The mission of the TC Age Studies forum is to benefit the association by serving as a valuable resource for researchers and educators in the field of age studies. To achieve this goal, researchers explore the implications of age differences across the lifespan and the intersections of age with other categories of identity in literature, media, and culture, particularly focusing on considerations of aging and old age. Educators incorporate age studies concepts into pedagogies of literature, language, and writing. We encourage scholars to explore the impact of their own and others’ age-based stereotypes, the benefits and frustration of aging, and the potential inherent in aging and old age beyond the boundaries of essentialist, reductive valuations. The TC Age Studies forum supports examinations of cultural assumptions and research about age and age-based discriminations, including responses and resistance.

Age Studies Panels at Seattle Convention

Attending the 2020 MLA Convention in Seattle? Panels 86, 219, 292, and 517 connect in fresh ways to age studies. Here are descriptions of the sessions:


  1. Wharton and Disability

3:30-4:45 p.m., Thursday 9 January, 612, WSCC

Program arranged by the Edith Wharton Society

  1. “Age, Disability, and Desexualization in Edith Wharton’s Ghost Stories,” Emily Banks, Emory U
  2. “Neurasthenic Minds in Edith Wharton’s Short Stories,” Paul Joseph Ohler, Kwantlen Polytechnic U
  3. “Against Interpretation: Wharton, Suicidality, and Modern Mental Health,” Lisa Mendelman, Menlo C
  4. “Paralysis and Euthanasia in Wharton’s The Shadow of a Doubt, The Fruit of the Tree, and Ethan Frome,” Maria-Novella Mercuri, University C London


219. Race, Age, and Futurities 8:30-9:45 a.m., Friday 10 January, 620, WSCC

Program arranged by the forum TC: Age Studies

Presiding: Lauren M. Bowen, U of Massachusetts, Boston

1.“Changing of the Guard: Inversion of Power in the Visionary Futurescape of J. M.    Coetzee’s Disgrace,” Licia Hendriks, The Citadel

  1. “Agelessness: Betsy Bailey’sLittle Hut and Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy,” Nathaniel Windon, Penn State U, University Park

3.“Language Futures in Protracted Migration: Investigating Aging, Ableism, and Literacy Learning among Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal,” Katherine Silvester, Indiana U, Bloomington

4.“‘This Building Is Sick’: Aging Academics in Black Women’s Fiction,” Cait Jones, Trent U


  1. After Adolescence: Emerging Adulthood in American Literature

12:00-1:15 p.m., Friday 10 January, 616, WSCC

Program arranged by the forum TC: Age Studies

Presiding: Nancy C. Backes, Cardinal Stritch U

  1. “Child Marriage and the Young Edge of Adulthood,” Melanie V. Dawson, C of William and Mary
  2. “Vulnerable Youth and the Protest of Richard Wright,” Claire Lenviel, U of Kentucky
  3. “American Soldiers, Trauma, and Permanent Adolescence in Literature of the Iraq War,” Jennifer Haytock, C at Brockport, State U of New York



  1. The Old Nineteenth Century

12:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m., Saturday 11 January, 612, WSCC

Presiding: Jacob Jewusiak, Newcastle U

Panelists explore the topic of aging to develop intersectional ways of thinking about gender, periodization, and critical practice as they relate to the construction of the “nineteenth century” or “the Victorian” as a field. How does the “old” nineteenth century generate new methods and objects of inquiry?


Andrea Charise, U of Toronto, Scarborough

Ruth McAdams, Skidmore C

David McAllister, U of London, Birkbeck C

Hannah Rosefield, Harvard U

Sara Zadrozny, U of Portsmouth


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