**CANCELLED** “American Dreams: Romance & Reality”
**NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC**
In Alice McDermott’s National Book Award-winning novel Charming Billy (1998), second-generation Irish American cousins living in Queens, NY inherit the dreams—and the American dream—of their immigrant parents. At a wake held in the 1980s for the title character Billy Lynch, a tight-knit community of mourners meditate on the romantic underpinnings of, and the darker lived realities often belying, hopes and dreams passed on from one generation to the next. In this roundtable discussion, three invited panelists will use McDermott’s novel as a touchstone for a broader discussion about how, why, and to what end immigrant dreams are passed on, taken up, and transposed across generations in American literature and history.
Mary Paniccia Carden is Professor of English and Chairperson of the Department of English and Philosophy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in American literature. She is the author of Women Writers of the Beat Era: Autobiography and Intertextuality (U of Virginia P, 2018) and Sons and Daughters of Self-Made Men: Improvising Gender, Place, Nation in American Literature (Bucknell UP, 2010). She is co-editor of Doubled Plots: Romance and History (UP of Mississippi, 2003). Her research has focused on literary responses to American narratives of freedom, progress, and self-determination in texts by authors such as Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, Sandra Cisernos, John Edgar Wideman, and Alice McDermott. She was recently recognized as Edinboro University's 2019 Scholar of the Year.
Jennifer Van Hook is Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology and Demography at the Pennsylvania State University, and non-resident fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. Her research focuses on the socioeconomic integration of immigrants and their children. One strand of her work uses demographic methods to estimate the size, characteristics, and dynamics of the unauthorized foreign-born population. Another strand of her work focuses on how health, education, and well-being change across generations for immigrants and their families.
Andrew Sandoval-Strausz is Associate Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar and a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians. His current research analyzes people's homes, neighborhoods, places of work and play, and use of public space in order to see how human beings reveal themselves most through their built environment. His most recent book Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City came out in November of 2019.
Following the panelists’ opening statements there will be ample time for questions and answer with the audience. Light refreshments will be served.