New Books: Chicago and the Main of American Modernism

Author: Michelle E. Moore

Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict

Bloomsbury Academic, 2018



Chicago and the Making of American Modernism is the first full-length study of the vexed relationship between America’s great modernist writers and the nation’s “second city.” Michelle E. Moore explores the ways in which the defining writers of the era-Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald-engaged with the city and reacted against the commercial styles of “Chicago realism” to pursue their own, European-influenced mode of modernist art. Drawing on local archives to illuminate the literary culture of early 20th-century Chicago, this book reveals an important new dimension to the rise of American modernism.

The book contains chapters that reexamine the creation of the Little Room and explores Elia Peattie’s relationship to young Willa Cather. Chapter two tells the story of Harriet Monroe’s fight to create the “Columbian Ode.” It reveals Monroe’s battle to obtain and protect her copyright based on new archival evidence and contextualizes the fight against the backdrop of Chicago history.

Available in print and digital formats:



CFP: Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.20.2019)


CFP: Lydia Maria Child Society
American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA
23–26 May 2019 at the Westin Copley Place


The Lydia Maria Child Society welcomes proposals for a panel co-organized with the Louisa May Alcott Society and for a social-justice pedagogy roundtable!

Notorious Women, Sensational Texts:  The Lives, Writings, and Reforms of Louisa May Alcott and Lydia Maria Child    

Organized jointly by the Lydia Maria Child and Louisa May Alcott Societies, this session will examine the lives, writings, and reforms of two enormously popular and prolific nineteenth-century women writers.

Child founded the nation’s first children’s magazine, The Juvenile Miscellany, which she edited from 1826 – 1834, a generation ahead of Alcott’s bestselling books for young people.  Child’s conduct manuals, such as The Frugal Housewife, enjoyed wide attention as well.  Championing disenfranchised peoples, however, triggered critical backlash.  At the age of twenty-two, Child portrayed a marriage between a white woman and a Native American man in her first novel, Hobomok (1824), an audacious choice that reviewers largely disparaged (the book’s poor sales left her deeply in debt).  Yet her career suffered its most devastating setback after she published An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833), the first complete history of slavery by an American writer.  Here Child calls for the immediate emancipation of US slaves, a radical stance that she shared with infamous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.  Although Child wrote and edited until she died, her career never recovered from public reaction to her political views.  Undeterred, she tirelessly advocated social reforms in writings such asLetters from New York (beginning in 1841) and A Romance of the Republic (1867).

Writing a generation later, Louisa May Alcott divided her authorial time between books for children, which paid handsomely, and the lurid, anonymously authored fiction that she preferred. In these sensational stories and novels, Alcott (writing as A. M. Barnard) spun tales like Beneath the Mask and “Pauline’s Passion and Punishment,” in which notorious women take revenge on the men who have wronged them and often claim control over their own lives. Like Child, Alcott was an outspoken advocate for antislavery and women’s rights, with poems, essays, and fiction depicting unsung social reformers as the nation’s true heroes. In Moods (1864), for example, Alcott deliberately challenges notions of the conventional marriage plot, just as Child does with a controversial marriage in Hobomok.

We seek abstracts that consider literary, historical, and biographical connections across the lives and literary outputs of Child and Alcott. What kind of role model did Alcott find in fellow Bostonian Lydia Maria Child? Is Alcott’s choice to mask the women in her sensational fiction a deliberate effort to avoid Child’s fate at the hands of readers and critics? Given that both Child and Alcott edited children’s magazines and wrote specifically for child and adult audiences, how might we compare their stated approaches to or philosophies about writing for children versus adults? In which literary texts do Alcott and Child’s cross-generational reform-mindedness seem to play a similar role? What differences emerge from an analysis of Alcott and Child’s reformist views on topics such as white supremacy, native peoples, American slavery, immigration, women’s physical fitness, and women’s rights?

