CFP: Special Issue of American Literary Realism, Regionalism and Indigeneity (Proposals Due: 5.1.2023)

Special Issue of American Literary Realism, Regionalism and Indigeneity

Topic:  America the Beautiful? Regionalism and Indigeneity

Rather than Francis Scott Key’s homage to battle, there are some who believe Katharine Lee Bates’s words celebrating the distinct natural beauty of North America would make a better tribute as national anthem. In 1893 Bates was inspired by her tour of the country and particularly her view from Pikes Peak. While Bates emphasizes the natural world in her patriotic poem, she also praises the US city as pristine and unique and enfolds the country’s social and environmental injustices within laudatory verses proclaiming the greatness of the American experiment. For whatever the moral failures of Bates’s vision, we might understand her efforts as an attempt to capture American uniqueness through a regionalist lens and claim a progressive rather than imperialist exceptionalism for the continent stemming from the place itself.

The failure and success of Bates’s poem to achieve this ideal serve as a microcosm of the American Regionalist literary project, which both celebrated and critiqued the national identity as placed and bound to its various ecologies.  Local indigeneities and response to them are what, from this perspective, make America American and form the basis of a national literary identity. This special issue seeks to chart and analyze the ways in which Regionalism’s aspiration towards American authenticity, what Jace Weaver calls “the quest for indigeneity” (2005), influenced the representation of American character and experience. We seek essays that identify both the successes and failures of American Regionalism in this regard and expand on notions of critical regionalism with an implicit link to the indigenous (Susan Bernardin, 2014).

Topics might include:

Romantic/anti-romantic modes and the natural world

Exploitation and resources; hunting/farming/herding and/as freedom versus management


the urban and the agrarian/pastoral

Land and water

Anti/Racism and racialization, especially with regard to First or Native people

Settler colonialism

Patriotism and Exceptionalism

The influence of anthropology on Local Colorisms

Children’s experiences on the new land

Please send proposals of 250 words to Monika Elbert ( and to Wendy Ryden  ( by May 1, 2023.  Essays (of ca. 7,000 words) will be due Aug. 25, 2023. Inquiries are welcome.

Fellowship: 2023 Eudora Welty Research Fellowship (Deadline: 3.3.2023)

There is still time to submit an application for the 2023 Eudora Welty Research Fellowship. This competitive fellowship of $5,000 will be offered to a graduate student to conduct research in the summer of 2023. The stipend may be used to cover travel, housing, and other expenses during the recipient’s two-week stay in Jackson, Mississippi.

The deadline for applications is March 3, 2023. More information about the fellowship and the application process is available at

CFP: The Rebecca Harding Davis Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.29.2023)

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 25-28, 2023 in Boston, MA.

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 ( by January 29, 2023.

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

CFP: Willa Cather Foundation at ALA Roundtable – “Contextualizing Willa Cather” (Deadline: 1.26.2023)

The Willa Cather Foundation seeks proposals for a roundtable at the 34th annual conference of the American Literature Association, held in Boston from May 25-28, 2023.

Please note that the ALA permits attendees both to present a paper and participate in a roundtable. 

The roundtable, “Contextualizing Willa Cather, will be comprised of either four or five brief (8-10 minute) presentations dealing with some aspect of Cather’s life or work. There will be time after the presentations and before the Q&A for participants to respond to one another’s work. 

“Context” is meant to suggest an expansive and flexible framework for considering Cather within the cultural crosscurrents and historical events among which she lived and wrote as well as at other temporal moments, including our own. Cross-disciplinary approaches are welcome. Topics could include (but are by no means limited to) labor and leisure in Cather’s life and fiction, race and ethnicity in Cather’s fiction, indigeneity in Cather’s fiction, settler colonialism in Cather’s life and fiction, Cather and Queer histories, Feminist responses to Cather in the 1970s and beyond, teaching Cather’s fiction in the 21st century classroom, teaching Cather’s fiction in the virtual classroom, Cather and urban/rural spaces, philosophy and religion in Cather’s fiction, approaches to Cather’s letters, and ecological issues in Cather’s fiction.

Graduate student presenters are very welcome and for assistance with conference expenses may apply for the Willa Cather Foundation Scholarship for Student Research.

Please submit abstracts of approximately 200 words to Sarah Clere at by 26 January. 

CFP: SSAWW Activism and Reproductive Justice at ALA (2 panels) EXTENDED Deadline: 1.17.2023

Call for Papers: Society for the Study of American Women Writers will have two panels at the 2023 American Literature Association conference in Boston, May 25-29.

We welcome proposals on topics related to those themes: Activist Women Writers and Women Writers and Reproductive Justice.

