's Ark, by the Australian author, Thomas Keneally. The problem, for some critics at least, was that the Booker's rules state clearly that the prize is awarded to 'the best full-length work of fiction'. While the book was published as fiction in Britain, in America (where it appeared as Schindler's List), it was listed as non-fiction. Keneally's "Author's Note" to the text confuses things further. While he admits to having used 'the texture and devices of a novel', and to having found it necessary to 'reconstruct conversations', he states that he has 'attempted to avoid all fiction'. In a BBC interview from 2007, Keneally added further fuel to the debate, by acknowledging that Schindler's Ark 'should never have won the Booker Prize', as it 'isn't fiction'. This paper argues that the difficulties in categorising Keneally's book shed light on wider boundary issues relating to the definitions of 'literary journalism' and 'literary non-fiction'. However, it also argues that the nature of the debate surrounding Schindler's Ark reveals both a literary culture (in the UK at least) too narrowly focused on a notionally clear-cut fiction/non-fiction divide, and the continued existence of a literary hierarchy that continues to privilege literary fiction above all else. In discussing these issues, the paper's author draws on her own earlier work on the Booker Prize.

Q&A - 10 minutes total


Session 3     10.45 - 11.45 Research Paper Session I

Session Title: "Literary Journalism's Role in Contemporary National Traditions"

(NOTE: Research Paper Presentations are 15 minutes each)

Moderator: Isabel Santos (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal)

1. Beate Josephi (Edith Cowan University, Australia), Christine Müller (BiTS, Germany), "Eyewitness or Foreign Eyes? Differences Between German and Australian Literary Journalism"
Australian author Anna Funder's Stasiland was one of the literary successes of 2003. Her book details the lives and sufferings of citizens in the former German Democratic Republic under its internal state security. Stasiland, which has been called in the Sunday Times "a masterpiece of investigative analysis, written almost like a novel, with a perfect mix of compassion and distance", is seen as one of the best exponents of current Australian literary journalism. Given its subject matter, it is ideally suited as a case study to highlight the differences between German and Australian notions of literary journalism. This article discusses the demands of verifiability and authenticity made on literary journalism, which vary in the two countries, as does the legal framework surrounding the genre. Both aspects would have made it impossible for Stasiland to have been written in Germany.


2. Jane Johnston (Griffith University, Australia), "Inside 'Inside Story': Literary Journalism Meets Investigative Reporting - A Case Study"
American literary journalist Mark Kramer argues that newspaper stories should be a narrative mix of intensive reporting with dramatic presentation (cited in Blair, 2006). This paper presents a case study of such a mix as it profiles the Australian newspaper's 'Inside Story', a series of page 1 stories that blend a range of newspaper styles and characteristics, including literary journalism, hard news and investigative reporting in Australia's only national daily broadsheet. It supports the view that, while it can be useful to distinguish between varieties of news such as hard and soft, news and features, such divisions are indeed outdated, as the case study brings together literary style into hard news topics, using investigative techniques. 'Inside Story' is unique in the Australian media landscape for a variety of reasons, and one former editor, now working in Bangkok, suggests it may be unlike any other in the world. This paper presents an inside view of 'Inside Story', tracking its genesis back to the 1960s and its development since that time. It includes interviews with current and former journalists and editors who have worked on 'Inside Story' and on stories that laid its foundations, and it analyses three editions of the series which are used to illustrate its blend of character, style and technique. It concludes that 'Inside Story' may be considered a model for engaging with the reader from the first page of the daily paper.


3. Bill Reynolds (Ryerson University Canada), "Like a Novella: The Golden Age of Canadian Literary Journalism"
In his book, A History of American Literary Journalism, Professor John Hartsock found a precursor to the New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s in the rougher, newsier journalism world of the 1890s-an antecedent also dubbed the New Journalism. I wondered whether or not Canada had followed, perhaps belatedly, a parallel path, and lately I have been searching for signs of first-wave New Journalism during the same time frame (and after). The search has proved more difficult than anticipated, with fleeting glimpses but no real substance until the 1950s. In the course of this research (which is ongoing), what has become obvious is that Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, following the lead set by the twin pillars of Clay Felker's New York Magazine and Harold Hayes's Esquire, enjoyed a boom in what has come to be known as literary journalism. In Toronto-based magazines such as Star Weekly, Weekend and Toronto Life, the genre we now refer to as literary journalism found happy homes. If Canada's magazine industry is today ruled by one specific category-women's service magazines-it was not always so. The exhilaration of the New Journalism, forever captured by Tom Wolfe's famous 1973 manifesto, "Like a Novel," instantly infected a willing and eager generation of Canadian editors and writers with the virus we now commonly call literary journalism. This presentation dwells on the peculiarly Canadian echo of the American explosion in literary journalism-its origin, its rise, its accomplishments and, alas, its decline.

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 4     12.00 - 12.45 Keynote Speech

Introduction: David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, U.S.A.)

Keynote: Tom Connery (University of St. Thomas, U.S.A.),

"Literary Journalism's Critique of Conventional Journalism: Historical Origins and Contemporary Issues"

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Lunch     12.45 - 14.15


Session 5     14.15 - 15.15 Panel I

Panel Title: "Teaching Literary Journalism: As Writing"

Moderator: Alice Trindade (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal)

Susan Greenberg (Roehampton University, U.K.)
Paulo Moura (Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal)
Bill Reynolds (Ryerson University, Canada)
Patsy Sims (Goucher College, U.S.A.)