Send 250-300 word abstracts by January 20, 2019, to Sandy Burr at; and to Sandy Petrulionis at 

Social-Justice Pedagogy Roundtable

The Lydia Maria Child Society seeks participants for a roundtable on pedagogy, social justice, and American literature. Considering contemporary social justice concerns ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy to persistent gender inequities and xenophobia made all too apparent by the 2016 presidential election and the resulting anti-woman and anti-immigrant policies, the Child Society feels strongly that many of the issues for which Child fought so passionately remain deeply relevant today. To honor her lifelong commitment to both education and writing as ways to attain social change, we ask that our selected panelists prepare briefpresentations (approximately 10 minutes) on how they address the above issues and/or others within the literature classroom, before engaging in what we hope will be a fruitful and wide-ranging open discussion on social justice pedagogies and American literature. What texts and social issues have proved particularly pertinent to your students’ lived experiences of activism, marginalization, etc.? How do you productively draw parallels between the concerns of the literary works you teach and those we are facing in the world outside the classroom? What specific lesson plans, textual pairings/groupings, and/or other pedagogical approaches might you recommend to colleagues striving to make their syllabi and classrooms more socially conscious and engaged?

Please send 200-word abstracts of your proposed presentation, as Word documents, to by January 20, 2019.  Note that while we, of course, welcome proposals that engage with Child’s work, Child need not be included for your proposal to be considered.

LMC Society
Sarah Olivier, President
Sandy Burr, VP of Programs
Tracey-Lynn Clough, VP of Communications & Digital Development
Lucy Sirianni, VP of Inclusive Excellence & Social Action

CFP: Charlotte Perkins Gilman at ALA (Deadline: 1.26.2019)

CFP: New Approaches to Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society

American Literature Association (ALA)
30th Annual Conference
May 23-25, 2019

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s life and work intersect a universe of historical discourses: a testament to Gilman’s rapacious reading habit, sweeping interdisciplinary curiosity, and to her sustained engagement with pressing contemporary issues, scientific discoveries, and progressive remedies embraced by feminists of her time. This session invites papers that discuss new approaches to reading the life, work, and/or literature of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her intellectual peers, predecessors, and descendants. The panel will gather a selection of papers that help to widen our understanding of the historical, social, literary, and political movements that surrounded one of America’s most famous feminists. Topics may include theoretical approaches to Gilman, such as queer theory, critical race studies, and genre studies, alternative visions of motherhood, feminism in the socialist movement, visual art in women’s writing, reform, recovery, and the archive, and any of the broad connections springing from the life and work of Gilman. Submit 250 to 500-word abstracts and a CV, by January 26, 2019, to Hannah Huber at

For more information about the conference, please visit the ALA website at

CFP: Special Issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly (Deadline: 3.1.2019)


Spring 2020 Issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly (WSQ)

Guest Editors:
Maria Rice Bellamy, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
Karen Weingarten, Queens College, City University of New York

Priority Submission Deadline: March 1, 2019

To inherit is to receive, to gain, to be left with more. The term “inheritance” first brings to mind the bequeathing of property by a parent to a child. The exclusion of women from this form of inheritance has been a contested issue for millennia and figured prominently in the earliest feminist causes in the United States and other Western nations. Remarkably, women in many parts of the United States won the right to own and control property (inherited or purchased, be she single, married, or divorced) before they earned the rights of citizenship, particularly the right to vote. While this call for papers begins with these most conventional understandings of inheritance, the goal of the Inheritance issue of WSQ is to facilitate a conversation on the many meanings and complications of the term “inheritance” and of the processes and experiences of inheriting, including the multiplicity of things that can be inherited and the varied ways these things can be transmitted and received across generations.

We are seeking papers that take a critical and transgressive approach to any and all aspects of inheritance, which in its most basic form involves one who bequeaths, items passed down, and one who receives. Our consideration of inheritance then questions first who has the power to decide what is worthy to be passed down and who is worthy to receive? How is this power granted, questioned, and subverted? How do people divested of this power find alternative ways of leaving a legacy? Second, what gets passed down and what gets left out of the process of inheritance? What forms of inheritance are recognized—given significance—or not? What histories or memories are remembered—preserved, passed down—or not? What inheritances are lost and how do we reckon those losses? Finally, who receives and who is excluded from inheriting? Who are the winners and losers in generational transfers? What economic and social repercussions are experienced by persons excluded from inheritance, particularly women, people of color, immigrants, people without property, and persons with disabilities? How do these losses continue to be felt over the generations? How do we reckon the immaterial losses, such as names never recorded, art never created, writing never published?

Advances in reproductive technologies add further complications to our understanding of inheritance in the scientific realm of genetics and reproduction. Historically, women have been held responsible for the results of their reproductive labor, suffering the consequences for their offspring inheriting less desired features (gender, skin tone, etc.). More recently, and controversially, epigenetics has renewed this line of thinking to suggest that genetic expression in fetuses can change in response to environmental pressures (Wagner 2010; Moore 2015; Richardson 2017). Assisted reproductive technologies have broadened the questions of inheritance raised by adopted children to include children born through the donation of gametes and with the help of gestational surrogates. The creation of a child requires an egg, a sperm, and a uterus, but in our brave new world of reproductive technology, inheritance may come from three (rather than two) parties, further complicating questions of nature versus nurture. Are we products of the genes we inherit, of the environments in which we are gestated and raised, or of some unknown combination of these factors?

Because Inheritance coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the Feminist Press, we also seek submissions considering the role of the archive and of feminist and reconstructionist efforts in recovering losses from more traditional and hegemonic experiences of inheritance. How have these scholarly and creative efforts redefined inheritance and engendered the language and form to represent newer and more inclusive understandings of inheritance? How has the Feminist Press’s recovery work transformed literary and creative histories so that writers and readers can inherit a canon that reflects once lost writings? How has this recovery work traced a different lineage of literary inheritance and what work is there still left to do?

We invite submissions from all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences as well as interdisciplinary approaches. We welcome papers that are theoretical, conceptual, or empirical on a wide variety of topics related to inheritance, including but not limited to the following:

  • Histories and cultural understandings of inheritance and how these have changed or been subverted over time
  • Racism, sexism, classism, and ableism in the mechanisms of inheritance
  • Subversion of racial, gendered, and classed norms in inheritance
  • Citizenship and the inheritance of political privilege
  • Disenfranchisement and the inheritance of political and economic disadvantage
  • The inheritance and consequence of debt
  • Reparations for the denial of inheritance
  • Inheritance of ancestral, cultural, and traumatic memory
  • Familial inheritance, memory, keepsakes, secrets, silences
  • Generational inheritance, particularly from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s
  • Literary traditions inherited and lost
  • Historical and cultural inheritances represented in contemporary culture and society
  • Intellectual inheritance and the archive
  • Legacy preferences at elite universities and the inheritance of educational privilege
  • The role of inheritance in adoption, especially cross-cultural and cross-racial
  • Complications to inheritance in assisted reproductive technologies, donor gametes (egg, sperm), donor embryos, and gestational surrogates
  • Inheritance in nontraditional or nonheteronormative families
  • The science of inheritance and its implication in eugenics
  • The theory of epigenetics and its influence on the way we understand reproduction, pregnancy, and women’s bodies
  • The politics and popularity of genealogy and consumer DNA tests



Scholarly articles and inquiries should be sent to guest issue editors Maria Rice Bellamy and Karen Weingarten at We will give priority consideration to submissions received by March 1, 2019. Submissions should not exceed 6,360 words (including abstract, keywords, unembedded notes, captions, and works cited) and should comply with the Feminist Press’s formatting guidelines. Please send complete articles, not abstracts. We prefer Microsoft Word file formats. Please provide all contact information in the body of the e-mail. We do not accept work that has been previously published or under review at another journal.

Poetry submissions related to the issue theme should be sent to WSQ’s poetry editor Patricia Smith at by March 1, 2019. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting poems. Please note that poetry submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the poetry editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please paste poetry submissions into the body of the e-mail along with all contact information.

Fiction, essay, memoir, and translation submissions related to the issue theme between 2000 and 2500 words should be sent to WSQ’s fiction/nonfiction editor, Rosalie Morales Kearns, at by March 1, 2019. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting prose. Please note that prose submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the prose editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please provide all contact information in the body of the e-mail.

CFP Edited Collection on Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (Abstract Deadline: 4.15.2019)

Reading with and against the Grain: New Perspectives on Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

Editors: Stephanie Palmer (Nottingham Trent University, UK, President of the Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society), Myrto Drizou (Boğaziçi University, Turkey), Cécile Roudeau (Université Paris-Diderot, France)

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman is perhaps best known, read and taught today as the author of short regionalist fiction. Subsequent to the recovery work that put her back on the map of American letters some fifty years after her death, she gained recognition in the US and abroad at the intersection of diverse and sometimes overlapping literary critical rubrics, including new England “local color,” rebellious regionalism and female naturalism. More recently, however, Freeman studies have taken a different set of turns including ecofiction, trauma studies, and religious studies. New research on Freeman, invigorated by the foundation of the Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society at the 2017 meeting of the MLA in Boston, has disclosed unexpected aspects of her work. This essay collection, coedited by the three founders of the society and featuring a concluding essay by Sandra Zagarell, aims at pushing further in this direction. It does not intend so much to recover Freeman as to uncover alternative modes of reading her work.

