Archives from the 2017 conference

Keynote given by Jeffrey Severs

“We’ve been inside what we wanted all along”: Immanence and David Foster Wallace

Among contemporary fiction writers, few answer as readily as David Foster Wallace to the name of philosopher of immanence. In This is Water, Wallace essentially summarizes the problem of immanence – the problem of life in an immersive, invisible medium – with a joke: “There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’” One young fish, in the only element he has ever known, asks his companion, “What the hell is water?” Throughout the speech, Wallace tries to get Kenyon graduates to see that the “water” they swim through is comprised of a series of “default settings,” assumptions – most of them solipsistic – that are so naturalized as to go unnoticed, those “most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities” that prove “the hardest to see and talk about” because we live wholly inside them. In trying to illuminate such realities, Wallace’s fictions eschew the predictable dramatic arcs and signs of too-tidy enlightenment he associated with conventional realism. He forges in the stead of such effects an existentialist project that takes aim at immanence – at the ubiquitous and the enveloping – through plotless stasis, recursive self-examination, and overwhelmingly informative encyclopedism. The infinite may be one of his major subjects, but he works always with a wariness of the transcendence of lived reality and immanence it portends. Freedom and other states of liberation in Wallace depend on going (back) in, not out or away into a realm of detachment – no “pathetic” “flight-from,” in the words of Hal Incandenza, no getting away from it all. In all these ways Wallace seems to agree with a well-known maxim paraphrasing a line of Robert Frost’s poetry: the only way out is through.

In this talk I explore Wallace’s immanence project through his dogged work on the language of away, out, in, and exit and his primary means for doing that work: the creation of strange, often rhizomatic forms of architecture, centered on images of paradoxical doors and other portals that I suggest are inspired by his deep reading of Kafka, the fiction writer Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari champion as the great portrayer of immanence. In its readings my talk focuses on images of the unboundable self in Infinite Jest, Oblivion (especially “The Suffering Channel”), and The Pale King, while also taking in elements of The Broom of the System, Wallace’s understanding of Wittgenstein, and a few other texts and examples.


Session A1: Creative Writing, Fiction

Cynical Man Explains to His Son the Ways of the World

Inspired by a short scene in Wallace’s Infinite Jest, this flash fiction piece is written in the form of a monologue between a crudely blunt father and his young son that takes place in a Dairy Queen. In a voice reminiscent of the Incandenzas, the cynical father gives his four-year-old son insight about college, marriage, and life as a middle-aged washout.


In this story, "Dreamcatchers," a lonely, dying man's final days are redeemed by the influence of a troubled young woman he meets at a strip club (Yes, I know this sounds cliched!). As a hears her story, he loses interest in romantic relations with her, instead sympathizing with her addicted plight and doing the best to save her. Even though he fails at this task, this action of "silent heroism" (The Pale King) transforms his final days.

Session A2: Derrida and DFW

The Poststructuralist Broom of Wallace’s System: Lenore, Derrida, and Deleuze

In this paper I offer a reading of The Broom of the System that demonstrates – through an exposition of Derrida’s notion of différance and his notion of self, and Deleuze’s understanding of intensity – that the poststructuralist thinking that Wallace sometimes dismisses is necessary for his project of moving beyond the worst tendencies of postmodernism.

“Time is out of joint“ – Infinite Jest and the ghosts of the postmodern

The paper evaluates the ghosts encountered in Infinite Jest as well as the narration’s haunting elements, found in the structure of temporality, memory and virtuality. The goal is to contextualize the findings with theories of the postmodern proposing a new reading of Wallace’s novel as a piece of “hauntologic“ realism.

Session B1: Sex and Isolation: IJ, Pale King, Good Old Neon


For the 4th Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, I am presenting on the topic of sex in Infinite Jest. Building off of my theory that the novel has been drained of genuine femininity, unhealthy/dysfunctional sex then becomes another telltale dystopian element of the novel.

“a way out of the airless conundrum”: David Foster Wallace’s (Not-quite) Postsecularism

Wallace scholarship often fails to threat seriously the fundamentally mystical spirituality of Wallace’s texts. To reappraise this spirituality, we can deploy Amy Hungerford’s and John McClure’s explication of the postsecular, which both illuminates and is problematized by Wallace’s texts.

Session B2: Visual Representations of DFW

“Thanks everybody and I hope you like it”: Visual and Structural Aspects of Mario's ONANtiad Puppet Show

The ONANtiad puppet show is more than a substitute for a potential IJ footnote. The medium highlights the recursive structure, and political/radical puppetry underscores themes of colonization and environmental degradation. Construction of the puppet set functions as 3-D close reading, illustrating fan art’s potential for redress and showing how interacting with an “imaginary” work enriches textual understanding.

The Black-and-White Series

Theories of photography, including theories describing what constitutes a postmodern photograph, have been disrupted by digitization. The result, in part, has been a revival of analog processes. What's postmodern about this revival is its emphasis on truth.

Session B3: Political Narratives: IJ and Contemporary Discourse

Power, knowledge and alienation: the political deconstruction in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Under an interdisciplinary approach, this paper analyzes the dialectical nature of the analogies between novels and their real-world referents in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The theoretical framework is based on three complementary perspectives: Bertrand Westphal’s theory of géocritique; Foucault’s perspectives on the relationship between power and knowledge, and Franck Fischbach’s work, who claims the actuality of the concept of human alienation.

But when I grew up, I put away adult things: protracted adolescence in Wallace’s works.

Across his works, with varied wording, Wallace describes America’s present culture and citizens as adolescent. Using identity theories of adolescence to flesh out what Wallace means by this, I argue that a protracted adolescence is indicative of Americans’ (and more broadly, America’s) unresolved identity crisis.

Session C1: Diversity Roundtable

Diego Báez (moderator), Andrea Sheridan, Danielle Ely, Ryan Lackey

The climate in Wallace studies has always been somewhat contentious w/r/t its diversity, or more accurately, it’s lack of diversity. Critics and scholars critique both Wallace’s lack of diversity in his writing, and the lack of diversity in Wallace scholars, has created some backlash, most recently with Hungerford, Coyle and Crispin. This panel seeks to find out where we might find diversity in DFW’s fiction and nonfiction, the DFW community, and how we might expand diversity in DFW scholarship with a goal of increased participation for DFW18.