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 6     15.30 - 16.30 Poster/Work-in-Progress Session II

Session Title: "Literary Journalism's Sustaining National Themes"

Moderator: Edvaldo Lima (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)

1. Douglas O. Cumming (Washington and Lee University, U.S.A.), "Desperate Southern Gentlemen: Expatriates of the South in New Journalism of the 1960s"
The press of the American South for most of its history remained stunted by pro-slavery polemics, by the lack of large cities and, between the end of the Civil War and the civil rights movement, by what Charlotte News editor W.J. Cash called "the savage ideal" - the suppression of dissent regarding the region's apartheid racial structures. But throughout this history, certain literary journalists in the South developed a creative, if ambivalent, relationship with commercial publishing centers in the north, particularly in New York. Such literary journalists range from Edgar Allan Poe to George Washington Cable, from Lafcadio Hearn to Walter Hines Page to a small number of liberal journalists inspired by H.L. Mencken's campaign to liberate the "Sahara of the Bozart" in the 1920s. Bolstered by this historical background, and in some ways repeating it, journalists from the South played a unique and disproportionate role in what came to be called New Journalism, the anti-objective magazine reportage that embraced fictional techniques to represent the cultural upheavals of the 1960s. Tom Wolfe, the Virginia-educated son of a Southern Planter editor, teamed with Esquire editor Harold Hayes, the North Carolina-educated son of a Baptist preacher. Other examples are George Leonard at Look magazine, Marshall Frady, Larry L. King and Willie Morris at Harper's, and Hunter Thompson, the original "desperate Southern gentleman" from Louisville. This work-in-progress argues from biography, history and text that such figures played a characteristic role as Southern outsiders in this journalism-reform movement. It relates to research I am doing for a book on the history of the Southern press.


2. Chen Peiqin (Shanghai International Studies University, China), "Social Movements and Chinese Literary Reportage"
Chinese Literary Reportage, Bao Gao Wen Xue, designated as a literary genre in the 1930s during the Chinese anti-Japanese war, has been considered by most Chinese literary critics as the best genre to expose social evils, and to call for people to take actions against social evils. Chinese literary reportage has been closely related with social movements since its emergence. This paper is to explore the role of literary reportage in the major social movements in China by reviewing the classic works of the genre, ranging from the early classics like Xia Yan's Slave Workers to present day influential works such as Chen Guilu's An Investigation of Chinese Peasants. By studying the major classics of literary reportage in different periods against their social backgrounds, this paper is to argue that the development of Chinese literary reportage has always been closely related with the social movement of its time and the flourishing of Chinese literary reportage has actually been rooted in sharp social conflicts of different times. At present day, when China is in a great transitional period, literary reportage has again drawn great attention from the public by targeting social problems like the life of modern Chinese peasants, corruption, environment and education.


3. Ömer Özer (Anadolu University, Turkey), "An Analysis of the Importance of Interviews regarding the Interviews of Augusto Pinochet and Cengiz Israfil"
The reportage is one of the important genres in Journalism. It is a descriptive kind of Journalism style; but it is different from interview since it contains the interview. For example, novel can be also considered as reportage. In interviews, subject is limited and certain questions are asked and it is really important for journalism practice. Interviews should not be unbiased. If it is believed that interviews are very informative, then it can be taken as a satisfactory one. There are three types of the interviews: planned, semi-planned and unplanned. In this study, we analyze the two interviews: the first is done by Nilgün Cerraho?lu, who is interviewed the Augusto Pinochet of Chilean dictator, and the second is carried out by one of the famous journalists Emin Çöla?an, who is questioned the former head of the privatization institution of Turkey in late 1980s. We select these two interviews, because of techniques used and efficiency of the interviews in terms of the hard time given to the persons in charge. In our analysis, we examine the attitudes of journalists, the structure and organization of the questions, attitudes of interviewers, and extent of the interviews providing the information about the contents of interviews. Also, based on above information, we try to classify the type of interviews and evaluate them.


4. Leonora Flis (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), "Louis Adamic - Slovenian-American Journalistic Voice of a New, Democratic Post-WW II Europe"
Louis Adamic (1898 - 1951), probably the most prolific American writer of Slovenian descent left an indelible mark on the political activity and literary work of Slovene Americans. Moreover, already in the 1930s and 1940s, his journalistic pieces (in Harper's, The Nation, The Saturday Review of Literature etc.) and novelistic texts, offered a prophetic vision of a free and unified Europe (he termed it "The United States of Europe"). In addition to that, Adamic gave a carefully structured proposition on America's role in the reconstruction of the post-WW II Europe while, simultaneously, criticizing America's isolating individualism. Being a keen social observer, Adamic in his writings, which are mostly first person documentary narratives, internalized the rhetoric of social and political reportage, dramatized his compulsion to be involved in the subject matter and denied his readers a complacent, non-critical reading stance. Like a proper literary journalist, Adamic demands a reaction, active engagement in his storytelling. He received endorsements from such esteemed literary figures as Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, President F. D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman invited him to the White House, and, last but not least, he received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1932. This enabled him to travel to Yugoslavia and write his book The Native's Return (1934), which became a bestseller in the U.S.. With this unique narrative, combining features of a travelogue, political and social commentary as well as an ethnological study, Adamic established himself as a negotiator and an interpreter between the European (Yugoslavian) and American cultures. His plans for the post-WW II renewal were expressed again in his 1941 book Two-Way Passage, and two years later in My Native Land. We will show how Adamic, an avid reader of Theodore Dreiser, James Agee and Henry .B. Adams, represents a distinctive take on literary journalism in the first half of the 20th century. And furthermore, how this immigrant writer/journalist, assuming a stance of an "independent liberal", as he preferred to be called, throughout his life fearlessly fought for a more just and freer world.

