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Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence

Bloomington, Indiana
Organization: Indiana University
Categories: American, Interdisciplinary, British, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2019-05-09 to 2019-05-11 Abstract Due: 2019-02-22

* Extended Deadline for Submissions *

Friday, February 22


Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence

Call for Academic Papers


Indiana University Bloomington is pleased to announce a call for papers for Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence, a two-day conference/festival in celebration of the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut to be held May 9-11, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana.


This unique gathering adopts Vonnegut’s penchant for defying conventions, both artistic and social. Granfalloon is part symposium, part exhibit, part performance, part music festival…and a celebration of all things Vonnegut.  Highlights include discussions led by world-renowned Vonnegut scholars and friends; conversations with author Dave Eggers; performances by Neko Case, Khruangbin, and others; dramatic productions of Vonnegut’s works; access to a vast archive of Vonnegut artifacts at the Lilly Library; and so much more.


The planning committee is currently accepting proposals for both individual papers and panel discussions. Papers/panels are welcome which explore all aspects of Vonnegut’s life and work.  This year we are especially interested in papers that address his enduring relevance today, through topics such as:


·       Civic Engagement – How does one participate optimistically in local civic life while managing the entanglements of national politics and culture? How does Vonnegut’s fascination with this topic inform our own understanding of civic engagement today?

·       Science and Catastrophe – How does Vonnegut’s scientific skepticism relate to contemporary skepticism, especially of global climate change? How does a novel such as Galapagos anticipate and complicate today’s narratives of global disaster?

·       Government Corruption – Vonnegut’s scathing reflections on high crimes and misdemeanors—in A Man Without a Country and Jailbird—have lost none of their moral fury. What lessons have we learned or failed to learn?

·       “Hoosier” – Vonnegut both cherished and lampooned this regional identity.  How did Vonnegut’s Indiana upbringing shape his adult life?  Does a Midwestern aesthetic endure today?

·       (International (and intergalactic)) War – Vonnegut’s characters respond to war with everything from apathy to jingoism. Do these characters remain relevant? How do their war experiences relate to experiences today?


A primary goal of the event is to celebrate Vonnegut’s life and work, but we also hope to trace his spirit through contemporary literature, and on into film, music, art, and thought.


Proposals should include the following: the author’s name, rank, and academic affiliation (when applicable); a complete cv or resume; and a titled abstract of 250-500 words. We are pushing back the deadline for submissions until Friday, February 22, 2019.  Proposals may be submitted to Professor Edward Comentale at ahcounc@indiana.edu.


Granfalloon is sponsored by the IUB Arts and Humanities Council. We invite you to visit the Granfalloon homepage or Salo University, a Web space devoted to all things Vonnegut.



Edward Comentale