CFP: Margaret Fuller Society at ALA, two sessions (Deadline: 1.15.2020)

The Margaret Fuller Society welcomes proposals for two sessions at the 31st annual conference of the ALA in San Diego, CA from May 21-24, 2020.

1) Traveling with Margaret Fuller

In her article titled “Books of Travel”, Margaret Fuller declares that “innumerable as are the books of travel now into every region of the world, the proportion of good ones to the whole is still very small”, but “among those we have, the best as to observation of particulars and lively expression are by women.” (New York Daily Tribune, 18 Dec. 1845, p. 1). Taking Fuller’s article  as a point of departure, this panel proposes ways to think about traveling, including theorizing as well as representations of travel in Fuller’s writings. We would like to interrogate how  encounters, itineraries, geographical locations, traveling equipment have shaped literary and cultural expressions in Fuller’s work and in that of her contemporaries. By including travel writing by Fuller and other writers, this panel aims to explore how these writers conceptualize travel, and how they respond to travel’s capacity to register physical and imaginative experiences, and its possibility to imagine communities.

2) Teaching and Practicing Fuller’s Feminism(s) in 2020

Margaret Fuller’s feminist visions for social change are still valid and contemporary in our age. The 2020 anniversary of the women suffrage in the US calls attention to women’s civil rights, and to the language of the law. As Phyllis Cole noted: “Fuller’s feminist essay was first entitled “The Great Lawsuit”; and in both versions of this manifesto she declares that a human “inheritance” has been lost, now urging its recovery in ever higher courts.” Drawing from the language of law (literally and metaphorically), this panel seeks to investigate how the reconceptualization of gender, sexuality, politics, and the body in the feminist writings of Margaret Fuller and other women writers can be practiced and taught in the classroom. Using both theory and pedagogy, we invite papers that center on feminist practices and rhetoric, collaboration, aesthetics and activism.We welcome papers from scholars at any career stage.

Paper proposals of 250-500 words and a short Vita should be sent to Sonia Di Loreto (sonia.diloreto@unito.it) by January 15, 2020. Please note if you will require A/V for your presentation.

CFP: Emily Dickinson International Society (Deadline: 1.31.2020)

“‘Stratford on Avon’ – accept us all!”— Dickinson and Shakespeare

2020 Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) Annual Meeting

William Shakespeare was Emily Dickinson’s favorite writer and her letters abound with references to him and his works. Dickinson’s allusions to Shakespeare’s writings evidence his pervasive presence in her life but also signal his ubiquitous place in her culture.

In collaboration with the Emily Dickinson Museum, the 2020 EDIS Annual Meeting will be held July 31 to August 1 in Amherst. This year’s focus is Dickinson’s great love of Shakespeare and this theme will shape the usual features of our Annual Meetings such as reading groups, tours of the Dickinson Museum, performances, readings, seminar-style discussions, and talks.

We welcome papers that discuss any aspects of Dickinson’s reading of or response to Shakespeare, or that compare Dickinson’s and Shakespeare’s writings. We are also interested in papers that consider Shakespeare’s place in Dickinson’s society and literary culture, and especially his place in 19th century popular culture, theater, education and print culture. We also welcome papers that examine how Dickinson’s contemporaries engaged with Shakespeare.

We hope that the topic of Shakespeare provides a generative way of approaching Dickinson and offers many opportunities for participants, especially postgraduate students and early career academics, to consider this topic across disciplines.

Please send abstracts (300 words), with a short bio (100 words), to Adeline Chevrier-Bosseau (achevrier.bosseau@gmail.com) and Páraic Finnerty (paraic.finnerty@port.ac.uk) by 31 January, 2020.

Special Issue: “Harriet Prescott Spofford: The Home, the Nation, and the Wilderness”

The latest edition of the European Journal of American Studies [EJAS 14-3 (2019)] is a special issue: “Harriet Prescott Spofford: The Home, the Nation, and the Wilderness,” edited by Stéphanie Durrans, with an introduction and nine essays on various aspects of Spofford’s work.

EJAS is the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the European Association for American Studies (EAAS – https://www.eaas.eu/) and can be accessed here: https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/

CFP: Rebecca Harding Davis Society at ALA (2 Sessions) Deadline: 1.17.2020

The Rebecca Harding Davis Society welcomes proposals for two sessions at the next meeting of the American Literature Association. The conference will be held May 21-24, 2020 in San Diego, CA.

