Current Conference Calls For Papers


Please consult this resource for information on conferences you might wish to present at or attend. Deadlines for calls for proposals are listed first; conferences of interest have dates of the actual conference listed first. If you would like to submit a call for papers to be posted, please email Amy McIntyre, ASLE Managing Director.


Calls for Proposals


Deadline Extended: November 15, 2014. Ecocriticism and the Environment sessions at SWPACA. The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) will once again be sponsoring sessions on Ecocriticism and the Environment at their 36th Annual Conference, February 11-14, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference theme is "Many Faces, Many Voices: Intersecting Borders in Popular and American Culture."

The Ecocriticism and the Environment area welcomes abstracts on film, literature, advertising, video games, social media, architecture, music, religion, and really any other method of human expression.

Potential topics include:

  • how can ecocriticism speak to digital realities/emergent realities in video games and other immersive experiences?
  • to what degree does our built environment inform our conception of physical nature?
  • how do the structures of religious liturgies deal with the physical environment?

These ideas are representative, and certainly not an exhaustive list.

Please submit abstracts of 300 words or fewer at by November 15, 2014. Paper presentations are limited to 15 minutes.  Panel proposals should include an abstract for each paper (each submitted on a separate proposal form), containing panel title, panel chair, commenters, etc.

Refer questions to Jeremy Elliott at For more information on the conference, including registration, travel, awards for the best  graduate student papers, etc., see

Visit for information about the organization's new, peer-reviewed journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy.


November 21, 2014. "Ecology, System, Empire," two linked panels proposed for the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) conference, to be held in Hawaii 9-12 July 2015.

The cataclysmic fact of global warming has brought to the fore notions of interconnection, supraindividual agency, and transhuman timescales, challenging scholarship to ask how systems, ecological networks, and even entire worlds might be conceived within a single frame. In Victorian Studies this presents itself as a problem of critical scale—what are the temporal and geographic boundaries of “the Victorian”?—and aesthetic form: how to represent an ecosystem, where no single phenomenon can be abstracted from a system of mutual dependence? The weblike networks of George Eliot’s realism are just one of the Victorian era’s many models for conceiving mutual imbrication at global scale: political economy, print culture, natural science, and early geology are others. But as trope and material fact, the Empire was arguably the most powerful site of ecological interconnection in the nineteenth century, as well as the engine of unprecedented environmental devastation.

These two linked panels aim to coordinate the notions of “empire” and “ecology” to explore how Victorian writers employed literary form to engage with the conceptual novelty of massively networked systems. Drawing on the tradition of postcolonial thinking about “worldedness” (Said) and on more recent work in environmental humanities on “slow violence” (Nixon), we conceive the key intervention of these panels to be the linking of often depoliticized models of ecology and environment to the Empire’s worldmaking project. We anticipate these papers to be united by a shared sense that Victorian literary forms were central to apprehending and theorizing the conflicted intersection of colonizer, native, and environment.

The first panel will use the category of “Form” to triangulate these dilemmas of environmental and political ecology with distinct zones of imperial activity; it explores (1) the capacity of Victorian forms to conceptualize colonial ecosystems, and (2) the formal strains produced at those peripheral locations. The second panel, on “Scale,” will (1) foreground processes of maximalization or zooming-out required to see interconnected systems in their full sphere of operation, while also (2) asking how smaller samples—synecdoche, example, lyric poem—might stand somehow to evoke the systems in which they participate.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV by 21 November to the panel chairs, Nathan K. Hensley and Philip Steer, and

Decisions will be made within one week of this deadline, allowing time for papers not accepted for the panels to be resubmitted as individual papers by the conference deadline of 1 December.  For details on NAVSA 2015 (July 9-12, Hawaii), “Victorians in the World,” please refer to:


November 25, 2014. MANY VOICES, ONE CENTER: 16th NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE SYMPOSIUM. March 12-14, 2015, Isleta Resort & Casino Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico. With literature as a crossroads where many forms of knowledge meet—art, history, politics, science, religion, film, cultural studies—we welcome once again spirited participation on all aspects of Native American studies. We invite proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, readings, exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops.  We especially encourage presentations and panels on teaching children’s and young adult literature by indigenous writers, as well as current issues in Indian Country such as language revitalization, mascot debates, and academic freedom for indigenous scholars.