Session C2: Autobiography and Criticism

About The Author: Wallace's Real-Time (Auto)Biography

This project reads all “About the Author” statements accompanying Wallace’s major publications as a single text: a real-time (semi-auto) biography.

It examines how each statement contributes to a meaningful whole, create tensions internal to the text and how this mode of reading is complicated by posthumous “About the Author” statements.

Me and Wallace's Shadow: Creating Space for the Personal in Critical Writing About Wallace

This paper makes the case for the value of autobiographical criticism (in the tradition of Jane Tompkins’s groundbreaking essay “Me and My Shadow”) in Wallace studies as a way of challenging the assumed primacy of traditional academic argumentation, recently decried by Rita Felski as “narrow” and by Kevin Birmingham as “exploitative.”

Session C3: The Tangle of IJ: Eschaton and the 80's

Eschaton: We’ll All Go Together When We Go.

The fascinating game of Eschaton from “Infinite Jest” is explored as a wargame simulation with antecedents, as a vision of final judgment, and as human interactions fraught with distrust and hostility that can erupt into open warfare at any time.

Gödel, Escher, Wallace: Why Infinite Jest Is a Systems Novel

This paper examines the influence of Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach (GEB) on Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Tracing how the references to GEB impact Wallace's novel, and borrowing Tom LeClair's useful term for the massive books of the postmodernists, it revisits an old debate: Is Infinite Jest a systems novel?

Session D1: DFW and the Boundaries of Art: Oblivion, Good Old Neon, Infinite Jest

Oblivion Stories according to Baudrillard

This presentation will read Oblivion Stories from the perspective of Baudrillard. From his turn against Marxist theory to a critique of everyday life and finally prophecies on hyperreality, simulation and fractal stage of representation, Baudrillard will illuminate Oblivion Stories and point to moments in text which can enrich a critical readings of Wallace.

The Legacy of David Markson (Or Is It David Foster Wallace?)

I re-examine Wallace’s “The Empty Plenum: David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress” in the context of Wallace’s and Markson’s legacies, reflecting on the idea of “legacy” itself. I demonstrate how Wallace became instrumental in constructing Markson’s posthumous legacy and comment on the practice of legacy-making as the manipulation of cultural capital.

Session D2: Region, Culture, and DFW's Nonfiction

The Cultural Capital of David Foster Wallace as a “Textual Subject” In Contemporary Fiction

This paper focuses on what David Hering terms Wallace the “textual subject,” and traces the Wallace-like figures that appear in the work of Mark Leyner, Jennifer Egan, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Lethem, and Richard Powers. Using the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu, I explore these iterations to outline the cultural capital of Wallace across contemporary literature.

Regionality: David Foster Wallace and American regional fiction in the twentieth century

This paper reconsiders Wallace’s writing of region through links between his early fiction and the writing of Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor. Exploring Wallace’s complex relation to the regional tradition in twentieth century American fiction, it considers him alongside the turn to a ‘new regionalism’ in the 1980s.

Session D3: Creative Writing

The Nominee's Speech

As part of my PhD in Creative Writing, I will produce a novel-length work that speaks to my research into what it is to be an American citizen and how this relates to adolescence and adulthood in the works of David Foster Wallace. My creative reading is from this work-in-progress.

Although of Course You End Up Becoming (Less) Yourself

This essay documents a day at the 2016 David Foster Wallace Conference, as well as its own writing process in the months that follow. It considers Wallace's work, Central Illinois, and self consciousness.

Session D4: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Interviews, Empathy, and Hideous Men: Discussing Feminism and David Foster Wallace

In this essay I examine the questions of open dialogue and radical empathy in Brief Interviews to begin a conversation about some of the more difficult aspects of Wallace’s work: the “sublime” woman, the notable absence or caricature of racial minorities, and the foundational question, why is it the hideous man we, the reader, must work through in order to engage in empathy?

I'm With Someone I Know, But Don't Know How I Know Them

What if individuality, as you know it, was wrong? By exploring Wallace through a Hegelian lens, we'll attempt to see how empathy is always already at the core of our phenomenological relationship those around us to the point that it was weird any of us thought we were separated in the first place.

Session E1: Linguistics, Style, and Translation

Infinite Translation

The discussion on attempting to translate sections of Infinite Jest into Serbian will focus not solely on the challenges and feasibility of such a project, but also on the cultural understanding and exchange that happens when confronted with interpreting the novel from a different culture in a globalized world.

“Upgrade yo vocab”: A Re-evaluation of Signifying Rappers Based on Primary Sources and Richard Rorty's Concept of Public Vocabularies.

A re-evaluation of Signifying Rappers based on archival material from the book’s editorial and publication process and Richard Rorty’s concept of vocabularies; highlighting the complexity and importance of Wallace’s rare analysis of racial and social relations in America as described in rap music.

Session E2: Infinite Jest Portrayals of Addiction and Excess

“Our attachments are our temple”: Addiction, Recovery, and the Metamodernist Movement

I examine how contemporary fiction departs from postmodern tendencies and draw parallels between certain postmodern characteristics and the disposition of most addicts. I explore White Teeth, Infinite Jest, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: how these novels continue postmodernism’s experimentation while abandoning its detachment to again explore authenticity and sincerity. These attributes ultimately enable addicts to cognitively and behaviorally reframe their engagement with their addiction, and I argue that these very qualities also push the literary community out of the postmodern refrain.

The American Dream in Infinite Jest and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Excessive, Detached, Extravagant and Full of Depravity Instead of Prosperity

While Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster Wallace have often been cited as dismissive toward one another, I argue that both writers were cognizant of the dark times on the horizon in their respective eras, and were simultaneously painfully aware of how the American Dream has been, and continues to be, a contributor to those dark times.

Session E3: This is Water

David Foster Wallace's Transformative Gifts and the Labor of Gratitude

This paper examines the influence of Alcoholics Anonymous and Lewis Hyde’s The Gift —specifically Hyde’s theorization of what he calls “gift economies” and their currency, expressed as “labors of gratitude”—on David Foster Wallace’s Kenyon Commencement Speech, the most distilled example of the writing ethic Wallace honed in Infinite Jest.

