Don DeLillo

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People everywhere are absorbed in conversation. [...] Conversation is life, language is the deepest being. We see the patterns repeat, the gestures drive the words. It is the sound and picture of humans communicating. [...] Every conversation is a shared narrative, a thing that surges forward, too dense to allow space for the unspoken, the sterile. The talk is unconditional, the participants drawn in completely.

-- Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)

Calls for Papers | Conference Sessions & Meetings | New and Forthcoming Publications | DDS in the News

Calls for Papers

Don DeLillo and Sept. 11th (abstracts due Dec. 14, 2001)

We seek abstracts for short (10-minute) papers to be presented at our annual MLA meeting (see below). The topics should focus on the relationship between DeLillo's works and: Sept. 11th, terrorism, New York City, and related ideas.

If you wish to present a short paper, please send a 500-word abstract to Mark Osteen and Phil Nel by December 14, 2001. Their email addresses are and

Sponsored by the Don DeLillo Society. 

Approaches to Teaching DeLillo's White Noise (proposals due July 1, 2001)

The Modern Language Association's Publications Committee has approved development of an "Approaches to Teaching World Literature" collection on Don DeLillo's White Noise, to be edited by Tim Engles and John Duvall. This volume, like others in this MLA series, will have a pedagogical focus: how can textual, theoretical, and contextual issues be brought to bear in teaching DeLillo's novel?

If you wish to contribute to the volume, please write to Tim Engles; he will send you either an electronic or printed copy of a questionnaire that asks you about your teaching of White Noise. A one-page essay proposal, along with the completed questionnaire and a brief cv, is due July 1, 2001. You may submit this material either by email ( or surface mail: Tim Engles, Department of English, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL 61920. All questionnaire respondents will be acknowledged in the completed volume.

If you have any questions about the volume, please contact either Tim Engles or John Duvall ( They will be happy to hear from any potential contributors or anyone otherwise interested in the project.

Proposed Special Sessions for MLA 2001 (abstracts due March 15, 2001)

PERFORMING DELILLO. Papers sought on performance and performativity in DeLillo's fiction and theater works. Topics might include: the body and performance; theatricality; dialogue, monologue and the dynamics of power; observation and surveillance; visuality and the cinematic; identity and performativity; authorship/writing/criticism as performance.

FROM CULT AUTHOR TO CLASSIC: DELILLO AND THE CANON. Has DeLillo now achieved canonical status? What forms of cultural recognition have helped to establish his current visibility? How should we understand DeLillo's status as a literary celebrity? What does recent critical interest in and curricular inclusion of DeLillo's works suggest about the politics of canon formation? How can we comprehend such interest in the context of the multicultural critique and revision of the canon?

Please send 500-word abstracts by March 15 to Jeremy Green (, 226 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0226.

Please note: neither session has been approved by the MLA. Participants must be members of the MLA by April 1.

Conference Sessions & Meetings

Modern Language Association: Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA. December 27-30, 2001.

Don DeLillo Society Meeting. 7 p.m., Saturday, December 29, 2001. Mark Osteen's room, the Hotel Meridien, New Orleans. Look for posters announcing the specific location or call Mark (at the Hotel). Any members who would like to present new work -- brief papers (10 minutes), abstracts, calls for papers, etc. -- are welcome to do so. However, if you wish to present a short paper, we ask that you send us an abstract by December 14th. For more details, see the call for papers, above.

Sponsored by the Don DeLillo Society. 

The American Literature Association: 2001 Conference, Cambridge, MA. May 24-27,2001.

Don DeLillo's The Body Artist. Sunday, May 27, 2001, 11:00-12:20 p.m. Hyatt Regency. William Dawes A. Chair: Nicole Merola, University of Washington.
  • "'The stun of intrusion': Possession and Performance in The Body Artist" Mark Osteen, Loyola College of Maryland
  • "Uncanny Bodies: Temporality, Technology, and Identity in The Body Artist," Jeremy Green, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • "Being 'alert to the clarity of the moment': Language and Experience in DeLillo's The Body Artist, Philip Nel, Kansas State University

Sponsored by the Don DeLillo Society. 