New for 2015:  Flash fiction contest!  Stay tuned for details.
Nominations/Applications for the Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies due January 15, 2015.  See the website for details.

Queries can be directed to
Dr. Gwen Westerman                  or             Dennis Herbert          
Director, NALS                                             Assistant to the Director            

PROPOSAL and REGISTRATION FORMS and more information can be found on the NALS web site:

SYMPOSIUM HOUSING: The host facility for the symposium will be the Isleta Resort & Casino Hotel,


December 1, 2014. Moral Cultures of Food: Access, Production, and Consumption from Past to Present, UNT Initiative in Food Culture and Environment, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, April 2-4, 2015.
Feeding ourselves has long entangled human beings within complicated moral
puzzles of social injustice and environmental destruction. When we eat, we
consume not only food on the plate, but also the lives and labors of innumerable plants, animals, and people. This process distributes its costs unevenly across race, class, gender, and other social categories. The production and distribution of food often obscures these material and cultural connections, impeding honest assessments of our impacts on the world around us. In our own day, it is tempting to envision local, fair trade, organic, and humane food systems as less harmful options to the ravages of corporate agribusiness and global food capitalism, but these alternatives each carry their own significant social and ecological costs, as no shortage of critics have pointed out. In past times and places, other similar conversations structured the acceptable boundaries of food practices that condemned living beings to the fate of digestion.

The "Moral Cultures of Food" conference asks what we might learn from the critical study of these past efforts to understand and resolve the ethical dilemmas of eating. We invite scholars of any rank, from graduate student to full professor, to come to the University of North Texas for a three-day program of panel presentations, workshops, and public discussions designed to address the historical dimensions of food ethics and to provoke new avenues of interdisciplinary research in the field of food studies. The conference will be hosted by Jennifer Jensen Wallach and Michael Wise, co-founders of UNT's Initiative in Food Culture and Environment. Special guests will include Carol J. Adams (author of The Sexual Politics of Meat) and James McWilliams (author of Just Food). We will invite conference participants to contribute to an edited volume to be published by the University of Arkansas Press.

We welcome the submission of individual paper proposals by December 1, 2014. Invitations will be sent to participants by January 1, 2015. We are happy to consider proposals from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. The proposal, of up to three pages, should indicate how the project approaches and interprets the conference theme in addition to describing the research to be presented. Please email proposals and brief CVs directly to: Jennifer Jensen Wallach ( and Michael Wise (


December 5, 2014. 2nd Biennial Conference on Living with Animals: Interconnections.  March 19-21, 2015, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY.

CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS: Drs. Robert Mitchell, Radhika Makecha, and Michal Pregowski,

"Living with Animals 2" is a reprise of the first "Living with Animals" conference that took place at Eastern Kentucky University in 2013. Eastern Kentucky University, located in Richmond just south of Lexington, "The Horse Capital of the World", began offering the first undergraduate degree in Animal Studies in 2010. As our conference title suggests, we are planning to offer a Living with Animals conference every 2 years. The conference dates are March 19-21, 2015, with optional excursions (TBA) on March 22.

This second time around, we are hoping to retain the strong arts and humanities perspectives we enjoyed so much in the first conference, as well as including some more scientific and applied perspectives for general audiences. Consistent with the conference theme, we are looking for interconnections: not only between and across diverse humans and diverse animals, but also between and across disciplines.

There will be continuity with the first "Living with Animals" conference. Artist and art historian Julia Schlosser, 2013's co-organizer, will be having a display of her photographic work on pet-human interaction, and will also provide a keynote address about her work. We are planning to continue our Horse theme, but with a shorter half-day session selected and chaired by Dr. Gala Argent who organized the Horse session at the first conference. We also plan to devote time (breakout sessions and talks) to issues surrounding teaching the animal. Although topics will depend on the abstracts about teaching we receive, we plan to have a panel discussion about standardized curricula for Animal Studies/Anthrozoology programs, an offshoot of the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) conference in Vienna this summer.

