ASA Meeting Panel: The Adolescent in Cold War Culture

CFP for “The Adolescent in Cold War Culture” Panel
American Studies Association Annual Meeting
Washington D.C., November 21-24, 2013

Deadline for Abstracts: November 1, 2012


In the 1950s, a group of scholars including Leslie Fielder, Leo Marx, R.W.B. Lewis, Ihab Hassan, and others began questioning the value of innocence in post-war America. Stressing the importance of a move “beyond innocence,” the group latched onto the figure of the adolescent as a key symbol of this moment of transition. The more hopeful scholars, including Hassan and Lewis, recognized the adolescent as a promising symbol of American experience. As Hassan commented in “The Idea of Adolescence in American Fiction” (1958), “The adolescent is no longer simple or ignorant since Innocence has come to be rejected in favor of Experience” (318).

The purpose of this panel is to explore the relationship between the adolescent and Cold War culture. Of special interest is the figure of the adolescent in the American novel, which may include such notable works as J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Other work on cinema, media, or children’s culture is also encouraged.

Please send paper abstracts (300-500 words), a brief bio, and a c.v. to Emily Murphy ( by November 1, 2012.