Call For Papers

Click on the categories below for information on current call for papers information.

Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2021
“Faulkner, Welty, Wright: A Mississippi Confluence”

July 18-22, 2021
University of Mississippi
Announcement and Call For Papers

The forty-eighth annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference will interrupt its long history of focusing on a single author to take up a trio of Mississippi giants who have left an indelible mark on American literature and modern intellectual life: William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright. Together they have shaped, and moreover embodied, what we might call a “Mississippi modernism” that has yet to be fully reckoned with by literary scholars. And they have collectively bequeathed to us a bold imaginative encounter with history, society, power, and indeed the range of life in the state, region, nation, and beyond, over a timespan that reaches from settler colonialism and the Middle Passage to decolonization and the Civil Rights Movement. This legacy, still vital today, invites, and should richly reward, comparative study, so proposals that approach the authors’ work in dialogue and context will be particularly welcome. Topics might include but are not limited to:

–transnational currents in the authors’ lives and careers: itineraries, encounters, constellations
–authorship, publishing, and the literary marketplace: negotiation, frustration, censorship, remuneration, etc.
–histories and patterns of critical reception
–the writer as public intellectual, as celebrity, as political figure
–personal encounters, correspondence, or other exchanges between/among the three authors and/or their common contemporaries and shared cultural brokers

–convergent/divergent modernisms: aesthetics, themes, genres, commitments
–structures of feeling: textual or authorial affects, emotions, temperaments
–historical fiction, historical consciousness across/among the three writers
–non-fiction: memoir, poetry, screenwriting, reviewing
–nonliterary media in the creative life: painting, drawing, photography, film, music

–representations of poverty and/or/in the Great Depression
–literary and intellectual engagements with Cold War culture and politics
–civil and human rights in the writer’s life, work, and world
–intersections of racial, gender, class, and sexual identity; intersectional performances
–accounts/experiences of war or other forms of global conflict; the role of violence and death in the authorial imagination
–migration, mobility, rootedness in the lives and works of the three authors

–senses of place: shared visions or competing versions of the plantation, the farm, the school, the prison, the church, the neighborhood, etc.
–senses of (existing) place: shared visions or competing versions of Jackson, the Delta, the Natchez Trace, the Mississippi River, Memphis, etc.
–glimpses of alternate, emergent, or possible Mississippis
–Faulkner, Welty, Wright and/in the environmental humanities
–scaling up: literature at geological, global, planetary, or cosmic scales

The program committee, which will consist of Wright, Welty, and Faulkner scholars, especially encourages full panel proposals for 60-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by 400-500-word abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted 400-500-word abstracts for 15-20-minute panel papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible expansion and inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi.

Session proposals and panel paper abstracts must be submitted by January 31, 2021, preferably through e-mail attachment. All manuscripts, proposals, abstracts, and inquiries should be addressed to Jay Watson, Department of English, C-135 Bondurant Hall, University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848. E-mail: Decisions for all submissions will be made by March 15, 2021.

CFP: The 24th Annual Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference (SWSW)

The 24th Annual Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference (SWSW) is a graduate student event hosted by the University of Mississippi from 19-21 July 2018. We welcome abstracts for paper and panel proposals that explore Southern literature, writers, culture, and key figures. The conference seeks to foster a multi-disciplinary environment, featuring graduate students with an interest in the U.S South. Our plenary speaker for the conference this year will be David A. Davis, Associate Professor of English at Mercer University, and author of the recently published World War I and Southern Modernism (UPress of Mississippi, 2017). We also invite creative submissions, including poetry, short stories, or novel excerpts that deal with Southern themes or settings. Both critical and creative submissions are eligible for the Faulkner Paper Prize and the Colby H. Kullman Award. Please send a 200–300-word abstract of a critical work or an entire creative work to The conference reading limit for critical works is 15 minutes. Panel proposals that include three or four participants are also welcome. Please send your submissions as Word attachments and include your university affiliation and short bio. Deadline for submissions is Sunday, 15 April 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-May. For more information, please email Southern Writers/Southern Writing is run in conjunction with the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. More information about proceedings for the 2018 Faulkner Conference – Faulkner and Slavery – is available at the following link:

37th Annual West Indian Literature Conference Hosted by: Hemispheric Caribbean Studies (HCS)

