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International Seminar

The 15th International Willa Cather Seminar
Fragments of Desire: Cather and the Arts
Hosted by the Willa Cather Foundation and University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Red Cloud and Lincoln, Nebraska
June 5-12, 2015

"It had come all the way; when men lived in caves, it was there. A vanished race; but along the trails, in the stream, under the spreading cactus, there still glittered in the sun the bits of their frail clay vessels, fragments of their desire."
- Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915)


willa-cather-foundation-logo unl_logo Seminar Directors

Guy Reynolds
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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Ashley Olson
The Willa Cather Foundation
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Call for Papers

In the centenary year of Cather's The Song of the Lark, the Willa Cather Foundation (Red Cloud, Nebraska) and the Cather Project (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) invite paper proposals relating to our theme: "Cather and the Arts." This will be a seminar based in the two prominent places of Cather's Nebraska experience—Red Cloud and Lincoln.

The conference will focus on Cather's engagement with, love of, investment in, and representation of art forms beyond the fiction to which she dedicated herself. We are interested in exploring Cather's fascinations with performance (music, and especially opera), and the visual arts. Topics for consideration might include: voice and performance; European music/American setting; classical and folk forms of music; the female performer; Cather and image-making; Cather and French art; photography; collecting and exhibiting; craft object and the art object, "high" art and "low" art. Papers with diverse critical and theoretical perspectives are encouraged.

The seminar will open with three days in Red Cloud where participants will stay in motels, bed and breakfasts, or private homes. The second phase of the seminar will be in Lincoln on the University campus. Participants may stay on campus in the dormitories or make arrangements at nearby hotels. Paper presentations will be on campus, along with the keynote speaker and special events. If needed, travel assistance between the two sites will be available (2.5 hours each way).

If you would like to submit a proposal, please email an abstract of 500 words, a cover letter, and brief résumé by February 15, 2015 to Tracy Tucker at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If your paper is accepted, you will be notified by April 1, 2015. You will need to submit your final paper by May 1, 2015. Papers should be 10-12 pages in length (20 minutes when read). For further information visit www.cather.unl.edu and www.willacather.org or email Beth Burke at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Complete List of All Willa Cather International Seminars:


14th International Willa Cather Seminar
walnutcanyonNorthern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
"Willa Cather: Canyon, Rock, & Mesa Country"
June 16-22, 2013


13th International Willa Cather Seminar
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
"Willa Cather and the Nineteenth Century"
June 20-25, 2011

12th International Willa Cather Seminar

University Center, Chicago, Illinois
"Cather, Chicago and Modernism"
June 25-28, 2009

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11th International Willa Cather Seminar
Paris and Abbey St-Michel de Frigolet, Provence, France
"Willa Cather: A Writer's Worlds"
June 24-July 1, 2007

10th International Willa Cather Seminar
Red Cloud and University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, Nebraska
"Violence, the Arts, and Cather"
June 18-25, 2005


9th International Willa Cather Seminar
Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College, Ripton, Vermont
"Cather as Cultural Icon"
May 28-June 2, 2003


8th International Willa Cather Seminarjohn_murphy--tour_of_cather_sites_in_paris
Lied Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City, Nebraska
"Willa Cather's Environmental Imagination"
June 17-24, 2000


7th International Willa Cather Seminar
Shenendoah University, Winchester, Virginia
"Willa Cather's Southern Connections"
June 21-28, 1997


6th International Willa Cather Seminar
Laval University, Quebec City, Canada
"Cather's Canadian and Old World Connections"
June 24 - July 1, 1995


5th International Willa Cather Seminar
Hastings College, Hastings and Red Cloud, Nebraska
"'After the World Broke in Two': The Later Writings of Willa Cather"
June 19-26, 1993


4th International Willa Cather Seminar
College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico
"Multiple Traditions of American Culture"
June 16-23, 1990


3rd International Willa Cather Seminar
Hastings College, Hastings and Red Cloud, Nebraska
"Willa Cather: The World and the Parish"
June 14-20, 1987


2nd International Willa Cather Seminar
Hastings College, Hastings and Red Cloud, Nebraska
"Willa Cather Today"
June 19-25, 1983


1st International Willa Cather Seminar
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska
"The Art of Willa Cather"
October 25-28, 1973


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