Q&A - 20 minutes total


Session 7     16.45 - 17.45 Research Paper Session II

Session Title: "The Political Dimensions of Literary Journalism"

Moderator: Viviane Serfaty (Université de Marne-la-Vallée, France)

1. Steve Guo (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong), Ye Lu (Fudan University, China), "Between the Lines: Literary Reporting and the Margin of Legitimacy in China"
Literary reporting (baogao wenxue) is the Chinese variation of reportage, the thematic characterization of literary journalism. As a popular style of long form journalism, literary reporting has a stand-alone position in the Chinese press, typically written with its own style and evaluated in its own right. Perhaps more true in China than elsewhere, major conjunctions of social transition and policy shift all have their own defining masterpieces of literary reporting. Respect for literary reporting owes much to what it is, free in structure, vivid in presentation, both attention grabbing and emotionally engaging. But the phenomenal status of literary reporting in China has more to do with what it does. It appears as though this way of story telling carries with it a pre-ordained mission to define or break norms and to orient the public mind toward or away from them. This study focuses on the dynamic relationship between literary reporting and the larger social milieu. We seek to identify and explain a common practice in literary reporting where intellectuals use the tool of marginalized legitimacy to advance their personal or collective agenda. Stylistic freedom in writing and contradictions in state advocacies at the same or different times (e.g., common good vs. individual achievement) combine to offer unbound grounds for creative narratives, tactful innuendos, and imaginative insinuations in literary reporting, all of which border on the deviant, and yet none of which violating professional codes, institutional norms, or party policies. We intend to conduct a discourse analysis on two epoch-making exemplars of literary reporting. Between Demons and Humans tells the fall from grace of a corrupt business manager, whereas Big Nation Few Citizens depicts a thorny court case. As social critiques, the two stories were written by different people at different historical junctures, each harboring its own hidden agenda, but revealing very different intellectual pursuits. Both toe the party line, the former relying on traditional morals, while the latter contemporary appeal of legality.


2. Isabelle Meuret (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium), "On the Campaign Trail: Five Characters in Search of Change"
From Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (2003) to Joan Didion's Political Fictions or Fixed Ideas: America Since 9/11 (2003), literary journalists have always had politics in their sights. A few months before the US presidential elections, candidates are in the limelight; they feed the news, strike chords and make memorable quotes. The audience is hooked, waiting for new developments in this action-packed serial replete with reversals and tearful moments. Campaign 2008 unfolds like a reality TV show with the active participation of an audience voting out unsuccessful candidates. My paper aims at reading the narratives developing around these dramatis personae, with special emphasis on the period starting when John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race. With chances narrowing down to five nominees, tension rises, making this campaign one of the most fascinating in history. To what extent are these political figures characterised? How well are they playing their part? Does the term 'political fictions' apply in this context where each character strives to carve his/her destiny and that of a nation against a backdrop of master narratives which overshadow their every move? This paper purports to deconstruct the clichés and 'fixed ideas' revealed in articles published in The New Yorker and Rolling Stone in the period described above. Joan Didion once pointed to the dichotomies arising between political leaders and citizens. By hammering in the term 'change' in their speeches, today's nominees insist they want to reconnect with their people and celebrate democracy. A critical and thorough analysis of the press sample will help show whether the narrativisation of the presidential race or, more generally, the fictionalisation of politics is a force for the better in understanding and altering reality.


3. Anthony Lake (Fatih University, Turkey), "E. M. Foster's Wartime Journalism and Death of Liberal Humanist England"
E. M. Forster's wartime journalism is a detailed restatement of the liberal humanist values that he had explored and advocated in his six novels, published between 1905 and 1924. After A Passage to India Forster wrote no more novels, but effectively developed a second writing career as a critic and journalist, writing on cultural and political matters. His various journalistic concerns come together in his journalism occasioned by World War Two. The proposed paper is concerned with the interactions of Forster's journalism with his own earlier fictional writing, and the historical and cultural contexts of totalitarianism and war. Forster's journalistic essays and articles provide a far more concise and clear statement of his liberal humanist creed than did the novels, though they do so in a cultural and political climate in which the assertion of a liberal humanist ideal had been far more problematic than it had in the novels written and published before 1914. Thus, in his wartime journalism, we see Forster working through old concerns that he had been unable to resolve in his fiction, in the new context of totalitarianism and war. The tragic paradox of Forster's position, which the paper will explore in detail, is that the war itself was the final undoing of the ideal that he sought to present as a means to avoid war, and at the very moment when Forster had found, in journalistic writing, the ideal medium for the development of his liberal humanist vision.