There are some new foci as well. Co-organizer Radhika Makecha is organizing sessions around conservation, human-animal conflict, and elephants, and co-organizer Michal Pregowski is organizing sessions around dogs and dog-human interaction, including topics such as training, memorials, and shelter work.

Abstracts of 200 to (approximately) 400 words should be sent to The first line of the abstract should be the title of the talk, and the next line(s) should be the authors' names, positions, affiliations, and email addresses. Following this should be a blank line, followed by the text of the abstract. All should be single-spaced. Reference to existing bodies of work might be made.

In addition, provide a one-page CV of your most relevant work and experience.
Individual paper presentation time will be 20 minutes. Panels of up to 3 speakers are welcome. All presentations and panels will be reviewed by the organizers and/or chairs. We are also looking into offering poster presentations. Posters are especially helpful for presenting scientific research. Abstract submission deadline: December 5, 2014


December 12, 2014. International Conference: Human migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics, Invention, 28 June-1 July 2015, Durham University, UK.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor David Held (Durham University), Professor Wendy Brown (UC, Berkeley), Professor Claire Colebrook (Penn State), Professor Walter Kälin (University of Bern)

Conference website:
New submission deadline: 12 December 2014

Submission Information: Submit paper session proposals to with the subject line ‘Durham Conference’.

Conference Abstract: Human migration and the environment are two of the most pressing issues of our times. But what is stake when these two phenomena are articulated as a singular relation? By asking this and many other questions, this conference provides a multidisciplinary forum for scholars, policymakers, practitioners and artists to chart out the next generation of research on human migration and the environment. The aim of the conference is to expand the debate on human migration and the environment beyond its current configuration as a problem of causation, law and policy towards a more pluralist debate that acknowledges the multidimensional nature of environmental change and migration. The conference subthemes –  ‘futures’, ‘politics’ and ‘invention’ – will consider issues of knowledge, power and innovation  the context of human migration and environmental change. The conference should appeal to social scientists, humanities and legal scholars as well as to scientists committed to working with and within the social sciences, humanities and law.

Sponsor:  COST Action IS1101 Climate change and migration: knowledge, law and policy, and theory

Conference Organisers:
Dr Andrew Baldwin (Durham University)
Dr Francois Gemenne (University of Liège / University of Versailles Saint-Quentin)
Dr Dimitra Manou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)


January 1, 2015. Emily Dickinson International Society sponsored sessions at the 2015 American Literature Association Annual Conference. The ALA conference will be held in Boston, May 21-24, 2015. The topic for the first panel is 'Dickinson and the Non-Human' and the topic for the second is 'Dickinson's Afterlives'.

Panel 1: 'Dickinson and the Non-Human'
We welcome papers that consider Dickinson as a writer who analyzed and conceptualized the non-human. For example, panelists might choose to discuss her poetry's representation of objects, organic or inorganic; entities, natural or supernatural; artifacts, real or imaginary; or to examine her poems within the framework of 'thing theory' or ecocriticism.

Panel 2: 'Dickinson's Afterlives'
We welcome papers that consider how the notion of an 'afterlife' shapes Dickinson's poetry and/or its reception. For example, panelists might choose to consider the function and representation of posthumous existence within her work, or to focus on the posthumous reception of this poet and her poetry.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief CV to Paraic Finnerty ( and Michelle Kohler ( by January 1, 2015.


January 5, 2015. Climate Change in Culture Conference, University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, May 28-31, 2015. As climate change becomes arguably the most pressing issue of our time, with evolving implications for societies in every cultural context, we seek to enhance our understanding of the ways in which culture and climate intersect with and animate one another.  Cultural responses to and representations of climate are particularly compelling at a time when catastrophic weather events are becoming more commonly manifest and are inspiring a wide array of cultural and interpretive responses.  Paying particular attention to the cultural implications of climate and to cultural, political, and societal responses to climate change, this conference explores how humanities-based scholarship can be brought to bear upon the evolving reality of climate change. Conference events include keynote talks given by internationally renowned climate and culture scholars, traditional academic papers and presentations, and a variety of interdisciplinary and multimedia performances.  We thus invite submissions from scholars from across the humanities, broadly defined, who are dealing with any aspect of climate and climate change in a cultural context.