University of Miami Newman Alumni Center October 3-6, 2018 Global Caribbean Studies: “Scapes” This year’s conference recognizes the vast routes/roots that link the Caribbean to the hemisphere and the globe. As many writers and literary scholars have noted, the immense bodies of water that appear to isolate belie the currents that intimately connect, and at times, destroy shelter, lands, and peoples. Deploying Arjun Appadurai’s concept of “scapes” that work to enable the exchange of ideas and information, we hope to engage a breadth of issues relevant to Caribbeanists in the region and its diasporas. Throughout the conference our aim will be to explore the intersections between disciplinary approaches to problems that are borne out of the shifting tides of globalization and cultural expression. Undoubtedly researchers in literary studies, anthropology, history, philosophy, medicine, sociology and environmental studies, are all concerned with issues of global migration, environmental sustainability, human rights, state power, education and other global issues that have particularly devastating impacts in the circum-Caribbean region. Our conference will examine some of the innovative approaches to addressing these issues across national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries, and particularly encourage inter, multi, and transdisciplinary conversations and panels.

  • Waterscapes
  • Tidealectics/Archipelagos/ Repeating Islands
  • Interdictions/Bodies at Sea
  • Resident Time Lapse/Laps
  • Landscapes
  • Coastal and Cultural Erosion, Resilience & Sustainability
  • Creole Identities in Hemispheric Port Cities
  • “Wet Foot/Dry Foot” and the Refugee Crisis
  • Sand/Swamps/Mangroves
  • Citiscapes
  • The Carceral Continuum
  • Crimmigration
  • Racializing Space
  • Soundscapes
  • Religiosities/Amplifying Islam in the Caribbean Region
  • Boom Sounds/Songs in Babylon
  • Sonic Disturbances in Social Justice Movements
  • Tidal Waves/Sound Waves/Immigration Waves
  • Mediascapes
  • Documenting in the Digital Diaspora
  • Embodied Imbalances in Social Media Movements
  • Rooting/Routing Identities in the Page
  • The Fantastic/Magical Realism/Le Réalisme Merveilleux
  • Ethnoscapes
  • Decoloniality/Racialization/Pluriversality
  • Queerscapes/Erotoscapes
  • Generational Roots and International Routes
  • Resettling Routes/Roots after Disaster
  • Ideoscapes
  • Sovereignties/Non-Sovereignties
  • Caribbean Queer Here and There
  • Opacity/Maroonage/Assemblages
  • Archives of Memory and Mourning
  • “Wake Work”
  • Weaponizing Race and Sexuality
  • Anthropocene, Chthulucene and Plantationocene

Please send abstracts by May 1st 2018 to Conference Website will be up on April 15, 2018. In the meantime, for more information go to: (Available after April 15, 2018)

Southeastern American Studies Association (SASA)

March 14-16, 2019 Emory Conference Center and Hotel Atlanta, Georgia Submission Deadline: August 1, 2018 Looking Back, Talking Back, Moving Forward Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo Movement, the Women’s March, DREAMERs, the March for Our Lives. In recent years, we have witnessed—whether on the ground or via social media—a diversity of individuals and groups speaking up and talking back publicly in response to systemic intimidation and violence that has marginalized certain populations within and beyond the United States. Some say that we are at a watershed moment in U.S. history, but are we? Who and what have come before, and in what ways did they succeed and/or fail? How do the writers, speakers, and activists of today build upon the work of writers, speakers, and activists of yesteryear? And—in what ways—do new technologies impact social movements and the backlashes against Them? For the 2019 SASA conference, we invite interdisciplinary papers and roundtables that explore moments (whether literary, historical, and/ or cultural) of “talking back” within national and transnational contexts. Where does public intellectualism/public scholarship fit into the research and teaching agendas of American Studies scholars? Where, when, and how do we speak up and talk back? With its 2018 theme, “States of Emergence,” the American Studies Association “emphasizes that our sense of crisis must be thought alongside our constant commitment to challenging the calamities that beset us and to producing alternative—indeed better—worlds.” In that spirit we welcome papers and sessions that explore how your scholarship, teaching, and/or service contributes to producing such worlds within and beyond your particular academic setting. Possible foci for papers, panels, or roundtable sessions:

  • Civility, civil discourse, civil disobedience, civil rights
  • Social media and social movements
  • Hashtag activism
  • Student activism
  • Talking back, disruptive staring, and other performances of creative resistance
  • Immigration, migration, gentrification, urbanization
  • Inequality as a given
  • Making sense of the 2018 midterms
  • Public scholarship, public intellectualism
  • Museums, archives, and collective memory in the age of fake news
  • Creativity and the effectiveness of criticism
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching about dissent, protest, movement-making
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching American Studies in 2019

Guidelines for submissions: Please use the online form available here to submit your proposals by August 1, 2018 .

