CFP: C19 Conference 2016 (Deadline 9.1.15)


State College, Pennsylvania

March 17-20, 2016

Hosted by Penn State University

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper and panel submissions for its fourth biennial conference, which will take place March 17-20, 2016 at the Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State University in State College. We invite individual paper or group proposals on U.S. literary culture—broadly conceived—during the long nineteenth century.

Our conference theme is “Unsettling,” which takes its inspiration from

recent revisionist approaches to the methodologies, geographies,

languages, and texts that disturb, divert, and reconstitute American

literary, historical, and cultural studies. Leaving open ended what is

being unsettled, the theme challenges the notion of a defined field

focusing on a specific set of texts. In contrast to the assumption of a

shared practice or single canon, “unsettling” recognizes the fragmented

and contradictory condition of US and American literary studies. The

Program Committee is particularly interested in challenging the belief

that questions of race and racism are settled. If anything, recent events

from Ferguson to the immigration debates point to the unfinished business

of race, ethnicity, and nationalism and the ongoing relevance of the

nineteenth century and its antecedents. “Unsettling” also points to the

effects of a historical period when the United States sought new

settlements and sometimes took territory by force. How did the effects of

political organization, economic conditions, and social hierarchies in the

nineteenth century leave unsettled today’s socio-political challenges? How

has the field responded to a transformation in what is studied as part of

literary culture? How have new approaches, methodologies, and archives

opened the field of study?

Topics and approaches might include but are not limited to transnational,

hemispheric, and oceanic studies; the impact of new media and digital

technologies on research and teaching practices in the field; critical

race, ethnicity, indigeneity, border and diaspora studies; historicism,

surface reading and theory; history of the book and print culture;

critical geography and global approaches; gender, sexuality, and queer

studies; religion, belief, and secularization; democracy and citizenship;

the body, age, affect, and disability studies; science and technology

studies; spectatorship, collecting, and museum studies; migration,

multilingualism, and translation; theories of the archive and the canon.


C19 welcomes proposals for roundtables, workshops, dialogues, and novel

presentation formats, as well as traditional panels and individual paper

submissions. We are especially interested in proposals that reflect a

diversity of institutional affiliation, academic rank, and disciplinary

background. Please include at least four presenters on a panel. All group

proposals must leave time for discussion (each session is 90 minutes

long). Individuals seeking potential collaborators may wish to use the

discussion board on C19’s Facebook page.

C19: 2016 will once again feature a series of seminars, which were

introduced at the 2014 conference in Chapel Hill. Seminars will provide

participants the opportunity for a collaborative conversation around a

particular topic. Each seminar will be capped at 15 participants and will

be run by a leader with expertise in the topic. Each participant will

submit a five-page position paper before the conference to be read in

advance by the other participants; time in the seminar itself will be

reserved for discussion. Seminar participants will be listed in the

program. Topics will be announced shortly. Participation as both a

presenter and seminar participant will be allowed only as space permits.

Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a

substantive role (presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and

one appearance as a session organizer, chair, or speaker/facilitator on a

professional support session. Please submit only one proposal for a

substantive role.


Proposals will be due on Sept. 1, 2015. Information about submitting is



Please help C19 thrive as an organization by renewing your membership

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Program Committee:

Rodrigo Lazo, University of California, Irvine (Chair)

Carla Peterson, University of Maryland, College Park

Xiomara Santamarina, University of Michigan

Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College (C19 President)

Hester Blum, Penn State University (C19 Vice President)