Past panels

The following are papers delivered at the Doris Lessing Society’s annual panels at the MLA convention:

Austin 2016

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Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Comparative Readings of Doris Lessing’s Historical and Speculative Fiction

“In Pursuit of the Welfare State: Doris Lessing and Intervention,” Lisa Fluet, College of the Holy Cross. (Abstract: Fluet MLA 2016)

“After Aldermaston: Doris Lessing and the Problem of Revolution in the Nuclear Age,” Mark Pedretti, Claremont Graduate University. (Abstract: Pedretti MLA 2016)

“Looking Forward: the Speculative Realism of Doris Lessing and David Mitchell,” Robin Visel, Furman University. (Abstract: Visel MLA 2016)

“Comparative Empires: Diaspora and Hybridity in Children of Violence and and Canopus at Argos,” Linda Weinhouse, Community College of Baltimore County. (Abstract: Weinhouse MLA 2016)

20th/21st-Century Women Writers as Public Intellectuals

Prisons We Choose to Live Inside: Doris Lessing speaks ‘Truth to Power’,” Eleonora Rao, University of Salerno. (Abstract: Rao MLA 2016)

“Toni Morrison, Hannah Arendt, and the Collaborative Public Action of Fiction,” Frederick Coye Heard, Virginia Military Institute. (Abstract: Heard MLA 2016)

“Looking Again at Spain: Rukeyser, Warner, Woolf,” Anne Fernald, Fordham University. (Abstract: Fernald MLA 2016)

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Celebrity: Women, Race, and the Public Intellectual,” Erin K. Johns Speese, Duquesne University. (Abstract: Speese MLA 2016)

Vancouver 2015

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70. Doris Lessing and Canada

Thursday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 223, VCC West

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Cornelius Collins, Fordham Univ.

  1. “‘The Limits of Autobiography’: Doris Lessing and Margaret Laurence,” Alice Rachel Ridout, Algoma Univ. (Abstract: Ridout MLA 2015)
  2. “On Domestication in Marian Engel and Doris Lessing,” Dorian Stuber, Hendrix Coll. (Abstract: Stuber MLA 2015)
  3. “The Anonymous Wisdom of Lessing’s Writer,” Sookyoung Lee, Univ. of California, Berkeley (Abstract: Lee MLA 2015

605. D.H. Lawrence and Doris Lessing: New Perspectives

Saturday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., West 116, VCC West

Program arranged by the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America and the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Nancy L. Paxton, Northern Arizona Univ.

  1. “Insanity, Gender, and War in Doris Lessing’s and D. H. Lawrence’s Fiction,” Jill Franks, Austin Peay State Univ.
  2. “‘Unlived Lives, Unborn Children’ in D. H. Lawrence’s Chatterley Novels and Doris Lessing’s Alfred and Emily,” Nancy L. Paxton, Northern Arizona Univ.
  3. “Decentering Trauma: The Narrative Aesthetics of D. H. Lawrence and Doris Lessing,” Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky Univ.

The Annual General Meeting of the Doris Lessing Society will be held at 8:45-10:00 pm on Thursday, 8 January in 115 VCC West, Vancouver Convention Centre during the MLA Convention. All are welcome. We will be welcoming new President, Cornelius Collins and electing a new Vice-President. Nominations are encouraged.

 

Chicago 2014

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The Doris Lessing Society has organized a special event to mark the passing of Doris Lessing. All are welcome. Cash bar and refreshments.

Doris Lessing Memorial

Saturday, 11 January, 8:45–10:00 p.m.,

Chicago G, Chicago Marriott

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will be held immediately after this special event.

The Doris Lessing Society panel is as follows:

Sunday, 12 January

694. Émigrés, Expats, and Exiles: Doris Lessing in Postwar London

8:30–9:45 a.m.

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

1. “‘Unanchored Fragments of Print’: Lessing’s Experiments with Drama and Poetry in the Late 1950s,” Nick Bentley, Keele Univ.

2. “Of Pigeons and Expats: Doris Lessing, Sam Selvon, and Zadie Smith,” Alice Rachel Ridout, Algoma Univ.

3. “Doris Lessing and Moidi Jokl: A Reassessment,” Terry Reilly, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks

4. “Lessing’s First Postwar London Novel: Retreat to Innocence,” Robin E. Visel, Furman Univ.

The Doris Lessing Society has also organized a roundtable:

Friday, 10 January

197. Learned Society Journals: Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-First Century

8:30–9:45 a.m.

