Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society – Summer Webinars (July 31st, August 14th, and August 28th)

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society announces a series of webinars featuring new works of Sedgwick scholarship. Invited scholars will discuss their recent monographs and address Sedgwick, her career, and her place in contemporary literary studies.

Webinars are open to the public but registration is required; click the links below to register for each individual event. For more information or to join the Sedgwick Society, visit

We hope you’ll join us!

Friday, July 31, 2 pm ET

Lydia Fash, author of The Sketch, The Tale, and the Beginnings of American Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2020)

Joe Shapiro, author of The Illiberal Imagination: Class and the Rise of the U.S. Novel (University of Virginia Press, 2017)

Hosted by Melissa Homestead


Friday, August 14, 3 pm ET

Brigitte Bailey, author of American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics and the Italian Tour, 1824-62 (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Sandra Wilson Smith, author of The Action-Adventure Heroine: Rediscovering an American Literary Character, 1697-1895 (University of Tennessee Press, 2018)

Hosted by Jenifer Elmore


Friday, August 28, 3 pm ET

Martin Holtz, author of Constructions of Agency in American Literature on the War of Independence: War as Action, 1775-1860 (Routledge, 2019)

Ashley Reed, author of Heaven’s Interpreters: Women Writers and Religious Agency in Nineteenth-Century America (Cornell University Press, 2020)

Hosted by Jordan Von Cannon


CFP: The Legacy of Julia Ward Howe (June 11-12, 2021)

“To learn, to teach, to serve, to enjoy”:

The Legacy of Julia Ward Howe

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of our founding by Julia Ward Howe, the Saturday Morning Club will host a dinner and keynote address by Professor Megan Marshall on Friday evening, June 11, 2021, and a one-day symposium of papers on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

Co-sponsored by Boston University’s College of General Studies, the College of General Studies Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Society.

College of General Studies, Boston University, Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12, 2021


Affordable overnight on-campus accommodations will be available for reservation in early 2021. Please email if you have initial questions.

Details about registration fees, accommodations, and conference sessions will be forthcoming.

Save the Date: 2021 SSAWW Triennial Conference

SSAWW 2021 Triennial Conference in Baltimore, Maryland

Conference Theme

American Women Writers: Ecologies, Survival, Change

November 3-7, 2021 | Royal Sonesta Harbor Court

Additional information will be shared on our site in the coming months with the call for papers made available at the end of August.

SSAWW Statement of Support

Dear Colleagues,

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers joins with the academic community to express our heartbreak and our outrage at the acts of racist violence and police brutality being perpetrated against Black and people of color in many areas of the nation. We recognize that this type of violence is not a recent phenomenon but has been commonly experienced by Black and Brown communities throughout American history. We also condemn the violence of rhetorical “domination” and the vigilantism it legitimates. We recognize that the use of institutional force against protests, whether by the military, the National Guard, or the police, are violations of civil rights, liberties, and human rights.

We stand with the protestors, insisting that perpetrators of racist and related brutality be held to account. We call for the structural changes which alone can put an end to the interlocking forms of oppression of which this brutality is a manifestation. We repeat the names of those most recently killed by acts of police murder and other forms of racist violence—including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Pamela Turner, and Tamir Rice—because to remember the names is to remember the individuals, and to keep them alive in our hearts and minds.  As an organization especially committed to women’s works, histories, and lives, we amplify a call to #SayHerName, and we recognize police violence as a crime that disproportionately affects women and men of color. Black Lives Matter.

As educators and scholars, we are dedicated to understanding the roots and histories of racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and related forms of oppression. We also know that exploration and comprehension cannot be ends in themselves; they must inform behavior and action. In that spirit—and in the spirit of many of the women writers we read, study and teach, including Ida B. Wells-Burnett, Frances E. W. Harper, Toni Morrison, and Cherie Moraga-—we commit ourselves to action and we urge others to do so. To that end, we list on our website names and descriptions of some of the organizations committed to creating change. If you would like to add to that list, please send your suggestion to the SSAWW Vice President of Publications, Jordan Von Cannon, at

We wish to acknowledge the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, whose letter was an inspiration for ours and whose list of organizations we have adopted.  We invite you to circulate this letter and ask you to urge organizations and societies of which you are a member to issue statements as well.

For justice and peace,

Executive Officers and Advisory Board

Society for the Study of American Women Writers

Partial List of Organizations with brief descriptions

(We invite you to view the list from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars here)

  • Center for Black Equity – The vision of this organization is to “build a global network of LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, community-based organizations and Prides dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities through Economic Equity, Health Equity, and Social Equity.”
  •  Color of Change— “We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.”
  • Circle of Mothers— “Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, created the Circle of Mothers as a way to empower women. The purpose of the Circle of Mothers is to bring together mothers who have lost children or family members due to senseless gun violence for the purpose of healing, empowerment, and fellowship towards the larger aim of community building.”
  • Dream Defenders—”The Dream Defenders was founded in April 2012 after the tragic killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. That Spring, young Black, Latinx, and Arab youth marched from Daytona Beach Florida to Sanford Florida where Trayvon Martin was killed. With that fire in their bellies, they then went back to their communities and campuses to organize. Dream Defenders is a multiracial group of young people who are organizing to build power in our communities to advance a new vision we have for the state. Our agenda is called the Freedom Papers. Through it, we are advancing our vision of safety and security –  away from prisons, deportation, and war – and towards healthcare, housing, jobs and movement for all.”
  • Know Your Rights Camp—”A free campaign founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self- empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.”
  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation—”The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is a 501 (c) 3 non-partisan civic engagement organization that strives to cultivate institutional base-building capacity and intergenerational leadership models at the local, state and national levels. NCBCP is committed to nurturing a climate where new thinking, innovative and traditional strategies of empowerment are respected and freely expressed; and strategic partnerships and alliances are welcomed. By educating, motivating, organizing and mobilizing our communities, the NCBCP seeks to encourage full participation in a barrier-free democratic process. Through technology, educational programs and civic leadership training, the Coalition works to expand, strengthen and empower Black communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition.”
  • LIVE FREE – “With over 118 million people attending weekly services in over 350,000 congregations across the U.S., we believe that a social justice revival within our faith institutions would transform our nation’s hearts and minds, and ultimately, the policies and practices that perpetuate these evils. With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society.” This group is currently running a “Masks for the People” campaign, “a humanitarian effort to address the lack of preventive care and resources being made available to our loved ones in jails, urban neighborhoods and poor rural communities. Every $10,000 dollars create 5,000 kits that include masks, hand sanitizer, garments, PPE, etc.”
  • Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition –
  • The Center for Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown whose mission is to produce scholars/citizens who are equipped to critically, actively and effectively engage the issues confronting a technologically changing, postcolonial, capitalist world,
  • Say Her Name: “A movement that calls attention to police violence against Black women, girls, and femmes, and demands that their stories be integrated into calls for justice, policy responses to police violence, and media representations of police brutality.”



“Oceans Rise, Empires Fall:

Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century”

February 18-20, 2021 in Ft. Myers, Florida

Session Proposal Deadline: 6.15.2020

(Individual Papers and Fully-formed Panels Deadline: 10.15.2020)

The 47th meeting of The Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS) will take place February 18-20, 2021 in Ft. Myers, Florida, a historically rich, culturally vibrant city also known as a winter getaway for its warm temperatures, tropical scenery, and beautiful shorelines.

Situated on the gulf coast and the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Ft. Myers has a distinct history informed by its relationship with land and water, which inspires our theme: “Oceans Rise, Empires Fall: Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century.”

At this time, we invite session proposals related to this theme or any aspect of the long eighteenth century.  We welcome proposals for traditional panel and roundtable topics as well as innovative session formats. *We especially invite proposals on women writers, writers of color, and indigenous groups.

Please send your session proposal including title, short description of the session format and topic, and your contact information, to Mary Crone-Romanovski at by June 15, 2020.  

Submitted panel topics will be included on the general CFP for SEASECS 2021. Fully-formed panels and individual paper proposals will be due by October 15, 2020.

Chat with a Legacy Editor

As has recently been reported, the COVID-19 epidemic has had a dramatic impact on women’s research productivity, measured in part by drops in their journal submissions. Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers relies on the work of women–as researchers, authors, consultants, board members, and editors. We recognize that the effects of social distancing are affecting women’s productivity and we want to help! 

Do you have an idea for an article that you’ve always wanted to write? Are you wondering if your piece is suitable for Legacy? Do you have transcribed letters from an archive that you’d like to share? Or a profile on a woman writer you’ve recovered? If you’d like to “chat with an editor” via email or Zoom, please contact us. 

If you’d like to consult with one of the co-editors about an article, you can reach Susan Tomlinson at; Jennifer Putzi at; or Jennifer Tuttle at

For inquiries about Features (Profiles, From the Archives, Reprints, or On Culture), contact Mary Chapman at For inquiries about book reviews, contact Cari Carpenter at

We look forward to hearing from you!

CFP: SSAWW at the Society of Early Americanists Biennial Conference (Deadline: 6.5.2020)

Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) panel at the Society of Early Americanists (SEA) Biennial Conference, planned to be held at Emory University on March 3-7, 2021.

Proposals are welcome on any aspect of women’s cultural productions (broadly conceived) in the Americas before 1830.

By June 5, please send me your:

  • abstract (less than 200 words)
  • institutional affiliation
  • c.v. (2 pages or less)
  • an indication of whether AV is necessary to your presentation

Details on the conference are available at You do not need to be a current member of SEA to submit a proposal, but panelists will be required to join the society before the conference.

Please send submissions to Theresa Strouth Gaul (

New Book: The American Adrenaline Narrative

Author: Kristin J. Jacobson

The American Adrenaline Narrative

University of Georgia Press, 2020

The American Adrenaline Narrative considers the nature of perilous outdoor adventure tales, their gendered biases, and how they simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these themes, Kristin J. Jacobson defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range of American authors published after the first Earth Day in 1970, a time frame selected as a watershed moment for the contemporary American environmental movement. The forty-plus years since that day also mark the rise in the popularity and marketing of many things as “extreme,” including sports, jobs, travel, beverages, gum, makeovers, laundry detergent, and even the environmental movement itself.

Jacobson maps the American eco-imagination via adrenaline narratives, grounding them in the traditional literary practice of close reading analysis and in ecofeminism. She surveys a range of popular and lesser-known primary texts by American authors, including best-selling books, such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and lesser-known texts, such as Patricia C. McCairen’s Canyon Solitude, Eddy L. Harris’s Mississippi Solo, and Stacy Allison’s Beyond the Limits. She also discusses such narratives as they appear in print and online articles and magazines, feature-length and short films, television shows, amateur videos, social networking site posts, fiction, advertising, and blogs.

Jacobson contends that these stories constitute a distinctive genre because-unlike traditional nature, travel, and sports writing- adrenaline narratives sustain heightened risk or the element of the “extreme” within a natural setting. Additionally, these narratives provide important insight into the American environmental imagination’s connection to masculinity and adventure-knowledge that helps us grasp the current climate crisis and how narrative understanding provides a needed intervention.

This book is available for purchase from the University of Georgia Press website. The UGA Press is having a sale (50% off all titles, including The American Adrenaline Narrative) until June 30, 2020. Use code 08UGAP. They also offer free shipping on orders over $25 (

New Book: Love and Depth in the American Novel

Author: Ashley C. Barnes

Love and Depth in the American Novel from Stowe to James

University of Virginia Press, 2020

Love and Depth in the American Novel seeks to change how we think about the American love story and how we imagine the love of literature. By examining classics of nineteenth-century American literature, Ashley Barnes offers a new approach to literary theory that encompasses both New Historicism and the ethical turn in literary studies.

Couples like Huck and Jim and Ishmael and Queequeg have grounded the classic account of the American novel as exceptionally gothic and antisocial. Barnes argues instead for a model of shared intimacy that connects the evangelical sentimental best seller to the high art of psychological realism. In her reading of works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Stoddard, Henry James, and others in the context of nineteenth-century Protestant-Catholic debates about how to know and love God, what emerges is an alternate tradition of the American love story that pictures intimacy as communion rather than revelation. Barnes uses that unacknowledged love story to propose a model of literary critical intimacy that depends on reading fiction in its historical context.

Love and Depth in the American Novel offers a fresh, original analysis of the nineteenth-century American novel. Ashley Barnes’s book is a genuinely remarkable study: it is original, insightful, and important. Especially timely are Barnes’s contributions to current debates about differing modes of reading, as well as her consideration of the Protestant nature of scholarly praxis, a contribution that extends the recent study of secularity into the academy itself. The book’s arguments—both broadly defined and within individual chapters—are sophisticated and intricate.” — Claudia Stokes, Trinity University, author of The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion

“Beautifully written, authoritative, and engaging, this important book establishes an original frame for understanding nineteenth-century literature.” — Dawn Coleman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, author of Preaching and the Rise of the American Novel

This book is available for purchase from the University of Virginia Press in digital and print formats.

Call for Technical Editor – Scholarly Editing (Nominations Due: 5.29.2020)

Call for Technical Editor  

The Association for Documentary Editing is reviving the premier journal Scholarly Editing. The following is its new mission statement:
Scholarly Editing is an open-access journal committed to the development and advancement of all aspects of textual editing, including documentary editing. The content published in the journal includes essays, micro editions, reviews of print and digital editions, and teaching materials. The journal’seclectic, multidisciplinary approach makes it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the theory, practice, and pedagogy of scholarly editing, including educators, researchers, scholars, historians, archivists, editors, information professionals, and digital humanists.

We are carrying on the excellent work of Amanda Gailey and Andrew Jewell, who pioneered the online iteration of a print journal (Documentary Editing) that began as a newsletter in 1979. The most recent issue of the journal was published in 2017, and we will issue a new issue, Volume 39, in 2021.  We are issuing an open call for the position of technical editor for the journal. 

  • We will use server space from Reclaim Hosting, and Open Journal Systems (OJS) will be our main tool for submissions, workflow management, and publication of essays, pedagogical materials, and reviews of print and digital editions. 
  • We will also continue to publish micro editions, which may be in XML/TEI, Scalar, or other formats. We expect the primary work of the technical editor to involve writing XSLT for these micro editions as well as managing micro editions that have been prepared in Scalar or other platforms.
  • Skills and competencies: Familiarity with php based systems like OJS, as well as XPath, XML/TEI, and XSL. Ability to work in additional platforms, including Scalar and others as the need arises. Ability to collaborate with a wide variety of people, including micro edition editors, the journal’s editorial team, and the support personnel at Reclaim.

  Please send inquiries, nominations, applications to Co-Editors-in-Chief and by May 29, 2020.