CFP: American Elegy, Now, ALA American Poetry Association (Deadline: 11.1.2019)

Call for Papers: “American Elegy, Now”

If the English elegy consoles through aesthetic substitution (Sacks), and the modern elegy resists consolation and persists in melancholy or rage (Ramazani), then what forms of memory and mourning avail contemporary American elegists? In this moment of heightened division, instability, and violence, how might elegy answer—or fail—the exigencies of life and death in contemporary America?

We invite short talks on the poetry and poetics of mourning for a roundtable discussion, “American Elegy, Now,” at the 2020 ALA American Poetry Symposium. We encourage intersectional approaches, and we especially welcome talks that read American elegy in light of any of the following topics:

§  Environment: climate change; indigenous land rights; water and food chain contamination; anthropocentrism & animal studies
§  Race & Ethnicity: Native sovereignty & tribal recognition; structural racism; the New Jim Crow & the carceral state; public monuments and memorials
§  Gender & Sexuality: trans-, cis-gender, and non-binary women’s elegies; LGBTQIA+ approaches to elegy; disease, illness, mortality, and sex;  responses to the AIDS crisis
§  Disability Studies: mobility impairment; sensory impairment; chronic pain and/or illness; neurodiversity; posthumanism
§  Digital Media: memory and mourning through digital archives, social media, apps, and digital media and online fora
§  Visual Arts: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, book art; hybrid materials and forms
§  Performance: music, dance, film, performance art 
§  Architecture: public and private memorials; funerary statues
§  Fashion: customs of dress; sentimental & mourning jewelry
§  Food: industrial agriculture;  food insecurity

Deadline: 1 November 2019 (11:59PM EST)


Please send a 300-word abstract, a 100-word biocurriculum vitae, and current contact information to Drs. Julie Phillips Brown ( and Giffen Mare Maupin ( no later than 1 November 2019. Accepted participants must submit complete talks (approximately 1500 words in length) by the end of January, 2020.  
About the 2020 ALA Symposium on American Poetry: The Symposium will take place in Washington, DC, from February 20-22, 2020. Please note that the conference registration fee is $175 (the conference fee covers the costs of the conference, including one meal and three receptions). While ALA membership is not required, all participants must register by February 2, 2020. 

For more details on the Symposium, please visit:

CFP: SSSL Rebecca Harding Davis Panel (Deadline: 10.12.2019)

CFP: SSSL Rebecca Harding Davis Panel

Borderlands, Boundaries, and Contested Spaces in the Writings of Rebecca Harding Davis

This panel examines the representation of borders and boundaries— geographical, moral, social, political, racial, psychological, philosophical, etc. — in the works of Rebecca Harding Davis. From contested spaces to complex constructions of identity beyond the usual North/South binary, many of Davis’s writings from the Civil War years and after feature a fascination with the idea of borders and the transgression or dissolution of clear boundaries. Having spent much of her life in the borderlands of Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as West Virginia after 1863, Davis experienced life on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line and lived in communities that were often divided in loyalty to the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War. As she wrote in her memoir Bits of Gossip, “We occupied the place of Hawthorne’s unfortunate man who saw both sides.” Shaped by this experience, many of her works show her continued fascination with the complex reality of living in a place where sectional identity and allegiance are in constant flux and chaotic forces threaten to dismantle characters’ values and belief systems. This panel invites proposals that address the topic of borders, boundaries, or contested spaces and identities in one or more works by Davis. We particularly welcome innovative approaches that connect a discussion of Davis to the conference theme of rethinking the “South” or southern identity beyond borders, bars, and binaries.

Please send proposals (200 words) and bios (100 words) to Robin Cadwallader ( and Vanessa Steinroetter ( by Oct 12th.

New: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Black Studies at TCU

TCU’s Department of English is thrilled to share information about a new Postdoctoral Fellowship in Black Studies (African American literatures, Africana literatures, and/or Cultural Rhetorics). Details about the position are here.  

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be joining English faculty working in Black Studies, including Carmen Kynard, who joined the department as the Lillian Radford Chair of Rhetoric and Composition this year, Brandon Manning, who publishes on Black masculinities, and Stacie McCormick, author of the recent published Staging Black Fugitivity.  Departments in Women and Gender Studies and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at TCU also provide intellectual communities for faculty doing intersectional research. 

Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Whitnee Boyd at

CFP: Carson McCullers Society “Borders, Binaries, and Bars” for SSSL (Deadline Extended: 10.10.2019)

**DEADLINE EXTENSION TO OCT 10!**  Borders, Binaries, and Bars in the Works of Carson McCullers — The Carson McCullers Society seeks paper proposals on any topic related to the Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL) 2020 conference theme of “how borders, binaries, and bars operate in lived experience as well as in intellectual practice.” The conference will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 2-4, 2020, and papers presented on the panel will be considered for the annual Carson McCullers Society outstanding conference paper award, which bears a $100 honorarium. Please send a 250- to 300-word abstract and a short bio to the Carson McCullers Society president and vice president, Isadora Wagner ( and Sarah-Marie Horning (, by October 10, 2019.CFP

CFP: The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship for Transcendentalist Scholarship (Deadline 1.15.2020)

The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is named for Barbara Lee Packer (1947-2010), who taught with great distinction for thirty years in the UCLA English department. Her publications, most notably Emerson’s Fall (1982) and her lengthy essay on the Transcendentalist movement in the Cambridge History of American Literature (1995), reprinted as The Transcendentalists by the University of Georgia Press (2007), continue to be esteemed by students of Emerson and of the American Renaissance generally. She is remembered as an inspiring teacher, a lively and learned writer, and a helpful friend to all scholars in her field—in short, as a consummate professional whose undisguised delight in literature was the secret of a long-sustained success. In naming the Fellowship for her, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society offers her as a model worthy of the attention and emulation of scholars newly entering the field. The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is awarded to individuals engaged in scholarly research and writing related to the Transcendentalists in general, and most especially to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. Ph.D. candidates, pre-tenure faculty, and independent scholars are eligible to apply.

The application deadline is January 15, 2020. Additional information, along with application materials, can be found on the AAS website:

CFP: NeMLA “Ages and Stages: Women in the Academy Revisited” (Deadline 9.30.2019)

CFP for NeMLA Convention 2020 (March 5-8; Boston)

“Ages and Stages: Women in the Academy, Revisited”

Although much has changed in the academy in recent decades, many struggles related to gender and the “traditional notions” of the roles women fulfill and the roles men fulfill in the academy have remained strikingly rigid, to the detriment of individuals as well as to the collective institution. Women still bear a service burden disproportionate to that of their male colleagues. Women in the academy still struggle with childbearing and child rearing choices that men in the academy do not face in the same way. Women still face sexism and sexual harassment that their male counterparts escape. For women of color, the burdens are magnified. The roundtable “Stages and Ages: Challenges for Women in the Academy, Revisited” seeks to bring together women academics in a variety of stages and ages in their careers—from young women just beginning their careers and attempting to navigate their campus’s politics to women struggling to make decisions about beginning families and raising children while also honoring their scholarship and teaching agendas to mid-career women who find they have been too committed to university service to senior women faculty looking back at what should have or could have been or at how they managed to carve out a balance of satisfying professional and personal paths. The aim of the roundtable is to lend support to women at various stages of their careers and to provide participants in the session with tools to use in forging the paths of their own personal lives and careers. Ample discussion time will be provided, and roundtable speakers will be urged to speak rather than read their points. A first attempt at this roundtable occurred at the 2019 NeMLA Convention; hence, the addition of “Revisited” to the roundtable title. There is still much to discuss, and there are still many women of all ages to reach. 

Submission deadline is September 30. Visit to submit your proposal.

CFP: NeMLA Approaches to the Gaze in American Literature and Culture (Deadline: 9.30.2019)

“New Approaches to the Gaze in American Literature and Culture”

Since Laura Mulvey’s seminal essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,”appeared in 1975, explorations of and variations on gaze theory have continued to appear, addressing almost every possible angle of vision: the male gaze, the female gaze, the imperial gaze, the oppositional gaze, the tourist gaze, the raced gaze, and so on. It has proved to be a remarkably versatile way to think about power structures in literary and cultural productions, especially in terms of race and gender.  However, gaze theory has also had its detractors, particularly from those who argue that the gaze, as manifested in western literature and culture, is by its very nature white, male, and heteronormative. Can the gaze ever be female/black/queer? How does the “owner” of the gaze change its purpose and function? These are the kinds of questions that critics continue to ask. This proposed roundtable will invite scholars from a broad range of American literary and cultural studies to explore a variety of approaches to gaze theory. The emphasis will be on current debates around gaze theory, contemporary applications of gaze theory to American literature and culture across historical periods, and new theoretical formulations of the gaze. It will engage such questions as whether gaze theory remains a viable way to think about representations of acts of seeing and being seen in texts and images, how gaze theory can help us understand shifting power dynamics in society at large, and whether one can ever supplant the gaze. Abstract and brief c.v. due Sept. 30, 2019, at the NeMLA site: