Nov 112013
Schedule and Location: Friday, May 30 1:45pm-3:15pm Vallee-399

Primary Session Category: Sociology of Literature
Session Code: SoLit1
Session Format: Regular (Presentations and Discussion)

Session Description:  Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the ‘sociology of literature’ occupied a small but visible place within sociology.  Beginning in the late 1980s, however, sociologists lamented that the sociology of literature as a field of theory and research “barely exists” (McHoul, 1988), had become a “non-field” (Griswold, 1993) and that a “boundary line divides literary studies and social science” (Ferguson, Desan and Griswold, 1988). Yet, in departments of language and literature, law, history, philosophy, and women’s studies, there is a rich inter-weaving of the sociological and the literary. The paucity of attention to literary work within sociology, generally, and Canadian sociology, in particular, is especially striking in a year when Alice Munro, the first Canadian and the 13th female recipient, garnered the Nobel Prize in Literature; she did so for an undervalued genre – the short story – and for content that centers largely on women’s lives, which she famously described in Lives of Girls and Women as “deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum’. This session emerges within this context and an invitation from British sociologist John Law who asks (2004): “Why do the books fall into two heaps, the novels on the one hand and the academic volumes on the other?”  It invites papers that explore multiple connections between sociological theories / methods / research and writing practices / and literature /fiction/ creative non-fiction/ poetry. Creative ideas are welcome and encouraged.

Session Organizer: Andrea Doucet, Brock University, Sociology,

Chair: Andrea Doucet


1.     Dennis Erasga  

Lives in Fiction: Auto/biography as Theoretical Narrative

2.     Andrew Paravantes   

 Sociology by Other Means: The Promise (and Challenge) of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Fiction

3.     Anna Borisenkova  

Telling a sociological story: analysis of some similarities between academic and literary texts

4.     Shannon Russell  

Dangerous Young Men: Themes of Masculinity in Paranormal Romance Novels

Full Abstracts

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