Session E4: Living Art

Waves Upon The Stars

Depth can be strange and scary and totally liberating. Here are brief poems and a short story about characters experiencing something profound, an awareness of and a desire for compassionate living.

Trying to Find Out What the Entertainment's Appeal Is Without Sacrificing Any of Your Own: A Field Report, P.S.2017

Melodrama, recapitulation, and an argument for the relevance of the filmography of the auteur.

“If there's one even remotely consistent theme it's maybe film and film-cartridges.”
“But who can know what's on them? Who can study the Entertainment while detached?”
-- Infinite Jest

Session F1: Infinite Jest and Perception

Embodied Reading, Intersubjectivity, and Infinite Jest

Drawing on recent work in cognitive narrative theory and literary social cognition, my paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding readers’ co-creative engagement with Infinite Jest’s character minds, and with the narrative’s inferred author. I illustrate this model with a reading of the opening section of Infinite Jest.

A Policy of Blood and (Iron)y: Wallace as Ironist

I interpret Wallace as an ironist whose project to recover a poetics of sincerity “completes” irony by rendering irony sincere and sincerity ironic. Wallace achieves this as a literary affect by setting up “triple frames” that layer moments with overlapping levels of irony and sincerity that consequently erase the gaps between.

Session F2: Philosophy Special Session: Interpersonal Ethics
Moderator: John Mango

Posture and imposture in a extramoral sense: between tennis, semiotics, philosophy and politics: David Foster Wallace VS Bret Easton Ellis (also considering Philip K. Dick)

Bret Easton Ellis once said that David Foster Wallace was an impostor. Considering the Ellis' critique to Wallace, I will propose a survey on the concept (and the same word) of posture in Infinite Jest, with the certitude that it plays a central and fundamental role in DFW's literature, ethics and philosophy.

David Foster Wallace’s Sociology and its Existential Consequences

With this presentation I’ll call into question Wallace’s sociological analysis by comparing it to the works of Bauman and Giddens. By so doing, previously unnoticed nuances will surface that will, in turn, raise doubts as to whether Wallace’s thought and existentialism can effectively provide answers to neoliberal ideology.

Session F3: Feminism Special Session
Moderator: Samantha Wallace

“No More Smiley Masks”: Wallace's Masked Woman

Masks recur in both literal and figurative ways throughout Wallace’s works, particularly in his representations of women. Via discussion of Infinite Jest’s Joelle Van Dyne and The Pale King’s Meredith Rand, I will show that masks are often intrinsically connected to Wallace’s treatment of female sexuality.

The De-democratization of Reading: Amy Hungerford’s Objection to Reading DFW

This essay will examine Amy Hungerford’s recent publications (“On Not Reading” featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education in September 2016 and the extended argument in her latest book Making Literature Now) on why she believes the reading public should not read the works of Davis Foster Wallace. I will examine her argue on three counts: 1) her assumption that the author’s (inter)actions in Real Life determine the kind of relationship (s)he has with the reader, 2) the writer/author-reader relationship portrayed as a sexual relationship–she depicts DFW’s fiction as trying to fuck the reader while Jonathan Safran Foer, in comparison, tries to make love to the reader[1], 3) the shame of admitting one has not read a work, and 4) the time quandary: reading takes time; longer books take more time to read; should we only read shorter books so as to be able to read more? This essay will briefly consider other women’s arguments on not reading DFW, and how the act of reading is still very much a political act and one that should remain open and free to all readers.

Session G1: Politics Special Session: Nationalism and Political Deconstruction
Moderator: Grace Chipperfield

On and on and on: flatness, affect and the politics of place in the work of David Foster Wallace

This paper argues that Wallace’s complex engagement with postmodernist cynicism is framed partly through establishing an urban/rural friction in his writing. By creating this antagonism, he positions the city as a malevolent, mutable postmodernist space and the country as a space of “authentic” art and self-discovery.

Rereading the Clichés of David Foster Wallace: Resisting Neoliberalism Through Valuing the Ordinary

This paper examines how Wallace’s “Good Old Neon” employs cliché as a literary device for revealing selfishness, lovelessness, and delusions of uniqueness as “norms” of hegemonic masculinity. Wallace’s renewed philosophical investigation of cliché concludes with a recommendation that faith in being-for-the-Other is the key to ethical responsibility.

InterLaced: Infinite Jest and Late-Stage Capitalism

Profoundly resonant with late-stage capitalism in the United States, Infinite Jest is filled with ideological ploys of entertainment and media to effect mass social control of individuals. This essay analyzes Marxist theory and the sociopolitical context of Infinite Jest to demonstrate the divergence of economics and politics that Marx theorized would mark the end of capitalism.

The Writer’s Ethic: Addressing Autography to the ‘Post-Factual’ Era

This presentation reframes political discourses as autobiographical conflicts, per Berlant’s “intimate publics.” Through standpoint theory, we can see that technological comfort breeds epistemic apathy among many Americans. Perreault’s “autography” may provide creative writers a model to overcome social denigration of the academy.

Session G2: Empathy Special Session: Between You and Me: ‘Feeling Into’

Barbara Balfour (moderator), Corrie Baldauf, Dave Laird, Lauren Nurse

The panelists explore empathetic connections between art and life, outsider and group, online and in-person interactions, footnotes and fungi – between you and me. Wallace said “True empathy’s impossible” yet described imaginatively identifying with a character as “nourishing and redemptive”. We consider how this might lead, in DFW’s words, to becoming “less alone inside”.

Session G3: Creative Writing: (Dis)Ordered Chaos: Presenting the (Un)Speakable Human Condition


Carman’s writing works to (re)define and explain the human condition through the manipulation of forms, ideas, understandings, and the (extra)ordinary details of everyday life.


Miller’s creative work is a nonlinear, fragmented text that seeks to dismantle traditional forms of narrative, disrupt generic boundaries, and dislocate perceptions and expectations.


