Researching, writing and teaching about the Beat Generation movement

The Beat Generation Symposium Schedule - The Beat Studies Association

Friday, October 10 – Saturday, October 11, 2008

Columbia College Chicago
Film Row Cinema
1104 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605


Free for Columbia College faculty, staff, and students with valid IDs. Evening poetry readings are free and open to the public.

Conference fees: $100 ($50 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty).

To register by credit card, call the Columbia Ticket Office at (312) 344-6600, or register online at:

To register by mail, download this registration form.


OCTOBER 10, 2008

10:00 a.m.
Welcome and Plenary Address

10:15-11:30 a.m.
“Road Mapping(s): The Textual Terrain of On the Road”

Panel Chair: Tim Hunt, Illinois State University

“Byways and Highways: Manuscripts, Typescripts, and the Process of On the Road”
Isaac Gewirtz, Curator, Berg Collection, New York Public Library

“Visions and Versions of Jack: A Fluid Text Edition of On the Road”
John Bryant, Department of English, Hofstra University

“Hidden Roads: Improvisational Textuality and On the Road”
Tim Hunt, Department of English, Illinois State University

11:45-1:00 p.m.
“Crossing to Safety — Cultural Contestations in Beat Literature”

Panel Chair: Fiona Paton, State University of New York at New Paltz

“Kerouac, Beat Religiosity, and the Center of American Culture”
Steven Schroeder, Shenzhen University

“‘A Kick at the Icebox Door’: Haiku and Beat Haikus”
Matt Theado, Gardner-Webb University

“Jack Kerouac, the Québécois Diaspora, and Québécois Literature”
Hassan Melehy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1:00-2:30 p.m. (Break for Lunch)

2:30-3:45 p.m.
“The Aesthetics and Spirit of Avant-Garde Practice: Joanne Kyger and Diane di Prima”

Panel Chair: Ronna C. Johnson, Tufts University

“Joanne Kyger and the Aesthetics of Attention”
Terrance Diggory, Skidmore College

“‘Who did we pray to’? Diane di Prima’s Loba”
Tony Trigilio, Columbia College Chicago

“‘From the inside’: Joanne Kyger’s Changes of Mind”
Linda Russo, Washington State University

“The Feminized Interzone in Kyger and Di Prima”
Amy Friedman, Ursinus College

4:00-5:15 p.m.
“Hydrogen Jukebox: Allen Ginsberg and Deaf Poetry”

Peter Cook, Columbia College Chicago
Miriam Lerner, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
Kenny Lerner, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology; Member, Flying Words Project

7:00 p.m.
Poetry reading by Joanne Kyger

OCTOBER 11, 2008

8:45-10:00 a.m.
“Beat Studies, The Next Generation: Showcasing Graduate and Post-Graduate Scholarship”

Panel Chair: Tony Trigilio, Columbia College Chicago

“The Impossible Manifesto: Tracing the Manifesto Form through Avant-Garde and Beat Writing”
Jimmy Fazzino, University of California, Santa Cruz.

“Parasites, Viruses, and William S. Burroughs’s Method”
Michael Sean Bolton, Arizona State University.

“Summers in the Skagit: Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and the Language of the Lookout”
John J. Morrell, Vanderbilt University.

10:15-11:30 a.m.
“Exploring the Beat Landscape — Welch, Ferlinghetti, and Kaufman”

Panel Chair: Nancy M. Grace, The College of Wooster

“Lew Welch: Hermit Poet of Rat Flat”
Jane Falk, The University of Akron

“‘Unfair Arguments with Existence’: Ferlinghetti’s One-Acts and the Modes of Beat Drama”
Deborah R. Geis, DePauw University

“Bob Kaufman and Urbanizing Pastoral”
Todd Nathan Thorpe, The University of Notre Dame

11:45-12:45 p.m.

Elizabeth Von Vogt reads from her memoir, 681 Lexington Avenue — A Beat Education in New York City, 1947-1954

In this memoir just released from Greater Midwest Publishing, Von Vogt, a sister of John Clellon Holmes, describes her coming of age among Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and other Beats in post-World War II New York City.

12:45-2:15 p.m. (Break for lunch)

2:30-3:45 p.m.
“New Scholarship on William S. Burroughs”

Panel Chair: Jennie Skerl, West Chester University

“Love and ‘Genial’ Laughter: Cutting Up The Ticket That Exploded (1961 and 1967)”
Katharine Streip, Concordia University

“Conservative Politics and Literary Radicalism: Burroughs and Kerouac”
Allen Hibbard, Middle Tennessee State University

“William S. Burroughs as ‘Good Ol’Boy’: Eating the Naked Lunch in East Texas”
Rob Johnson, The University of Texas-Pan American

Respondent: Timothy Murphy, University of Oklahoma

4:00-5:15 p.m.
“Beat Reception and Recovery — Assessing the Critics and the Historians”

Chair: Tim Hunt, Illinois State University

“Inside the 6 Gallery with Co-founder Deborah Remington”
Nancy M. Grace, The College of Wooster

“Kerouac Reception in the 1980s: Renaissance and Scholarly Revival”
Ronna C. Johnson, Tufts University.

“Recent Reception of Naked Lunch”
Jennie Skerl, West Chester University.

“Infiltrating the Boy Gang: Women in the Encyclopedia of Beat Literature”
Kurt Hemmer, William Rainey Harper College

7:00 p.m.
Poetry reading by Michael McClure

8:00 p.m.
Closing Reception (Film Row Theater lobby)

The Beat Generation Symposium is sponsored by the English Department and Provost’s Office of Columbia College Chicago, in conjunction with the Beat Studies Association, an international organization that fosters scholarship on Beat Generation literature and art; Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media; and the Illinois State University Department of English and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on joining the Beat Studies Association, please go to: