Norman Mailer Society/Conference/2020

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The Scarboro Hotel.

18th Annual Norman Mailer Society Conference
October 15-17, 2020 @ Monmouth University

Theme: Mailer and the Spirit of Democracy

As of April 1, 2020, our intention is to continue planning for this conference, as it is currently still over six months away. While we will continue to monitor the situation with Covid-19, and will of course adapt as necessary, we are opting to be cautiously optimistic at this stage, and hope that by mid-October, we will have returned to some sense of normalcy and the conference can proceed as scheduled.

With that in mind, please find our official call for papers below, along with information about our keynote speaker as well as accommodations at the Ocean Place Resort during the conference. Additional details about the conference will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, if you have not yet renewed your membership in the Norman Mailer Society, we would greatly appreciate your continued support of the society!

Keynote Speaker

We are pleased to announce that our conference keynote speaker this year will be David Denby, staff writer and film critic at the New Yorker since 1998. Prior to joining The New Yorker, he was the film critic at New York for twenty years; his writing has also appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, and The New Republic.The author of five books, he is currently working on a group biography of four Jewish Americans: Leonard Bernstein, Betty Friedan, Norman Mailer, and Mel Brooks.

Call for Papers

The 2020 Norman Mailer Society Conference invites paper proposals for its 18th annual conference, which will be held in Long Branch, NJ, and co-sponsored by The English Department at Monmouth University.

While we welcome proposals for papers and panels on any aspect of Mailer’s life and work, the organizing theme for this year’s conference is “Mailer and the Spirit of Democracy.”  Paper topics might include (but are not limited to): Mailer’s “Superman Comes to the Supermarket” (on the 60th anniversary of its publication); Mailer’s election coverage; his views of American presidency and leadership; literary freedom; connections between literature and democracy; and Mailer’s visions or hopes for America.

To submit a proposal for a panel, individual paper, or special event, please e-mail the following to conference co-chairs Maggie McKinley (, Jerry Lucas ( and Matt Hinton (

  • a 150-200 word abstract of the proposed presentation;
  • a 50-word biographical statement; and
  • any A/V requirements.

Proposals are due by June 1, 2020.

To accommodate all presenters, paper presentations should be no longer than 10-15 minutes.

2020 Travel Funding for Students

This year we are also excited to announce that, thanks to generous donations from Susan Mailer and Larry Schiller, we are able to offer funding for students attending the conference. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to present at the conference, but travel and lodging cost will be subsidized for any students who are interested in attending. Conference registration fees will also be waived for students this year. Please contact the conference organizers for more details.


We have secured a very affordable room rate of $139 + tax at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, right on the beach. Reserve a room either by calling and mentioning the Norman Mailer 2020 Conference (1-800-411-6493) or by using this reservation link. Please reserve early this year, if you are planning to attend, to guarantee a room. Note that there is no financial obligation to you if you reserve a room now, and you can cancel without any penalty up to 3 days prior to arrival, should there be any unforeseen changes.