  • For individual papers , you will be prompted to submit the following: 1) an abstract for your proposed paper (500 words) and 2) a brief bio 300 words).
  • For complete panel or roundtable proposals , you will be prompted to submit the following: 1) a title and description of the proposed panel or roundtable (300 words); 2) a brief abstract for each presentation within the session (300 words per abstract); and 3) a brief bio for each presenter (250 words per bio).

The full link to the submission form is the interest of involving as many people in our conference as possible, each conference attendee may be listed in the conference program as a participant in a maximum of two sessions. While we welcome a range of formats, we ask that panels be designed so that they fit within a 75-minute time frame with at least 15 minutes dedicated to discussion. As always , we especially encourage graduate students to attend our conference, to present research, and to enjoy being part of our scholarly community. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at sasaconference2019@gmail.

Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha 2019

“Faulkner’s Families” July 21-25, 2019 Announcement and Call For Papers It seems almost outrageous to suggest that one of the twentieth-century’s most important literary cartographers of the private recesses of consciousness is also among its great novelists of family, but William Faulkner fits the bill on both counts.  Family played an outsized role in both his life and his writings, often in deeply problematic ways.  A key organizational and scalar unit of his creative work, family surfaces across his oeuvre in a dazzling range of distorted, distended, defamiliarized, demystified, and transgressive forms, while on other occasions it is a crucible for crushing forces of conformity, convention, tradition.  The forty-sixth annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference will examine Faulkner’s many families—actual and imagined—as especially revealing windows onto his work and his world.  Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:

  • original biographical scholarship on the Faulkner, Falkner, Butler, Oldham, Stone, Thompson, Summers, or other families that figure significantly in William Faulkner’s life and work
  • the family as a crucible for heteronormative power relations and identity formations; or as a site for resistant performances of gender and sexuality
  • queer(ed) family arrangements, kinship networks, lines of affiliation or intersectionality, alternate “bloodlines”
  • new insights into or models for Faulkner’s genealogical imagination
  • the visual or material culture of family in Faulkner
  • the poetics and politics of family space(s); family and/in its built environments
  • the sociology of family structures and relations as they vary by race, class, nationality, religion, etc.
  • new approaches to the interracial or multiracial family in Faulkner’s writings and life
  • the family under slavery, postslavery, colonialism, or empire in Faulkner’s work
  • anthropological approaches to family:  kinship patterns, folkways, foodways, deathways, other  domestic customs, rituals, prohibitions
  • family-systems or other psychologically informed approaches to family difficulties or difficult families in Faulkner; intergenerational transmission of trauma, affect, memory
  • experiences or representations of illness, aging, disability within the family ecology
  • representations of childhood in Faulkner’s writings or the social construction of childhood in his life and world:  childhood as psychologically formative; as sexualized; childhood phenomenology, emotion, language use; orphaned children
  • family and the workings of affect:  its genesis, circulation, transmission, intensity, management
  • the family as an economic formation:  unit of production, division of labor, site of  consumption; family and/in/as the transmission of property
  • the family and the state; family as site and vehicle of modern biopower; the politicization of reproduction by eugenics, blood quanta, and other social discourses
  • other examples of the impact of modernization on family arrangements, identities, affairs
  • war and the family
  • approaches to Faulkner through family law
  • interspecies families; posthuman kinship and affiliation
  • comparative readings of family in Faulkner and other writers, artists, or intellectuals; Faulkner in the literary history of family

The program committee especially encourages full panel proposals for 75-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by 400-500-word abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted 400-500-word abstracts for 15-20-minute panel papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible expansion and inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi. Session proposals and panel paper abstracts must be submitted by January 31, 2019, preferably through e-mail attachment. All manuscripts, proposals, abstracts, and inquiries should be addressed to Jay Watson, Department of English, University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848. E-mail: Decisions for all submissions will be made by March 15, 2019.

