Willa Cather panels

The theme for the 2012 Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference is ‘Citizenship and Belonging.’  The Cather Project (UNL) and Cather Foundation (Red Cloud) are proposing  two panels, on the themes of ‘Insiders’ and ‘Outsiders’, which will address  these themes. For full details of the conference (10/13/2012: Denver, Colorado), please go to the following site: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/ssaww/call.htm

Ann Romines  (George WashingtonUniversity) and Guy Reynolds (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) will chair these panels.


‘Cather’s work provides some of the most direct treatments of citizenship and belonging in American fiction. A chronicler of immigrant lives, transplanted communities and lost societies, Cather was the quintessential novelist of ‘belonging’ and ‘not belonging.’ The Cather Foundation and the Cather Project (UNL) hopes to sponsor two sessions at SSAWW which will develop thinking about these themes in two broad directions: ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders.’  
How do Cather’s  novels represent and narrativize stories of affiliation and connection and belonging, on the one hand, or exclusion/estrangement/exile on the other? We seek papers that will examinerepresentations of citizenship  within the manifold contexts suggested by her work – from colonial-era French America through to late-Victorian and modernist  cultures. Papers might deal with themes such as migration, cultural,  racial and gender difference, trans-nationalism, transatlanticism and cosmopolitanism in Cather’s writings (the major novels, but also the shorter fiction, and Cather’s journalism/critical writings). Papers might well address Cather through the prism of recent critical and theoretical developments in American literary studies: the ‘anthropological turn’ of recent criticism, say, or New Historicist approaches. The organizers are particularly interested in revisiting some areas of Cather scholarship that have not received full exploration in recent years. How do debates around citizenship shape themselves in Cather’s historical fictions, in works such as Shadows on the Rock? Do Cather’s less-known texts, such as Lucy Gayheart, mark a break from this constellation of interests? And how do Cather’s manifold interests in an American and European variety of cultural practices (such as her life-long devotion to and fascination with opera) relate to the themes of this conference?’


Please send 200-300 word abstracts and a one-page CV to Guy Reynolds at greynolds2@unl.edu. Deadline: 2/6/2012.


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