Monday, November 25, 2019

CFP: Routledge Companion to the Literature of the American South

CFP Reminder:
We are looking for contributors for the Routledge Companion to the Literature of the U.S. South, which will offer forty-five (45) short articles by scholars from a wide range of backgrounds who are working in or tangential to the field of U.S. southern studies. The goal of the Companion is to create a multi-faceted conversation around a series of topics in U.S. southern studies, and to bring in the widest variety of perspectives possible to a general audience of both students and scholars. This proposed Companion incorporates the trends in the field from the past twenty years, but opens them up even further by highlighting the perspectives of a wide number of scholars, a mix of junior and senior scholars, and those directly in the field as well as those whose work is indirectly related. Building on the momentum of recent manifestos in the PMLA and Mississippi Quarterly journals that have called for radical reconceptions of the field of U.S. southern studies. The Companion will offer a comprehensive overview of the southern studies field, including a chronological history from the U.S. colonial era to the present day as well as theoretical touchstones, while also introducing new methods of reconceiving region and the U.S. South as inherently interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional.
The Companion will be organized into three categories. The “Foundations” section includes essays which cover literary movements, time periods, and chronological eras, such as Colonial Writing, the Harlem Renaissance, or the Postsouthern South. The “Touchstones” section includes essays on major topics and themes in southern literary studies, including genres, themes such as the Southern Gothic and Ecocriticism, and topics such as immigration, music, and activism. The final section, “Trajectories,” looks to the future of southern literary studies. While we have some topics we would like to have addressed in this section, such as new media and the urban south, we are actively seeking suggestions from contributors for topics that they would like to address in this section.
Please submit a short (200-300 word) proposal for an essay, in which you briefly explain the topic you would like to address, to Katie Burnett, Fisk University (, Monica Miller, Middle Georgia State University (, and Todd Hagstette, University of South Carolina Aiken (
You may suggest a topic for the “Trajectories” section, or you may choose a topic from this list to address:
Pre-Columbian Literature
The Harlem Renaissance
Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era
Southern Cultural Studies
Slave Narratives
Pro-Slavery Writing
Poetry and Verse
Native Souths
Ecocriticism and the Environment
Appalachian Literature
Class and economics
Southern Cityscapes
Multiethnic Souths
Hip-Hop and the South
In order to include a wide variety of essays, we are asking that you keep the essay around 1,500 words. In addition to the main essay, we’d also like for you to write a short (~500 words) an author or text that exemplifies this topic. Each section will have a short text or author spotlight that demonstrates, represents, or otherwise supplements the main essay.
This companion is aimed at a general academic audience: libraries, researchers, students, and instructors. The aim is to present a snapshot for researchers and professionals outside of the field, including the average undergraduate student and those with PhDs, while also offering a more expansive overview for those actively researching and writing in the field.
The deadline for proposals is December 1, 2019. If your proposal is accepted, the deadline for essays is November 1, 2020.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

CFP: Armistead Maupin’s Transgressive Tales

CFP: Armistead Maupin’s Transgressive Tales
2020 Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference
April 2-5, 2020
Fayetteville, AR
In the 1970s, Armistead Maupin wrote sketches for a serialized column, Tales of the City. It was the creation of a still-expanding universe emanating from the storied 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco. Maupin adapted the material from the column into Tales of the City, a novel published in 1978; eight more books in the series followed between 1980 and 2014. Along the way, Tales has shape-shifted into television (including a recent Netflix reboot), radio, and musical adaptations. In 2017, the tale of Tales, along with other aspects of Maupin’s life, got an airing with the release of Logical Family: A Memoir and a documentary film, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin. In these autobiographical works, Maupin documents the varied paths his life has taken: growing up in Raleigh as the scion of a North Carolina family with ancestral ties to the Confederacy; enlisting in the military during the Vietnam War; working for Jesse Helms, the far-right senator from North Carolina who was infamous for his racism and homophobia; and coming to terms with his homosexuality and coming out as a gay man in the San Francisco of the seventies. Maupin has demonstrated a penchant for crafting stories that blend fiction and social history to cast era-defining touchstones from the AIDS crisis to the politics of gentrification in intimate settings. Through a Dickensian tapestry of interwoven characters and storylines, Maupin traces the social boundaries of repressive conformity and tracks the efforts of queer people to transgress them in the pursuit of solidarity and equality.
Despite Maupin’s ties to the southeastern US, scholars in southern literary and cultural studies have yet to devote significant attention to his life and work. For SSSL 2020, the organizers of this round table are hoping to have a conversation that will start to redress this critical neglect. We are currently accepting proposals for ten-minute talks on topics related to Armistead Maupin’s life and work, including but not limited to the following:
--Issues of LGBTQ+ representation
--Gender and sexual identity/expression/politics
--Racial and ethnic identities/experiences/intersections
--Literature and/as social history
--HIV/AIDS in literature and culture
--Queer diasporas/communities
--Queer spaces and temporalities
--Tales of the (big) city and metropolitan bias in queer literature and history
--Matters of genre, form, and adaptation (social novel, melodrama, serialization, closet/coming out narratives, reboot culture, etc.)
--Families (biological, logical/chosen)
--Generational ties/tensions
--Maupin and literary/celebrity culture
--(Auto)biographical approaches
Please submit a brief description of the proposed talk (200-300 words) and a short bio by October 1, 2019 to Monica Miller ( and Ted Atkinson (

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

CFP: The Tacky South

CFP: 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 edited collection will use 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? Should we be suspicious of the celebration and enjoyment of southern tackiness at both the popular and scholarly levels? What power structures emerge from labeling something as “tacky” or the implementation of tackiness as an aesthetic mode? 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.
By March 30, 2019, please submit 500-word abstracts and a short, 100-word bio to Katie Burnett, Fisk University ( and Monica Miller, Middle Georgia State University ( Formal proposals to the publisher will then go out; accepted proposals will be expected to submit a finished essay of ~5,000 to 6,000 words by May 1, 2020. Feel free to send queries with any questions regarding proposals (including feedback on ideas) at any time.