Emerging Scholars Organization

ESO TransparentEmerging Scholars Organization Mission Statement

The Emerging Scholars Organization (ESO) was established in 2014 as an affiliate of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Our mission is to foster the careers of graduate students, recent PhDs, lecturers, adjunct/visiting/assistant professors, and scholars new to the field of southern studies. We have four primary goals: to create a community of scholars who can communicate and collaborate across our disparate geographies; to make SSSL and southern studies a more welcoming place for all emerging scholars; to provide emerging scholars with the necessary tools to succeed in their professional endeavors; and to advocate on behalf of emerging scholars in institutional and political realms.

The ESO offers a range of opportunities to professionalize by networking with both emerging and established scholars who study the south. The organization also offers useful resources such as online bibliographies, CFPs, job market seminars, interviews with established scholars, and digital writing workshops. Our hope is that the ESO will complement the mission of SSSL by developing future generations of innovative scholarship in southern cultural and literary studies.

Read the June 2020 ESO statement against police violence here.

ESO Executive Council

Meet the current ESO executive council members. Here you’ll find short  biographies as well as information on how to stay in contact with the council and members of the ESO.


The ESO is a professional body that advocates for the interests of the most economically vulnerable educators in the university system. Here you’ll find resources for emerging scholars and faculty allies to help forward our interests at the institutional, state, and federal level.


Here you’ll find resources including the ESO’s handbook to ethical mentoring and information about our Mentorship Program.

Spotlight Initiative

The Spotlight Initiative solicits and publishes interviews with southernist scholars about the state of the field including advice for those preparing to go up for jobs.


Here you’ll find bibliographies for graduate students and early-career scholars on a wealth of topics intersecting with or relevant to southern studies.

ESO Resources

These are resources written and compiled by the ESO as emerging scholar writing resources; these resources include “how to” tutorials and examples of common scholarly forms and genres.