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Alice Rachel Ridout, Algoma Univ.

Speakers: Martha J. Cutter, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs; Betty Leigh Hutcheson, College Art Assn.; Sheri Spaine Long, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte; David Lee Miller, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia; Karma Waltonen, Univ. of California, Davis

This roundtable will focus on learned society journals and will consider the journal within this context. Participants will consider matters beyond the strictly editorial, addressing issues such as the function of journals in relation to societies’ membership, the transition to electronic publication, and the place of journals in learned societies’ finances

Here is a more detailed description of the roundtable.

 

 Boston 2013

98. Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook: Fifty Years On

3:30-4:45pm, Beacon G., Sheraton
Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society
Presiding: Sandra Singer, University of Guelph

  1. “Going on Fifty: The Golden Notebook as Roman à Clef.” Roberta Rubenstein, American University
  2. “Feminism and its Critique in The Golden Notebook, Then and Now.” Josna E. Rege, Worcester State University
  3. “Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook and Chick Lit.”Alice Rachel Ridout, Algoma University

Saturday, 05 January

506. “In Other Worlds”: Atwood and Lessing’s Speculative Fiction

12:00-1:15pm, Beacon G., Sheraton
Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society and the Margaret Atwood Society
Presiding: Cornelius Collins, Fordham University, Bronx

  1. “‘Watch Out for Art’: Science, Fiction, and Storytelling in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.” Eric Aronoff, Michigan State University
  2. “Lessing and Atwood’s Dystopic Fictions.” Sharon R. Wilson, University of Northern Colorado
  3. “Narrative Possibility in the Speculative Fictions of Margaret Atwood and Doris Lessing.” Lauren J. Lacey, Edgewood College

Seattle 2012

Home and the Domestic: Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing

10:15-11:30am, 612, Washington State Convention Center (Friday, 6 January 2012)

Program arranged by the International Virginia Woolf Society and the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Suzette Ann Henke, University of Louisville

  1. “The Grass Passes,” Dorian Stuber, Hendrix College
  2. “Foreign Bodies: Disunity at the Woolfian Domestic Dinner Party,” Lauren Rich, University of Notre Dame
  3. “Home and Family in Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing: A Foucauldian Approach,” Yuan-Jung Cheng, National Sun Yat-Sen University

Questions concerning Canonicity: Critical Receptions of Doris Lessing’s Fiction

1:45-3:00pm, 305, Washington State Convention Center (Saturday, 7 January 2012)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

  1. “Questions concerning Canonicity: The Critical Reception of Doris Lessing’s Fiction,” Alice Ridout, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College
  2. “Lessing’s Archetypal and Impressionistic Shorter Fiction: ‘Dialogue’ and ‘One off the Short List,'” Sharon R. Wilson, University of Northern Colorado
  3. “Uncanny Canonicity: The Strangeness of The Grass Is Singing,” Dorian Stuber, Hendrix College
  4. “Migration and Doris Lessing’s Cosmopolitanism,” Sandra Singer, University of Guelph

Los Angeles 2011

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Narrating Past, Present, and Future: Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood

10:15-11:30am, Platinum Salon I, J.W. Marriott (Friday, 7 January)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society and the Margaret Atwood Society

Presiding: Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky University

  1. “Engendering Utopia and Dystopia: Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake, Lessing’s The Marriages between Zones Three, Four, and Five,” Earl G. Ingersoll, State University of New York, Brockport
  2. “The Puppets Jerk to Their Invisible Strings: Performances of Oryx and Emily in Memoirs of a Survivor and Oryx and Crake,” Lynda A. Hall, University of Calgary
  3. “Fables for Tomorrow from Today in the Speculative Fables of Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood,” Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

Respondent: Tomoko Kuribayashi, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

Doris Lessing: Gender and Sexualities

12:00-1:15pm, Diamond Salon 2, J.W. Marriott (Friday, 7 January)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Molly Pulda, Graduate Center, City University of New York

  1. “Liberation and Taboo: Normative Sexuality in Lessing’s Fiction,” Robin E. Visel, University of Findlay
  2. “Gender, Sexual Relations, Desire, and Reproduction in Lessing’s The Cleft,” Imke Brust, Haverford College
  3. “No Family, No Neurosis: Doris Lessing’s Portrayals of 1950s Female Sexuality,” Sherah Wells, University of Nottingham
  4. “Desiring Older Women: Coming to Age in Lessing’s Early Fiction,” Ruth O. Saxton, Mills College

