Service Opportunity: Call for Readers – SSAWW at ALA 2019

Call for Readers: SSAWW at the American Literature Association Conference

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers is currently planning two thought-provoking panels at the 2019 American Literature Association Conference at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA. As we prepare for this conference—another great opportunity to stimulate conversation on American women writers and their lasting impact on social, political, cultural, and literary thought—we are asking now for volunteers eager to serve as reviewers for the proposals that we receive. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 4, 2019, so reviewers can expect to receive proposals for evaluation no later than January 7th with a turnaround no later than January 18th in order to allot sufficient time to not only form our panels but also to contact participants, submit materials to the ALA conference organizers, and allow those not selected an opportunity to submit to the general call.

For those interested in serving in this capacity, please contact the Vice President of Development via E-mail at by December 21, 2018. Please provide your areas of expertise, academic rank/institution (independent scholars and advanced graduate students are also welcome to participate), and your most reliable contact information. Thank you once again for your assistance in this important process; selected reviewers will receive a formal letter of appreciation in response and can include their service as part of their CVs.


CFP: SSAWW at ALA (Deadline: 1.28.2019)

Call for Papers: SSAWW at the American Literature Association Conference

The American Literature Association will host its thirtieth annual conference from May 23-26, 2019, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA. As we continue to both promote and advance the study of American women writers, SSAWW will once again organize panels for this exciting and informative event:

Panel I: Digital Humanities and the Study of American Women Writers—Digital humanities initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in the field today, allowing students and scholars alike more opportunities to critically engage with women writers across time. The planning meeting for a digital recovery hub as well as the development of a number of sessions from a DH lens at the 2018 SSAWW Triennial Conference speak to this trend—all the more important as we work to recover authors whose works are unfortunately out of print, limiting their accessibility and potentially the spread of their invaluable perspectives on topics that have invariably shaped our society. In an effort to increase digital humanities work and awareness through SSAWW, this panel invites proposals that explore DH projects on women writers from across the Americas as well as methods for increasing student/public engagement with such authors through DH initiatives in the classroom and beyond.

Panel II: Globalizing American Women Writers—In addition to our interests in expanding DH awareness and work through SSAWW, we are equally interested in thinking about American women writers (AWW) on a much more global scale, including pedagogical innovations for teaching AWW abroad, scholarship on the role and impact of AWW outside of the confines of the United States, transatlantic connections, and more. As we come to better understand the overarching significance of such writers and their ideas on identity, culture, nationhood, politics, and self, these conversations remain vital in comprehending the world in which we live. The legacy of AWW, after all, is much farther reaching than the corners of North America, prompting this continued conversation from the 2018 SSAWW Triennial Conference. Still fueled by our 2017 international conference at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, we are interested in papers that seek to globalize AWW.

Please send proposals of no more than five hundred words (for papers approximately fifteen minutes in length) to the Vice President of Development at no later than January 4, 2019 with an expected response no later than January 21, 2019. In addition, please indicate any A/V needs in your E-mail submission. Note that presenters must be members of SSAWW by January 28, 2018 in order to secure their place on the program.

CFP: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society at ALA 2019 (Deadline: 1.15.2019)

CFP: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society at ALA 2019

The Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society is calling for abstracts for two guaranteed panels at the 2019 American Literature Association Conference, which will take place May 23-26 in Boston.

Panel 1: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Religion

While Freeman is not generally considered a religious writer, she has an ambivalent relation to religion that is largely due to her strict, Congregationalist upbringing and, thus, as Fred Pattee put it, her paradoxical “nurturing” in “repression.” Freeman herself left Mount Holyoke Female Seminary after only one year, objecting to its monotonous diet and excessive goadings of conscience. Freeman’s rebellious and controversial relation to religion informs much of her fiction. Fervently religious characters feature, for instance, in such stories as “A Conflict Ended” and “A Far-Away Melody” as well as in her 1894 novel Pembroke. Religion can be a route into a modern experience of authenticity, solitude, and individuality, in which case the reader is constructed as modern and secular through the narrator’s encouragement of a detached, almost anthropological stance vis-a-vis religion (Johanningsmeier). But Freeman’s characters also maintain an affective relation to religion and believe in its performativity. Freeman’s stance toward religion is complex, and it is complicated by her experience with her New England community, which was populated not only by Congregationalists but also by Methodists, Baptists, Unitarians, Catholics, and people of other denominations. As Aušra Paulauskiene argued at the 2018 ALA conference, Freeman’s widely-anthologized short story “A New England Nun” can be read fruitfully alongside Catholic fictions about religious practice. We are seeking papers that offer fresh perspectives on Freeman’s relation to religion and any sort of religious practice.

Panel 2: Open Topic on Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

We are also soliciting papers on any topic related to Freeman, her society, or her contemporaries. Discussions (and examples) of teaching Freeman’s works are particularly welcome.

Please send 250-word abstracts and short vitae to Dr Myrto Drizou, Assistant Professor at Boğaziçi University ( by January 15, 2019.