CFPs for MLA 2019 SSSL-Sponsored Panels

Weathering the South

Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, and freezes—southern literature has long depicted the challenges of humans enduring drastic conditions inflicted on them by erratic weather. The relationship between nonhuman environment and culture is a central concern of ecocriticism, and the weather can be a particularly dramatic natural phenomenon. The last two decades have provided some of the most memorable weather-related storms and events across the South including Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Maria. Such mega-storms coupled with increasing coastal flooding are indicators of global climate change, demonstrating that weather has no regional or national boundaries; thus, the South is not exceptional in its experiences of weather-related catastrophes. We are seeking papers that investigate representations of weather in southern texts, broadly defined. Issues to consider include the ways in which weather is used as a traditional literary device such as a plot point or theme; how the use of film or electronic media changes the approach to narratives about weather; the ways in which climate change is depicted by authors of southern narratives; and the possibilities for ecocriticism to effect change in southern communities struggling with weather-related catastrophes. The relationship between ecocritical work within and outside of the classroom and its impact on southern communities intersects with the 2019 MLA presidential theme, Textual Transactions, or “mutually constitutive engagements of human beings, texts, and their contexts.” Abstracts which address relationships with constituencies outside the academy will be given special attention. Please send a 250-word abstract and a copy of your CV to Kirstin Squint at by 16 March 2018.

The Great Migration and Its Afterlives

This panel invites papers that revise, reconsider, or update the routes, geographies, and temporalities of the Great Migration and its afterlives. In her path breaking study, “Who Set You Flowin’?”: The African-American Migration Narrative, Farah Jasmine Griffin maps the aesthetic, socioeconomic, and geopolitical contours of the Great Migration in 20th century African American literature, music, and visual culture. Moving seamlessly across aesthetic modalities, Griffin theorizes the multiple shifting and conflicting meanings of the South as it traveled in the bodies and cultural practices of black migrants seeking to refashion themselves as New Negroes in the urban North, Midwest, and West. More recently, scholars have expanded the geographic boundaries of the New Negro movement to interrogate black southern migrants’ unique experiences in Chicago (e.g., Davarian Baldwin’s Chicago’s New Negroes), the American West, as well as their global movements throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the circum-Caribbean, and the broader global south. Even more recently, scholars such as Zandria Robinson and Regina Bradley have theorized the “Post-Soul South” and the “Hip-Hop South” as temporal markers for interrogating the contemporary Black South in the wake of the Great Migration and the Civil Rights Movement. Taking our cue from these rich spatio-temporal reimaginings, we welcome papers that follow black southern migrants along new or lesser known migration routes and geographies, or that take up the afterlife of the Great Migration within the contemporary Black South. What was the impact of the Great Migration on those who remained in the South, either by choice, force, or obligation? What were the experiences of those who migrated and returned, or those who migrated between regions regularly? Indeed, the Great Migration was not a unidirectional, permanent flow of people and cultural practices from the South to an elsewhere, but rather an ongoing circuit of exchange. In what ways, then, has black intellectual and cultural production from “the city” (or the myriad destinations black southerners settled)—such as the Black Arts Movement and hip-hop—impacted the cultural and political landscapes of the South? In light of the reverse or “return” migration to the South that began in the 1990s, does the recent popularity of depictions of the contemporary Black South in literary works by Jesmyn Ward and Kiese Laymon, and acclaimed television shows such as Queen Sugar and Atlanta, reflect a figurative reverse or “return” migration in African American literature and popular culture as well? Please submit a 250-word abstract and CV to by 3/16/2018.

Publication Opportunities

Special issue of The Global South: “The Global South and/in the Plantationocene”

Deadline for abstracts:  July 1, 2020

According to the United Nations’ environmental risk index, a by-country report on the effects of global climate change, the inhabitants, locales, and economies of global south nations will be disproportionally affected as global warming intensifies. Many of these nations are projected to be hit by a triple whammy: rising populations, combined with already-vulnerable economies and spikes in severe weather events will result in massive disruptions to livelihoods and cultural practices, as well as mass migrations as environmental refugees flee to more habitable areas. The plantationocene, defined by Donna Haraway as a way of drawing attention to the planetary effects of extractive practices, monoculture development, and coercive labor structures that have undergirded modernity and climate change since at least the 1600s, can provide a useful rubric for thinking through human-agented ecological change, especially as these changes unevenly affect different populations and regions. Furthermore, the plantationocene calls attention to the indelible ecological and economic legacies of imperialism including patriarchal and race-based hierarchies, and inequities among diverse peoples based on race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.  This special issue of The Global South examines the productive tensions created by the operative phrase “and/in” when thinking, writing, and living through climate change from the perspective of the global south and/in the plantationocene.