Philadelphia 2009

2009

Doris Lessing and War

10:15-11:30am, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Terry Reilly, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

  1. “Doris Lessing and the War for Africa: The Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle in The Children of Violence,” Robin E. Visel, Furman University
  2. “Representations of War in Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook,” Earl G. Ingersoll, State University of New York, Brockport
  3. “The Isolationist Text: War and Genre in Doris Lessing’s Alfred and Emily,” Molly Pulda, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Doris Lessing’s Short Stories

12:00-1:15pm, Philadelphia Marriott (Wednesday, 30 December)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

  1. “Unwelcome Guests: ‘The Old Chief Mshlanga,'” Sukanya Senapati, Abraham Baldwin College
  2. “The Heap of Silence: ‘The Antheap,'” John Gallagher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  3. “Focused on Relationships in ‘London Observed’ and ‘The Grandmothers,'” Sandra Singer, University of Guelph
  4. “Realist and Speculative Landscapes Still: ‘In the National Gallery’ and ‘The Reason for It,'” Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

San Francisco 2008

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“Oh Christ!”: Reception of Doris Lessing, Nobel Laureate

Presiding: Judith Kegan Gardiner, University of Illinois, Chicago

  1. “‘Justice,’ ‘Loyalty,’ and Doris Lessing’s Nobel Acceptance Speech,” Alice Ridout, Leeds Metropolitan University
  2. “Blogging and Blugging: A Cultural Interpretation of Lessing’s Nobel Speech,” Sandra Singer, University of Guelph
  3. “Grumpy, Blunt, or Truculent? Lessing as Nobel Laureate,” Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

Doris Lessing and Human Rights

Presiding: Alice Ridout, Leeds Metropolitan University; Robin E. Visel, Furman University

  1. “Prisons We Build for Ourselves: Doris Lessing’s Cultural Critique and Michel Foucault’s Theory of Power and Knowledge,” Yuan-Jung Cheng, National Sun Yat-sen University
  2. “‘They Treat Human Beings as If They Were Rats’: Constructing Intelligible Bodies in Lessing and Laing,” Kerry Myler, University of Southampton
  3. “The Vexed ‘Colour Problem’: Doris Lessing and ‘the African Renaissance,'” Pat Louw, University of Zululand
  4. “‘A Door Which I Propped Open with a Stone’: Doris Lessing’s Going Home,” Lynda Hall, University of Calgary

Chicago 2007

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Doris Lessing’s Recent Work

3:30-4:45pm, New Orleands, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Linda A. Seidel, Truman State University

  1. “Ben, in the Welfare State,” Lisa Jeanne Fluet, Boston College
  2. “The Speculative Lessing,” Lauren J. Lacey, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
  3. “The Birth and Death of Civilization,” Manjun Yu, Chongqing University

Doris Lessing and Modernism

1:45-3:00pm, Horner, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky University

  1. “The Synergy of Gender and Vision in Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor and The Fifth Child,” Debrah K. Raschke, Southeast Missouri State University
  2. The Golden Notebook and Modernist Exhaustion,” C. Brook Miller, University o f Minnesota, Morris
  3. “‘Beyond the Personal’: Lessing’s Ethic of Impersonality in The Memoirs of a Survivor,” Cornelius Collins, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
  4. “Making Up in Rhys and Lessing: Modernist Aesthetics and Postcolonial Female Subjectivity,” Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky University

Philadelphia 2006

Trauma and the Works of Doris Lessing

10:15-11:30am, 302, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Linda Weinhouse, Community College of Baltimore County, MD

  1. “Respectable Ladies and Sexual Trauma in The Grandmothers,” Linda A. Seidel, Truman State University
  2. “Trauma of Motherhood:The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing,” Damjana Mraovic, University of Florida
  3. “The Dissolution of Walls: Trauma, Healing, and the Sufi Way in Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor,” Lidan Lin, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne

Crossing Borders: Transnational and Postcolonial Lessing

1:45-3:00pm, 408, Philadelphia Marriott (Saturday, 30 December)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Paul Schlueter, Easton, PA; Anne M. Serafin, Newtonville, MA

