Purdue News

September 9, 2004

Modern Fiction Studies journal at Purdue celebrates 50 years

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is celebrating a milestone for one of America's oldest journals of literary criticism this year.

Nancy Peterson and John Duvall
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The Department of English is recognizing the 50th anniversary of Purdue's Modern Fiction Studies with a symposium on Oct. 1. This year's Leonora Woodman Lecture Series on Sept. 30 also is linked to the celebration. Both events are free and open to the public.

"Not many academic journals reach this milestone, and Modern Fiction Studies, which began as a project of the Purdue Modern Fiction Club in 1955, has grown into one of the most respected venues for publishing scholarly work on modern and contemporary fiction," said John Duvall, professor of English and editor since 2002. "Having such a prestigious journal gives the Purdue English department an immediate recognition nationally and internationally."

To mark the occasion, Modern Fiction Studies is planning a Fiftieth Anniversary Symposium: Modern Fictions and the Twenty-First Century, which will feature lectures by four members of the journal's editorial advisory board. All Oct. 1 lectures are in Stewart Center, Room 202.

  • 9:30 a.m. Patrick O'Donnell, professor of English at Michigan State University, "James's Birdcage/Hitchcock's Birds."

  • 10:45 a.m. Patricia Yaeger, professor of English at University of Michigan, "Dematerializing Culture: Modernism's Trash Aesthetic."

  • 1:30 p.m. Susan Stanford Friedman, professor of English at University of Wisconsin, "Bodies on the Move: Fiction of Home and Diaspora."

  • 2:45 p.m. Patrick McGee, professor of English from Louisiana State University, "Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill,' or Why Shane Always Comes Back."
  • Hortense Spillers, the Frederick J. Whiton Professor of English at Cornell University, will deliver the English department's annual Woodman Lecture. Spillers, also a member of the journal's editorial advisory board, will present "The Problem of Black Culture" at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 in the Krannert Auditorium.

    Modern Fiction Studies is published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press. Twice a year the journal produces special issues that focus either on individual authors, such as Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf, or on a particular topic. An upcoming special edition, "Modernism's Jews/Jewish Modernisms," will be edited by Maren Linett, assistant professor of English at Purdue.

    The journal receives about 250 submissions a year from scholars all over the world and accepts fewer than 5 percent for publication, said Nancy Peterson, associate editor and associate professor of English. Duvall and Peterson screen all submissions and then forward selected essays to members of editorial board for their input in the review process.

    The journal has 3,000 subscriptions, while similar publications average in the hundreds, Duvall said.

    "Our journal remains a favorite because of its longevity and the quality of the work that is published," he said.

    An annual individual subscription is $34 and can be ordered by calling (800) 548-1784 or via e-mail at jlorder@jupress.jhu.edu.

    Spillers is the ninth lecturer in the Woodman series, which started in 1997 to honor Leonora Woodman, who played a central role in the development of the Purdue rhetoric and composition graduate program. Woodman, who died in 1991 after 15 years at Purdue, was nationally known for her publishing and teaching in American literature and American studies.

    Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

    Sources: John Duvall, (765) 494-3760, jduvall@sla.purdue.edu

    Nancy Peterson, (765) 494-3759, njp@purdue.edu

    Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


    Nancy Peterson, associate professor of English, and John Duvall, professor of English, are celebrating Modern Fiction Studies' 50th anniversary this year with a symposium on Oct. 1. Modern Fiction Studies, which began as a project of the Purdue Modern Fiction Club in 1955, is one of America's oldest journals of literary criticism. The journal has 3,000 subscriptions and receives more than 250 submissions a year. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)


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