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July 2018

Year in Review: The Hemingway Conference

July 22-27, 2018

AS WE MOVE QUICKLY TOWARDS A NEW YEAR, WE ARE TAKING A MOMENT TO LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 WITH OUR SERIES A YEAR IN REVIEW. In July we were privileged to host the XVIII international Hemingway Conference for one of the largest gatherings on our academic calendar this year. We asked AUP site directors Professors Alice Craven and William Dow to revisit a brilliant and busy week.

As Woody Allen reminds us in his film Midnight in Paris, Paris is always a festival, whether in sunlight, in moonlight and or even in the rain. Weather does nothing to diminish Paris. This past July, during one of the most intense heat waves in recent memory, we celebrated the legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway and his love for Paris. We also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI with Hemingway scholars of all ages and nationalities. Despite the heat, the majesty of the city reigned over the festivities; the poetry, the music and the intellectual discussion. Organized by The Hemingway Society and The American University of Paris, the conference represented an interdisciplinary exploration of Hemingway’s life and writings, with a special emphasis on the Paris he inhabited.

Featuring over 500 participants, 85 panels, and a group of plenary speakers that included Steve Trout, Annette Becker, Adam Gopnik, Terry Eagleton and D. Quentin Miller, the event deeply engaged with Hemingway as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. In its capacity as a centennial commemoration of the end of the First World War, the conference offered such panels as “War and Memory” as well as a special session devoted to Hemingway and war, Perspectives on War & Writing, moderated by writer and former editor of the Kansas City Star, Steve Paul.

The site directors for the conference were AUP professors Alice Mikal Craven and William E. Dow, assisted by former AUP student and University of Iowa doctoral candidate, Yoko Nakamura. Craven chaired a panel on Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Hemingway’s Moveable Feast in the session, Midnight in Hemingway’s Paris. She also examined Hemingway’s relationship to film noir in her talk, “Hemingway and the Language of Film Noir: the Case of Siodmak’s The Killers.”

Dow moderated the session Hemingway and Dos Passos that featured the importance of these two writers to twentieth-century modernism, modern satire, and Spanish politics of the 1930s. He presented a paper on “Hemingway’s Literary Journalism and Image-Making Modernism” for a panel on Hemingway’s journalism and literary journalism, Hauntings from the Past: Hemingway’s Literary Journalistic Future.

AUP Alumna Breanna Hugon, a graduate of the MA in Cultural Translation, presented “The Translation and Critical Construction of Hemingway in French” and chaired the panel, “Hemingway and the Movies.”

The conference was called “a spectacular success” by the conference co-director and former president of the Hemingway Society, H. R. Stonebeck, who was ably assisted in the long-term planning for the conference by Matthew Nickel.  

The July conference represented the latest in a series of AUP single-author conferences directed or co-directed by Professors Craven and Dow. These include the highly acclaimed James T. Farrell Centennial Conference (2004), the Richard Wright Centennial Conference (2008), and the International James Baldwin conference (2016). Also directed by Craven and Dow, the forthcoming international conferences devoted to Chester Himes (2020) and John Dos Passos (2022), are in their early planning stages.