  1. “White Farm Children and the Borders of White Supremacy: Doris Lessing, Alexandra Fuller, and Ian Holding,” Julie Cairnie, University of Guelph
  2. “Mimesis and the Formation of a New Social Identity in Doris Lessing’s The Memoirs of a Survivor,” Emily Morgan, University of Northern Colorado
  3. “Mythic Quests for Postcolonial Identity in The Story of General Dann and Mara’s Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog and Other Texts,” Sharon R. Wilson, University of Northern Colorado

Washington 2005

Doris Lessing in the Classroom

12:00-1:15pm, Embassy, Marriott (Thursday, 29 December)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky University

  1. “Lessing and Gordimer and the Problem of Anthologization,” Terry Reilly, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  2. “Making Room for Lessing in the Survey of British Literature: Teaching ‘To Room Nineteen’ with Rushdie’s ‘The Prophet’s Hair,'” Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky University
  3. “‘Laminations’ and the Condition-of-England Question: Teaching The Golden Notebook and Babel Tower in a Graduate Seminar,” Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark

Doris Lessing and the Real

1:45-3:00pm, Embassy, Marriott (Friday, 30 December)

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society

Presiding: Robin E. Visel, Furman University

  1. “Doris Lessing and Socialist Realism,” Julie Cairnie, University of Guelph
  2. “The Diaries of Jane Somers and Walking in the Shade: Lessing’s Practice of Social Realism While Disavowing Marxism,” Sally Ann Jacobsen, Northern Kentucky University
  3. “Doris Lessing’s Use and Abuse of ‘the Real’ in The Golden Notebook,” Alice Rachel Ridout, University of Winnipeg

Respondent: Robin E. Visel

Philadelphia 2004

Reassessing Lessing: Prescience and Prejudice in The Golden Notebook

Chair: Judith Kegan Gardiner

  1. “The Challenges of Teaching Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebookafter 9/11/01,” Suzette E. Henke, University of Louisville
  2. “Freedom as Effacement in The Golden Notebook: Theorizing Pleasure, Subjectivity, and Authority,” Tonya Krouse, Northern Kentucky University
  3. “History as Emotion and Emotion as History in The Golden Notebook,” Judith Kegan Gardiner, University of Illinois at Chicago

Doris Lessing: Prophet or Maverick? Do Lessing’s works offer a vision for the future? How does Lessing shatter traditional modes of thinking?

Chair: Debrah Raschke

  1. “Four Levels of Detachment in Shikasta,” Phyllis Perrakis, University of Ottawa
  2. “Extra-Planetary Perspectives in Doris Lessing’s Canopus in Argos: Archives Series,” Lauren Lacey, Rutgers University
  3. “Trauma, Nature, and the Divine: An Environmentalist Perspective on the Works of Doris Lessing,” Jeanie Warnock, University of Ottawa

San Diego 2003

“I Am Just Storyteller,” She Says: Studies in Lessing’s Narrative

Chair: Debrah Raschke, Southeast Missouri State University

  1. “Doris Lessing and the Sufi Tradition of Storytelling,” Paul Joseph Robichaud, Alberta Magnus College
  2. “Unlocking the Prison of Our Past: Childhood Trauma and Narrative in Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor,” Jeanie E. Warnock, University of Ottawa
  3. “Narrative Strategies in the Shorter Fiction,” Virginia Tiger, Rutgers University, Newark
  4. “Narrating She, We, and I: Narratological Inclusiveness in the Writings of Doris Lessing,” Linda E. Chown, Grand Valley State University

Estimations of Value: Economic Perspectives on Doris Lessing’s Fiction

Chair: Cynthia R. Port, Curtis Institute of Music

  1. “Race and Reification in The Grass is Singing,” Rita Barnard, University of Pennsylvania
  2. “Sacrificial Violence and Excess Expenditure in The Good Terrorist,” Pamela J. Grieman, University of Southern California
  3. “Doris Lessing’s Playing the Game,” Earl G. Ingersoll, State University of New York, Brockport

New York 2002

Coming to Age: Doris Lessing and the Semiotics of Aging

Chair: Josna C. Rege, Dartmouth College

  1. “Patterns of Aging in the Ninth Stage of Life: Doris Lessing’s The Diary of a Good Neighbor,” Christine Wick Sizemore, Spelman College
  2. “‘None of It Adds Up’: Economics of Aging in The Diary of a Good Neighbor,” Cynthia R. Port, University of Pennsylvania
  3. “Spiritual Adventuring and the Older Woman in Doris Lessing’s Works,” Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis, University of Ottawa