Possible topics, include, but are not limited to:

  • literary and artistic (visual, filmic, photographic, etc) representations of climate and climate change
  • social and historical understandings of climate, weather, and the role of human agency;
  • climate change and ethics
  • climate change and questions of social justice including the differing questions of climate change posed by identity categories such as gender, race, disability, class, and citizenship
  • understandings of climate and the environment in antiquity and the classical world
  • cross-cultural interpretations of, and responses to climate and climate change
  • the implications of climate change on the production and reception of art, whatever the form
  • the roles of denial, fear, skepticism and rejection vis a vis climate change
  • threats to linguistic and cultural communities posed by climate change
  • teaching climate and climate change in the humanities and social sciences
  • the evolving place of the environmental humanities in curricular development
  • islands and their particular vulnerability to climate change, island-based narratives and representations of climate

The conference is hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island, home of the Atlantic Climate Lab and the Institute of Island Studies.  UPEI is situated in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada.   As the capital and principle city of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a vibrant cultural destination, home of the world-renowned Confederation Centre of the Arts Performing Arts Centre and birthplace of Canadian confederation.  Prince Edward Island is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and charm, thus making it an especially apt location for a conference on climate change and its human implications.
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to by January 5, 2015.


January 10, 2015. Energies and the Arts Conference, Presented by National Institute for Experimental Arts in partnership with Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 13-15 August 2015.

Energy often serves as a word-when-lost-for-words to describe situations of great intensity, or to describe something that fuses disparate elements or is itself diffused into the environment, or something that subtly comes from nowhere but animates everything. When energies are invoked they most commonly remain vague: being presumed rather than investigated in their historical, cultural, material and technical specificity. In the arts, energies occur throughout, though their analysis and clarification remains limited and under-examined.

Energies and the Arts will bring scholars and artists together to address historical and contemporary activities on the seemingly elusive properties and potentials of energy. The conference will explore how energy is engaged with across the arts including but not limited to: media arts, photography, music, ecological arts, science and the arts, and related areas within literature, poetics, critical theory and philosophy. We invite proposals for 20 minutes papers which will be followed by 10-minutes of discussion. Papers will be selected for a book to be edited by the conveners of the conference.

Submission process: please complete the form at the website. (Also read full CFP there: Queries about submission and the conference should be directed to Deadline for submission: 10 January,  2015


January 12, 2014. Pacific Rim Conference on English Studies: Negotiating Identity through Authentic Voice, February 27-28, 2015, University of Alaska Anchorage. Organized by UAA Department of English graduate students, the 20th annual Pacific Rim Conference on English Studies welcomes proposals in literature, composition and rhetoric, linguistics, anthropology, journalism, history, and other related fields. The theme of this year’s conference is “Negotiating Identity through Authentic Voice.” For this year’s conference, presenters and speakers are asked to consider how we as individuals negotiate an authentic, unique voice despite the various roles and situations we are required to navigate in our daily lives, how our voices transmit aspects of our identities, and how we come to find our voice when faced with new rhetorical situations and styles of communication.

Throughout our lives, we learn to adapt to different social, professional, and academic styles of discourse. Our voices are a major tool for expressing who we are and what we value in these varied situations. Through our authentic voices, we reflect and determine both who we are and what we stand for. Through examination of authentic voice (written, verbal, and/or visual) we strive to understand how identity is both developed and expressed in our communication with one another. At this year’s conference, we hope to explore some of these questions:

• How do our unique, authentic voices build on and determine our individual or collective identities?
• Through what methods do we adapt our voice to fit the expectations of different rhetorical situations?
• How do we adapt our authentic voice in unfamiliar styles and discourse communities?
• How might technology help or hinder our expression of identity through authentic voice?
• Is it possible to avoid the unique, individual nature of voice? If so, why might we choose to do so?

Individual Paper Proposals: Please send a 250 word abstract for a 20-minute presentation, including the title of the paper, your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone and fax number, and email address.

Panel Proposals: In addition to providing detailed contact information for each panel member, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words summarizing the panel and describing each paper.