Activist Women Writers and Their Works:

Women writers have been activists in many movements. We welcome papers that discuss their activism both within and outside their writing, and that find connections between their writing and their activism. “Writing” may be construed broadly to consider their nonliterary political activist writing such as pamphlets, leaflets, blogs, and tweets. Activism might include work for (or against) political causes or candidates, and for racial, ethnic, and sexual communities. Papers might consider what other activists their writing allied them with, activist publications, what written forms their activism has taken, and recovery work through an activist lens. How have they put their activism into action beyond print?

Women Writers and Reproductive Justice:

The Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision undermining the right to abortion has brought new attention to writers who have taken up what we might now call reproductive justice issues. Such reproductive justice issues as abortion, control of one’s fertility, and both access to sterilization and battles against forced sterilization have made their way into fiction, essays, plays, poems, memoir, and other written forms. Individual writers and women’s collectives have gathered and published personal narratives to bring attention to these issues, and to positions inflected by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and class and other identities in relationship to them. We welcome papers that draw attention to forgotten texts, and offer new ways to read older texts.

Even if your topic could fit into either panel, please choose one, and do not submit the same proposal to both panels.

According to ALA rules, no one may present more than one paper at the ALA conference. Individuals may, however, present a paper on one panel, and chair other panels, and/or also present on other roundtable discussions.

The ALA conference will be held in person. The conference organizers do not expect to offer zoom attendance options, so please plan accordingly should your proposal be accepted.

Proposals should include a title, your name and affiliation, e-mail address, and an abstract of no more than 250 words for a 15-20 minute presentation. Please note if you will have AV requirements. Membership with SSAWW is not required in order to submit a proposal, though all presenters must be current members by May 1, 2023. Proposals should be submitted no later than January 17, 2023 to Ellen Gruber Garvey, Vice President for Development

Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Please use “SSAWW ALA Panel 2023 submission” for the subject line.

The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place May 25-28, 2023 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). For further information or specific questions, please consult the ALA website at or

contact the conference director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield at or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen at

Edith Wharton’s Birthday – Virtual Event (1.23.2023 at 12:00 pm EST)

The Edith Wharton Society and the Transatlantic Literary Women (TLW) are joining forces to celebrate Edith Wharton’s birthday week with an exciting talk by renowned Wharton scholar Prof. Donna Campbell (Washington State University). Prof. Campbell’s talk, “All the Phases/Faces of Lily Bart: The House of Mirth from Manuscript to Novel to Play” will be held on Zoom on Monday, January 23, 5 pm UK/ noon EST. Please check the link below for more information and do join us for this celebratory event, which has become an annual tradition!

CFP: Edith Wharton Society at ALA (Extended Deadline: 1.20.2022)

Edith Wharton Society Call for Papers

American Literature Association (ALA) Conference 2022

May 26-29 (Chicago, IL)


Panel One:

Bodies and Mobility in Wharton and Her Contemporaries

The Edith Wharton Society invites papers that explore how Wharton and her contemporaries represent bodies and mobility in their work. Panelists are especially encouraged to consider comparative analyses of Wharton’s work on this subject in relation to her contemporary writers. All theoretical approaches are welcome. Proposals might consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:

·      How does the representation and/or meaning of bodies change (or not) in different places/settings?

·      Who moves and who cannot, and how do bodies facilitate or hinder movement?

·      How do bodies mark social acceptance and belonging?

·      How do Wharton and her contemporaries represent gendered, classed, or raced bodies?

·      What constitutes acceptable or unacceptable bodies?

·      How do bodies coincide with upward or downward social and economic mobility?

·      What role does the mobility or immobility of bodies (Wharton’s, her contemporaries’ or their characters’) play in travel writing and other nonfiction works, or in depictions of travel in fiction?

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a brief CV by January 20, 2022 to Gary Totten ( Please include any requests for AV needs in your proposal. Scholars whose proposals are accepted must be members in good standing of the Edith Wharton Society by the time of the conference.

Panel Two:

Revisiting Edith Wharton’s Short Stories

The Edith Wharton Society invites papers that explore how Wharton engages with the form of the short story throughout her career. Panelists are encouraged to consider Wharton’s lesser-known stories as well as comparative analyses in relation to Wharton’s contemporary writers. All theoretical approaches are welcome. Proposals might consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:

·      How does Wharton’s short fiction converse with turn-of-the-century literary movements, including realism, naturalism, regionalism, and modernism?

·      How does Wharton work with specific short story genres, such as the ghost story?

·      How does Wharton address questions of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and age throughout her short fiction?

·      How do themes and tropes in short stories complement (or conflict with) Wharton’s novels, poems, plays, and non-fiction works?

·      How do short stories represent issues of illness, contamination, and risk, in particular?

·      How do short stories shed light upon established readings of Wharton’s major novels or other writings?

·      How does the short story’s economy of form work within the economy of capitalism and the literary market?

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a brief CV by January 20, 2022 to Myrto Drizou ( Please include any requests for AV needs in your proposal. Scholars whose proposals are accepted must be members in good standing of the Edith Wharton Society by the time of the conference.

