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Ralph Ellison Symposium

The Penn State Center for American Literary Studies, the Penn State University Libraries and Penn State English Present:

Ralph Ellison:  A SymposiumRalph Ellison
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Pattee Library, Foster Auditorium

Panel 1, 1:30-3:30pm

Professor Bryan Crable, Villanova University:   “Toward an Ultimate Vocabulary of Race:  Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke”

Professor Kevin Bell, Northwestern University:  “Evaporative Bridge: Low Frequency Writing Between 'Signal' and 'Noise'”

Professor James L. W. West, III, Penn State University:  “Ralph Ellison and William Styron:  A Troubled Friendship”

Panel 2, 4:00-6:00pm

Professor Bernard Bell, Penn State University: “Ralph Ellison’s African Americentric Melting Pot Blues”

Professor Arnold Rampersad, Stanford University:  “Ralph Ellison, the Man & His Art”

Professor Lawrence Jackson, Emory University:  “The Critics Roundtable in the Later 1940s:  Ralph Ellison, J. Saunders Redding, Chester Himes, and Horace Cayton”

Penn State’s Center for American Literary Studies (with help from Penn State English and the Penn State University Libraries) sponsored a half day symposium on the life and work of famed African-American novelist Ralph Ellison, author of The Invisible Man, on October 18, 2007.  The event featured papers by the two distinguished dueling biographers of Ellison, Lawrence Jackson, Professor of English at Emory University, author of Ralph Ellison, Emergence of Genius (2002), and Arnold Rampersad, Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, author of Ralph Ellison: a Biography (2007).  Professor Bernard Bell of Penn State University, author of The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition (1987) and The Contemporary African American Novel:  Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches (2004), also shared his thoughts on Ellison’s legacy.

The symposium began on Thursday, October 18 at 1:30pm in Foster Auditorium of Pattee Library and will consist of two panels of speakers.  The first panel (1:30-3:30pm) featured papers by Professor Bryan Crable, Villanova University (“Toward and Ultimate Vocabulary of Race:  Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke”), Professor Kevin Bell, Northwestern University:  “Evaporative Bridge: Low Frequency Writing Between 'Signal' and 'Noise'” and Professor James L. W. West, III, Penn State University (“Ralph Ellison and William Styron:  a Troubled Friendship”).  The second panel (4:00-6:00pm) featured papers by Professor Bernard Bell, Penn State University (“Ralph Ellison’s African Americentric Melting Pot Blues”), Professor Arnold Rampersad, Stanford University (“Ralph Ellison, the Man & His Art”), and Professor Lawrence Jackson, Emory University (“The Critics Roundtable in the Later 1940s:  Ralph Ellison, J. Saunders Redding, Chester Himes, and Horace Cayton”).