Roundtable Proposals: In addition to providing detailed contact information for each participant, please send a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words for the proposed roundtable discussion topic.

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, your abstract(s) should connect your topic(s) to this year’s conference theme. Please submit your proposals to no later than January 12th, 2015.


January 15, 2014. The American Mosaic: Immigration, Expatriation, Exile
University of Central Florida, March 26-28, 2015.  Note: people interested in ecocritical panels should contact Patrick Murphy:
Oscar Handling in his 1951 book The Uprooted, writing on the great migrations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that forever changed America, penned the following words, “I shall touch upon broken homes, interruptions of a familiar life, separation from known surroundings, becoming a foreigner and ceasing to belong.  .  . the history of immigration is a history of alienation and its consequences.”  Today many countries around the world are experiencing large-scale social and demographic changes that will probably alter their social fiber forever.  These large-scale changes make immigration one of the most important issues in today's world, a world made smaller and almost borderless, by the seamless and instant transfer of information across the world wide web. Our senses are flooded on a twenty-four hour basis with arguments for and against globalization, free trade, news of international banking conglomerates, and of industries whose interests span the globe. However, in this frenzied movement of capital, of buying and selling assets, of mergers, in the rush toward a borderless world, there seems to be one item left behind, the human being.  The message is "We love your cheap labor, but we don't love you. Your bodies, especially the darker ones, need to stay where they are and keep on greasing the wheels of the new and improved borderless world.” (John Brady and Robert Soza. “Introduction” to Immigration and Diaspora. Issue #60, Bad Subjects, April 2002)

This is a twenty-first century view but emigration, exile, expatriation have been part of the human existence and consciousness from the beginning of recorded time.  With this in mind, we at the College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida and the Franklin Institute of North American Studies of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain, decided to organize a conference The American Mosaic: Immigration, Expatriation, Exile. This colloquium was born from an ongoing discussion we have been having over many years on the themes of exile and immigrant writing, hyphenation, cultural boundaries, the breaking of such boundaries, and bilingualism: An ongoing conversation that becomes more complex with the passing years. This is a two part conference. The first part was held in Alcalá de Henares at the Franklin Institute, now the second part will be held at the University of Central Florida, Orlando.  We invite you to join us.

Submissions: The deadline for submission of proposals is January 15, 2014. Send proposals of no more than 200 words to Prof. Paolo Giordano at Papers should be in English and should last no more than 20 minutes. Colleagues are also invited to consider organizing sessions or round table discussions. Each session and round table discussion is scheduled for 60 minutes. Possible topics are, but not limited to: African-American; cultural studies; ethnicity and national identity; figurative arts; film and television; gender studies and sexuality; historical approaches; popular culture; postcolonial; religion; slavery; theatre; theory; travel writing.


January, 16, 2015. THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW BICENTENNIAL CREATIVE WRITING & LITERATURE CONFERENCE, June 11–13, 2015, at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA. Keynotes: Martín Espada, Patricia Hampl, Steven Schwartz

The North American Review, the longest-lived literary magazine in the United States, is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions to its Bicentennial Creative Writing & Literature Conference, to be held on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA, June 11-13, 2015. The editors invite proposals for individual papers, pre-formed panels (3-4 panelists), or roundtable discussions (4-6 participants).

Critical papers, panels, and roundtables may be submitted on any literary or cultural topic, theme, author, art work, or text that has some connection (broadly conceived) to the North American Review. Group society proposals are welcome.

Creative Writing proposals may include readings of your own creative work, explorations of the craft and theory of writing, or discussions of creative writing pedagogy, the publishing world, the professionalization of creative writing, or creative writing as a discipline in the university. Visit to upload your submission.  Deadline for submissions is January, 16, 2015.

More details about the magazine and the conference can be found at and
The entire North American Review archives can be accessed digitally via the JSTOR database (; issues appearing from 1815 to 1899 can be searched or browsed at Cornell University’s Making of America Website (; and an index of authors and subjects in the North American Review from 1815 to 1877 is available through Google Books ( A list of notable contributors is available at

If you have a question or need assistance in locating a source, contact the conference director Jeremy Schraffenberger at


February 14, 2015. Green Knowledge: Association for the Study of Literature and Environment UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI) Biennial Conference, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, September 2-4, 2015

Plenary Speakers: Professor Ursula K. Heise (UCLA). Richard Mabey , Professor Louise Westling (University of Oregon)

In The Diversity of Life, E. O. Wilson recalled the experience of recognising his profound ignorance about the object of his research in the forests of the Amazon:

“About the orchids of that places we knew very little. About flies and beetles almost nothing, fungi nothing, most kinds of organisms nothing. Five thousand kinds of bacteria might be found in a pinch of soil, and about them we knew absolutely nothing.”

Wilson’s pinch of Amazonian soil begs the question: how much do we know about the natural world and our relationship with it? Equally, what should we know and how can we know it? To this end, we invite papers that consider our ways of knowing and unknowing the natural world. Topics to be covered may include (but need not be restricted to):

•    Ways of knowing: scientific, cultural, metaphysical, religious 
•    Science and technology studies and ecocriticism
•    Human/cultural geographies and ecocriticism
•    Histories of the discourses of science and/or environmentalism
•    Emergent ideas in ecocriticism, ecofeminism, new materialism
•    The nature/culture boundary in literary and other discourses
•    Discourses of ecological crisis, including climate change, species extinction, and biodiversity loss
•    Nature Writing: old and new
•    Experimental literature, avant-garde ecopoetics, new directions
•    And to acknowledge our location, Cambridge ecology and natural historians (John Ray, Charles Darwin, Arthur Tansley, and others)
We also welcome papers on any topic addressing environmental themes in literature and other media.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words for 20-minute presentations to by 14th February 2015. Proposals for pre-formed panels and roundtables are welcomed.  Conference updates will be accessible via the ASLE-UKI website: We may seek to publish a selection of conference proceedings in our journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, published in association with Routledge.


February 15, 2015. Environment, Space, and Place: The Working Group on Environment, Space, and Place of the Cultural Studies Association would like to invite submissions for the 13th Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association (U.S.), to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California, 21-24 May 2015. We welcome a wide range of papers addressing environment, space, and place. This year we will be constituting two panels on the topic of “Possible Worlds.”

We seek papers on spatial practices and formations that challenge the global neo-liberal identity-forming structures and open possibilities or actualizing alternative realities of human liberation and actualization.  Papers might consider situations or possibilities for providing insurgent intellectual spaces for imagining and enacting, and/or mapping new forms of knowledge production and scholarly communication and community, or spaces and places that facilitate insurgent practices.  Research projects based in community engagement and activism are particularly (but not exclusively) encouraged, in which students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community partners are responding to the current social, legal, economic, financial, political, cultural, institutional, and intellectual challenges and possibilities. The conference’s overall theme looks at the space of the university, and this too is welcome for these sessions, provided the focus is on some aspect of environment, space and/or place with actual practice, rather than on pedagogy per se.

If interested in participating in either Working Group-sponsored panels on Environment, Space, and Place, please submit the following by February 15th, 2015:
a. Your name, email address, department, and institutional affiliation.
b. A 500-word (or less) abstract for the 20-minute paper proposed, including a paper title.
c. Audio-visual equipment needs (no requests for AV equipment can be honored later).

Please send all required information to the leadership of the Working Group on Environment, Space, and Place: Daniel G Anderson ( Further details here:


February 28, 2015. Romanticism and the South-West. The English department at the University of Bristol invites submissions for a 1-day conference to be held on the 29th of June, 2015, on the subject of ‘Romanticism and the South-West’.  The conference aims to explore the importance of the South-West for Romantic writers, with a particular emphasis on the following topics: 1) ecologically aware writing and protoenvironmental thought; 2) the role of the South-West in an era of scientific development and discovery; 3) the South-West as a centre for reform movements and radical politics, as well as a region connected to slavery and imperialism; and 4) Romantic afterlives in the South-West.
Drawing together different perspectives of the region, the conference aims to reconsider the complex role of the South-West in the development of Romantic history and literature.  

