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The 15th International Willa Cather Seminar

The 15th International Willa Cather Seminar

Friday, June 5, 2015 to Thursday, June 11, 2015
Registration: 
$300.00
Red Cloud and Lincoln
NE

please register each attendee individually.

Fragments of Desire: Cather and the Arts

Hosted by the Willa Cather Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Cather Project


"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)

This year’s conference is striking out into new territory to combine both the Cather Foundation’s annual Spring Conference and the International Cather Seminar. This Seminar focuses on Cather in her interdisciplinary contexts, particularly the fields of performance (theater and music) and the visual arts. Cather was in many ways a cultural critic, with wide and varied passions for her favored painters, musicians and singers. The Seminar will explore — in paper sessions, plenary panels and unique performances — this complex world of art forms. We are particularly pleased that Jules Breton’s painting, The Song of the Lark, an inspiration for the novel of that name, will be on display at the University’s renowned Sheldon Art Museum during the conference. This important work is part of an exhibition titled “Cather and the Visual” and curated by unl’s Lindsay Andrews and Beth Burke.  

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers
Keynote Speakers

Richard Norton Smith

Richard Norton Smith is a nationally recognized author and historian. He is a familiar face to viewers of C-SPAN and the PBS NewsHour. Mr. Smith has been director of the Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museums, as well as founding director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. His past appearance in Red Cloud was for C-SPANs live broadcast of American Writers in 2001. Smith will speak in Red Cloud on Friday, June 5, at 5:00 p.m.

Terese Svoboda

Terese Svoboda’s writing has been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Yale Review and others. She has won many awards and fellowships in poetry and fiction. Svoboda will speak in Lincoln on Wednesday, June 10, at the Center for Great Plains Studies. “There are writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre. Terese Svoboda is one of those writers.”—Bloomsbury Review  

Registration Information

Registration Information
Registration Information

Housing in Lincoln: The housing prices are for the four nights at Kauffman Hall in Lincoln. The rooms are on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus and conference goers have the choice of a double room for $150, or a single room for $190. Arrangements have been made at the following hotels for a reduced conference rate. Mention “Cather Conference” when making reservations for the discounted rate. (Of course, you are not limited to these hotels.)

Housing in Red Cloud: Regardless whether you choose commercial options or private housing in Lincoln, accommodations for the Red Cloud portion of the Seminar are not included in the lodging price and must be arranged separately from your conference registration. A list of Red Cloud area B&Bs and motels can be found on our lodging page. Additional Red Cloud lodging may be available in private homes; for a referral, please contact Ana Armstrong, at 402-746-2653 or aarmstrong@willacather.org.

Meals: The meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Red Cloud and Lincoln from June 5-11. Meals at UN–L are at Selleck Dining near Kauffman Hall and a meal tag will be issued to you. It is an open design, market-place atmosphere with a variety of food choices.

Schedule

Schedule
Schedule

June 5–8 in Red Cloud: Seminarians should plan to arrive by afternoon on Friday, June 5. Highlights: Scholarly papers and plenary panels, keynote by Richard Norton Smith, historic site tours, picnic on the prairie, art exhibitions, screening of the NET Television documentary Yours, Willa Cather, premiere of Larksong, a theatrical retelling of The Song of the Lark at the Red Cloud Opera House.

June 8; travel between Red Cloud and Lincoln: Depart Red Cloud mid-morning and arrive in Lincoln early afternoon.

June 8–11 in Lincoln: The Seminar will resume late afternoon on Monday, June 8, and end after an evening event on Thursday, June 11. Highlights: Scholarly papers and plenary panels, keynote by Terese Svoboda, campus tours, Jazz in June, the “Cather and the Visual” exhibit at the Sheldon Art Museum (which will include the beloved The Song of the Lark by Jules Breton, from the Art Institute of Chicago), and an evening at Temple Theatre Building featuring words and music derived from Cather's Lucy Gayheart.

Seminar Directors and Contacts

Seminar Directors and Contacts
Seminar Directors and Contacts

For more information, contact Tracy Tucker, at 402-746-2653 or ttucker@willacather.org or Beth Burke, at 402-472-1919 or beth.burke@unl.edu.

Seminar Directors:

Guy Reynolds
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
greynolds2@unl.edu

Ashley Olson
The Willa Cather Foundation
aolson@willacather.org

Call for Papers

Call for Papers
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 ttucker@willacather.org. 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 beth.burke@unl.edu.