Calls for Papers

Southern Literary Studies and Activism: A Roundtable

We are seeking abstracts for 10-minute contributions to a roundtable sponsored by the Southern United States Forum at MLA 2018.

This roundtable seeks to address the role of activism in the study of southern literature and in the southern literary studies classroom. Given the numerous recent protests across the region and across academia, we look for scholars to discuss how their research and pedagogy engages social issues that affect and/or are inflected by the South. These projects may reveal the relationships between the region and the nation as well as the differences and similarities that emerge when different regions of the country engage with southern literary studies. Participants may address topics including but not limited to: the role of literature in activist movements; service-learning projects with an activist focus; the attacks on research and pedagogy that engage social issues; the circulation of southern strategies and activists responses outside of the region; or specific scholarly and/or pedagogical work that employs activist praxis. What are the challenges and benefits to this work? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How does a focus on region and locale enrich and or complicate the research and/or pedagogy of activism? What are the best practices for pursuing activism via the academy? Please send a 250-word abstract and a copy of your CV by March 15 to Gina Caison at

Mississippi Goddam Everywhere: The Ends of Southern and American Exceptionalisms

We are seeking abstracts for 20-minute papers for a panel of the Southern United States Forum at MLA 2018.

The myth that the United States (and the “American” colonies before that) is the greatest and freest nation in the world has always been deeply intertwined with the myth of a problematic, antidemocratic, backwards South. On the flip side, many southerners have long embraced the notion that the region is culturally and politically different from the rest of the nation in terms of food, music, religion, family life, literature, and more. Nina Simone invoked and challenged these interlocked exceptionalisms in her 1964 song “Mississippi Goddam,” but this panel asks for renewed exploration of these myths from our current historical moment. Are we once again at a point where we must acknowledge “Mississippi Goddam Everywhere”? Does the nation look more “southern” after the 2016 election, signaling an end to notions of regional differences? Is the myth of American Exceptionalism weakening or changing as the nation’s global power shifts? How do those changes affect the myth of Southern Exceptionalism? Are social and political differences in the U.S. better understood in terms of a rural/urban divide instead of regions? Is “southern literature” more distinctive than other aspects of “American” literature? Does the “global turn” in American and Southern Studies reveal new ways to think about exceptionalism? Does a reconsideration of American and Southern Exceptionalisms open new ways to think about race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity? Do explorations of earlier periods reveal new ways to understand these exceptionalisms? Do current events reveal new ways to understand earlier periods? Please send a 250 word abstract and a brief copy of your CV by March 15 to Michael Bibler at

“William Faulkner’s New York”
William Faulkner Society
2018 Modern Language Association Convention
New York, NY, January 4-7, 2018

The William Faulkner Society will take advantage of the convention location to hold a guaranteed session on the significance of New York City in William Faulkner’s life and work. Faulkner’s self-fashioning as a country mouse from the Mississippi hills belied his periodic turns as a city slicker in New York and other cosmopolitan locales. Faulkner maintained close ties to editors and friends in the city and had a variety of encounters with the literati and other bohemian circles. New York also makes appearances in Faulkner’s fiction—in some instances as an actual setting or destination, in others as a remote but powerful source of cultural and economic influence. From Jason Compson’s stock market debacle in The Sound and the Fury to Linda Snopes Kohl’s radical time as a New Yorker in The Mansion, the presence of the city is felt in Faulkner’s fictional domain. For all of these reasons and more, William Faulkner’s New York is a destination well worth revisiting and exploring. Send a 300-word abstract and brief bio by March 12, 2017, to Ted Atkinson (

SSSL at MLA 2018

“Southern States of Insecurity: The South during Crises”

The U.S. South is often the site and focal point for many of the definitive crises that have characterized American history and culture. Whether it is a widespread national crisis like the Civil War, or a more localized natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, the South’s history and culture has been consistently marked by moments of upheaval and intensified chaos. Just as consistently, works of literature take up these crisis moments as topics in order to depict both the immediate and reverberating effects of crisis and disaster.