Reading Freeman with and against the grain—taking her lead when her lead does not necessarily fit our expectations as critics—implies unlearning what we think we know about her and her production and accepting to unsettle the conditions of normative legibility that have been applied to her work to present. Because her prolific production spans over nearly 50 years, from the early 1880s and well into the modernist era; because she experimented with a diverse array of forms and genres, writing poems and novels and sketches, children’s tales and sentimental stories and protest novels; because her biography tells us that she straddled social classes as well as literary movements (Transcendentalism, sentimentalism, realism, naturalism); because, and most importantly perhaps, her work ultimately resists many of the very frames that have brought her back to visibility, frustrating our attempts to situate her in clearly delineated categories, Freeman’s work is robust and varied enough to bear the weight of critical rethinking as we question the paradigms that have obscured her work—and that of other (women) writers—from view in our post-recovery critical times.

One of these paradigms, which has been recently questioned, is that of the analytical grid of a single-author. To be clear, reopening the case of Freeman does not mean reverting to the trope of the writer as an exceptional figure or the myth of unified authorial intention, let alone a biographical approach that often dismisses the author’s late production—in the case of Freeman, the texts that she wrote once married and “delocalized” to New Jersey. To the contrary, this edited collection seeks to avoid the pitfalls that have sometimes affected projects of recovery and, by eschewing expectations of self-coherence and artistic consistency, focus rather on a variety of authorial and critical practices, allowing Freeman’s texts to challenge us still as they elude us and our categories.

Reading with and against the Grain aims at reflecting the diversity of our field. We welcome contributions from junior and senior scholars and graduate student scholars from the US, Europe, UK, and elsewhere in an attempt to create a more integrated and transnational sense of Freeman studies. We are particularly interested in proposals that pressurize and redirect any aspect of Freeman’s oeuvre. Playing with frames and scales of analysis is especially welcome. Innovative critical forms are also invited.

Topics may include but are not restricted to:

– erotic Freeman; funny Freeman; frustrating Freeman; Anglo-Saxon Freeman; capitalistic Freeman; political Freeman…

-Freeman as a novelist; Freeman as a poet; Freeman as a playwright…

-Freeman and masculinity; Freeman and disability; Freeman and the print cultures of her time…

-Zooming out. Reading Freeman out of (her) space; out of New England; out of the US: global Freeman; transregional Freeman…; Freeman and international writers (Ibsen, Maupassant, Tolstoy….); rewriting Freeman; intertextual Freeman; translating Freeman, teaching Freeman abroad…

Reading Freeman out of (her) time: rethinking the periodization of Freeman’s studies; Freeman and the seventeenth-century; Freeman and dark Romanticism (Hawthorne, Melville and the American Renaissance); modernist Freeman…

-Zooming in: reading Freeman periodically (in the context of the magazines she published in); reading Freeman literally; symptomatically; reading Freeman digitally; reading Freeman’s archives…

Deadlines: 500-words abstracts (for papers between 6000 and 7000 words, including endnotes and list of works cited using the MLA format) must be submitted by April 15, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be given by May 15, 2019.

Final drafts of papers must be submitted by September 1, 2019.

A symposium will be scheduled mid-January 2020 in Paris, France, to share feedback.

Final articles must be submitted late spring 2020.

Send abstracts to all three editors:;;

CFP: Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.15.2019)

CALL FOR PAPERS – Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

2019 American Literature Association Conference,

May 23-26, 2019, Westin Copley Hotel, Boston, MA

Send 200 word abstracts to Lisa West, by January 15, 2019.

Catharine Maria Sedgwick and the Gothic or Supernatural

While Sedgwick is associated with Federalist politics, reason, republican sensibility, and moral leadership, her writings do venture into the gothic, the uncanny, the supernatural, and the enchanted.  This panel will explore the underexamined ways Sedgwick uses the gothic and the supernatural in her fiction and other writings.  Panelists are encouraged to consider ways she responds to a transatlantic gothic tradition or to think about the religious supernatural. Panelists can build on ideas and papers presented at 2018 ALA or SSAWW.  Papers are also welcome on writers who are contemporaries of Sedgwick, such as Washington Irving or Lydia Maria Child. Send 200-word abstracts to Lisa West, by January 15, 2019.

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society is sponsoring a roundtable on:

Sedgwick’s Letters: Material Letters, Transcribed Letters, Fictional Letters, Digitized Letters.

This roundtable will put the exciting work of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Online Letter  (CMSOL) Project in conversation with theoretical approaches to “the letter” in a variety of contexts.  CMSOL is an ongoing initiative with the goal of making the correspondence of Sedgwick held at the Massachusetts Historical Society publicly available in digitized form.  This project is significant not only in developing the scholarly infrastructure of Sedgwick Studies but also in linking archives, scholars, and the general public.  The project raises numerous ethical and pragmatic issues about reading, transcribing, and editing letters.  We welcome short presentations on Sedgwick’s (or her contemporaries’) personal letters, letters embedded within novels, letters from abroad, or references to letters.  Scholarly challenges in working with letters or family papers also welcome, as are presentations that consider the role of letter-writing within a broader literary culture.  Send 200-word abstracts to Lisa West, by January 15, 2019.


CFP: Dissent of the Governed, c18 and c21 sponsored by the Charles Brockden Brown Society (Deadline: 2.15.2019)


Dissent of the Governed, c18 and c21

October 3-5, 2019
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky

A conference sponsored by the Charles Brockden Brown Society

While the long-eighteenth century gave rise to “the consent of the governed” as a principle of legitimate government, this period also witnessed inventive forms of dissent by many who were presumed to have given, or who had never been asked for, their consent. Recent developments in the U.S. and across the globe spur to mind these earlier contexts in which the law was deemed immoral or incorrect. Black Lives Matter has powerfully challenged ideas of the law and its enforcers as supposedly neutral. High school students’ responses to the spate of school shootings raise questions about political rights and avenues of participation for the disenfranchised, in this case, the under-aged – but also non-citizens, felons, the homeless, and more. The uncertain legal standing of non-persons—Are corporations individuals? Who or what represents “the environment,” and on what basis?—recalibrate conventional understandings of consent and dissent. These issues provide a fitting opportunity to reconsider Brown’s time and our own. What were the forms of dissent in the final decades of the eighteenth century and the early decades of the nineteenth? Who were the participants? How did contemporaries understand the impact of disagreement and disobedience on republicanism? On democracy? How was the Revolutionary tradition of dissent eventually tempered and managed by elites from the ratification of the Constitution onward? The Twelfth Biennial Conference of the Charles Brockden Brown Society invites papers on all aspects of dissent in the Atlantic World of the long eighteenth century. Topics might include:

  • Blurring of fact and fiction: fake news, propaganda, novel writing, hoaxes
  • “Social networks” from the Friendly Club to Facebook
  • Uses, manipulations of, and controversies over historiography and storytelling
  • Free speech (e.g., in the first amendment; its invocation in recent years as protection for hate speech or bias crime; issues of civility, etc.)
  • Populism, demagoguery, fears of tyranny
  • Protest
  • Violence performed by/upon marginalized populations (e.g., The Whiskey Rebellion, slave revolts, Pontiac’s War)
  • Women’s governance and dissent, within the family and the political community
  • Justice and inequality
  • Resistance to nationalism and imperialism
  • Dissenting religions
  • Dissenting regions
  • Racism and xenophobia

Though we are an author society, we solicit proposals from a broad range of texts and practices beyond those associated with Brown and his writings alone. We also encourage interdisciplinary scholarship and work emphasizing non-U.S. literatures. Our conference culture aims to create a space of egalitarian consideration free from career-oriented and competitive attitudes, a place for new work to flourish. Thus we have no concurrent sessions, so that all may be heard by all. Due to time and space constraints, we may ask you to reframe your proposed talk as a brief (5-10 minute) presentation for inclusion within a roundtable format.

Travel Support for Graduate Students:

Some graduate student travel support will be available. Criteria for these travel subventions will favor students at the dissertation stage (over those in earlier stages of degree work) and those who have not previously presented at a CBBS meeting. Graduate students applying for a subvention should indicate their interest in a cover letter and provide information about whether or not they are ABD.

250-word proposal deadline: February 15, 2019. Please send a proposal in .docx format to