Lessing’s Men: (Re)Visionaries of Politics, Sexuality, and Empire

Chair: Michael Kramp, University of Northern Colorado

  1. “Valuable Men: The Mythic Journey of the Anti-hero,” Carmen Garcia Navarro, Albadia High and Further Education School, Almeria
  2. “Lessing’s African Men: The Early Short Fiction,” Robin E. Visel, Furman University
  3. “Hells and Paradises of Doris Lessing’s Women,” Radmila Nastic, University of Srpsko Sarajevo

New Orleans 2001

Doris Lessing: Fairy Tales, Mythology, and Folklore

Chair: Sharon R. Wilson, University of Northern Colorado

  1. “Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child and Ben, in the World:From Fairy Tale to Monstrosity,” Debrah K. Raschke, Southeast Missouri State University
  2. “Ben’s Tale: Mythic Autobiography,” Christine DeVinne, Ursuline College
  3. “Lessing’s Evil Child: An Amalgam of the Myths of Trolls, Yeti, Freud, DNA, the Bad Seed, The Bell Curve, and Essentialism,” Martha G. Satz, Southern Methodist University
  4. “Confronting the Myth of Marxism: Lessing, Foucault, and the Postwar Pursuit of Radical Praxis,” Michael Kramp, University of Northern Colorado

Doris Lessing and Kate Chopin: Affinities and Differences

Chair: Brenda L. Bryant, Delgado Community College, LA

  1. “Dead Free: The Key to Being in Doris Lessing’s ‘To Room Nineteen’ and Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’ and The Awakening,” Sue B. Walker, University of South Alabama
  2. “Mad Women in the Garret: The Artist Empathy,” Nanda Alexis Hopenwasser, University of Alabama; Signe O. Wegener, University of Georgia
  3. “Narrative Consistencies in the Production of Kate Chopin and Doris Lessing,” Sandra Prentice Singer, University of Guelph

Washington, DC 2000

Approaches to Teaching Doris Lessing

Chair: Linda Weinhouse, Community College of Baltimore County, Essex, MD

  1. “Teaching Modern Gothic: Discourses in Doris Lessing’s ‘To Room Nineteen,'” Janina Nordius, Göteborg University, Sweden
  2. “Teaching Lessing’s The Golden Notebook as a Meta-fictional Text,” Flora P.H. Ni, Providence University, Taiwan
  3. “Doris Lessing and General Education,” Ruth O. Saxton, Mills College
  4. “Anthologization and the Place of Lessing in the Liberal Arts Curriculum,” Terry Reilly, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

The Transgressive Impulse in Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, and Mary Shelley

Chair: Sandra Prentice Singer, University of Guelph; Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis, University of Ottawa

  1. “Mary Shelley and Literary Women’s History,” Lucy Jane Morrison, Penn State University, Hazleton Campus
  2. “Stuck in the Ice: Apocalypse and Transgression in Shelley, Atwood, and Lessing,” Patricia Merivale, University of British Columbia
  3. “Transgressive Spaces: Postcolonial Scenes in Lessing’s ‘Old Chief Mshlanga’ and Atwood’s ‘Death by Landscape,'” Shuli Barzilai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chicago 1999

Modern, Postmodern: D.H. Lawrence and Doris Lessing

Chair: Earl G. Ingersoll, State University of New York, College at Brockport

  1. “Working-Class Appeal and Blurred Boundaries between Serious and Popular Novels: Doris Lessing’s Diary of a Good Neighbor, Her Autobiography, and Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers,” Sally Ann Jacobsen, Northern Kentucky University
  2. “Lessing and Lawrence’s Sexualized Metaphysical Spaces,” Debrah K. Raschke, Southeast Missouri State University
  3. “Mothers and Lovers in Intersubjective Space: Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and Lessing’s Under My Skin,” Phyllis Sternbereg Perrakis, University of Ottawa

Retreat from Catastrophe: Lessing’s Mara and Dann

Chair:Anthony Chennells, University of Zimbabwe, Harare

  1. “Warrior Woman, Vulnerable Man: Lessing’s New Male-Female Paradigm?” Ruth O. Saxton, Mills College
  2. Mara and Dann: Postcolonialism and the Incest Taboo,” Linda Weinhouse, Essex Community College, MD
  3. “Mar(th)a Still Questing: Reading Mara and Dann through Children of Violence,” Roberta Rubinstein, American University

 

To see materials from recent conventions, visit the MLA website here

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