Stephen Crane Panels at ALA in Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Session 10-B Culture and Context in Stephen Crane’s Work
12:40-2:00 p.m.
Organized by the Stephen Crane Society

Chair: Paul Sorrentino, Virginia Tech

1. “Creative Destruction: Conflagration, The Newspaper Sketch, and Stephen Crane’s ‘The Monster,’”
Jennifer Travis, St. John’s University
2. “Tommie’s Resurrection: The Role of the Impoverished Child in Stephen Crane’s New York
Sketches,” Maggie Morris Davis, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
3. “Re-reading the Animals in Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage,” Qizhi Shu, Xiangtan

Session 12-K Business Meeting: Crane Society
University/University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Session 11-H Culture and Context in Stephen Crane’s Work
2:10-3:30 p.m.
Organized by the Stephen Crane Society

Chair: Benjamin F. Fisher, University of Mississippi

1. “’A Spector of Reproach’: Revisiting Figures of Shame in The Red Badge of Courage,” Keiko Nitta,
Rikkyo University/Yale University
2. “Stephen Crane’s Literary Journalism and the Limits of Liberalism in the Progressive Era,” Clemens
Spahr, Mainz University
3. “Structures of Feeling within Stephen Crane’s ‘The Blue Hotel,’” Robert Welch, Indiana University of

Session 12-K Business Meeting: Crane Society

3:40-5:00 p.m.

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February 1895-1896: Stephen Crane Around the Web

Feb[2] 1896. In a letter to editor Ripley Hitchcock, Crane notes, “I see also that they are beginning to charge me with having played base ball. I am rather more proud of my base ball ability than of some other things.” (From the Almanac at this site)

From “When I Knew Stephen Crane” by Willa Cather

Irving Bacheller, the founder of the first major American newspaper syndicate, sent one of his young reporters, Stephen Crane, to Nebraska in February 1895 to report on the extreme drought and famine endured by the state’s residents during the previous two years. Only two months earlier the Nebraska State Journal had published the serialized version of The Red Badge of Courage. At the time, Willa Cather was a senior at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and the drama critic for the Journal, writing several articles each week. At some point during Crane’s stay in Lincoln, the 23-year-old author met the 21-year-old student, who was overwhelmed with a heavy course load and a full-time job requiring her to attend the local theater productions most nights of the week.


Willa Cather, 21, meets her first “man of letters” Stephen Crane, 23 (Reader’s Almanac)The block known as “Genius Row” in the Village: Washington Square South was home to both Crane and Cather (Ephemeral New York)
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CFP: Stephen Crane Panels at ALA 2014 (Deadline: 1.10.2014)

Call for Papers: Stephen Crane Society
ALA 2014

The Stephen Crane Society will sponsor two sessions at the American Literature Association Conference at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 22-25 May 2014. All topics are welcome. Here, for example, are a few suggestions:

  • · Crane’s depiction of war
  • · Crane and the arts (e. g., painting, photography, music)
  • · Crane’s depiction of the city
  • · Crane’s poetry
  • · Crane’s journalism
  • · the Sullivan County tales and sketches
  • · the Western stories
  • · the Whilomville stories
  • · one of Crane’s lesser-known novels (The Third Violet, Active Service, or The O’Ruddy)
  • · Crane’s depiction of women
  • · Crane’s relationship with other writers, e. g., Garland, Howells, Conrad, or Frederic

Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes.

You may also propose a roundtable discussion on, say, teaching Crane’s short stories.

Please email abstracts or papers of no more than ten double-spaced pages by January 10, 2014, to the program chair:

Paul Sorrentino

For further information, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Texas A & M University at with specific questions.


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Stephen Crane in the News: “When a Crowd Gathers” at LOA


Stephen Crane’s sketches and articles for New York newspapers often describe people seen or things experienced on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The following narrative, originally published in The New York Press in 1894, is characteristic in its description of life on the streets; based on a real incident, it was published under the multi-level headline:


A Graphic Study of New York Heartlessness
“What’s the Matter?” That Too Familiar Query

Describing the “heartlessness” of a voyeuristic crowd pushing each other to get a view of a man having a seizure, the article also depicts a few strangers trying to help and the terror of the boy who had been accompanying the man. Michael Robertson notes in Stephen Crane, Journalism, and the Making of Modern American Literature that, while “Crane’s general indifference to race is remarkable,” this sketch is one of his few New York pieces that specifically mentions ethnicity: “the two central characters’ Italian speech is used to emphasize the threatening nature of the crowd.” [continue reading at above link] 

From Stephen Crane: Prose and Poetry

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