This proposed panel takes up the question: how does literature respond to and represent these moments? In what ways can literature and artistic representation be seen as a coping mechanism? What do people read and turn to during crises? Taking a broad approach to an understanding of “crisis,” papers could discuss a wide range of topics, including political crises; the Civil War and the major wars in American history; financial crises such as the Bank Panic of 1837, the Great Depression, or the 2008 financial crisis; general economic decline in the U.S. South in recent years, especially in rural areas; natural disasters like the flood of 1927 or Hurricane Katrina; more un-natural disasters such as the effects of climate change or the recent Gatlinburg fires in East Tennessee; or even major health crises such as the cholera and yellow fever outbreaks during the 19th century, or the rise of opioid addiction in southern areas.

By March 15, 2017 please submit 250-word abstracts along with A/V requirements and a short, 100-word bio to Katie Burnett, Fisk University ( and Monica Miller, Georgia Tech ( All panel participants must be MLA members before April 1, 2017.

SSSL at MLA 2018

“The Tacky South”

As a way to comment on a person’s style, the word “tacky” has distinctly southern origins. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it first emerged around 1800 as a noun to describe “a poor white of the Southern States from Virginia to Georgia.” Although the OED does not draw connections between this origin and the origins of the adjective describing something “dowdy, shabby; in poor taste, cheap, vulgar,” these definitions suggest a clear link between national stereotypes of region, race, and class and urbane (and northern urban?) notions of taste, class, and sensibility.

This roundtable uses these observations regarding the term’s origin to ask new questions about how southern culture and identity have been and continue to be associated with “tackiness.” For instance, in what ways are questions of taste and class still bound up with regional identification? Or, how do “lowbrow,” popular representations transmit and recreate images of the South and southern history? Ranging from the rise in popularity of southern-themed reality shows and tourist attractions, to mainstream media’s attempts to address topics such as slavery and civil rights, often the specters of class, race, and region still linger in contemporary notions of what registers as tacky, particularly in the way it refers to things that are cheap, vulgar, common, and unsophisticated. To include a broad range of perspectives, we plan a roundtable with 4-5 scholars offering 7-10 minute presentations.

By March 15, 2017 please submit 250-word abstracts along with A/V requirements and a short, 100-word bio to Katie Burnett, Fisk University ( and Monica Miller, Georgia Tech ( All panel participants must be MLA members before April 1, 2017.

William Faulkner Society Sessions

2017 American Literature Association Conference

Boston, MA, May 25-28

Deadline for proposals: January 9, 2017

Reading Faulkner in the Age of Trump(ism)

The past year and a half has seen the rise of the anti-Progressive, anti-establishment, and pro-authoritarian movement embodied in the person of Donald J. Trump. Many have speculated that even if Trump had not won the presidential election, the movement known as “Trumpism” would continue to thrive, but with his election this movement is now fixed in history as deeply connected with its champion. Although the duration and full impact of this movement remain to be seen, it seems appropriate and important to begin discussing the questions the age of Trump brings and what exactly is the relation of literature and literary criticism to it. This panel invites papers that consider the role of Faulkner scholarship in the age of Trump(ism). Does Faulkner’s writing shed light on the dynamics of the current political and cultural moment? How does this moment reorient or reintroduce critical lines of inquiry? Are the responsibilities, techniques, and/or positions of Faulkner scholars altered? Please send 250-word abstracts for papers that address these and other questions to Ted Atkinson (

Faulkner and the Position of the Public Intellectual

The trajectory of William Faulkner’s career involved a post-Nobel rise in reputation that secured his status as a public intellectual. Faulkner’s statements on racial injustice, civil rights, totalitarianism, and the threat of nuclear war, among other issues, evinced a willingness to spend some of the cultural capital he had earned from literary achievements on meaningful engagement with the pressing issues of the day and the broader concerns of human inquiry. What might we gain from revisiting or revising what it means to think of Faulkner as a public intellectual? How does the Faulkner on the page speak to the figure who appeared on the public stage—or vice versa? How do we situate Faulkner in relation to other figures who have assumed the mantle of public intellectual? What can Faulkner’s experience tell us now as intellectuals, especially in the humanities, face diminished influence in the public sphere? The plan for this session is to consider these and other related questions in the format of a roundtable discussion. Please send 250-word proposals for ten-minute presentations to Ted Atkinson (

Flannery O’Connor Society
Call for Papers: ALA 2017
The Flannery O’Connor Society seeks proposals for an open-topic panel to be held at the 2017 meeting of the American Literature Association in Boston (May 25-28). Of special interest are presentations related to the following:
• O’Connor’s influence by and/or on other authors
• O’Connor and the arts
• O’Connor and popular culture
• The relationship between the rural and urban in O’Connor’s thought and fiction
• The treatment of gender in O’Connor’s fiction
• Teaching sensitive topics—e.g., racism, sexism, sexuality, violence—in O’Connor
• Disease and/or disability in O’Connor’s life and work
• A Prayer Journal and/or other materials from Emory University’s MARBL collection
Please send proposals (300 words) to Mark Graybill at the following email address by Friday, January 27, 2017:

Should we talk about the weather?: Theoretical Approaches to Race and Conversation

 Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2017
Full name / Name of organization:
John Garrett Bridger Gilmore / UC Irvine
Contact email:
Accepting abstracts for participants in panel described below for 2017 ASA Annual Meeting, Chicago, Il Nov. 9-12

Please include:

300 word paper abstract

1 page CV

Should we talk about the weather?: Theoretical Approaches to Race and Conversation

In her latest book In The Wake (2016), Christina Sharpe writes: “In what I am calling the weather, antiblackness is pervasive as climate. The weather necessitates changeability and improvisation; it is the atmospheric condition of time and place; it produces new ecologies.” The pervasiveness of anti-blackness that Sharpe identifies as “the weather” interrupts assumed relationships between language and knowledge, knowledge and will, will and action. Or, as Charles Dudley Warner famously quipped in the Hartford Courant in 1884, “While everybody talked about the weather, nobody seemed to do anything about it.”

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, American political discourse is arguably more charged with open racism, fear, and suspicion than any other point in our lifetimes. One result of this climate is that everyday people are talking, writing, and thinking about race and racism in increasingly public ways; often, “conversation” functions as a rhetorical metaphor of choice for fostering understanding and across difference through dialogue. This panel seeks to investigate the seeming incongruity of racism’s banality, on the one hand, and the difficulty of a national “conversation” around race, on the other. We hope to identify literary, cultural, artistic, political and theoretical contexts in which those affects and epistemological difficulties manifest and begin to analyze not only the challenges that appear, but how those challenges can and cannot be thought and made part of “conversation.” Please send 300 word abstracts and 1 page CV to John Garrett Bridger Gilmore ( and Chase Gregory ( by January 15th.

American Literature Association

The Carson McCullers Society welcomes abstracts for a panel on tolerance in Carson McCullers’ life and work. The panel call is broad; however, papers that place McCullers’ treatment of issues of diversity, plurality, non-conformity, and difference into dialogue with the contemporary, post-Trump moment or within the shifting currents of the early Civil Rights, pre-Stonewall, and pre-Women’s Liberation Movements are especially encouraged. For instance, panelists might discuss the political bandying about of the phrase “the leftover people” in the most recent presidential election in terms of its multiplex meanings in McCullers’ life and work and in media parlance today. McCullers’ handling of racial anger and white male political rage through the characters of Dr. Copeland and the itinerant drifter Jake Blount in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter might bear interesting comparisons to political, social, and labor tensions of her age, as well as our own. Novelist Sarah Schulman’s claim in a recent New Yorker article that “Carson McCullers was able to inhabit any kind of person” with “’ease’” (qtd. Richard Wright) because she possessed a “transgender . . . identity that history had not yet discovered” might also be fruitful to tease out in relation to issues of sexual, racial, gender, and/or class recognition, tolerance, and intolerance in McCullers’ fiction, drama, and poetry. Paper proposals along these and any topics in McCullers’ life and work are welcome.

Interested scholars can email a 250-300 word abstract and a short bio to Alison Graham-Bertolini and Isadora J. Wagner, panel organizers, at and by January 21st, 2017.

The American Literature Association’s 28th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 25-28, 2017 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2017. For further information, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield
at with specific questions.