The South-West is home to some of British Romanticism’s major texts. Shelley’s Queen Mab (1813) was written in Lynmouth, Devon; Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote the Lyrical Ballads (1798) during their temporary residence in the Quantocks; and Thomas Chatterton’s poetry is full of the spirit of the West Country. The bookseller Joseph Cottle – acquaintance of Coleridge and Robert Southey – published some of Romanticism’s key texts and periodicals from his Bristol bookshop, less than a mile from where Chatterton was born, and less than forty miles from Nether Stowey, the birthplace of the Lyrical Ballads.

The South-West is sometimes no more than a tableau for Romantic writers, a wild region of myth and mystery, exciting because so different from the urbanity of London. But for other writers the region is essential to their writing, less a concept than an active element in how they thought and wrote. Thomas Chatterton’s poems are full of the flowers, birds (?), and regional peculiarities of the South-West; Coleridge’s 1795 lectures, delivered in Bristol, are partly indebted to the culture of radical dissent and nonconformism he encountered in the city; and Dorothy Wordsworth’s Alfoxden Journal, begun in 1798, is full of admiring descriptions of Somerset, written in exact yet highly imaginative prose.

Although Romanticism and the South-West are the conference’s main coordinates, we also invite papers that interpret the theme in much more general terms. The South-West’s prehistory, for instance, fascinated Wordsworth, who wrote movingly about Stonehenge, just as, in the twentieth century, the Quantocks continued to fascinate poets such as Edward Thomas, who, in his In Pursuit of Spring, described a highly symbolic journey from London to Nether Stowey. For Wordsworth and Thomas, as for so many other writers, the South-West held a special place in the national imagination and in British writing.

Possible topics might include:
-    Nature writing in the South-West; green thinking; the simple life
-    Political radicalism in the South-West; anti-slavery campaigns; religious non-conformism; religious dissent
-    Scientific culture in the South-West; exploration; innovation; ‘the age of wonder’
-    Internal differences in the South-West; regional peculiarities and distinctions
-    the continuing traditions and resources of Romanticism; traces and afterlives of Romanticism in the South-West

Please submit a 250-word proposal by the 28th of February to:


March 1, 2015. “Imagined Frontiers/Imagined Communities”: 20th International James Fenimore Cooper/Susan Fenimore Cooper Conference & Seminar, June 1-4, 2015, SUNY, College at Oneonta.

Keynote Speaker: Rochelle Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of English, College of Idaho; Author of Passions for Nature and biographer of Susan Fenimore Cooper

In 1978, the first International James Fenimore Cooper Conference was in Oneonta, New York, a beautiful valley on the banks of the Susquehanna River, at the foothills of the Catskills, just minutes from Cooper’s boyhood home of Cooperstown. Since then, over the course of nineteen conferences nearly 240 scholars and writers, including Leslie Fiedler, James Beard, Thomas Philbrick, and Rochelle Johnson, have presented papers on James Fenimore Cooper, Susan Fenimore Cooper, and the world around them.

For our 20th conference, we are seeking papers that address the theme “Imagined Frontiers/Imagined Communities.” The Coopers wrote at a time when America was growing as a nation, both geographically through westward expansion and conceptually, as writers, artists, politicians, and citizens worked through the process of defining national, regional, and even local identities.  Benedict Anderson defines nation as “an imagined political community” populated by people who may never know, meet, or even hear their fellow-members, “yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” Just as communities are imagined, so are the landscapes and frontiers on which they are built. We seek papers that explore the role the Coopers (and their contemporary writers and artists) played in imagining, representing, and interrogating the landscapes and communities of antebellum America.  Paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

From “Hideous Wilderness” to “Nature’s Nation”
Gender and the Frontier
Slavery in New York
Exploration and Natural History
Displacing Native American Communities
Populism and Democracy
Social Conflicts in Frontier Communities
Early Nature Writing
Painters of the Hudson River School
Nativism and Immigration

We are happy to consider any paper that addresses James Fenimore Cooper’s or Susan Fenimore Cooper’s work and their time.  Papers should be 8-10 pages (20 minute presentation). Send proposal via e-mail to Dr. Roger W. Hecht ( Proposal Deadline is March 1, 2015


Conferences of Interest