ALA 2023 (Boston) The Great American Novel at 100

The annual American Literature Association Conference (ALA) will be held at The Westin Copley Place, Boston on May 25-28, 2023.

The Great American Novel at 100 William Carlos Williams’s The Great American Novel, first published in a small edition in Paris in 1923, remains among the least read and most elusive of the miscellaneous works collected in Imaginations. Replete with American themes of violence and the frontier, predation and loss—and composed of mixed sources from American biography, autobiography, folklore, popular anthropology and poplar history—what is it? How do we understand its mixed composition, its challenge to novelistic chronology, and its shifts of voice from persona to persona? What do we make of the fact that much of it is stolen? Is the dialogue between the urbane interrogator and the one he calls “mon vieux coco” central? What does the text teach us about the canonical idea of a “great American novel”? Short papers exploring these questions are invited for a panel celebrating and reflecting on the centennial of its publication.

Please submit a brief proposal (300 word abstract and 100 word bio) by January 10th 2023 to Mark C. Long at For information on the ALA and its 2023 meeting, please see the ALA website at