CFP: Women Writers and Author Societies: Proposed Roundtable at ALA (May 21-24, 2015)

Women Writers and Author Societies: Proposed Roundtable at ALA (May 21-24, 2015)

This roundtable proposes to examine the impact of author societies on the field of nineteenth-century American women’s writing.  While a number of prominent women writers now have author societies devoted to them (Alcott, Chopin, Davis, Dickinson, Fuller, Gilman, Hopkins, Sedgwick, Stowe, Wharton, Woolson, and most recently, Child), other notable women writers do not.  Given that the American Literature Association conference is organized through author societies, it offers a fit venue to consider the politics of these organizations and their role in advancing scholarship on women writers.  What factors determine whether an author gets a society? Who (or what) gets left out, and why, and with what consequences?  In what ways do author societies advance scholarship?  Are there ways societies may actually impede progress in the field?  What implications do author societies have for ongoing recovery efforts?  Proposals focusing on examples of authors who do or do not have societies devoted to them and perspectives from individuals who have been involved in the founding of societies are welcome, as are other approaches.  Please send a 250-word abstract and a 50-word bio to by January 23, 2015.   The American Literature Association’s 26th Annual Conference conference will be held May 21-24 2015 at the Copley Westin in Boston, MA. For further information about the conference, please consult the ALA website at