New and Forthcoming Publications


Yuknavitch, Lidia. Chapter 4, "Nuclear Ideology and Narrative Displacement." Allegories of Violence: Tracing the Writing of War in Twentieth-Century Fiction. New York & London: Routledge, 2001. 55-73 [White Noise].

DeLillo, Don. Pafko at the Wall. Scribner, 2001.

Scanlan, Margaret. Chapter1, "Don DeLillo's Mao II and the Rushdie Affair." Plotting Terror: Novelists and Terrorists in Contemporary Fiction. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 2001. 19-36.

Critique 42.4 (Summer 2001). A special issue on DeLillo, with essays by Karnicky, Kavadlo, Muirhead, Nel, Wallace, and Yehnert.

DeLillo, Don. The Body Artist. Scribner, 2001. For more information, see Don DeLillo's America's "Body Artist" page.

DeLillo, Don. "The Mystery at the Middle of Ordinary Life" Zoetrope: All-Story 4.4 (Winter 2000): 70 <>. Rpt. Harper's Jan. 2001: 37.

Happe, François. Don DeLillo: la fiction contre les systèmes. collection Voix amériacines. Paris: Belin, 2000.

Knight, Peter. Conspiracy Culture: From the Kennedy Assassination to "The X-Files". London: Routledge, 2000. The chapter "Plotting the Kennedy Assassination," addresses Libra, and "Everything is Connected" discusses Underworld.

Melley, Timothy. Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2000. The book addresses Libra in Chapter 4, "Secret Agents." 133-159.

Moran, Joe. Star Authors: Literary Celebrity in America. London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press, 2000. See Chapter 7, "Silence, Exile, Cunning and So On: Don DeLillo." 116-31.

O'Donnell, Patrick. Latent Destinies: Cultural Paranoia in Contemporary U.S. Narrative. Duke UP, 2000. The book devotes part of Chapter 1 ("Headshots") to Libra, and all of Chapter 5 ("Under History, Underworld") to Underworld.

Osteen, Mark. American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo's Dialogue with Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.

Pifer, Ellen. Demon or Doll: Images of the Child in Contemporary Writing and Culture. University Press of Virginia, 2000. See chapter 11, "The Child as Mysterious Agent: DeLillo's White Noise." 212-32.

Saltzman, Arthur. This Mad "Instead": Governing Metaphors in Contemporary American Fiction. Columbia: South Carolina UP, 2000. See Chapter 2, "The Figure in the Static: Don DeLillo's White Noise." 33-48.

Tanner, Tony. The American Mystery: American Literature from Emerson to DeLillo. Cambridge UP, 2000. See Chapter 11, "Don DeLillo and 'the American mystery': Underworld." 201-21.

Ruppersburg, Hugh, and Tim Engles, editors. Critical Essays on Don DeLillo. G. K. Hall, 2000.


Gauthier, Marni. "Better Living Through Westward Migration: Don DeLillo's Inversion of the American West as 'Virgin Land' in Underworld.'" Moving Stories: Migration and the American West, 1850-2000. Ed. Scott E. Casper. Nevada Humanities Committee. Halcyon Series 23. Reno: University of Nevada Press, June 2001. 131-152.

Cowart, David. Don DeLillo: The Physics of Language. University of Georgia Press, 2002.

Duvall, John. Don DeLillo's Underworld: A Reader's Guide. Continuum Press, January 2002.

Don DeLillo Society in the News

The sixth page of "Dissecting The Body Artist" by Keith Gessen and Sam Lipsyte (Feed Magazine 17-19 Jan. 2001) offers a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Don DeLillo Society (scroll down to the P.S.) It also provides a link to the "About" section of this website.

The Compulsive Reader's feature on DeLillo's The Body Artist (27 Feb. 2001) includes a link back to this website's main page.

For more events, please consult the "Events" page at Don DeLillo's America.
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Events are sponsored by the Don DeLillo Society only when indicated.

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