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 8     18.00 - 19.00 Executive Committee Meeting (if needed)

19.00 - ? Informal drinks and dinner

 


Friday, 16th May 2008

Breakfast     8.00 - 8.45 Scholar's Breakfast (per reservation)

Session 9     9.00 - 10.00 Panel II

Panel Title: "Teaching Literary Journalism: As Literature"

Moderator: David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, U.S.A.)

John Kenny (National University of Ireland - Galway, Ireland)
Jenny McKay (University of Stirling, U.K.)
Norman Sims (University of Massachusetts - Amherst, U.S.A.)
Alice Trindade (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal)

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 10     10.15 - 11.15 Poster/Work-in-Progress Session III

Session Title: "The Historical Origins in Literary Journalism"

Moderator: Patsy Sims (Goucher College, U.S.A.)



1. David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, U.S.A.), "Memento Vivere: Lessons"
If ever there was a project which could claim to be a work-in-progress, this must certainly be it. I am in the process of starting work on a book-length project which, I admit, seems almost impossible. My goal (conceit?) is to attempt, on a frighteningly ambitious scale, to thematically explicate the place of literary journalism in the world of nonfiction letters. My hope is that the resulting work will explore the sociocultural, economic, political, aesthetic and academic currents which have shaped -- and will continue to inform -- the genre's development. In addition, my objective will be to try to locate literary journalism in the technological and cultural transformations in which journalism finds itself today, as well as to suggest its place in the possible realities of tomorrow. The work I would be most grateful for an opportunity to present -- for any discussion, comment and criticism it might provoke -- is, in essence, the tentative thematic structure I have devised for the book, along with other supporting materials. Moreover, it might be worth adding that the underlying tenet (core assumption?) of the project is my strong suspicion that there might very possibly be value in the view that literary journalism can be both encountered and understood, on a number of levels, as a memento vivere -- a reminder of life.


2. Maria Leonor Sousa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal), "The Diffusion of British Culture Through Portuguese Periodicals"
Two PhD dissertations on Portuguese periodicals in the period leading up to 1890 have recently been submitted for evaluation and a project has been set up to enable research in this area to be extended into the twentieth century. Due to the lengthy time scale to be covered (up to 1974) it was decided to divide the period into sections in accordance with important events, such as the proclamation of the Republic (1910), the two World Wars, and the Revolution of 1974. There is a degree of flexibility which will allow the organization of the work to be modified as required as the periods in question vary much in the quality and content of available source materials. It is intended that the project will develop as part of a broader and more ambitious undertaking which provided the foundation upon which the Centro de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses was originally created, the diffusion of British Culture in Portugal as seen through translations, the accounts of British travellers and diplomats in Portugal, drama, opera, cinema and other cultural manifestations. Now the historical approach which led to the division into periods has been decided upon, the next step is a listing of the most significant periodicals which are likely to produce the most valid results. This will be carried out with recourse to works of reference and the National Bibliographic database (PORBASE). It may prove necessary to opt to exclude certain periodicals published outside the main urban centres or those of an exclusively political nature. Any decision of this kind cannot be taken a priori but only as the outcome of close scrutiny of available resources. Two lines of research have already been provisionally identified, one based in English and Portuguese in Hong Kong and Macau and a second on American periodicals.


3. Maria do Céu Marques (Universidade Aberta, Portugal), "John dos Passos: A Chronicler of the Twentieth Century"
Since the end of the nineteenth century, people had realized the importance of the media. All kinds of information, propagated by newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and literary works, revolutionised American way of thinking and contributed to the information of the masses especially in cities. They reported events that took place inside and outside the country. When the limits of journalism did not allow more creative work, many journalists turned to fiction, as happened to Whitman, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Willa Cather or John Dos Passos. Dos Passos's work as journalist allowed him to get involved with certain subjects that gave him other perspectives on life. The possibility he had to travel and be in touch with events that occurred in different places helped him to look at people and things in a more attentive way. Journalism taught him not to believe everything he was told but to see and judge by himself. When Dos Passos wrote fiction, he did not forget the power media and advertisements had on people's behaviour. He decided to make use of their rhetoric in biographies and "newsreels" to impress the reader and give him the opportunity to look around at himself and others. He knew that the press affected, and has been affected by the social issues of the time. Through his characters Dos Passos depicts scenes of daily life in his works to prove the importance papers have in telling people what is happening in the world.


4. Marius-Adrian Hazaparu (University of Iasi, Romania), "Entertainment Elements in the Romanian Literary Reportage of the Inter-War Period"
This kind of approach regarding the Romanian literary reportage is due to my attempt to "attack" the still existing dispute on the affiliation of the reportage one the one hand to literature, and on the other, to journalism. The starting point is represented by the language functions of the psychologist and philosopher Karl Bühler, mostly the appeal function, phatic function in Roman Jakobson's classification. The main idea is that the relevant function in a written text is the one that owns classifying power over the text itself. As all newspaper products, the reportage must be in accord with the expression of phaticity. In the case of the contemporary written press, obviously this is easily to demonstrate, since the newspaper layout offers supplementary possibilities, along with the so-called entertainment and infotainment elements, all designed for the maintenance of the contact with the reader. When talking about the literary reportage published in the Romanian inter-war press, the temptation of the scholars is to incorporate it in the literary genres, throwing a shadow on its possibilities to distinguish itself as a journalistic genre. Consequently, the search of its phaticity is of most importance for the establishment on solid grounds of the literary reportage of the second decade of the twentieth century. The case study will focus on the Filip Brunea-Fox's reportages, the eloquent reporter of the mentioned period. The novelty consists in changing the type of the analysis from a literary stylistic towards a stylistic of communication.

