116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Presidential Address and Luncheon

Presiding Officer: 
Andrea Gogrof, Western Washington University

Please join us for the 2018 PAMLA Presidential Address and Luncheon on Friday, November 9, beginning at 11:30 am. Our PAMLA President, Katherine Kinney, will be delivering an address titled “I learned it at the movies.” The Presidential Luncheon, which does involve an additional expense, is a definite highlight of the conference. Go here to make a reservation: http://pamla.org/2018/registration-info

The critic Frank Kermode begins his great work, The Sense of an Ending, by observing: “It is not expected of critics as it is of poets that they should help us to make sense of our lives; they are bound only to attempt the lesser feat of making sense of the ways we try to make sense of our lives.” Writing in 1965, Kermode continues, “I take comfort from the conviction that the topic is infallibly interesting, and especially at a moment in history when it may be harder than ever to accepts the precedents of sense making” (3). Inspired by Kermode’s example, Professor Kinney considers the importance of the secondariness of the critic’s work by considering the art of acting in the movies. Like criticism, movie acting has long been seen as a “lesser feat,” lacking the authenticating integrity of the bodily presence of actor and audience offered by the stage. Yet, movies continue to offer powerful forms of sense making, acting prominent among them. The old distrust of actors, the ever expanding cult of celebrity, the power of representation, the affective pull of empathy and repulsion all offer keys to understanding the media culture of mistrust that surrounds us.

Katherine Kinney is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities and Associate Professor of English at the University of California Riverside, where she teaches courses in 20th century American literature and film. She received her B.A. in English and History from the University of Washington and her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. The author of Friendly Fire: American Images of the Vietnam War (Oxford 2000), she is currently writing a book entitled The Shock of Freedom: Acting, the Movies and the 1960s. Her most recent publication, “The Resonance of Brando’s Voice,” appears in Postmodern Culture (2014). She was Associate Editor of American Quarterly from 2003 to 2007 and on the editorial board of American Literature from 2002-2005.

Katherine Kinney has been an active participant of PAMLA for many years. She has organized and moderated panels and presented a number of papers at PAMLA conferences. In 2013, Katherine Kinney was selected as one of the speakers for the Special Forum: “Stages of Life: Age, Identity, and Culture” at the 111th Annual PAMLA Conference in San Diego, California.

Closed (not accepting submissions)

Associated Sessions

Topic Type: 
General Event