Eggert’s creative work attempts to resemble the chaotic, traumatized nature of the mind under duress in order to bring readers closer to so-called “unspeakable” experience.

Session G4: Metatextual Infinite Jest

Worst Is the Armed Mother: Mariticide and Filial Aggression in 'The Dream Songs' and 'Infinite Jest'

Following up on last year’s conference paper, I have continued to research how Hal’s coping with grief for his father in Jest draws on Henry’s in the Songs. I pursue evidence that Henry suspects his mother of killing his father and seek parallels with Hal and Avril.

But Am I Paranoid Enough? Obsession, Addiction, and Reading in Infinite Jest

This paper considers reading Infinite Jest through the lens of obsession. Tracing how Wallace depicts obsession in his characters and encourages it in his reader, I configure obsession as an affect of reading that quilts together a diegetic world, an individual experience, and the text’s wider reception.

It Was a Great Marvel He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him: Orality, Literacy, and Visuality in Infinite Jest

This paper examines the various signifying systems of representation (specifically notions of orality, literacy, and visuality) as they pertain to questions of identity and authorship in Infinite Jest. Particular theoretical attention is given to diegetic, extra-diegetic, and heuristic reading devices that work in concert to constitute the narrative.

Session H1: Disability Studies Special Session: Mental Illness and “The Depressed Person”
Moderator: Rhett Farinholt

‘It's like I can't get enough outside it to call it anything’: diagnosing depression in Infinite Jest.

This presentation functions as an introduction to the long-running theme of malaises and mood disorders in Wallace's fiction. Through the character of Kate Gompert in Infinite Jest this paper explores the foundations and boundaries of the mental disorder which 'hang[s] fog-like' over the novel and, indeed, Wallace’s entire oeuvre.

The Narcissist’s Wet Dream: ‘Good Old Neon’, David Foster Wallace and the Psychiatric Paradox

In 'Good Old Neon', DFW presents the “narcissist’s wet dream”: an objective view of the self, free from selfhood. What does such a view say about mental illness and could it ever be possible?

Suicide as a Sort of Gift

Georges Bataille's concept of 'la part maudite' [The Accursed Share] offers a way of conceptualising certain orthodoxies about mental health and suicide. We might then understand Wallace's writing on such as the inevitable explosion, the catastrophic destruction, of a mind that produces an invulnerable surplus; an excess of thought and – being thought – impervious to destruction.

Session H2: Infinite Jest: Shifting Culture, Things, and Technology

Society’s Destruction through Technology’s Seduction: Understanding James Incandenza’s filmography in Infinite Jest

Using interviews with David Foster Wallace and specific critical research my discussion presents James Incandenza’s filmography as a declaration to technology’s seductive tendencies. This eight and half page filmography provides significant details into the destruction of society as portrayed in Infinite Jest.

Sifting through Lists: Reading and Rereading the “Litter-type Objects” of Infinite Jest

This paper brings together neomaterialist and psychoanalytic approaches to examine different models Infinite Jest provides for managing its things and objects. It focuses particularly on Wallace’s lists, as a way to understand how the novel, across numerous (re)readings, shifts attention between subject and object, self and world, inside and outside.

Delerious with Noxema: Pop Culture and Signal and Noise in Infinite Jest

A deep dive into the movie, television, film, art, music and other pop culture references in Infinite Jest. This 20 minute talk will be of the slide-show-and-video-clip-with-commentary style, a not-strictly-academic-but-easily-accessible-approach similar to the presenter’s talk on Wallace’s Boston at the first DFW Conference in 2015.

Session H3: Pedagogy: To Be Present and Human: The Pedagogy and Practice of Reading, Writing, and Thinking Outside the Margins

This interactive presentation considers how the comfort of mainstream (publishing and erudition) alienates/isolates readers/writers from innovative texts, how readers can work through the frustration/(mis)understanding of such texts, and how to turn discomfort into interest and engagement to create/engage in texts reflecting the present and what it means to be human.


Carman argues innovative collage works like Lance Olsen’s Calendar of Regrets are a more accurate reflection of reality (experienced through multiple windows/tabs) than mainstream literature.


Miller’s critical work argues passive readers who seek prepackaged meaning can be transformed into engaged, active architexts who construct meaning vis-à-vis experimental texts.


Eggert will share several short innovative texts used in her introductory creative writing classrooms, along with student samples that demonstrate experimental attempts at “stress writing.”

Session H4: Religion Special Session
Moderator: Michael McGowan

The Sacred Midwest in "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way."

Wallace imbues the Illinois landscape with a polarizing power over his story’s characters in "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way," where an affinity with Midwestern surroundings emerges as a prerequisite to the oft cited "sincerity" of Wallace's post-postmodern agenda.

Addiction and Recovery in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

An examination of addiction and Alcoholics Anonymous in Infinite Jest focused on how Wallace uses the religiously rooted 12-step program as a model for recovery from addiction.

Bloomsday in Beantown: The Influence of Ulysses on Infinite Jest

This paper examines the influence of Joyce’s Ulysses, specifically looking at correspondence between Hal Incandenza/Stephen Dedalus and Don Gately/Leopold Bloom. Each work offers similar messages regarding spirituality, critiquing the overly intellectual approach of the younger characters in favor of a more intuitive faith of the older men.

Session I1: Aesthetics of Failure and “Iceberg” Plotting

“Weirdly Compelling”: Desire, Pain, and the Aesthetics of Failure in Infinite Jest

In dialogue with Clare Hayes-Brady’s characterization of Wallace’s poetics as ones of “generative failure,” this paper focuses on the aesthetic importance of vulnerability, hiddenness, and suggestion in Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest. I focus on Mario’s search for “valid art” and his obsession with M.P.’s radio program to reconsider the novel’s affective and stylistic entanglements

“Melting the Iceberg”: David Foster Wallace’s Rewriting of Ernest Hemingway

This talk addresses both the specific ways that “Good People” is indebted to Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants,” and how Wallace’s differing approach to similar subject matter encapsulates his attempt to revise the legacy of modernism, which he claimed left us with a “distrust of strong belief, [and] open conviction.”

Session I2: Inspiration for Pale King

The Pale King and the “Cowboys of Information”

Drawing on archival research at the Harry Ransom Center, this paper examines the composition, editing process, and reception of The Pale King. All three of these stages have been characterized by the same kind of labour that the novel is about: corralling large quantities of information into a meaningful narrative.

The Making of Sincerity: Wallace and Updike

This paper explores the substantial influence of John Updike on Wallace, focusing on Wallace’s engagement with Updike’s prose as an aesthetic ideal for narrative voice in The Pale King. Updike helps Wallace to develop the more beautiful and “sincere” single-entendre principles for which he strove.

Session I3: Creative Writing


A short story about the hacktivist group Anonymous that is slowly becoming the first chapter of a novel.

The Red Kite

“The Red Kite” is a prose-poem of empty wonder, wonder reaped in-- from-- solitude, and wonder that cannot last. Speaking pretentiously, Beckett meets Gass meets Lamorisse in Chicagoland.

Session J1: DFW: Conveying the Mysterious, the Spiritual, the Postmodern

David Foster Wallace, Jan Patočka and the Isolated Subject

Following Wallace’s discussion of advertising, I will suggest that the logic of cultivating a ‘personal identity’ has come to shape our social relations. I will suggest that the notion of the self as an isolated ego fails to grasp the necessarily situational ground that makes us who we are.

The Abolition of Maps: A Comparative Read of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man

This paper compares similarities between the philosophical undercurrents of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man. Both works offer, as a solution, the subjection of the individual will to a greater body for their concerns about a growing cultural tendency toward solipsism.

Session J2: Teaching Wallace's Prose

Building Sentences with David Foster Wallace

This presentation will demonstrate how stylistics can be used to explore David Foster Wallace’s style in both his fiction and nonfiction. By examining how Wallace uses different aspects of cumulative syntax, one will gain insight to how he used grammar in order achieve rhetorical ends.

Teaching with David Foster Wallace: Essays, Empathy & Empirical Research

Even though Wallace is gone, there is still a great deal he can teach us about writing. Students can learn how to scrutinize, digest, consider, write, rewrite, and expose. They learn to ask questions. Observe. Take notes. Ponder. They learn to write about things they care about; they observe; they experience.

Session J3: Creative Writing

A Silent Dirge in Progress

Jarot’s piece is an experiment in flash fiction that also serves as a deliberate attempt to blend the lines between poetry and fiction. It was originally composed sans capitalization and punctuation, both of which have been strategically added for both coherence and clarity.

An Echo of Sorrow

In this creative commentary on "progress" in a galaxy of magical force, a sad disciple of ancient knights tries to save her dying master from the inevitability of economic collapse. What have they lost from the old ways? How much did their lives of study matter, really?

Presenter bios

Barbara Balfour
Professor, York University, Toronto, Canada

Barbara Balfour, a Toronto-based artist, is Professor and Graduate Program Director, MFA/PhD Program in Visual Arts, York University. Her research involves print and text-based art practices. Other activities include artist residencies, curatorial projects, and critical writing. Her book The Inkiest Black is a textual/visual response to Infinite Jest.

Antonio Aguilar-Vazquez
Ph.D. Student, University of Glasgow

Antonio Aguilar-Vazquez has a BA (Honors) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and an MSc in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh. He is a present PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and a member of the David Foster Wallace Research Group.

Corrie Baldauf
Assistant Professor of Art, Eastern Michigan University

Corrie Baldauf knows that humor is the best form of intelligence. She believes that admitting what you don’t know is the best way to learn more. Baldauf is an Assistant Professor of Art at Eastern Michigan University and Secretary of the International David Foster Wallace Society.

Ross Barnes
Independent Scholar, N/A

Ross Barnes lives in Galesburg, Illinois.

Andrea Berns
Master's Student, Illinois State University

Andrea Berns is a recent graduate of Illinois State University, having completed her Master's degree in English Studies: Creative Writing - Fiction in May 2017. After working as a graduate assistant in the Publications Unit and assistant teaching an introductory creative writing course, she plans to pursue a career in the publishing industry.

Martin Brick
Associate Professor, Ohio Dominican University

Martin Brick is Associate Professor of English at Ohio Dominican University. His primary research agenda explores the intersection of religion and modernist and postmodern literature. He has published on James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, David Foster Wallace, and Mark Z. Danielewski in journals such as James Joyce Quarterly and Christianity and Literature.

Matt Bucher
Independent Scholar

Matt Bucher is the President of the International David Foster Wallace Society. Since 2002 he has administered the wallace-l listserv and is the co-host of The Great Concavity podcast. His work has appeared in Electric Literature, The Dublin Review of Books, The Chicago Review of Books, Publishers Weekly, and elsewhere. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Jeffrey Calzaloia
Creative Writer

Jeffrey Calzaloia is an author whose ambitious work may not achieve commercial success but whose investment in producing high-quality literary fiction remains strong. Inspired by novelists such as John Crowley, Toni Morrison, Gene Wolfe, Cormac McCarthy, Junot Díaz, Samuel R. Delany, Marcel Proust, and (of course) David Foster Wallace, as well as poets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wallace Stevens, Leonie Adams, and John Brooks Wheelwright, Mr. Calzaloia lives in Massachusetts.

Jane L. Carman
Creative Writer, Festival of Language / Lit Fest Press

Jane L. Carman, author of Tangled in Motion (JEF Books 2015), is the founder of the DFW Conference, the reading series Festival of Language and a reading eXperiment, and Lit Fest Press. Carman holds a PhD in English Studies from ISU. She is currently writing manuscripts on Alzheimer’s and suicide.

Grace Chipperfield
Ph.D. Student, Flinders University of South Australia

Grace Chipperfield is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Flinders University in South Australia. She is researching what it is to be an American citizen and how this relates to adolescence and adulthood in the works of David Foster Wallace. She also tutors in English Literature at Flinders University.

Peter Christensen
Independent Scholar, NA

Peter Christensen is the manager of technology commercialization at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. While not an academic, he is an avid student and reader of David Foster Wallace’s work. He has a B.S.from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Vernon Cisney
Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College

Vernon W. Cisney is a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Derrida’s Voice and Phenomenon: An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (Edinburgh, 2014); as well as Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative (Edinburgh, 2018). He is also the co-editor of Biopower: Foucault and Beyond (University of Chicago Press, 2015); The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace: Philosophical Footholds on Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (Northwestern, 2016); and Between Foucault and Derrida (Edinburgh, 2016).