Q&A - 20 minutes total


Session 11     11.30 - 12.30 Research Paper Session III

Session Title: "Biographical Interpretations of Literary Journalism"

Moderator: Norman Sims (University of Massachusetts - Amherst, U.S.A.)



1. Ginger Carter Miller (Georgia College & State University, U.S.A.), Randy Miller, (University of South Florida, U.S.A.), "More than a Curious Footnote: The Literary Journalism Odyssey of Ralph Ginzburg and Eros Magazine"
This research was designed to connect the literary journalism aspirations of Ralph Ginzburg, who is known more for his pioneering First Amendment battles in 1965 on the charge of pandering, This research hopes to expose a rarely studied side of Ralph Ginzburg - his contribution to the field of literary journalism as both a writer and a publisher. Ginzburg worked as a writer, editor, and publisher for more than 40 years. Across his body of work, Ginzburg was concerned with realism, structure, voice, and in-depth research as a means of accuracy - all qualities ascribed in the 1970s to the genre of writers called literary journalism. From his first articles as a freelance magazine writer, to his time as one of the "young Turks" at Esquire, the "mother ship" of literary journalism, every literary experience was meaningful to Ginzburg because it planted the seeds for his future magazine, Eros. His publishing experience with The Helmsman Press, where he turned a magazine article into a short but meaningful work of literary journalism called An Unhurried View of Erotica, gave him the financial means to produce the magazine of his dreams. This paper will first establish the criteria for literary journalism using current scholarship, then it will trace Ginzburg's career in order to classify him within the genre. Future implications for additional research on Ginzburg's publications will also be discussed.


2. Gonzalo Saavedra (Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile), "Quote That Voice! Quotations and the Making of a Narrator in Literary Nonfiction"
The article shows how the narrator can tell more than what the literary and journalistic nonfiction orthodoxy dictates. By way of narrating a source's speech, the narrator can report states of consciousness-i.e., feelings, thoughts, perceptions-as it happens in novels that have what is commonly known as omniscient narrators. The result is an extensive paralepsis (the narrator tells more that he/she is allowed to tell by the narrative situation) that can be either legitimate or illegitimate. Although recent discussions had considered the issue (mostly Gérard Genette and Dorrit Cohn), this particular problem has not been studied thoroughly. The text reviews the procedures that make legitimate those transgressions or, as I call them, omniscient practices, attending mainly to the ways of quoting (modes of indirect speech). Depending on how a speech is reproduced (reconstructed), some effects can be achieved in the voice of the nonfiction narrator up to the point that this voice that tells true facts can be given powers that, in principle, are reserved just for fiction narrators. In the same way, is it possible to do some maneuvers with the narration time and achieve similar results. In all cases, and if the realization of these procedures is legitimate, the texts produced in this way are impressionistically considered as "literary nonfiction." Every procedure is illustrated by examples by journalists Gabriel García Márquez, Rick Bragg, Jesús Duva, Patricia Verdugo and Carmen Hertz, among others.

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Lunch     12.30 - 14.15


Session 12     14.15 - 15.15 Poster/Work-in-Progress Session IV

Session Title: "Types and Genres of Literary Journalism"

a. Moderator: John Kenny (National University of Ireland - Galway, Ireland)



1. Sharon Norris, Melanie McGrath (Roehampton University, U.K.), "'Unreliable Memoirs?' The Rewards and Challenges of Teaching Memoir in an Aacademic Context to Non-Specialists"
In January 2008, the Creative Writing team at Roehampton University, London offered a new course in memoir. What distinguished this course from others offered by the team was that it was targeted not at students, but at members of staff. This paper considers what lessons were learnt from the experience of teaching memoir within an academic context, but to non-specialists (here defined as academic, administrative and support staff with no previous background in writing). Among the questions we pose are: how do we account for the popularity of memoir in general; what were the students' aims in taking this course; and what did they hope to get out of it? We also pose more specific questions relating to the teaching and learning of memoir to non-specialists. These include: how does one decide on the syllabus for a memoir writing course and what are the main issues? How does one teach such a course in a situation a) where time is restricted (i.e. a 50 min lunchtime slot) and b) where no prior knowledge of key writing skills (e.g. researching and structuring material) may be presumed. One further important issue we discuss is whether teaching style, content and presentation for this class had to be altered, and in what ways, to take account of the academic/non-academic breakdown of group members. The paper contextualises these questions by outlining why the course was set up, and it concludes by considering whether the course and teaching model developed might be transferrable to other contexts.


2. Joshua Roiland (Saint Louis University, U.S.A.), "Reclaiming Authority: Salvador's Disillusion with Official Sources and Solutions"
There is a long tradition of scholarship exploring the political consequences of professional conventions of print journalism. These problematic conventions include, but are not limited to, the demand for objectivity, the reliance on official sources, the use of summary-lead paragraphs, the privileging of facts over opinions, and the marginalization of storytelling. These conventions reduce a reader's agency and ability to respond to the texts. My paper proposes that literary journalism offers alternatives to many of the political problems identified by conventional journalism scholars. Journalism's contract with the public is never so necessary or precarious as it is during war; consequently, I interrogate Joan Didion's Salvador in order to test my hypothesis of literary journalism. I argue that Didion's subjectivity, authority, and narrativity-features present in most literary journalism-contribute to a more emotionally resonant and politically effective picture of the civil war in El Salvador. I compare Didion's account of the civil war in El Salvador with articles from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, as well as broadcasts from CBS Evening News, in order to demonstrate how her (and the genre's) stylistics improve upon conventional journalism. The significance of this paper transcends Didion's work and speaks to a larger-and largely unrecognized-feature of literary journalism: its political significance. Literary journalism has existed nearly as long as the conventional press, yet scholars have largely ignored a parallel discussion of the political consequences of the genre's unique blend of reporting and writing style, opting instead to treat literary journalism as an artful response to the constraints of conventional journalism. I am interested in demonstrating how the aesthetics of the genre have the potential to enhance democratic principles by establishing a more rational public sphere. There is a lot of scholarship on journalism and the public sphere, but few scholars make the inductive leap to literary journalism. My paper will propose a political theory of literary journalism that uses reader response theory to explain how the genre's subjectivity, authority, and narrativity offer readers more potential than conventional journalism to engage in fundamental democratic principles like voting, assembly, and discourse. In his historiography of the genre, John Hartsock revealed literary journalism's long democratic tradition. A host of contemporary scholarship has recognized and advocated for the continuance of the genre's populist subject matter and style of presentation. The scholarship reveals that literary journalists often choose to report on the everyday, and present their findings in the similarly egalitarian style of realism. Norman Sims is emblematic of the scholars who champion the populist topics of the literary journalist. Sims believed literary journalists broke free from what Walter Lippmann deemed a "managerial elite" because "through their eyes we watch ordinary people in crucial contexts." In connection with their attempts to write about ordinary or marginalized subjects, literary journalism employs a style of realism that is often absent in conventional journalism. Thomas Connery continued the scholastic vein of championing the democratic motivation behind literary journalism's realism by asserting that it shares the same goal as the historical method, which is to "capture people as they really are." Connery claimed, "Literary journalism attempts to show readers life and human behavior, even if what actually emerges is life's incomprehensibility and the inexplicability of human behavior." Norman Sims has said that the combination of egalitarian subject and realistic method changes the way he encounters work: "Whether or not literary journalism equips me for living differently than other forms of literature, I read as if it might." These scholars all allude to literary journalism's potential to engage citizens in various manifestations of democracy, ranging from voting to demonstrating to discourse, than conventional journalism. My paper will make those connections and explanations explicit by explaining the politics of the genre's aesthetics.


3. Maria João Ferreira (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal), "It's Closure Time in the Gardens of the West: Politics of (In) Security and Risk. Politicization Discourse Through the Lenses of Susan Sontag's Literary Journalism"
"It is closure time in the gardens of the west", said Susan Sontag when describing north-American society one year after 9/11. "Closure" is employed, in Sontag's narrative, as the feeling which best translates societal responses to a world increasingly governed through the political manipulation of fear and therefore of risk. Risk is one of the concepts that has become recurring, especially since 9/11, in political and academic imaginary. Discussed by those who devise strategies to manage it, by those who see it as a structural trait of world post-modern society or even by those who regard it as a fundamental element in contemporary "politics of insecurity", risk is transversal to several approaches throughout the social sciences. The objective of my paper is to discuss post 9/11 securitisation discourse as depicted in the critical thought of Susan Sontag. I relate Sontag's anti-securitisation perspectives with her preview work on the politics of exclusion, namely through the deepening of the 'tainted communities' concept. I try to explain Sontag's literary project, connecting her thought on risk perception in the security and health fields with Michel Foucault's work on 'biopower' and 'governamentality security devices'. I conclude by demonstrating the importance of literary journalism in exposing the contingent and socially constructed nature of risk, contributing to the deconstructing of risk politicisation strategies.


4. John S. Bak (I.D.E.A., Nancy-Université, France), "Sez Who? Sez Mike: Royko, Literary Journalism and Chicagoese"
Often called the voice of the Chicago Everyman, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mike Royko captured in newsprint what the voices in the street were saying about Chicago. Tough, gritty, always controversial, Royko used his column to keep Chicago Mayor Daley and his powerful political machine under constant scrutiny. From his best seller Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago (1971) to his Pulitzer for political commentary the following year, Royko was Chicago, and his syndication in 800 newspapers nationwide only served to show readers from other major U.S. cities and small towns just how "Chicago" Daley was as well. Frequently using literary conventions such as satire, irony, wit and understatement to make his points, Royko also resorted to "conversations" with his dramatis personae (i.e., Slats Grobnik, a popular literary character of Polish working-class descent, or Dr. I. B. Kookie), setting himself up as the journalistic straw man to his characters' more sardonic, often unpolitically-correct criticism. In his 1983 collection, Sez Who? Sez Me, Royko turned his embittered pen on the wider political scandals of the nation, from the Watergate scandal to the Iran hostage crisis; and yet, he never entirely turned his attention away from the Daley machine of Chicago politics. In Sez Who? Sez Me, as in his earlier collections, Royko's fictional characters speak out against widespread political corruption in Chicago, one that was at the heart of the riots of the 1968 Democratic Convention. Corrupt language lies at the heart of corrupt politics, as Orwell has demonstrated, and Royko perfected understood the power of Daley's Chicagoese, which equated eloquence and grace with political weakness in a city famous for political hot air and big shoulders. Criticizing the machine with its own language-in particular, the key Chicago term "clout"-Royko was able to draw in working-class readers who were frequently supportive of Daley's "apparent" blue-collar agenda. For instance, in one column, "What 'Clout Is and Isn't" (7 June 1973), he berates non-Chicagoans for misappropriating the Chicago word:
"That word is 'clout,' and it has been part of the City Hall vocabulary for years. A while back, a mascara-smeared editor at Vogue magazine wrote an item about it-getting the Chicago meaning thoroughly goofed up-and 'clout' was snatched up in New York and Washington and other provinces" (100). For Royko and for Daley, "Clout is used to circumvent the law, not to enforce it. It is used to bend rules, not to follow them" (101).
He then provides an example of Daley-esque Chicagoese to underline his point: "So this beef comes in from a goo-goo that I asked him to make the drop, but just when it looked like I was gonna be vised, my Chinaman clouted for me downtown and it was all squared." Which, in a foreign language, would mean: A complaint was made by a do-gooder that I solicited a bribe from him, but just when it appeared that I would be fired, my sponsor intervened in my behalf, and the complaint was suppressed in City Hall. Or as a pious payroller might say: The mayor is my clout; I shall not want. (102) "We must try to preserve the purity of Chicagoese" (102), Royko ironically concludes, not because it keeps Chicago's rough identity, but because without the language there would be no Daley and no political machine-and without Daley (whose son is Mayor today of Chicago), there would no Chicago. Had Royko tried writing his five columns per week in a voice more fitting his liberal intellectualism, he simply would not have had as much influence-dare I say "clout"-over his readers as he did for most of his 33 year career.

Q&A - 20 minutes total


Session 13     15.30 - 16.30 President's Address and Annual Business Meeting/Election

IALJS Annual Business Meeting-Lisbon

Agenda

1. IALJS President's Address
2. Treasury Report
3. LJS status and CFP
4. Amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws (with vote)
5. Membership Issues (how to continue attracting more members and increase dues)
6. Website: changes; minor improvements; creating the LJS website
7. IALJS Newsletter update
8. IALJS 4-Chicago
9. Future IALJS projects (ESSE 9 and the book currently under consideration at U Mass)
10. New business
11. Farewell address
12. Nomination and elections
13. Installation of new officers and chairs
14. Adjournment


Party     16.45 - 18.00 Conference Reception

Dinner     19.00 - ? Conference Banquet

 


Saturday, 17th May 2008

Session 14     9.00 - 10.00 Panel III

Session Title: "Short-Form Literary Journalism: Testing the Boundaries"

Moderator: Tom Connery (University of St. Thomas, U.S.A.)

John Hartsock (SUNY Cortland, U.S.A.)
Sam G. Riley (Virginia Tech University, U.S.A.)
Viviane Serfaty (Université Paris - Est, France)
Jenny McKay (University of Stirling, U.K.)

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 15     10.15 - 11.15 Research Paper Session IV

Session Title: "Literary Journalism: Its Sources and Outcomes"

Moderator: John Hartsock, (SUNY Cortland, U.S.A.)



1. Isabel Santos (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal), "South: Where Travel Meets Literary Journalism"
South (Sul in Portuguese) is a collection of articles written over the years by Miguel Sousa Tavares, a very well-known controversial Portuguese journalist and successful novelist, and published in book form in 1998. In September 2007, the editors decided to present the public with a surprising 75.000-copy new revised 10th edition, which, for Portuguese standards, confers best-selling status to the work in question. South is a series of travel accounts that Sousa Tavares, an insatiable traveller to southern latitudes, wrote and published in the Portuguese press. However, these are not the accounts of a tourist going places for private purposes or recreation. Sousa Tavares is the observer of different realities, may they be in the South of his own country, in the exotic landscapes of the Amazon or in the arid immensities of Africa. He is always the reporter, the translator of places to the public. He is the first to state that he always had a commission, a task to perform, an objective to write about. And he is also the first to declare that his journalistic intentions were never carried out because, in the contact with the subject he was supposed to observe, he always found something that led him to a different journalism, a distinct way of reporting. He can never be the detached journalist, he is the journalist on an immersion process that leads him to the ultimate apprehension of his object of reporting: the subjective knowledge of something. With this paper we aim at disclosing how literary journalism is making its way in/through the contemporary Portuguese press. And, for the first time, we are analysing one of the most popular and known Portuguese journalists and stating that his is a peculiar form of journalism because it is literary journalism. Furthermore, we select, as corpus of our study, texts that can both fall within the realm of travelogue and literary journalism, those two hybrid forms that intersect one another and whose boundaries fail to be clear and well-defined. Therefore, we will be concentrating mainly on the article entitled "Alentejo: On a Landscape of Ruins" in which the author writes about the Alentejo, a southern province of Portugal. Travelling in the Alentejo, Sousa Tavares sees a decaying land of abandoned farms, mines and villages, the ruins of a part of the country neglected by central administration. A corrosive article that exposes the literary journalist's disenchantment with Portuguese politics and his hope in the brighter days to come.


