International panel - Fictional Maximalism and the Americas: New Voices, New Perspectives

Published: 30 March 2022

Monday 11 April 2022

Monday 11 April 2022 at 3pm

Please join us on Mon 11 April 2022 (3pm to 4.30pm, UK time) for an international panel on “Fictional Maximalism and the Americas: New Voices, New Perspectives”, organised by Elisa Pesce.

All welcome!

Please email Elisa at for further information and the Zoom link.

A transversal presence in Western literature, the maximalist, or encyclopaedic, novel is a multi-form and unusually long type of fiction. Although its ancestry might lie in Dante’s Commedia, Melville’s Moby-Dick, and Joyce’s Ulysses, it evolved into a distinctive literary style from the 1970s onward, encompassing authors such as Pynchon, Gaddis, DeLillo, and Wallace. Consequently, the maximalist novel came to be associated predominantly with white male writers from the United States, as well as with many of the features and purposes of the Great American Novel.

After decades of little discussion on the reasons underlying the exclusion of women and other minority groups from canonical models of the maximalist novel, scholars are finally exploring this narrative mode through the lenses of non-male and/or non-white authors in the Americas and worldwide. The scope of this international panel is to foster and promote the interchange of new ideas around fictional maximalism, by focusing specifically on its most symbolic context: contemporary literature in and about the Americas.

International panel (three papers followed by Q&A session):

  • Antonio Barrenechea (University of Mary Washington)
  • Dr Rachele Dini (University of Roehampton)
  • Kiron Ward (University of Essex)

First published: 30 March 2022