Tristan Cooley
Master's Student, Brooklyn College

Tristan Cooley is currently earning his MA in English at Brooklyn College. He also holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College and a BFA in Jazz Performance from the Newschool. He plays flute, saxophone, first base, and, on occasion, right field.

Ryan Edel
Instructor, Illinois State University

Ryan Edel is the current chair of the DFW Conference. He recently earned his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Rhetoric at Illinois State University. His research interests center upon autobiography, both as a creative tool of self-realization and a rhetorical tool of cultural metanarrative. Naturally, he would never admit that he also writes science fiction writer, or that he has not yet finished reading Infinite Jest. These are not the narratives you’re looking for.

Amy L. Eggert
Instructor, Bradley University

Amy L. Eggert is the author of Scattershot (Lit Fest Press 2015), a hybrid collection that redefines and re-envisions the trauma narrative. Eggert has a PhD in English Studies from ISU and teaches for Bradley University. She’s working on a book that explores the mindset, stigma, and aftermath of suicide.

Danielle Ely
Professor, Hudson Valley Community College

Danielle S. Ely completed her Master’s Thesis called “Into the Womb of Solipsism: The Entertainment as ‘Speculum’” in 2011. She has presented instantiations of her thesis at conferences like Sex…or Something Like It in Madrid and the David Foster Wallace Conference. Her complete thesis is available on Proquest and her work can also be found in LitFestPress’ Normal 2014 and Normal 2015. She is an adjunct English instructor at Columbia-Greene Community College and Hudson Valley Community College.

Aaron Geiger
Ph.D. Student, Northern Illinois University

As a creative writer and digital rhetorician, Aaron Geiger draws upon his experiences as a former U.S. Navy search and rescue operative, wilderness first responder, technologist and book lover. He is a Ph.D. student at Northern Illinois University, where he studies the rhetoric and language of algorithms, the New Aesthetic, bots, and digital pedagogy.

Shelley Grieve-Zerkel
Independent Scholar, Ohio State University

Shelley Grieve-Zerkel is a nondegree student in English at Ohio State University, where she also received an MA in Communication. A central Illinois native, she loves Wallace for his humor and his sense of place. Her love of adaptation began as a Kabuki theatre student under Shozo Sato at the University of Illinois. Shelley is also an Info Designer for IBM.

David Hamme
Independent Artist,

David Hamme is a film and theater artist, having studied Method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, the dramatic arts (traditional/experimental) and film & television production at New York University. His career has largely been defined by post-production work and his position as a motion picture colorist in New York City.

Rich Hanson
Independent Scholar, University of Minnesota/Duluth graduate English/philosophy

Rich Hanson is recently retired and enjoying the freedom to read and write, unfettered by wage slavery. He and his wife Nancy reside in Monmouth, Illinois.

Clare Hayes-Brady
Assistant Professor, University College Dublin

Clare Hayes-Brady is a lecturer in American Literature at University College Dublin. She is the author of The Unspeakable Failures of David Foster Wallace, and has published and presented widely on aspects of contemporary literature and culture.

Natalie Helberg
Ph.D. Student, Governors State University

Natalie Helberg is a graduate of the Master’s in English program at Governors State University, near Chicago, Illinois. Her thesis focused on themes presented in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. She was a Writing Fellow for undergraduate students, is a published author and is pursuing doctoral studies in contemporary literature.

Kyle Henrichs
Ph.D. Student, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Kyle Henrichs is a fifth-year doctoral student in English at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. His research interests include contemporary American fiction, narratology, and ecocriticism. He presented at the 2013 Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Conference and at last year’s Third Annual David Foster Wallace Conference.

Yonina Hoffman
Ph.D. Student, The Ohio State University

Yonina Hoffman is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University whose dissertation examines the career arc of David Foster Wallace: its dominant narrative voices, their ethics and aesthetics, and their corresponding influences. Yonina’s interests include post-45 American literature, narrative theory, stylistics, literary form, and phenomenology.

Jeff Jarot
Creative Writer, Plainfield South High School

Jeff Jarot is a writer who teaches high school English. He holds a BA in English from Illinois Wesleyan University, a BA in English Education and MA in English from Illinois State University, and an MA in English from Northern Illinois University. His short story “Home Movies” appeared in Festival Writer. In addition, Jarot’s previous Wallace scholarship was featured in Normal 2014: Selected Works from The First Annual DFW Conference, as well as Normal 2015: Selected Works from The Second Annual DFW Conference. His novella Zuzu’s Petals was published in February 2016 by Lit Fest Press. Jarot lives in Plainfield, Illinois with his wife and three children.

Ashley Kjos
Creative Writer

Ashley Kjos graduated from Drake University with a degree in History. His work has appeared on Consequence of Sound, in the magazines gb&d and Profile and he has read at Live Lit series around Chicago where he lives with his wife.

Ashlie Kontos
Master's Student, University of Texas at Tyler

Kontos studies English at the University of Texas at Tyler. She published “Nomina Nuda Tenemus: Jonathan Safran Foer Finding Meaning Within Empty Names, or (re)Construction of Deconstruction” in Media, Technology, and Imagination and won the Darrell Borque Award. She co-edited Normal 2014 and Normal 2015, which include her essays.

Ryan Lackey
Master's Student, Oregon State University

Ryan Lackey is a graduate student at Oregon State University seeking his M.A. in American Literature and Culture. He received his B.A. in English from George Fox University, and has presented at regional and national conferences on the works of David Foster Wallace, Chad Harbach, and Charles Baxter.

Dave Laird
Co-Host, Great Concavity Podcast

Dave Laird is a high school humanities teacher, co-host of The Great Concavity podcast, and an avid Netrunner enthusiast from Victoria, BC. He completed his MA in English last summer, with a thesis on Infinite Jest’s engagement with Christian soteriology. He was also a weekly contributing guide for Infinite Winter.

Bill Lattanzi
Independent Scholar, Self

Bill Lattanzi is an independent video editor, writer, and producer from Boston. His work on Wallace includes the occasional walking tour of Wallace’s Boston, an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books, talks at the DFW Conferences 1 and 2 in Bloomington, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Daniel Leonard
Independent Scholar, Independent Scholar

Daniel Leonard is a poet and independent scholar from the Philadelphia area. He holds graduate degrees in poetry and philosophy from Boston University and the University of Leuven, respectively. Daniel has presented at every DFW conference since its inception and supposes he'll do it again.

Ben Leubner
Assistant Professor, Montana State University

Ben Leubner lives and teaches in Bozeman, Montana.

Matthew Luter
K-12 Teacher, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Jackson, MS

Matthew Luter is on the English faculty at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of Understanding Jonathan Lethem (University of South Carolina Press, 2015). His articles, on authors including Don DeLillo, Ellen Douglas, Willie Morris, and Bret Easton Ellis, have appeared in journals including Critique, The Southern Literary Journal, Genre, and Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon.

Tanner Lyon
Undergraduate Student, University of Nevada, Reno

Tanner Lyon is an honors student from the University of Nevada, Reno, specializing in both Continental philosophy and literature. At the Western Regional Honors Conference in 2016, he presented a paper that analyzed contemporary capitalism through the theoretical lenses of Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Slavoj Žižek.

Michelle Martin
Undergraduate Student, University of Victoria

Born in British Columbia and raised in South Florida, Michelle Martin returned to BC to complete her honours degree in English Literature at the University of Victoria. She is an aspiring DFW studies and Contemporary American Literature scholar who is also interested in film and religious studies.

Brian May
Professor, Northern Illinois University

The author teaches English at a university near Chicago.

Rob Mayo
Ph.D. Student, University of Bristol

Rob Mayo is a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol, due to undertake the viva in September 2017. His thesis explores the presentation of depression and other mood disorders and malaises in David Foster Wallace’s fiction. Other research interests include speculative fiction, video game narrative and contemporary cinema.

James McAdams
Ph.D. Student, Lehigh

James McAdams has published fiction in decomP, Superstition Review, Amazon/Day One, Literary Orphans, and B.O.A.A.T. Journal, among others. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Lehigh University, where he also teaches and edits the university's literary journal, Amaranth. His work can be viewed at jamesmcadams.net.

Julianne McCobin
Ph.D. Student, University of Virginia

Julianne McCobin is a PhD student studying modern and contemporary American literature at the University of Virginia. Her current research focuses on literary form in relation to aesthetics, affect, and disability theory.

Laurie McRae Andrew
Ph.D. Student, Royal Holloway, University of London

Laurie McRae Andrew is a PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London. His thesis explores David Foster Wallace’s fiction through geocriticism, literary geography and spatial theory. He lives in London.

Marco Meneghelli
Independent Scholar, Università degli studi di Milano

He was born in Fiorenzuola (Italy) the eight of January 1971. He is graduated in Philosophy with a thesis on the concept of infinite and continuity in the thought of the great American philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce. His field of interest is infinity, continuity, recursion and so on. He loves David Foster Wallace ad infinitum and more.

Kathleen E. Miller
Instructor, Illinois State University

Kathleen E. Miller has a PhD from Illinois State University and teaches writing and literature courses at ISU. Miller has previously published with Ave Maria Press and Jaded Ibis Press, among others. She has an innovative, genre-bending manuscript under review, as well as a traditional fantasy novel she co-authored.

Thomas Moore
Master's Student, Marquette University

Thomas D. Moore earned an English MA from Marquette in May and will begin Ph.D. studies at University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall. His work on experimental fiction often examines issues of ethical obligations and irreducible alterity. He recently began an extended project on the Infinite Jest drafts.

Alexander Moran
Ph.D. Student, University of Birmingham

Alex Moran has recently completed his PhD with the University of Birmingham, with a focus on cultural reproduction in the work of Wallace, Franzen, Chabon, Egan, and Whitehead. He has published on Wallace in “Orbit: A Journal of American Literature”, and has presented on contemporary literature at numerous conferences.

Nicolas Noble
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto

Nicolas Noble is a PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. He has won numerous awards and scholarships for his research focusing on the intersections between philosophy and literature. He is currently working on his dissertation which explores Nietzschean aesthetics in contemporary American literature.

Lauren Nurse
Visual Artist

Lauren Nurse is a visual artist working in printmaking, sculpture, horticulture and installation. She holds an MFA from York University and has exhibited and lectured in Canada, the United States and internationally. She has taught printmaking, design, drawing, and contemporary art practice at OCAD University, University of Toronto in Mississauga and York University.

Michael O'Connell
Assistant Professor, Siena Heights University

Michael O’Connell is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI. His research focuses on contemporary American literature and religion and literature; publications appear in Christianity and Literature, Religion and the Arts, and Renascence. He is working on a study of violence in contemporary American Catholic fiction.

Philipp Ohnesorge
Master's Student, University of Münster, Germany

Philipp Ohnesorge, aged 29, is a student and graduate assistant at the department of German literature at University of Münster, Germany. After his Bachelor‘s degree in German literature and philosophy in Münster and Bonn, he is currently writing his thesis in the master‘s program “cultural poetics” and preparing his dissertation.

Ross Owens
Ph.D. Student, University of Sussex

Ross Owens has been an analyst, a bookseller, a barista and a stripper. Now he's a Phd candidate at the University of Sussex studying ludic literature and the medical humanities. He likes writing contrived [comic?] rhymes, but prefers to defer to your better judgement on that matter.

Paolo Pitari
Ph.D. Student, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Paolo Pitari is a PhD student at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy). He’s worked on DFW since he was an Undergrad. His research now focuses on the concept of free will and its existential consequences by employing an interdisciplinary approach that mixes literary criticism, philosophy, and sociology.

Philip Sayers
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto

Philip Sayers is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Toronto. He holds a BA in English from Cambridge and an MA in Comparative Literature from University College London, and specializes in twentieth century and contemporary Anglophone prose, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy.