2. William Dow (Université de Valenciennes and the American University of Paris, France), "Class Representation and the Politics of Impersonality in James Agee's 'Saratoga' and 'Havana Cruise'"
Agee's literary journalism contains the hope of trying to invent a new transforming aesthetic practice in which, as Agee states in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), "the reader is no less centrally involved than the authors and those of whom they tell" (Praise 28). Phyllis Frus argues that literary journalism, due to its predominantly "non-fictional" form, is a kind of discourse where "true and false" are more important "distinctions" than in "literature" (9). This, though, I think, cannot be said of Agee, especially because of his highly self-conscious style, which blurs almost every distinction between literature and non-fiction, his undermining of the dichotomy between "literature" and "mass culture" (contravening the conventional belief that "literature is thought of as the realm where, even when a work represents the world, its truth or falsity is irrelevant" Frus 8-9), and his conception of narrative "truth." As he argues in Famous Men, "Journalism can within its own limits be 'good' or 'bad,' 'true' or 'false,' but it is not in the nature of journalism even to approach any less relative degree of truth" (206). Agee's plea for a kind of journalism that would not "poison the public" (Praise 206) but would "perceive in full and…present immaculately what was the case" (Fitzgerald 29) has significant ramifications for his class representations in which a "reliable" and "percipient" (participant-) observer "must not be ignored" (Ashdown 60). Above all, in his literary journalism, Agee sees himself foremost as a cultural and social critic. Thus while expediting his "great claims" (Ashdown, Agee 197), he never abandons his point of view and his subjects rarely speak for themselves. Agee's journalistic assignments for Fortune, Time, and the Nation in the nineteen thirties and forties included stories on the Tennessee Valley Authority (a kind of conventional documentary counterpart to Famous Men), cockfighting, industrial pollution, a war-damaged Europe, the death of F.D.R., and the U.S. commercial orchid industry. For my purposes, though, the most important pieces are "Saratoga" (Fortune, 1935) and "Havana Cruise" (Fortune, 1937), neither of which have received the critical attention they deserve. Preceding the actual writing of Famous Men by less than a year, "Saratoga" anticipates the Agee narrator of the Alabama experience: prescient yet uncertain, observing himself as much as he observes others, getting close to his subjects by giving us their world as a substitute for themselves. "Havana Cruise," published a year after Agee's most famous work, extends many of the techniques of Famous Men, revealing, most notably, his subjects through the portrayal of objects while employing strategies of address that complicate the relationship between representation and real experience. Yet while trying to discover another form of class knowledge-this time that of the "middle-class," Agee, inversing his intention in Famous Men, de-sacralizes his subjects, and, in so doing, condemns them for their non-defiance. Both articles attempt to portray people as something more than sociological entities and to discover some of the basic patterns of 1930s American culture.


3. Robert Alexander (Brock University, Canada), "Fabricators Atone: Michael Finkel's True Story and the Literary Journalism of Repair"
In this paper, I examine the uncomfortable relationship between literary journalism and journalistic fabrication. In particular, I am interested in the possibility that the emphasis on objectivity in modern journalism alienates the journalist's subjectivity in a manner which gives rise not only to literary journalism, as John C. Hartsock has argued, but also, in some very specific cases, to fabricated news. In making this argument, I offer no excuses for the fabricators. I am interested, rather in the excuses the fabricators make for themselves and particularly the way those excuses , in order to restore the damaged reputations of their writers, draw on the techniques of literary journalism. I will discuss two such works: briefly, Stephen Glass's The Fabulist (2003) and, at greater length, Michael Finkel's True Story (2005). In both, the authors write in genres which permit them to express the subjectivity previously denied to them as journalists. (Glass's book is a novel, Finkel's a work of literary journalism.) Curiously, however, in both works, that repressed subjectivity manifests itself in characters which function as doubles of the authors. In Glass's text, for example, this doubling is evident in the author's third-person account of the follies of his protagonist "Stephen Glass." More bizarre still, though, is the explicit identification which emerges in True Story between former New York Times Magazine writer (and exposed fabricator) Finkel and his book's subject, a man who, having murdered his wife and three children, fled to Mexico where he assumed Finkel's identity. Such doubles function, I will argue, to differentiate the fabricator's past from present selves. They also, however, imply a critique of conventional journalism not unlike what we find in some works of literary journalism for, in the interplay of these authors and their dark doubles, one may discern an attempt to atone, that is, in the most etymologically precise meaning of the term, to become "at one" with themselves, repairing the effects of a subjectivity riven by the alienating effects of journalistic objectivity.

Q&A - 15 minutes total


Session 16     11.30 - 12.30 Closing Convocation

David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, U.S.A.)


Lunch     12.30 - 14.15

Tour     14.15 - 17.15 Lisbon Tour

Farewell     19.00 - ? Informal drinks and dinner