NEH Institute – Willa Cather: Place and Archive (Applications Due: 3.3.2023)

Members of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers may be interested in Willa Cather: Place and Archive, a two-week NEH Institute for Higher Education Faculty from 16 July to 28 July 2023, directed by Melissa J. Homestead, Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and director of the Cather Project.

Twenty-five participants will explore place-based and archival approaches to the life and works of American novelist Willa Cather. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, participants will have access to unparalleled archival holdings of Cather materials and the expertise of a leading center for digital humanities. At the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, they will experience landscapes and buildings represented in Cather’s fiction that function as a kind of archive. The institute will take a critical approach to all three kinds of archives (special collections, digital resources, and place), considering how they are mediated and what is absent. Cather’s fiction celebrated the achievements of recent European immigrants who settled on the Great Plains but ignored the then-recent forced relocations of indigenous people to make way for settlement. Both the European immigrant presence and absence of the Pawnee will receive particular attention. In addition to Homestead, scholars from UNL leading sessions will be Andrew Jewell, Emily Rau, and Margaret Jacobs. Participating scholars from outside UNL leading sessions include Walter Echo-Hawk, Jennifer Ladino, Susan Naramore Maher, Eveylyn Funda, Mark Van Wienen, and Gabi Kirilloff.

For more information, including how to apply, visit Applications are due 3 March 2023.

New Book in Paperback: Lichen Tufts, from the Alleghanies by Elizabeth C. Wright with Introduction by Emily E. VanDette and Afterword by Laurie Lounsberry Meehan

Author: Elizabeth C. Wright

Lichen Tufts, from the Alleghanies

SUNY Press – Hardcover 2022, Paperback 2023

SAVE with the Discount Code: XNIP123

In her 1860 book Lichen Tufts, from the Alleghanies, Elizabeth C. Wright weaves together environmental philosophy, lyrical nature writing, and social consciousness. A graduate of Alfred University, Wright was an activist for women’s rights, temperance, and the abolition of slavery. She was a teacher, a botanist, and, later in life, a Kansas homesteader. In Lichen Tufts, Wright urged her readers to cultivate an intimate knowledge of the natural world, reflecting her Transcendentalist belief that an immersive relationship with nature benefits the individual as well as society as a whole. Composed of four essays and forty poems, Lichen Tufts reveals wisdom and beauty in an early example of eco-feminism that highlights the natural world as antidote to society’s restrictive gender codes, one that is still relevant today.

SUNY Press brings Lichen Tufts, from the Alleghanies to life for modern audiences, with a recovery edition featuring the 1860 book in its entirety. An Introduction by Emily E. VanDette places the book and its author in the context of nineteenth-century social reform campaigns throughout the “Burned Over District” of western New York. An Afterword written by Laurie Lounsberry Meehan highlights the history of Alfred University and the cohort that influenced Wright’s environmental and social reform activism.

Elizabeth C. Wright (1826–1882) graduated from Alfred University in 1855. She was an environmental scientist, educator, author, and social reform activist. Emily E. VanDette is Professor of English at the State University of New York at Fredonia and the author of Sibling Romance in American Fiction, 1835–1900. Laurie Lounsberry Meehan is Librarian and University Archivist at Alfred University.

This book is available for purchase in both paperback and hardback editions: with the Discount Code: XNIP123

CFP: 2023 Dickinson Critical Institute in Amherst (Deadline: 2.1.2023)

Call for Papers: 2023 Dickinson Critical Institute in Amherst

Graduate students and early career scholars (who have received their degrees in the last eight years) are invited to apply to the Dickinson Critical Institute to take place 1-5 PM on Thursday July 20, 2023, in Amherst, Massachusetts on the day before the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) Annual Meeting. The Critical Institute provides an opportunity for participants to workshop critical essays, chapters, or conference papers in small seminars with established Dickinson scholars. Following these seminars, participants will gather for a large-group discussion of grant and award opportunities, publishing, and other professional development topics. For those who cannot travel to Amherst, it will also be possible to participate in the workshop portion of the Critical Institute virtually.

There is no charge for the Critical Institute, but in-person participants will be expected to register for and attend the July 21-23, Annual Meeting, “Clasp Hemispheres, and Homes.” Participants in the Critical Institute are welcome to propose a paper for a panel presentation at the EDIS Annual Meeting. You can find the 2023 Annual Meeting call for papers (due January 9, 2023) at Dormitory lodging for Critical Institute participants will be at least partially subsidized.

If you are interested in applying to the Institute, please submit a one-page cv and a 500 word description of your project to no later than February 1, 2023. Use the subject heading “[Last Name] Dickinson Institute Application,” and attach your application materials as a single Word or pdf document. Be sure to indicate whether you intend to participate virtually or in-person. Applicants will be notified by email by the end of February; selected participants will be asked to circulate 8-10-page papers to their workshop group by June 1, 2023.

Please help us circulate this call widely.