For more information about the conference, please consult the ALA website

CFP: Panel on Jane Smiley at ALA Boston (Deadline: 1.20.2019)

CFP: Panel on Jane Smiley
American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA
23–26 May 2019 at the Westin Copley Place

Jane Smiley: A Great American Novelist
In her Harper’s essay “Say it ain’t so, Huck: Second Thoughts on Mark Twain (1996),” Jane Smiley questioned the critical prejudices in American literary criticism that have continually been more disposed to ascribe “major” status to male authors, while seeing their female peers as “sentimental” or “regional.”  Rumaan Alam similarly has asked why Jonathan Franzen’s novels are recognized for their scope, but Jane Smiley’s body of work — in particular her multi-volume The Last Hundred Years (2014-15) — have not received the same respect. 
This panel seeks to expand the critical exploration of Smiley’s novels, that consistently connect the domestic and the regional to the historic, economic and national. Please send 250-300 word abstracts of your proposed paper, pasted in the body of an email, to by January 20, 2019.  

CFP: Rebecca Harding Davis at ALA 2019 (Deadline: 1.18.2019)

CFP: Rebecca Harding Davis at ALA 2019

Deadline for Submissions: January 18, 2019

The Society for the Study of Rebecca Harding Davis and Her World

Contact Email:;

New Directions in Davis Scholarship (Both Panels)

The Society for the Study of Rebecca Harding Davis and Her World welcomes proposals for two sessions at the next meeting of the American Literature Association. The conference will be held May 23-26, 2019 in Boston, MA.

We are interested in proposals that engage in any aspect of Davis’s work. We welcome new readings of her most well-known work, “Life in the Iron-Mills,” as well as analyses of her numerous other neglected writings.

We encourage contributors to utilize some of the new resources that have become available on Davis, including the books Rebecca Harding Davis: A Life Among Writers by Sharon Harris (2018) and Stories for Boys, collected and edited by Robin Cadwallader (2018) as well as the Complete Digitized Works collection, which can be accessed at:

Please send a 200-250 word abstract to: Sarah Gray ( and Aaron Rovan (

Presenters must be members of the Society for the Study of Rebecca Harding Davis and Her World. For information about joining the society, please contact Robin Cadwallader, president of the society, at

Categories: American, Bibliography and History of the Book, Children’s Literature, Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches, General Announcements

CFP: ALA 2019 Joint Panel of the Lydia Maria Child + Louisa May Alcott Societies (Deadline: 1.20.2019)

CFP: Joint Panel of the Lydia Maria Child + Louisa May Alcott Societies
“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 as Letters 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. Similar to Child’s controversial marriage in Hobomok, in Moods, Alcott also deliberately challenges notions of the conventional marriage plot.

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

CFP: Adventures in Alcott Scholarship at the Concord Free Public Library
Organized by the Louisa May Alcott Society

Over decades, William Munroe Special Collections Curator Leslie Perrin Wilson and her predecessors and colleagues at the Concord Free Public Library have amassed a distinguished collection of materials by and about the Alcotts. Among those archival holdings are literary manuscripts, personal papers, microfilmed diaries and letters, newspaper clippings, reprints, and research papers by or about Louisa May Alcott and Amos Bronson Alcott, as well as Abigail May “Abba” Alcott and Abby May Alcott Nieriker (“Alcott Holdings in the Special Collections,” CFPL, ). The collection includes manuscript pages for two chapters of Little Women and two chapters of Little Men, copies of the first edition of Little Women (featuring May Alcott’s original illustrations), portions of the manuscript pages for Eight Cousins and Under the Lilacs, Alcott’s handwritten comments on Frank Merrill’s pen and ink drawings for the 1880 Roberts Brothers edition of Little Women, and other rare and wonderful materials—making the Concord Free Public Library an essential and one-of-a-kind research facility.

Building on Wilson’s informative presentation about the Alcott archives at the 2017 Alcott Society business meeting, and the Society’s subsequent commitment to encourage scholars to visit and study this unique collection, “Adventures in Alcott Scholarship at the Concord Free Public Library” will feature presentations from scholars who have recently conducted research in the CFPL’s Alcott holdings.

Send abstracts of 250-300 words by January 20, 2019, to Anne Phillips at

CFP: Harriet Beecher Stowe Society at ALA 2019 (Deadline: 12.14.2018)

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Society will sponsor two panels at the annual meeting of the American Literature Association to be held May 23-26, Boston, USA.

Panel 1: Teaching Stowe in the 21st Century: A Roundtable

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Society invites proposals for innovative approaches to teaching Stowe. We are especially interested in proposals that focus on engaging the current generation of college students to appreciate Stowe’s influence and literary acumen. Service-learning, digital humanities projects, and experiential approaches to teaching Stowe are all welcome, as are considerations about how teaching Stowe might enhance the undergraduate curriculum whether students encounter her work in their required or elective coursework.

Panel 2: Stowe in Conversation

The Stowe Society invites proposals that consider Harriet Beecher Stowe’s texts in conversation with other writers. While this may include writers in the nineteenth century, the society also welcomes proposals that compare Stowe’s works to more contemporary problems and authors.

Email 250-word abstracts, along with a brief CV, to LuElla D’Amico at by December 14, 2018. Membership in the Stowe Society is required of presenters. Please write either “Teaching Stowe at ALA” or “Stowe in Conversation at ALA” in the subject line.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Up and Coming Scholar Award–ALA

The Stowe Society would like to recognize graduate students who are currently working on scholarship on Harriet Beecher Stowe. We are sponsoring an outstanding paper award of $100 that will help contribute to conference travel and that will guarantee a slot on one of our Stowe panels at ALA. To submit a paper for the award, please send an essay of no more than eight pages to by December 14, 2018. Papers should not have your name or any identifying information on them, as they will be anonymously reviewed by Stowe Society members. We will announce the awards in January on our website as well as via email. We look forward to reading your submissions!