Possible topics include:
•    Theoretical and hermeneutical discussions of the plantation and/or the plantationocene;
•    Examinations of the effects and the rise of natural disasters in the global south through the lens of the plantationocene;
•    Feminist-, queer-, decolonial-, and critical race studies-based resistances to the legacies, structures, hierarchies, and effects of the plantationocene;
•    Afro-, Arab, Asian, and Latinx futurisms in film, literature, and visual art which intersect with or document the (potential) effects of the plantationocene;
•    Analyses of the plantationocene, its legacies, its imaginaries, and its contemporary neo-isms (such as border factories, globalized trade, non-government organization assistance programs, privatized detention and incarceration, and plantation tourism) as these relate to the global south;
•    Empire-, refugee-, and military-studies discussions of plantationocene construction or deconstruction/resistance;
•    The global south plantationocene and/in the global north;
•    Interdisciplinary and comparative analyses of the plantationocene;
•    Architectural legacies of monoculture crops and their profits;
•    Ecological, animal studies, disability, medical studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies approaches to this topic; and
•    Investigations of the erasures of indigenous peoples through the plantationocene.

This issue is slated for publication in Spring 2023, so contributors will have a calendar year to draft their complete 7,000-10,000-word essays. Please send abstracts of up to 500 words (in MLA style) and a 100-word biographical statement to guest editors Isadora Wagner and Natalie Aikens, at and, by July 1, 2020.

CFP: Quaring Childhood

south: a scholarly journal invites submissions for “Quaring Childhood,” a special issue guest edited by Katherine Henninger, to be published in Spring 2019. This issue brings several fields that have developed substantially in the past two decades—childhood studies, critical race studies, queer theory, and new southern studies—into dialogue.

Responding to what he sees as a willful blindness toward race, class, and ethnicity in queer theory, E. Patrick Johnson borrowed from the southern vernacular to advocate for “quare studies,” which accounts for tangible, material bodies as they are situated in local (racialized, religious, regional) epistemologies and practices of everyday life. Following Johnson, Michael Bibler suggests that any discursive analysis of southern queerness must go beyond gender and sexuality to include “a [quare] recognition of how race, ethnicity, class, and locality shape the materiality of relations and identities” between region and nation, within the South, and for readers (Keywords for Southern Studies 211).

“Quaring Childhood” will, broadly speaking, place the precepts of quare in conversation with theories and representations of southern childhood as a way to explore the multivalent association of the South with queerness; the materialities of that association as embodied in representations of raced and sexed child experience; the multiple forms in which such experiences are represented in southern literary, visual, or aural culture; and the implications for queer theory, childhood studies, and/or southern studies.

Scholarly, creative, and inventive essays are welcome. Essays that work within and transgress disciplinary, historical, or geographical boundaries are welcome. We encourage work that engages entanglement, immigration, and diaspora. We also welcome abstracts that do not necessarily engage Johnson but traffic in themes of quare childhood more broadly, perhaps engaging with (but not limited to) issues of national or regional formation; narratology or form (music, photography, graphic, digital, literary); temporality (history, apocalypse, Afrofuturism); or genre (science fiction, southern gothic, neo/slave narratives, advice manuals, graphic novels, humor, children’s or young adult literature).

Please submit completed essays (7,500 words maximum including notes and works cited) by November 1st, 2018 to our online submissions manager. For our editorial preferences, see our submission guidelines on our website. 

