CFP: “I Want Something to Do”: Alcott, Whitman, and Nursing in the Nation’s Capital (ALA; Deadline 1.20.14)

“I Want Something to Do”: Alcott, Whitman, and Nursing in the Nation’s Capital

(Jointly sponsored by the Louisa May Alcott Society and Walt Whitman Studies Association)

This session will examine the wartime experiences of two author-nurses whose writings about their care for the wounded in Washington, DC during the Civil War proved central to Americans’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the nursing profession at this time. In Alcott’s case, Nurse Tribulation Periwinkle blends humor with pathos as the grim horrors of caring for the patients in the Union hospital in Georgetown counter her initially patriotic journey to Washington to take up her post. Likewise the bold march of Whitman’s “Beat! Beat! Drums!” has given way by the war’s weary end to the grief and sorrow expressed in poems such as “The Wound-Dresser” and “Spirit Whose Work Is Done.” We seek papers that examine one or both of these authors’ nursing experiences and writings, particularly in relation to their physical presence in Washington’s disease-ridden, ill-equipped hospitals. Positioning the nurse as an intermediary between battlefield and home, how do Alcott and Whitman represent suffering and care? What role did their war experiences play in the reshaping of their attitudes toward death or their views about the South? How did the Civil War reshape their careers and writing styles (in comparable ways)? Following their nursing experiences, what has Washington, DC come to signify or represent in their writings? What are the connections between their nursing experiences and their conscious or unconscious expressions of sexual desire, eroticism, and love? To what extent do their Civil War writings challenge contemporary gender conventions, and how were they shaped by these conventions? Send brief abstracts by January 20, 2014, to Sandy Petrulionis at and to Ed Folsom at



CFP: Teaching and Religion (Journal issue; Deadline 11.15.13)


TRANSFORMATIONS: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy

Deadline: November 15, 2013


The editors seek articles (5,000-10,000 words) and media essays (overviews on books, film, video, performance, art, music, websites, etc. 3,000 to 5,000 words), and items for the “Material Culture of Teaching” section, that explore teaching and religion. This issue will be guest edited by Kristi Upson-Saia.  

Submissions should explore strategies for teaching about religion in the classroom and in non-traditional spaces (such as the media and public discourse). We welcome jargon-free essays from all disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Continue reading

CFP: Making Motherhood Visible: (Re-)Writing Narratives of Contemporary Mothers (Deadline: 11.15.13)


“Making Motherhood Visible: (Re-)Writing Narratives of Contemporary Mothers”

March 7-8, 2014, New York City

Keynote Speaker: Andrea O’Reilly

Deadline for Submissions: November 15, 2013

Drawing on Andrea O’Reilly’s and Barbara Katz Rothman’s notions of patriarchal motherhood, the Museum of Motherhood asks, what factors, past and present, inform our new ways of understanding motherhood, fatherhood, and notions of family? The conference organizers encourage submissions that provide critical insights into mothering, fathering, and family issues; that draw direct links between theories and/or research findings; or that offer practical approaches to issues facing contemporary mothers and families. Following in the footsteps of both O’Reilly and Rothman, the overarching goal of this conference is to provide an environment to explore new ideas and approaches for tackling issues that concern mothers as well as important others who fill a care giving role in the family.

Here, examples of possible topics include but are not limited to: feminist mothering à la O’Reilly, including fathering and re-thinking masculinity and queering motherhood; the shaping of mothering by patriarchy, technology, and capitalism à la Rothman; the impacts of race, class, and gender on mothering ideology; adoptive mothers; teenage pregnancies and early motherhood; the “stay-at-home-mom” experience; and mother art and maternal metaphors. Continue reading

CFP: Emily Dickinson International Society at ALA 2014 (Deadline: 1.1.2014)

Emily Dickinson International Society at ALA 2014

The 2014 American Literature Association Annual Conference(ALA) will be held in Washington, D.C., May 22-25, 2014.

The Emily Dickinson International Society will sponsor two sessions at the ALA:

1) Transatlantic Dickinson
We welcome papers that consider Dickinson as a writer whose life and work question the convention of reading nineteenth-century US literature in isolation from its British counterpart, and demonstrate the importance of taking a comparative approach. For example, panellists might examine the influence of British literature, culture and history on Dickinson, or the reception of Dickinson’s work in Britain.

2) Dickinson and her Male Contemporaries
We welcome papers that explore the relationship between Dickinson and her male contemporaries. For example, panellists might consider the influence of the work of male poets, novelists, intellectuals, artists, philosophers, historians and scientists on Dickinson’s life and/or writings, or explore connections between Dickinson and the well-known men of her era.

If you are interested in participating on either session, please send a 300-word abstract and a brief CV to Páraic Finnerty, University of Portsmouth by email ( by January 1, 2014.

CFP: Fat Studies Panel at SWPACA (Deadline: 11.1.13)

Fat Studies is coming to the 35th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference.  Join us, please. 

Proposals in the area of Fat Studies are being accepted for the 2014 Southwest PCA/ACA Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico (February 19-22, 2014, Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center). We welcome papers, presentations, panels and roundtables from academics, researchers, public intellectuals, size acceptance or fat activists, visual, literary, and performance artists, and other interested persons in any field of study or mode of creativity, at any stage in their career, with or without institutional affiliation.

 As always, the SWPACA Area Chairs will practice rolling review of proposals, which means an individual submitting a proposal should receive a response within two weeks of submission.  Continue reading

CFP: Great Excursions: Travel and the Antebellum Literary Imagination (Catharine Maria Sedgwick Symposium; Deadline 2.1.2014)

Great Excursions: Travel and the Antebellum Literary Imagination
A symposium sponsored by the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

June 5-8, 2014

Hilton St. Louis Downtown, St. Louis, MO

Much of Catharine Sedgwick’s writing features an excursion of some kind, but none as fantastic in both scale and scope as her “Great Excursion to the Falls of St. Anthony” in June 1854. In the span of 20 days, Sedgwick and approximately 1,000 other excursionists traveled 3,600 miles by rail and steamboat as guests of the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, the first railroad to reach the Mississippi River from the east coast. Participants traveled individually by train to convene in Chicago, continued west together by rail to Rock Island, Illinois, then north by steamboat toward the headwaters of the Mississippi—beyond St. Paul/Minneapolis to the “Falls of St. Anthony”—then headed downriver to St. Louis before returning to their (mostly) New England homes. The celebrity tour—comprised almost exclusively of northern men (with some women but very few southerners)—included notable politicians, historians, clergymen, scientists, doctors, bankers, publishers, and authors, including Caroline Kirkland and Elizabeth Oakes Smith.

In her letter-cum-sketch “The Great Excursion to the Falls of St. Anthony,” Sedgwick claimed that her 1854 adventure was “an illustration and proof of the advancement of true civilization.” “Proof” to whom? What kind(s) of “advancement”? And what does she mean by “true civilization?” These questions prompt others: What about a journey is “worth” paying attention to and/or commemorating? How does travel change Sedgwick? What are her various purposes in writing about her travel or a particular destination? How does an excursion “transport” or “transform” her/her characters/her readers?  Continue reading