CFP: Louisa May Alcott Society at ALA

Louisa May Alcott Society Call for Papers: ALA, May 26-29, 2016, San Francisco, CA

Alcott for Grown-ups

While Louisa May Alcott notoriously complained about her role as a chief provider of “moral pap for the young,” after the widespread success of Little Women, her identity as “the children’s friend” was firmly sealed.  Turning away from this unilateral understanding of Alcott and her work, this panel seeks to examine the ways Alcott’s identity and body of work engages with or problematizes grown-up-ness.  We welcome papers that analyze Alcott’s writing for adults as well as those that complicate the study of Alcott’s work as children’s literature within the development of American Realism.

Possible topics might include:

Alcott’s fiction and nonfiction for adults

Negotiation of audience

Alcott and American Realism

Alcott’s relationships to her peer authors (writing for children or adults)

Depictions of grown-up questions/issues

Sex and sexuality


Drug and alcohol use

Marriage, fidelity, and infidelity

Crime and the law

Alcott and political economy

Identity formation

Sensational and anti-sensational literature


Representations of childhood and/or adulthood

Reading children’s literature as adult literature

Age and aging

Constructions of “adult,” “child,” “woman,” “girl,” etc.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Marlowe Daly-Galeano at<> by January 20, 2016.