CFP: Louisa May Alcott Society at ALA (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.27.2020)

CFP: Louisa May Alcott Society
American Literature Association Conference, San Diego, CA, May 21-24, 2020 Deadline extended to Monday, January 27th, 2020

Alcott and Adaptation

For over a century, Louisa May Alcott’s writings have been adapted in many ways—for stage, radio, television, and film. As scholars such as Beverly Lyon Clark, Elizabeth Keyser, Elise Hooper, and others have documented, Alcott’s work remains timely and continues to inspire adaptations and spinoffs for diverse audiences. The best known, of course, are the numerous film adaptations of Little Women. Each new production of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel both represents and reinterprets the lives of the four March sisters for a new audience.

We invite proposals for a panel on film adaptations of Alcott’s works, including but not limited to Little Women. The many adaptations of Little Women include the 1933 RKO Pictures production directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, the 1949 MGM feature directed by Mervyn Leroy and starring June Allyson, the 1994 Columbia Pictures production directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Winona Ryder, and the newest adaptation of Little Women, premiering in December 2019, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan. Other adaptations of Little Women include the 2018 Clare Niederpruem film and the BBC/Masterpiece miniseries as well as the transmedia series, The March Family Letters. Little Men and The Inheritance have also been adapted for the screen.

These are just several examples among the many artistic interpretations of Alcott’s works that could be discussed in papers exploring the ways film adaptations transform and reinvent Alcott’s stories and characters.

Potential topics may include: 

– gender equality and feminism(s) 
– representation and diversity
– sexuality and class
– textual fidelity and nostalgia
– (a)politics of Alcott 
– labor and work
– adaptive challenges of the text (for instance, casting different actors as Amy at different ages)
– adaptations in conversation with each other

Please send 300-word abstracts by email to Sandra Harbert Petrulionis <> and Mark Gallagher <>. The extended deadline for proposals is Monday, January 27, 2020.

CFP: Pauline E. Hopkins Society (Deadline: 1.25.2020)

Call for Papers

Pauline E. Hopkins Society

American Literature Association 31th Annual Conference

May 21-24, 2020 San Diego, CA

Pauline E. Hopkins and Social Justice

In an historic vote on December 19, 2018, the US Senate unanimously passed the Justice for Lynching Act (jointly proposed by Democratic Senators Cory Booker, NJ, and Kamala Harris, CA), which now awaits discussion in the House of Representatives. A dozen years earlier in 2005, Congress officially apologized for failing ever to pass a federal anti-lynching law, even though over 200 such bills were presented before the House or Senate from the early 1880s through the mid-1930s. The most famous of such proposals was the Dyer Bill, first introduced in 1918, but one of the earliest anti-lynching measures was the 1894 Blair Bill, which called upon the federal government “to investigate, ascertain, and report” the facts and circumstances concerning alleged acts of rape and racially-motivated mob violence from the previous decade. Noted African American writers and activists supported the Blair Bill, including Thomas Fortune, the influential editor of The New York Age, and Ida B. Wells, who championed the bill in the concluding chapter of her second anti-lynching pamphlet, A Red Record (1894).

Joining Fortune, Wells, and a host of other African American writers at the turn of twentieth century, Pauline Hopkins wrote her first published novel, Contending Forces (1899), expressly to contest “mob violence,” “lynch law,” “mob-law”—terms she repeatedly deployed in the novel’s short preface.  Hopkins, moreover, defined fiction in her preface “as a preserver of manners and customs—religious, political, and social,” thus providing the novelist a means of intervening in political debates and cultural practices to argue for social justice.  Yet Hopkins’s participation in anti-lynching activism is just one example among many of her engagement in the politics of race and justice.  Indeed, all of her fiction—along with much of the journalism she published in The Colored American—takes up issues of social justice, broadly defined, or specifically articulated in cases like that of lynching, as Hazel Carby, Thomas Cassidy, William Moddelmog, Lois Brown, and other scholars have shown. 

The Pauline Hopkins Society welcomes proposals for papers on any aspect of Hopkins and social justice for presentation at the American Literature Association’s 31th annual conference in San Diego, CA, in May 2020.  In addition to proposals that examine Hopkins’ work in relation to social and political movements of her own day, we are especially interested in papers that reconsider Hopkins in light of movements for social justice today, such as the Equal Justice Initiative and its sponsorship of a new legacy museum in Montgomery, Alabama, commemorating America’s tragic history of slavery and lynching, which in part inspired the Justice for Lynching Act currently in Congress. 

John Gruesser, Senior Research Scholar at Sam Houston State University and co-editor of the forthcoming Broadview edition of Hopkins’s Hagar’s Daughter, will serve as the panel’s Respondent.

Instructions for proposal submission:

·         Proposals should be no more than 300 words and accompanied by a brief CV.

·         Proposals should be sent to John Barton, Program Committee Chair, at by January 25, 2020.

·         The subject line of the email should be “Hopkins/ALA panel.”

·         AV needs should be included in the proposal.

Membership in the Pauline E. Hopkins Society is required of presenters.

The American Literature Association’s 31st annual conference will meet at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, CA, May 21-25, 2020 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).  The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2020. For further information, please consult the ALA website at http://www.americanliteratureassociation.orgor contact the conference director, Professor Leslie Petty, at or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University, at with specific questions.