American Literature Association Symposium

“Regionalism and Place in American Literature”

September 7-9, 2017, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana

American regional writing, as a literary movement, often has a limited association with a few decades during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At times, many writers have cringed at being described as “regional,” fearing limiting or marginalizing classification. Other writers have embraced the term.  However, more recent research has often argued for a renewed importance in regional scholarship or the scholarship of place and has redefined how we look at canonical definitions of regionalism and place.  This symposium seeks to deepen our understanding of the importance of regionalism and place in past and present American literature by continuing to question spatial boundaries and definitions.  Are regions confined to big patches of landscape or can cities and neighborhoods be regional?  How do we address or define more recent regional concepts like the “Postsouthern” or “Postwestern”?  What does regionalism look like in the 21st century and how does it define (or fail to define) our sense of place?  What is it to publish or write “regionally”?  We welcome paper proposals, panels and roundtable discussions on all aspects of regionalism and place within American literature and particularly encourage interdisciplinary papers and projects.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Steiner, Emeritus Professor of American Studies, California State University, Fullerton

One page proposals or panel suggestions can be sent to program director Dr. Sara Kosiba at by May 15th, 2017.

Black/White Intimacies: Reimagining History, the South, and the Western Hemisphere

Date: April 21, 2017 to April 22, 2017

Location: Alabama, United States

Subject Fields: African American History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Race Studies, Slavery, American History / Studies

More than two centuries after the fact, the sexual relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, enslaved to Jefferson, continues to grip the American historical and literary imagination, manifesting most recently in the April 2016 release of Stephen O’Connor’s historical novel Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings. The novel portrays Jefferson as a compassionate lover and renders Hemings as equally ensnared in the trappings of love and passion. O’Connor’s work, while receiving a good deal of high praise, has been the subject of bitter critique from readers dismayed that the novelist romanticizes the relationship, representing Hemings as a willing participant instead of a rape victim. This criticism is born out of the general perception that few, if any, truly romantic relationships existed between enslaved African Americans and their white masters and mistresses, since the system of slavery and its uneven relations of power precluded possibilities for sincere sentimental connections. The English Department at the University of Alabama is planning a two-day symposium that interrogates this general perception by re-examining models of intimacy across racial lines during the era of slavery and afterwards.

Symposium organizers seek paper proposals from emerging and established scholars whose work engages aspects of interracial intimacy within an American context. The aim of this symposium is to interrogate the ways in which Americans expressed intimacies across racial lines amid the phenomena of New World cross-cultural contact, the transatlantic slave trade and onwards into the 20th century.  What were the limitations of interracial intimacies and how might people have addressed those limitations in various settings – domestic spheres, legal systems, religious spaces, classrooms?  If people across races and cultures lived, ate, slept, and traveled together, what were the implications for cultural understanding—or lack thereof?  What was interracial intimacy and how might expressions of such intimate contact look different given the features of race, gender, and class? We welcome papers that address any era of American cultural history, and we are particularly interested in perspectives that examine time periods before the 20th century.

Possible paper topics might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Same sex intimacy across racial lines
  • Multicultural intimacies beyond the black/white binary
  • Economic intimacies, i.e. business ventures, financial loans from slave to master and vice versa
  • Domestic intimacies
  • Narrative Intimacy and writers who embody cross-racial consciousnesses
  • Interracial intimacies of the (long) Civil Rights Era
  • Intimacy in death, i.e. through graveyards and funeral homes
  • Medical intimacies, i.e. white doctors/black bodies and vice versa

If interested, please email a one-page CV and 250-word abstract to symposium organizers: Andy Crank (, Trudier Harris (, and Cassander Smith ( The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1, 2016. Those whose proposals are selected will receive small travel grants to offset the cost of travel and accommodations in Tuscaloosa. If you have questions or need more information, you can address queries to Professors Crank, Harris, and Smith.

Carson McCullers in the World: A Centenary Conference

A Call for Proposals / Papers / Panels – Deadline Extended

John Cabot University, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, and the Carson McCullers Society will celebrate the centennial of Carson McCullers’s birth by hosting Carson McCullers in the World: A Centenary Conference in Rome, Italy, 14-16 July 2017.
As a child growing up in Columbus, Georgia, McCullers discovered the world through reading writers from around the world. Like the young McCullers, the characters in her work often longed to leave their small-town lives and become a “member of the whole world.” McCullers’s work has been translated into nearly forty languages, has wide appeal for international readers, and has inspired scholarly interest throughout the world. As we approach the centennial of her birth, we invite proposals for both panels and individuals papers that offer new perspectives on McCullers’s life and work, especially on such topics as the international appeal of her work and its significance in global contexts, and it resonance and relevant in the twenty-first century. Topics related to any other aspects of McCullers’s life and work are also welcomed. Please send a 250 to 500- word paper abstract, or panel proposal with abstracts, to by 15 October 2016.

American Literature Association
Boston, MA
May 25-28 2017

Ron Rash and The Natural World

In an important early interview, Ron Rash called the natural world “the most universal of languages.” Rash has garnered much praise for his lyrical depictions of a beautiful Appalachian world but also a landscape written in blood and violence. One of Rash’s enduring themes—in poetry, short story, or novel—revolves around the mysteries of the natural world; how humans interact with it; how nature shapes human culture and belief systems; how nature is both ever changing but ever stagnant as well. “Landscape as destiny,” as one character puts it. For this panel, writers might wish to examine any of Rash’s work from any genre with a focus on Rash’s representation of the natural world. What types of natural spaces does Rash tend to use and for what reasons? How do characters respond to “nature,” “post-nature,” and/or variants of “wilderness,” and how do these types of natural spaces affect human life and narrative? What types of philosophical positions does this interaction embody (Transcendental? Religious? Romantic? Postmodern? Wilderness? Ecological sublime? etc.). We are open to all approaches but are particularly interested in essays that engage with current environmental and nonhuman theory. Some topics of interest are animal studies, posthumanism, bioregionalism, land mis/management, ecofeminism, deep and shallow ecologies, country and city, rural/urban spaces, The Anthropocene, and other creative approaches. Please send a 1-2 page abstract of your proposed paper to Randall Wilhelm and to Mae Miller Claxton by December 15, 2016.

2017 Society of Early Americanists (SEA), March 2-4, 2017, Tulsa, Oklahoma


Amanda Louise Johnson, Rice University

This panel addresses the American romance in light of recent developments in early American studies. While many Britishists accepted the ascendancy of the anglophone novel, others challenged this teleology, and the transatlantic turn has invited us to consider whether the romance genre survived the New World. The existence of a colonial romance would challenge the “birth” of the American genre in the wake of Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819), and revising that literary history could in turn broaden American romance beyond a hoary pro-slavery ideology. Post-WWII critics arguing for an American romance tradition often cite Hawthorne’s own christening of his novels as “romances” as a key piece of evidence. Nina Baym, on the other hand, has argued that the novel/romance distinction was one that mid-twentieth century critics invented retroactively to privilege certain (white, male) authors and reproduce the ideology of American exceptionalism. These trends and controversies (with the exception of Gretchen Woertendyke) ignore the hemispheric turn in American studies and the potential to locate an American romance formation borne of cross-lingual literary exchanges. They also ignore publications by David Quint, David Heller-Roazen, Victora Kahn, and others that redefine romance in formal, not thematic, terms. Finally, American romance scholarship has an opportunity to address emergent theoretical paradigms: posthumanism, the anthropocene, and object-oriented ontology, just to name a few . The time is ripe to revisit the American romance, and I welcome papers that offer a theory of genre, case study, or critique of methodology. Please submit a 250-word abstract and CV to express interest. For the sake of simplicity, I am requesting traditionally formatted papers without audiovisual elements.

2016 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference

Salt Lake City, UT October 6-8, 2016
Deadline: March 13th, 2016

The Society for the Study of Southern Literature’s May, 2015 newsletter asks its readers to consider the cultural work southern studies could accomplish if its scholarship “got deep.” What would happen if the critical approaches we’ve come to rely upon in our ongoing quest to reveal and thus make sense of the South were plucked from the field’s orbit, reconfigured, and set back into motion? This panel aims to pursue this promising line of inquiry and welcomes papers exploring how changing the interpretive frameworks we use to analyze southern literature allows us to, perhaps, read it differently. Possible approaches include revisiting familiar texts via unfamiliar heuristics, examining contemporary texts in relation to a traditional southern imaginary, positing alternative/counter readings of canonical southern works, or putting little known texts in conversation with more acknowledged works. Send 250-500 word abstracts to Melody Pritchard at by March 13th.

SSSL Panels at MLA 2017

Straddling the Dividing Line: Reconsidering the Civil War
In Quentin Tarantino’s neo-Western, The Hateful Eight (2015), a British hangman [Tim Roth] settles a dispute between Union and Confederate veterans stranded together in a remote tavern during a Wyoming blizzard by drawing a line down the middle of the room: one side is the South and the other is the North. The ploy fails, as regional schema often do. For all of the insistence on boundaries, the movie and its characters find themselves straddling the dividing line.

This MLA session commits itself to new readings of the Civil War that dwell on the negotiations and paradoxes that emerge when we straddle the dividing lines of periods, regions, and disciplines. We are interested in contemporary representations such as the neo-Southern approach of Quentin Tarantino, but also in fresh perspectives on nineteenth-century cultural workers as various as William Gilmore Simms and Matthew Brady. To include a broad range of perspectives on the Civil War, we plan a roundtable with 6 -8 scholars offering 5-7 minute presentations.

By March 15, 2016 please submit 250-word abstracts along with A/V requirements and a 2-page CV to Katie Burnett, Fisk University (; Jennie Lightweis-Goff, Tulane University (; and Monica Miller, Georgia Tech ( All panel participants must be MLA members before April 1, 2016.

The Fantastic South
More than a decade ago, science fiction author and physicist Gregory Benford pointed out in his essay, “The South and Science Fiction” (2000), that the U.S. South very rarely appears in discussions of the genre. For a region that is so often characterized by its fixation on the past, looking to the future or alternative worlds seems counterintuitive. This panel aims to take up this gauntlet and feature work that engages with the U.S. South in science fiction, fantasy, and all forms of speculative fiction. Papers could consider speculative fiction by southern authors, texts that represent the South and conceptions of southern identity, or explore how the genre allows for a more complicated redefinition of regional, national, or interplanetary boundaries. To include a broad range of perspectives, we plan a roundtable with 6 -8 scholars offering 5-7 minute presentations.

By March 15, 2016 please submit 250-word abstracts along with A/V requirements and a 2-page CV to Katie Burnett, Fisk University ( and Monica Miller, Georgia Tech ( All panel participants must be MLA members before April 1, 2016.

LLC Southern United States Forum at MLA 2017

January 5-8, Philadelphia, PA

The Revolution(ary) South

Across its history, the South, broadly conceived, has been the site for numerous revolutions and revolutionary ideas. These moments have been classified under many headings, including but not limited to: rebellion, insurrection, and protest. This panel invites papers that interrogate these revolution(ary) Souths as depicted across literary and cultural texts. When thinking of a revolution several distinct meanings might spring to mind: the process of social upheaval; the overthrow of a government; the act of moving in a circular fashion around a central point; a period of time; or the recurrence of a particular event or task. In its simultaneous evoking of rupture and continuity, the term “revolution” allows us to look at the region from multiple angles, examining how it has participated in moments of change and stasis. As such, we are interested in papers from across periods and genres. To what extent did the southern front of the American Revolution impact the nation’s literary history? How has the U.S. South understood its own history of revolutionary moments? How has it participated in and/or disavowed revolutions from across the Global South? What is the contemporary revolutionary moment in the U.S. South and in southern studies? Proposals might consider these or other questions that complicate our understanding of the region and/or revolution itself. Please send a 250 word abstract and a copy of your CV by 15 March 2016 to Gina Caison at

Queer Southern Imaginaries

Drawing especially on theories of Lacan, Žižek, and others, a growing number of southernist critics are examining “the South” as an ideological construct that bridges and blurs lines between the real and the imaginary. This work has largely focused on relationships between fantasy, ideology, and/or mythology that create and support the very idea of the South as a unique (often exceptionalist) region, as well as the various affective ties through which individuals feel themselves attached to the region. This panel asks what role gender, sex, and eroticism play in shaping those regional imaginaries, whether from within the region or as something projected onto the region from afar. Put another way, how is “the South” a function of specifically sexual imaginaries? Papers might focus on LGTBQ treatments of the region or other eroticized constructions of sexuality, gender, race, religion, and/or class. What are the erotics of trying to discover or know the southern past? What are the erotics of imagining a future South? How might we revisit old mythologies of race and sex in southern culture, such as the belle, the cavalier, the jezebel, the black rapist, or others? How does fetishism intersect with ideology in constructions and representations of region? Please send a 250 word abstract and a copy of your CV by 15 March 2016 to Michael Bibler

William Faulkner Society Panel

MLA 2017

Faulkner and World Literature
The William Faulkner Society is planning a panel for MLA 2017 in Philadelphia that will focus on Faulkner in the context of world literature. The expansive scope is designed to reveal a range of possibilities for reading Faulkner individually or in comparison to other figures. Papers topics might include but are not limited to the following:

–Faulkner’s international reception, reputation, and influence
–Translations and adaptations of Faulkner worldwide
–Constructions and expressions of literary nationalism
–Global modernism influencing and influenced by Faulkner
–Issues of empire and (de)colonization
–Reading Faulkner in North American, Latin American, transatlantic, Pacific, or Global North/South contexts
–Questions of world literature canon formation, curriculum development, and pedagogy
–Depictions of (uneven) economic development
–Approaches shaped by rethinking and redefining “world literature” (Damrosch), distant reading (Moretti), world systems theory (Wallerstein), globalization studies, or other critical theories and practices

Send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to Ted Atkinson ( by March 15, 2016.

Modernism and Food: Edited Collection

Call for Papers

Editors: Adam Fajardo (Georgia Gwinnett College), Philip Keel Geheber (Louisiana State University), and Jessica Martell (Lincoln Memorial University)

Food is a crossroads that links a number of perennial modernist concerns: aesthetics, authenticity, culture, commodification, empire, hunger, hygiene, interiority, mass production, nutrition, politics, standardization, tradition, and others. We invite proposals for 5000-6000 word chapters that explore the representation of food — at any phase from production to consumption — in modernist literatures and cultures. We seek essays that generate new possibilities for understanding the relationship between modernist aesthetics and food cultures in a globalizing world, and that further the ongoing interrogation of modernism’s geographical and temporal borders.

Because the twentieth century heralded the rise of truly globalized food chains, this collection aims to be transnational in scope, although individual chapters may certainly operate within national borders. We welcome previously unpublished essays that encompass a diverse range of concerns and methodologies in their explorations of cross-cultural contact and/or global systems of production and supply chains. While the editors’ research interests are primarily grounded in literature, we would also be interested in essays that employ interdisciplinary approaches or explore other modernist media, such as the visual arts or performance.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • depictions of dining and meals in modernist works
  • salons and socialization
  • the presentation of farming, agriculture, and rural life
  • food marketing, commodification, and supply chains
  • hygiene, legislation, and public health
  • psychology, interiority, intimacy, or identity
  • malnutrition, starvation, rationing, hunger strikes
  • transnational and transcultural signification of food
  • material culture and developing food technologies

Interested authors should send a 500-word chapter proposal to by May 1, 2016. Submissions should be attached as MS Word documents or PDFs. Please provide a short biography. Notification of acceptance will be given by June 1, 2016. Completed chapters will be due by Dec 31, 2016. Please note the accepted abstract does not guarantee inclusion in the volume, which will also consider the quality of the finished chapter.

Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South (edited collection)

Call for papers

Despite the fact that the South has long been identified as a region populated by hard drinkers, moonshiners, and bootleggers, as well as the teetotalers and churchgoers who have long castigated them, scholars have often ignored the cultural centrality that alcohol and drinking occupy in accounts of the region. Southern Comforts, the first book-length collection of scholarship examining the role of alcohol and drinking in the literatures and cultures of the U.S. South, aims to address that omission, moving beyond previous work that has focused on besotted southern writers, who have of course been luridly legion. Rather than merely reinscribing prevailing stereotypes about the region’s production and consumption of alcohol or focusing on the alcoholic tendencies of many southern writers, the editors here seek essays that build from recent critical movements in New Southern Studies, addiction studies, trauma studies, queer studies, ecocriticism, and others. The following lists possible submissions on this topic but is not meant to be exhaustive:

  • Sobriety movements since the nineteenth century.
  • Conceptions of excessive drinking across the many Souths: Native American, African American, Appalachian, etc., especially along racial, class, and gender lines.
  • Alcohol in visual media, particularly film and television.
  • Intersections between drinking and southern music.
  • The economics and eco-politics of alcohol production and distribution in late-model capitalism.
  • Recovery ideology and/as political ideology.
  • Drinking rituals in public and/or private spheres.

350 word proposals should be sent to the editors—Conor Picken and Matthew Dischinger—at by May 31, 2016. For those asked to contribute to the collection, we anticipate that completed essays of between 5000-6000 words will be due by December 15, 2016. Proposals from both established and emerging scholars are welcomed, as is work from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Revisiting Harper Lee: New Essays on To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman

Edited Collection

Harper Lee’s classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the Academy Award winning movie starring Gregory Peck both enjoyed immediate success and are considered American treasures. Popular in its own time and enjoying a consistently healthy publication record, Mockingbird seems secure even in the new millennium.

On July 14, 2016, a significant event in the landscape of Harper Lee’s fiction occurred: the publication of Go Set a Watchman. Set twenty years after To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman was actually written a decade earlier but set aside when Lee began work on the manuscript that would become her classic. The facts of the “discovery” of Go Set a Watchman are in dispute, but that is not the only controversy. Go Set a Watchman confronts readers with a very different portrait of the hero of To Kill a Mockingbird. Jean Louise (Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird), now twenty-six years old, returns home. To her horror, she discovers that her father harbors racist views, including membership in the local white citizen’s council. For readers who have embraced the 1960 text, the publication of Go Set a Watchman raises provocative questions.

In her edited collection On Harper Lee (U of Tennessee P, 2007), Alice Petry notes that little scholarly attention has been paid to To Kill a Mockingbird. Petry speculates that perhaps because of the book’s integration into middle/high school curricula, the academy collectively regards the text as trite or trivial. And yet, Petry’s collection allows for off-center readings, readings that don’t see Lee’s 1960 text as a heroic epic, smoke and mirrors, or sentimental national myth—or at least not singularly.

On February 19, 2016, the date that Harper Lee died in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, an invisible wall may have fallen down. Harper Lee, it seems, has become the talk of the nation amongst popular audiences, high school teachers, and academics. With Lee’s death, teachers and scholars alike confront a single reality: Harper Lee deserves to be revisited. We invite contributions that consider new interpretations or approaches to reading or teaching To Kill a Mockingbird and/or Go Set a Watchman. You may wish to submit on the following topics, though this is by no means an exhaustive list:

● Race relations or race theory
● Queer readings
● Readings of either or both novels as a coming-of-age story
● Disabilities studies, addiction studies, or health humanities studies (perhaps focusing on Boo Radley or Miss DuBose)
● Film studies (the influence of the film on our reading)
● Pedagogical readings or ideas for teaching (How does Go Set a Watchman complicate the inclusion of To Kill a Mockingbird in the middle school, high school, or college curriculum? Could we or should we teach both novels together? What is the pedagogical potential of Watchman?)

The goal of this collection is to consider, in this game changing moment, how we—scholars and teachers alike—read Harper Lee’s work and how we will talk about and teach it.


Contributions cannot be previously published. Please send an abstract of 300–500 words and a CV or brief bio to Cheli Reutter ( and Jonathan Cullick ( by June 1, 2016.

Notification of acceptance: July 15, 2016
Full essays of 5000–8000 words due: December 31, 2016
Final versions due by: January 31, 2017

Dr. Michele Reutter
Educator Associate Professor, Department of English & Comparative Literature
University of Cincinnati

Dr. Jonathan S. Cullick
Professor, Department of English
Northern Kentucky University

Divining (the) Circum-Caribbean South(s)

Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature

As SAMLA heads to Jacksonville, Florida, for its 2016 conference, one recalls Keith Cartwright’s characterization of the state as a “longtime frontier[] of creolizing contact” (8): “Whether in Old South Jacksonville or St. Augustine, or south of that South in Miami’s creolizing space, Florida repeats itself as an ‘un-American’ frontier of the nation, a multi-ethnic borderland, a point of contested migration and immigration, a location of repeating racialized violence, and a divinatory contact space” (188).

Engaging Florida’s creolizing history as a multi-ethnic, Caribbean, southern, national, and, indeed, anti-national space, the Society for the Study of Southern Literature invites proposals that engage (the) Circum-Caribbean South(s). We welcome a broad range of proposals that activate any location of the Circum-Caribbean region, investigating any form of cultural media: literature, poetry, live performance, music, film, television, visual art, etcetera. Channeling the “south of South” rubric explored through such works as Jessica Adams, Michael Bibler, and Cécile Accilien’s edited collection Just Below South (U Virginia P, 2007), Keith Cartwright’s Sacral Grooves, Limbo Gateways (UGA Press, 2013), and John Lowe’s Calypso Magnolia (UNC Press, 2016), this panel will explore and extend the “Caribbean turn” in southern studies.

By June 1, 2016, please submit a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and a/v requirements to Stephanie Rountree, Georgia State University, at