CFP: New Media and the U.S. South [Edited Collection] Proposals Due May 1, 2018

Editors: Gina Caison (Georgia State University), Lisa Hinrichsen (University of Arkansas), Stephanie Rountree (Auburn University) We are seeking inventive work from scholars in a variety of fields for an edited collection that will examine the role of new media in relationship to the U.S. South. Technologies of virtuality and transformations in digital media and the geoweb are augmenting traditional concepts of space and place, offering new knowledge politics that carry a cluster of implications for commerce, governance, civic participation, and activism. Beyond its global reach through popular web-based and mobile applications, new media reshape the ways we view and interact within the local, from altering the way we navigate city streets to innovating modes of human intimacy; they challenge and change the ways in which we build and express attachments to place(s), form spatial imaginaries, and interact with landscapes. In examining how changes in information and media landscapes modify concepts of “region,” this collection will both articulate the virtual realities of the 21st-century U.S. South and also historicize the impact of “new” media on a region that has always been mediated. Recognizing that many forms of “old” media were once “new,” this collection seeks to engage with epistemologies of “newness” that act upon ideas of both “media” and the “South.” To that end, this collection poses several questions for investigation. How have new media technologies challenged the material and linguistic nexuses of southern communities? Might digital technologies aid in, to use Brittany Cooper and Margaret Rhee’s phrase, “hacking the b/w binary” that has permeated narratives of the U.S. South? Or do technologies of geomonitoring and surveillance trap humans in forms of what Jerome E. Dobson and Peter F. Fisher have called “geoslavery”? How are our knowledge and memory of southern space and place being reshaped by new media in the present, and what are the historical antecedents to this phenomenon? What new types of collective memories, politics, and publics are being created through new configurative practices inherent to digital media? We welcome papers from a variety of scholarly perspectives and methodological approaches.

  • Suggested topics include: The impact of mobile technologies on privacy and surveillance in southern spaces Identity issues in social networks including but not limited to gender, sexuality, race, and disability
  • Place-based new media practices
  • New media and the fostering and/or threatening of cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Digital neocolonialism
  • Digital decolonization efforts and activism
  • U.S. South/souths and the digital public sphere
  • Virtual/viral/hypertextual souths
  • Region and the digital divide
  • The U.S. South and big data
  • The mobilizing potential of new media
  • Digital news and disinformation
  • Networked cultural production in the digital age, including media convergence
  • New media and the construction of cultural identity
  • Specific studies of the U.S. South/souths on or across specific platforms (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Wikipedia etc.)
  • Affective experiences with the new media
  • Phenomenological and epistemological implications of new media
  • Podcasting the U.S. South/souths
  • Digital temporalities
  • Locational data mining and new forms of “geoslavery”
  • Neogeographic mapping practices
  • Spatial archives, digital preservation, cultural heritage practices
  • Transmedia narratives
  • The aesthetics and politics of new media
  • New pedagogies for the new media landscape

Chapter proposals of 500 words, along with a 200-word bio should be sent to by May 1, 2018. We expect to notify authors by the end of May, and to require chapters to be completed by the October 1, 2018.

Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas

American Quarterly Wednesday, August 1, 2018 A special issue of American Quarterly (September 2019) Edited by Greta LaFleur (Yale University) and Kyla Schuller (Rutgers University–New Brunswick) Biopolitics as an analytic has borne an increasingly influential role in a number of fields and areas of inquiry central to American studies. Contemporary scholarship in Black, critical ethnic, and gender and sexuality studies—to name only a few—has taken biopower as a point of departure to illuminate how hierarchies of differential value and disposability have shaped life in the Americas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. However, Foucault’s and Agamben’s theoretical framework out of which so many studies of biopower have grown has been famously inattentive to slavery, colonialism, empire, and settler expansionism. Many of the key concepts and questions of biopolitical inquiry (security, population, state racism, the management of life and death, necropolitics, political and reproductive economy, etc.) were developed out of and implemented within slavery and other colonial economies, as scholars such as Mbembe have illuminated. Key gaps thus persist in our knowledge: How did biopolitics unfurl its deadly calculations of the relative value of life in the context of the early American colonies and later the United States? What can biopolitical frames offer early American studies and vice versa? Our purpose is both to critically engage the history of the biopolitical in the period before 1900 and to reframe early American studies in relation to biopolitics. This special issue underscores the increasing relevance of biopolitics to current scholarly debates within early American studies and offers crucial correctives to dominant analyses of biopower. It aims to add new insight to ongoing conversations in early American studies, including questions about the shifting strategies of colonial and state-based governance at the level of the parish, the city, the frontier, and the nation; the changing relationship between waged and unfree labor, especially in the context of racial capitalism and the assumed disposability of Black, Asian, and indigenous life; the increasing centrality of the human sciences to understandings of difference and emergent nationalisms; the understanding of the Human and the commons that underpins liberal democracy; and the changing relationships of religion, secularism, and postsecularism to settler colonialism, empire, and territory control. Conversely, exploring the role of religion, in particular—the governing structure of imperial projects—helps displace the state as the privileged actor of biopower. Highlighting the range of tactics deployed by expansionist empires in the Americas opens new vantages onto the integral relationship between settler colonialism and biopolitical control. Furthermore, analyzing how sex difference, gender, and sexuality emerged in relation to racial formations provides urgently needed intersectional responses to Foucault’s theory of state racism. Proposed essays may consider, among other topics:

  • Comparative slavery studies
  • Race science, public health, medicine, and other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century technologies to produce and manage bodily difference
  • Resistance of individuals and populations marked disposable
  • Networks of economic, medical, scientific, religious contact throughout North America,
  • the Caribbean, and Central and South America
  • Management of reproduction and fertility among free and unfree populations
  • War, geopolitics, and militarization of daily life
  • Competing colonial and imperial forms of increasingly racialized, and immigrant, labor
  • Shifts in governance from colonial to liberal democratic settler state models
  • Reform movements including abolitionism, feminism, and temperance
  • Intersections between the logics of racial difference and other civilizationist hierarchies
  • Underexamined theorists of biopower (Spillers, Hartman, Roediger, Stoler, Patterson, Lowe, etc.)
  • Capitalism, industrialization, and the management of multispecies populations and ecologies
  • Intertwined technologies of individual discipline and population regulation, such as the prison, school, slave ship, domestic home, or plantation
  • Sustainability, conservation, and the uneven origins of anthropogenic change
  • The violences of settler colonialism and indigenous removal campaigns
  • Biopower and its relation to aesthetic and cultural modes, genres, and forms

Essays of up to 10,000 words are due August 1, 2018. Authors must address the guest editors and clearly indicate in a cover letter that the submission is intended for the 2019 special issue. Information about American Quarterly and submission guidelines can be found on the website.

Pirates and the American South

Deadline:  August 15, 2018 Kristopher Mecholsky (Louisiana State University) Contact email: Given their contribution to the historical development of the coastal south and the Americas in general, pirates are relatively absent in the present southern literary canon and its criticisms. As the Companion to Southern Literature mentions with some surprise, “southern writers…seem not to have cared much about pirates…[particularly] given the fact that some of the most notorious pirates worked the coastal regions of the Southeast.” And yet, nineteenth-century fiction about the American South was flooded with pirates. This CFP seeks essays for a planned edited collection that will augment papers delivered at a panel on pirates in southern fiction at the 2018 Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Proposed essays should address gaps in criticism about piracy in southern fiction (both broadly understood) from all periods. Proposals about historical approaches to piracy and the American South are also encouraged. From the cultural echoes of Sir Walter Scott’s The Pirate to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Gold-Bug” and Joseph Holt Ingraham’s Lafitte: The Pirate of the Gulf and more—and encompassing the cultural role of pirate fiction in triangulating gender, colonial, racial, economic, and nationalistic attitudes with respect to Mexico, the Caribbean, and the entire coastal American South—the proposed collection will form the first substantial critical exploration of pirates in southern literature. Possible topics include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:

  • Jean Lafitte in literature and film
  • Mark Twain and piracy
  • the relationship between Bahamanians and Floridians (esp. the Conchs), particularly in fiction
  • the relationship between the Scottish & British literary world and the American South
  • authors from outside the traditional South who wrote about pirates in it
  • pirates in twentieth-century fiction and film about the South
  • the role of pirate myth in the coastal Carolinas, Georgia, and the Gulf coast states
  • the economics of piracy in the development of colonial America
  • how pirate fiction represents, navigates, and negotiates the intersectional complexities of slavery
  • the role of piracy in the relationship between the Caribbean and the American South
  • 19th-c. dime novels about pirates in and around the South
  • piracy during the Civil War (e.g., the Confederate privateer ships Jefferson Davis, Savannah, and Petrel)
  • Rev. Joseph Holt Ingraham’s fiction and the South
  • buried treasure motifs in ficiton of the American South
  • piracy in stage dramas
  • gender and piracy
  • race and piracy
  • sexuality and piracy

Please send abstract proposals (up to 500 words) to Kristopher Mecholsky at by August 15, 2018. Formal proposals to publishers will then go out; accepted proposals will be expected to submit a finished essay (~6,000 to 8,000 words) by April 15, 2019. Feel free to send queries with any questions regarding proposals (including feedback on ideas) at any time.