New Directions in Davis Scholarship (2 panels)

We are interested in proposals that engage in any aspect of Davis’s work. We particularly encourage proposals that address some of Davis’s lesser known works, and we also welcome new readings of the canonical “Life in the Iron-Mills.”

Please send a 200-250 word abstract to Aaron Rovan (ajrovan@mix.wvu.edu) by January 17, 2020.

Presenters must be members of the Rebecca Harding Davis Society. For information about joining the society, please contact Robin Cadwallader, president, at RCadwallader@francis.edu.

Call for Applications: Nebraska Cather Collaborative Research Grants for Willa Cather Scholarship (2020)

The Cather Project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) English Department, in cooperation with the Cather Archive of the UNL Libraries and the National Willa Cather Center (NWCC) in Red Cloud, announces the availability of research grants for visiting scholars. These grants provide financial support for scholars to travel to and reside in Nebraska for one to four weeks to conduct research on Willa Cather in UNL Archives and Special Collections and in the Archive of the NWCC. Scholars from advanced doctoral students through senior faculty are invited to apply (note the change from previous Woodress Scholars research grants program).

Proposed projects should reflect the need to conduct research in UNL Archives and Special Collections, although researchers are also encouraged to conduct research at the NWCC and to experience Cather’s Nebraska hometown during their residence. Red Cloud is 2 ½ hours from Lincoln by car. Successful applicants will be awarded $1,000 per week up to four weeks. The deadline for submission of materials is DECEMBER 1, 2019, and we will inform successful applicants by FEBRUARY 1, 2020. Weeks in residence, which need not be consecutive, should fall between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

The Cather Project will assist successful applicants with advice about travel and lodging. When successful applicants are in residence, they will receive advice and guidance from scholars associated with the Cather Project and the Cather Archive and, depending on schedule and availability, have the opportunity to present their work in progress.

The Cather Project produces the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition and Cather Studies, both published by the University of Nebraska Press. The Cather Archive (cather.unl.edu) is a digital project dedicated to study of Willa Cather’s life and writings and the home of The Complete Letters of Willa Cather. The Archives and Special Collections of the UNL Libraries holds the largest collection of letters from and to Cather; edited typescripts and manuscripts of her works; multiple editions of her works; and many other Cather-associated materials. For more on these collections, see the finding aids for the various Cather-related collections https://libraries.unl.edu/cather-collections. The growing archive of the National Willa Cather Center includes books, letters, photographs, and personal items. Information about these collections can be accessed here: https://www.willacather.org/learn/collections-and-archives-national-willa-cather-center

These grants are funded by the Willa Cather Fund and the Roberta and James Woodress Fund, both of which are administered by the University of Nebraska Foundation. When schedule and availability permits, the NWCC will provide In-kind support in the form of housing in Red Cloud.

To apply, please send to Beth Burke (eburke3@unl.edu), Cather Project Specialist, as e-mail attachments the following items:

  • your c.v. (please limit to 2 pages)
  • an application statement of no more than 3 pages describing your proposed research project and the importance of materials and resources at UNL and the NWCC to your project (please be specific).

In addition, one professional letter of recommendation should be sent directly by your recommender to Beth Burke (eburke3@unl.edu). The letter should be specific to the fellowship and proposed project rather than a general letter of recommendation (such as a letter from job placement dossier).

Please address questions about these grants to Professor Melissa J. Homestead, Director of the Cather Project (mhomestead2@unl.edu).

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

CFP: Catharine Sedgwick Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.15.2020)

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society seeks proposals for a roundtable and a panel to take place at the American Literature Association Conference in San Diego, CA, May 21-24, 2020

A Roundtable on Jeffrey Insko’s History, Abolition, and the Ever-Present Now in Antebellum American Writing


The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society calls for 5-7 scholars to participate in a roundtable discussion of Jeffrey Insko’s recently published History, Abolition, and the Ever-Present Now in Antebellum American Writing (Oxford UP, 2018).  We are seeking scholars at various career levels and from different types of institutions to reflect on Insko’s work. Participants do not need to focus on the discussions of Sedgwick in the book’s second chapter but instead can address Insko’s treatment of any of the central authors (including Irving, Neal, Emerson, Douglass, and Melville); the significance of this scholarship for Sedgwick studies, studies of antebellum American literature, or theories of temporality; and/or key issues in Insko’s work, such as historicism and presentism, abolition, and literary Romanticism. The Ever-Present Now examines the meaning and possibilities of the present and its relationship to history and historicity in a number of literary texts of the past; specifically, the writings of several familiar figures in antebellum U.S. literary history—some, but not all of whom we associate with the period’s Romantic movement. Anchored by the impatient temporality of immediatist abolitionists, the book recovers some of the political force of Romanticism, which becomes clear when we foreground time, especially the time of now. Through close readings of texts by figures as different as Washington Irving, John Neal, Catharine Sedgwick, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Herman Melville, the book argues that these writers, some explicitly and others implicitly, practiced forms of literary historiography that treat the past as neither simply a reflection of present interests nor as an irretrievably distant “other,” but as a complex and open-ended interaction between the two. In place of a fixed and immutable past with unidirectional movement, these writers imagine history as an experience rooted in a fluid, dynamic, ever-changing present. The political, philosophical, and aesthetic disposition Insko calls “romantic presentism” insists upon the present as the fundamental sphere of human action and experience and, hence, of ethics and democratic possibility.

Please send a brief abstract (100-200 words) outlining your intended focus in the roundtable to Ashley Reed, akreed@vt.edu, by January 15, 2020


Panel: Nonhuman Life in Early America
The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society invites papers on the subject of nonhuman life in early America. 
This panel will consider forms of nonhuman life in early America as they appear in the work of Sedgwick and her contemporaries. Papers might address (but are not limited to): • nonhuman animals, whether domestic or wild • vegetative life • superhuman or supernatural life (angels, ghosts, gods, sprites) • exclusions from the human (the subhuman, the semihuman, the animalistic) • early America in/and the anthropocene

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Ashley Reed, akreed@vt.edu, by January 15, 2020

CFP: Catharine Sedgwick Society Symposium June 2020 (Deadline: 2.28.2020)

Revolutionary Legacies: The Ninth Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society Symposium

June 24-27, 2020

Union College, Schenectady, New York

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society invites submissions for its ninth symposium, titled Revolutionary Legacies. The Symposium will take place June 24-27 on the beautiful campus of Union College in Schenectady, New York, and will honor both the Sedgwick family’s ties to the Albany and Hudson River regions and the area’s role in America’s many revolutions.

Although Catharine Sedgwick is strongly associated with the Berkshires region of Massachusetts, the Albany region was important to her family as well. Her father, Theodore Sedgwick, had strong ties to Philip Schuyler, who served as a General in the Revolutionary War and whose grand mansion looms over the Hudson River, and to Alexander Hamilton, one of Schuyler’s sons-in-law. Catharine’s brother Theodore practiced law in Albany and her sister Frances lived there with her husband. Catharine herself briefly attended school in the city and as an adult visited frequently, including passing through on her way to Saratoga Springs and points west and north. Sedgwick often portrayed the Albany and Hudson River Valley region in her fiction: characters in RedwoodClarence, and The Travellers reside in or travel through it. Most significantly, in her Revolutionary War novel The Linwoods, Sedgwick locates key events in the Hudson River Valley. 

The organizers of the Sedgwick Symposium invite papers that address any aspect of Sedgwick’s life and works, including but not limited to Catharine’s or her family’s ties to Albany and the Hudson River Valley. We also welcome proposals on other topics connected to the area or to the conference theme. Potential topics might include:

  • Literary engagements with the American Revolution by Sedgwick or other authors—including non-US authors
  • Women’s participation in the American Revolution, including nonwhite women’s experiences of war
  • Travel and tourism in New York and Canada in the era of the “fashionable tour”
  • Immigration, settlement, and native displacement in upstate New York
  • Abolitionism, women’s rights, and other reforms (2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment, with its roots in nearby Seneca Falls)
  • Religious revolutions of the Second Great Awakening, including those in New York’s “burnt-over district”
  • Dutch colonial legacies in early U.S. literature
  • Slavery and its aftermath in the state of New York
  • Women’s education in the early republic and antebellum America
  • Arts and culture of the Hudson Valley region, from the Hudson River School to today
  • The American Revolution in recent popular culture: HamiltonTurnTabooSleepy HollowPoldark, etc.
  • Strategies for teaching the works of Sedgwick and her contemporaries
  • Early American literature in the digital age

Send proposals of no more than 250 words to Ashley Reed (akreed@vt.edu) by February 28, 2020.

–Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society
http://cmsedgwicksociety.org/