CFP: Catharine Sedgwick Society at ALA (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.23.2020)

Panel: Nonhuman Life in Early America

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society invites papers on the subject of nonhuman life in early America. 
This panel will consider forms of nonhuman life in early America as they appear in the work of Sedgwick and her contemporaries. Papers might address (but are not limited to):• nonhuman animals, whether domestic or wild• vegetative life• superhuman or supernatural life (angels, ghosts, gods, sprites)• exclusions from the human (the subhuman, the semihuman, the animalistic)• early America in/and the anthropocene

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Ashley Reed,, by January 23, 2020. 

The 2020 American Literature Association Conference will take place May 21-24 in San Diego, CA.

CFP: Rebecca Harding Davis Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.17.2020)

The Davis Society welcomes proposals for one or two sessions highlighting new directions in Davis scholarship at the next meeting of the American Literature Association. The conference will be held May 21-24, 2020 in San Diego, CA.  For more information, visit the American Literature Association’s website at: 

We are interested in proposals that engage in any aspect of Davis’s work. We particularly encourage proposals that address some of Davis’s lesser known works, and we also welcome new readings of the canonical “Life in the Iron-Mills.”   Please send a 200-250 word abstract and brief CV to Aaron Rovan ( by January 17, 2020.

Presenters must be members of the Rebecca Harding Davis Society. For information about joining the society, please contact Robin Cadwallader, president, at​

CFP: Lydia Maria Child at ALA (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.25.2020)

The Lydia Maria Child Society welcomes proposals for a social-justice pedagogy roundtable and an open-topic panel!

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 brief presentations (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  Saturday, January 25, 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.

Open-Topic Panel

The Lydia Maria Child Society loves sharing ideas about Lydia Maria Child and her work, particularly the work that has spoken the most to you.  We therefore welcome proposals for our open-topic panel that engage with any aspect of Child’s life and/or work, including ways Child/her work engages with her times, creates conversations with her contemporaries in the US and abroad, speaks to contemporary issues, opens doors in unlooked-for ways (a deliberately broad category!), etc.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Please send 200-word abstracts, as Word documents, to Sandy Burr at by Saturday, January 25, 2020. 

CFP: Carson McCullers Society at ALA, MSA, and Outstanding Paper Award (3 calls)

Open call for panel papers – Carson McCullers Society

American Literature Association (ALA) Conference; San Diego, CA; May 21-24, 2020

The Carson McCullers Society is pleased to announce an open call for papers on any topic related to the life and works of Carson McCullers for a guaranteed panel at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in San Diego, California, on May 21-24, 2020. Papers that approach McCullers’ works from interdisciplinary, comparative, and disability or gender studies perspectives are especially sought; however, all topics will be considered. Interested parties should send a 250-300 word abstract and short bio to the Carson McCullers Society at no later than Wednesday, January 22nd , 2020. Please list “ALA 2020 abstract” as the subject of your email.

“Southern Modernist Women Writers and the Streets” Call for papers

Modernist Studies Association conference; Brooklyn, NY; October 22-25, 2020

In keeping with the Modernist Studies Association 2020 conference theme of the “streets,” the Carson McCullers Society is pleased to sponsor a roundtable discussion series about southern modernist women writers and the streets. The roundtable panel is intended to spark conversation among Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, Margaret Walker, Katherine Anne Porter, Kate Chopin, Anne Spencer, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lillian Hellman scholars, among others, about the innovations and interventions of southern modernist women writers in creating street scenes and characters. Please send all queries and/or a 300-word abstract and short bio to the Carson McCullers Society at by Sunday, March 1st. Please write “MSA 2020 abstract” as the subject of your email.

Call for entries for the Carson McCullers Annual Outstanding Conference Paper Award

The Carson McCullers Society is pleased to invite submissions for its annual prize for Outstanding Conference Paper. This award recognizes the best entry for a scholarly essay on the life and work of Carson McCullers presented at a conference the previous year. Entrants should provide evidence that the paper was presented at a national, regional or international academic conference during the 2019 calendar year (January 1 to December 31) and that the winner is an active member of the Society at the time of receipt of the award (information on membership can be found here on our website). Submissions for this blind-judged competition are welcome from all levels of scholars and bear a $100 honorarium and recognition by the Society for best entry at the annual American Literature Association Conference in San Diego, CA. To enter the contest, please send a double-spaced paper and a conference program listing the paper to Carson McCullers Society President Isadora Wagner ( by Sunday, March 15, 2020.

CFP: Digital Humanities in Charlotte Perkins Gilman Scholarship (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.24.2020)

The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society is seeking submissions to a panel at the annual ALA conference in San Diego (May 21-24, 2020). 

Digital Humanities in Charlotte Perkins Gilman Scholarship

The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society invites papers to discuss new approaches to the digital in Gilman research and discovery. Digital humanities, as an emerging subfield in literary studies, can be considered an innovative means of approaching Gilman scholarship. Thus, this panel will gather a selection of papers that envision the myriads ways in which digital tools and methods can facilitate new projects that help widen our understanding of Gilman and her era. Topics may include methodological, theoretical, and pedagogical approaches to digitizing Gilman scholarship—particularly through engagements with cultural studies, queer theory, critical race studies, genre studies, and women’s and gender studies, as well as digital visualizations and transmedia representations of women’s writing, reform, recovery, and the archive. 

Please submit a 250-500 word abstract and a CV by January 24, 2020 to Hannah Huber at

For more information about the conference, visit