Speculative Souths

Ed. Amy Clukey, Erich Nunn, & Jon Smith Edited Collection CFP In the early years of science fiction, space frequently figured as the American West writ large—the final frontier. In the genre’s darker, grittier reboot era, however, it often looks more like the final plantation, from Blade Runner’s updated slavecatchers to the transnationally and transtemporally exploited Appalachians of William Gibson’s The Peripheral to Atlanta architect John Portman’s abstracted plantation-house columns looming over the Hunger Games films.  And even as some white writers, in the twilight of American empire, set their dystopian survivalist fantasies in the region (The Road, The Walking Dead), self-consciously “southern” varieties of Afrofuturism and speculative blackness, ranging from OutKast to novels such as Kiese Laymon’s Long Division and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, represent it as a site of vibrant black futurity contesting and sometimes transcending both the nation’s plantation past and its carceral present. Meanwhile, cli-fi and ecofiction set in the South, from Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior to Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, is on the rise as the region’s coasts begin to sink. This collection seeks to make sense of these and other “southern turns” in speculative fiction, broadly defined across multiple media and subgenres, and of earlier southern turns that, because they didn’t fit with dominant models, earlier scholarship may have missed or misread. What happens when speculative fiction goes from western to southern, for example, and/or when our understanding of “the South” shifts its gaze from past to future? How does the speculative allow writers to conceive of the South in ways that transcend the black/white binary that has long shaped how the region is imagined? Send abstracts by January 1st, 2019 to Final papers of 4000-5000 words will be due by January 1st, 2020. Possible topics might include:

  • Southern Afrofuturisms in literature and music from Sun Ra to Outkast and beyond
  • Speculative Souths in comic and graphic narratives: Swamp Thing, Black Panther, Bitch Planet, Kindred
  • Nineteenth-century literature and speculative Souths: Edgar Allan Poe and lesser known southern innovators/imitators of the genre
  • Southern iconographies that serve as sci-fi prop, backdrop, mood enhancers: architect John Portman
  • Southern retro-futurism, futurity, and future’s futures
  • Transnational, transtemporal, weird, queer, fantastic, or dystopian speculative Appalachias: The Hunger Games, The Peripheral
  • The South and the (Old and/or New) Weird (e.g., Southern Reach)
  • The presence or weird absence of “the South” in theorizations of science fiction, such as the work of Darko Suvin or North Carolinian Fredric Jameson
  • Octavia Butler and the South, beyond Kindred
  • Speculative fictions (e.g., Laymon’s Long Division) as counter-politics
  • Alt-histories: Henry Turtledove’s white nationalist rehashes of the Civil War, more recent treatments like Omar El Akkad’s American War
  • Cli-fi of or in the South
  • Speculative poetry of or in the South
  • Voodoo/hoodoo fantasy
  • Time-traveling revisions of southern temporalities from Kiese Laymon’s Long Division to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series
  • Native southern speculative reclamations of space and time
  • Even more Undead Souths
  • Speculative southern modernisms
  • NASA’s ties to Southern cultures or locales (Huntsville, Houston, Cape Canaveral)
  • Southerners in space (e.g., Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars)
  • The construct of U.S./Global/Planetary “Souths” on Mars, Venus, and beyond (such as the appearance of the Jim Crow South in golden age SF like Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein’s work, or the icy southern polar settlements of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, the agricultural terrains of The Expanse)
  • Treatments of plantation agriculture, slavery, and incarceration in space
  • Speculative southern camp in 60s and 70s sci-fi television

LSU Libraries Special Collections Research Grants

The LSU Libraries is offering research travel grants of $1000 each to support the work of researchers who use the rich holdings of the LSU Special Collections Library. The purpose of the grant is to support a researcher’s travel and lodging costs associated with a research trip to Baton Rouge, LA. Graduate level, post-doctoral, faculty and independent researchers who live outside the Baton Rouge area are encouraged to pursue this opportunity. For application information visit: The application deadline is April 30, 2018 and the expected research completion date is June 1, 2019. About LSU Libraries Special Collections The LSU Libraries Special Collections is celebrated for its extensive holdings on the history of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley, documented through manuscripts, books, newspapers, maps, and ephemera. The American Civil War also has been one of the library’s traditional strengths, including collections specializing in Lincoln studies, Civil War fiction, and young people’s literature. A natural history collection rich in botanical and ornithological illustration, a rare book collection strong in the history of books and printing, and various personal libraries on subjects ranging from Sherlock Holmes to classic comic books all make the LSU Libraries Special Collections a destination for scholars researching broad subjects in American and European history and life. For more information visit: