2013 marks 3 significant anniversaries for readers and scholars of Thomas Pynchon: 50 years since the publication of his first novel, V., 40 since his most acclaimed work, Gravity’s Rainbow, and 250 years since the arrival of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon on American shores (the start of the surveying project that would divide a nation and, of course, the subject of Pynchon’s metahistorical novel, Mason & Dixon). In light of this, International Pynchon Week 2013 will be held at Durham University in the UK from the 5th to the 8th of August. The location of the conference has a special resonance as Jeremiah Dixon was born and buried in County Durham.

Given the timing and setting of IPW 2013, we would particularly welcome papers that address the legacies of V. and Gravity's Rainbow and / or Pynchon’s engagement with the life of Jeremiah Dixon and the North East of England.

Other topics for consideration might include, but are no means limited to:

  1. Pynchon's literary heritage / Pynchon’s influence and influences / Pynchon and canonicity
  2. Novel theoretical approaches
  3. Biographical criticism
  4. Trans-Atlantic / Trans-Pacific / Pan-American connections
  5. Pynchon and History
  6. Political implications of Pynchon’s work
  7. Pynchon and borders / boundaries / frontiers / nationhood (esp. Englishness)
  8. Gender and sexuality in Pynchon
  9. Pynchon’s publishing process
  10. Archival research and Pynchon’s source materials
  11. Pynchon’s music and songs
  12. The shape and/or phases of Pynchon’s career and its evolving contexts
  13. The Pynchon scholarly community itself, including online developments (e.g. P-Wiki, PYNCHON-L)

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to samuel.thomas@durham.ac.uk by 20th December 2012. Speakers will be notified by the 1st February 2013. Selected proceedings will be published in a special issue of the new, open access journal Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon.

Conference website: http://www.ipw2013.com/