Ross Sellers
Independent Scholar, Montana State University December Graduate

Ross Sellers is a December graduate from Montana State University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts: major in Writing, and minor in Literature. He first encountered Infinite Jest in Ben Leubner’s class for major authors, and is now entrenched in David Foster Wallace’s writing because it’s nice to read serious art.

Nathan Seppelt
Independent Scholar, The International DFW Society

Nathan Seppelt is an independent scholar & artist based in Adelaide, Australia. Nathan is the Publications Chair for the International David Foster Wallace Society and an Associate Editor of their peer-reviewed journal, both of which he urges everyone to check out (and get involved!) at dfwsociety.org.

Danny Sheaf
Ph.D. Student, Murdoch University

Danny Sheaf holds an Honours Degree in English & Creative Arts and Philosophy awarded by Murdoch University (Perth, Australia). He is currently a PhD candidate at Murdoch University. Danny’s research concerns a philosophical engagement with the fiction of David Foster Wallace via Martin Heidegger and Jan Patočka.

Rob Short
Ph.D. Student, The University of Florida

Rob Short is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida. His work on Wallace has appeared in Normal 2015: Selected Works from The Second Annual David Foster Wallace Conference and on the website for James Ponsoldt’s film The End of the Tour. He is also the webulizer for dfwsociety.org.

Jacob Singer
Independent Scholar, Writer and Adjunct Professor

Jacob Singer is a professor of writing whose critical and creative works can be found at The Quarterly Conversation, Colorado Review, and Anobium. He authored “The Hysterical Realism Reading List” and founded the blog Hysterical Realism.

Aisling Smith
Ph.D. Student, Monash University

Aisling Smith is a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her dissertation explores the works of David Foster Wallace through affect theory. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Colloquy: text, theory, critique and is also an editor of the 2017 Monash Verge Anthology.

Peter Gus Sparacio
Creative Writer, Bizurich Media

Peter Gus Sparacio graduated from Illinois State University ('06) with degrees in Political Science and Government and Psychology, and from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management with an MBA ('15). Since 2006, he has worked at medical and manufacturing companies, specializing in quality, regulatory and engineering. He currently resides in Chicago, and is heavily influenced by the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and David Foster Wallace.

Peter Spaulding
Master's Student, Marquette University

Peter Spaulding grew up in the Philippines, where his parents did missionary work. His undergraduate studies were in English Literature at John Brown University, and he is now a first year Master’s student at Marquette University. His literary interests are the English Renaissance and Postmodern American fiction.

David Spencer
Independent Scholar, Ball State University

David Spencer graduated with a Master's degree in Literature from Ball State University in 2014, presenting his Master's thesis paper at the 2014 DFW Conference (“Post-Postmodern Didacticism”). He continues independent scholarship and teaches high school English in Columbus, Indiana, including instilling the curriculum with Wallace’s works whenever possible.

Toon Staes
Independent Scholar, The Ohio State University

Toon Staes is a postdoctoral researcher with Project Narrative at The Ohio State University, sponsored by the Belgian American Education Foundation. He received his PhD at the University of Antwerp. He has published various essays on American fiction and narrative theory, and is currently preparing a book on David Foster Wallace and Richard Powers.

Maxwell Suechting
Ph.D. Student, Stanford University

Max Suechting is a doctoral candidate in Stanford University’s Program in Modern Thought & Literature, where he studies twentieth-century popular culture. His dissertation traces alternate formulations of human and posthuman subjectivity forged at the intersection of music and technology in Black Atlantic culture.

Andrew Sutcliffe
Ph.D. Student, King's College, University of London

Andrew Sutcliffe is a Doctoral Researcher in Comparative Literature at King's College, University of London. His focus is on the Medical Humanities, particularly the intersection between mental illness, psychiatry and literature. He is also confident swimmer.

S. Hamed Tayebi
Ph.D. Student, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz & Paris-Diderot

Hamed Tayebi wrote his master’s thesis on Oblivion Stories by making a Baudrillardian critique. Currently he is a PhD candidate at universities of Graz and Paris-Diderot completing a dissertation on the oeuvre of Wallace from the perspective of Roland Barthes, Herbert Marcuse, Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio.

Alessandra Tedesco
Independent Scholar, University of Bologna

Alessandra Tedesco holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Bologna, in Italy. Her research interests include Twentieth-Century and contemporary Anglo-American literature, postmodern literature, literary theory, geocriticism, philosophy, Vladimir Nabokov and David Foster Wallace. She has an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature, seen as an interpretational key of actual social, economic and cultural aspects of the real world.

Bojana Totovic
Independent Scholar, Independent Scholar

Bojana Totovic is an interpreter, translator and ESL teacher from Belgrade, Serbia. She holds a BA in English from University of Belgrade, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University.

Samantha Wallace
Ph.D. Student, University of Virginia

Samantha Wallace studies English literature at the University of Virginia. Her current research concerns questions of experimental form, focusing on American 20th and 21st-century novels, as well as intersections of art and violence. Before beginning her PhD, she was involved with art education at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and open-access publishing in San Francisco.

Suzanne Webb
Creative Writer, Southwestern College

Suzanne Webb tells stories. Her stories mix, mesh, and merge alphabetic texts and images with her “plain-talkin' self”. Her works have been featured in Computers & Composition, Calliope, and Harlot of the Arts. She seeks to reach academic and nonacademic audiences alike as she discusses the professional by using the personal.

Christopher White
Associate Professor, Governors State University

Christopher White is an Associate Professor of English at Governors State University, located south of Chicago. He has published articles on William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy in the Journal of Modern Literature, Southwestern American Literature, The Cormac McCarthy Journal, and Studies in the Novel.

Tom Winchester
Professor, Ringling College of Art and Design Department of Photography and Imaging

Tom Winchester has presented papers titled, “Himself's Figurants” and “Infinite Jest as an Art Object” at previous DFW Conventions. He currently teaches photography at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Carly Yingst
Ph.D. Student, Harvard University

Carly Yingst is a first-year PhD student in English at Harvard University, studying 20th century American literature and the novel. She received her BA in English from Indiana University, where she wrote her thesis on motion and (dis)orientation in David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon.