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16th International Willa Cather Seminar

16th International Willa Cather Seminar

Sunday, June 11, 2017 to Saturday, June 17, 2017
Registration: 
$350.00
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

"Beyond Nebraska: Willa Cather's Pittsburgh"

Registration Instructions: Please be sure to select your registration option (Full, Student, or Cather Enthusiast) by clicking the red registration bar, and then select your add-on tickets for meal plans, dorm lodging, parking, and optional excursions. 

Registration is now open for the next International Cather Seminar, scheduled for June 11-17, 2017, at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University. During Cather's ten years in Pittsburgh, she worked as an editor, teacher, reviewer, and freelance writer. As importantly, she collected friends and mixed with all sorts of Pittsburghers. She published extensively—not just hundreds of profiles and reviews, but more than thirty short stories, a collection of poetry, April Twilights (1903), and The Troll Garden, her first collection of stories. After moving to New York in 1906, she visited Pittsburgh until 1916, writing parts of several novels at the McClung residence. Despite the importance Pittsburgh played in her life, much remains undiscovered. This seminar seeks to further explore the influences of Pittsburgh on Cather’s life and career.

Hurry! Early-bird registration ends May 1. After May 1, prices increase to $425 general registration or $325 for students/emeriti/partners.

A $25 administrative fee will be charged for cancellations by May 25, 2017. After May 25, we will be unable to process cancellations.

Watch this page for the full seminar schedule—available May 2017!

Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers
Featured Speakers

Keynote speaker Rick Sebak has written, produced, and narrated more than forty engagingly quirky documentaries about the people, places, and institutions of Pittsburgh, including the 22 programs in the “Pittsburgh History Series.” His scrapbook documentaries educate and entertain in equal measure.

Selections from Paul’s Case, the opera, with music and commentary from:
Tenor Jonathan Blalock, a Rossini and Mozart specialist, has received numerous accolades for his 20th and 21st century opera performances. He originated the role of Paul in the world premiere production of Paul’s Case in Arlington, Virginia, in 2013, which transferred to New York City in January 2014 as part of that year’s Prototype Festival. Alex Ross of The New Yorker called his performance “transfixing,” and named the production one of the top ten events of 2014.

Writer and editor Steve Smith has been involved with music and media for nearly thirty years, most recently as director of publications at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. Smith was formerly assistant arts editor of the Boston Globe, music editor at Time Out New York, and reviewer for the New York Times.

Award-winning composer Gregory Spears adapted, with Kathryn Walat as co-librettist, Cather’s classic story “Paul’s Case” for his first opera in 2013. His work on Paul’s Case, the opera, was called “coolly entrancing” by the Boston Globe and “ravishing” by the New York Times. His opera Fellow Travelers, based on a 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, received its world premiere in June 2016 at the Cincinnati Opera.

Schedule Highlights

Schedule Highlights
Schedule Highlights

Sunday, June 11

  • Afternoon check-in
  • Walking tours of Cather’s downtown
  • Welcome and keynote address by filmmaker Rick Sebak

Monday, June 12

  • Panel discussion and concurrent paper sessions 
  • Organ recital at Calvary United Methodist Church

Tuesday, June 13

  • Plenary and concurrent paper sessions
  • Evening on your own to explore Pittsburgh

Wednesday, June 14

  • Roundtable and concurrent paper sessions 
  • Cather Trivia

Thursday, June 15

  • Concurrent paper sessions 
  • Oakland walking tours 
  • The Washington (pa) Symphony Orchestra presents
    “Willa Cather’s Iron City Music,” at Carnegie Music Hall

Friday, June 16

  • Plenary and concurrent paper sessions 
  • Selections from Paul’s Case, the opera:
    Panel discussion and recital moderated by Steve Smith,
    with Gregory Spears (composer), and Jonathan Blalock (singer/actor)

Saturday, June 17

  • Travel to Fallingwater (optional; must register in advance)

Travel Grants

Travel Grants
Travel Grants

The Willa Cather Foundation provides, through the generosity of International Seminar sponsors, a limited number of student travel grants. The aim of the Willa Cather Foundation is to provide assistance to students by bridging the gap between institutional and departmental support and the actual costs of travel to attend this seminar.

Because funding is limited, preference is given for students presenting seminar papers, demonstrated need, and value of attendance to area of study. Grant recipients will be notified by April 15, 2017.

Funds are disbursed by check at the conclusion of the seminar. Full attendance of the conference is required to receive a travel grant. 

Travel, Parking, Lodging, and Meals

Travel, Parking, Lodging, and Meals
Travel, Parking, Lodging, and Meals

AIRPORT
Conference-goers should plan to fly into Pittsburgh International; the airport is roughly 30 minutes from Duquesne’s campus. See below for taxi, shuttle, bus, and car rental information.

TRANSPORTATION
Complete information on transportation from Pittsburgh International Airport to Duquesne can be found HERE  (use the menu on the left to select car rental, taxi & shuttle, public transportation, etc.). Costs for a taxi from PIT to Duquesne is roughly $50-60; shuttle costs are roughly $35 (reservations are available but not required); public transportation is $3.75 but requires exact change and can be difficult with baggage.

PARKING
Daytime garage parking is available on campus in the Forbes Avenue Parking Garage, at $12/day for weekday parking. It is a fully automated, covered garage, centrally located on the Duquesne campus.Pay stations are available one levels 1 & 8.

A weeklong parking permit with overnight and in/out privileges can be obtained by advance arrangement only. Advance parking passes with overnight parking are $75.

LODGING
On Campus (6 nights)
Double room: $195
Single room: $225
If you choose to stay on campus, all areas will have Wi-Fi. A computer lab is available with printing capabilities. Laundry facilities are located on each floor of the hall, and all rooms have their own thermostat. Hangers are not provided; very limited numbers of refrigerators are available. Each floor has a lounge area.

Hotels:
Arrangements have been made for a reduced conference rate at many downtown hotels. Mention “Duquesne University” when making reservations for the discounted rate. Hotels reserve the right to limit the number of discounted rooms. (Of course, you are not limited to these hotels.)

  • William Penn/Omni Westin Hotel, 412-281-7100
  • Marriott City Center, 412-471-4000, 
  • Cambria Suites, 412-381-6687

Parking fees of $20-30/day apply at downtown hotels.

MEALS

$175 for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from the evening of Sunday, June 11 to the morning of Saturday, June 17. Meals will be provided through Duquesne's campus dining system, using meal cards.

Seminarians staying on or off campus may also choose to pay cash for meals eaten on campus.

Call for Papers

Call for Papers
Call for Papers

Dates: June 11-17, 2017
Location: Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Directors: Dr. Timothy Bintrim, Saint Francis University
Dr. James Jaap, Penn State Greater Allegheny

Site Director: Dr. Faith Barrett, Duquesne University

Willa Cather left Nebraska in 1896 and for the next decade made Pittsburgh her primary residence. During these ten years, she worked as an editor, teacher, reviewer, and freelance writer. She collected friends and mixed with all sorts of Pittsburghers. She published extensively—not only hundreds of profiles and reviews, but also more than thirty short stories; a collection of poetry, April Twilights (1903); and The Troll Garden, her first collection of stories. After moving to New York in 1906, she continued visiting Pittsburgh until 1916, writing parts of several novels at the McClung residence.

Despite the importance Pittsburgh played in her life, much remains undiscovered. This seminar will further explore the influences of Pittsburgh on Cather’s life and career.
We invite proposals on a range of topics related to Cather and Pittsburgh:

Cather’s Pittsburgh Writings

  • Signed, pseudonymous, and unsigned works written in the city
  • Daily journalism, editorial work, reviews, and correspondence 
  • The lost Pittsburgh novel (Fanny) 
  • Works with Western Pennsylvania settings and references 
  • Echoes of Pittsburgh in Cather’s novels

Cather’s Pittsburgh Life

  • Life in boardinghouses and with the McClungs 
  • Family, friends, and acquaintances 
  • Clubs, excursions, and other diversions 
  • Forays to New York, Virginia, Washington, and her first trips abroad 
  • Cather’s experience of music: symphonic, operatic, sacred, classical, folk, popular, and jazz 
  • The Carnegie International and art in public and private collections

Pittsburgh’s People and International Connections

  • Cather’s place in Pittsburgh’s diverse literary pantheon 
  • Cather’s troubled relationship with race and ethnicity: representations and elisions 
  • Social class, immigration, and Americanization; religious and political minorities 
  • Cather’s journalistic commentary on international affairs

Please send 500-word proposals of individual papers to the Willa Cather Foundation’s education director, Tracy Tucker, at ttucker@WillaCather.org, by February 15, 2017. If your paper is accepted, you will be notified by March 15, 2017. You will need to submit your final paper by May 1, 2017. Papers should be 8-10 pages in length (20 minutes when read).

Leadership

Leadership
Leadership

For any questions surrounding the International Seminar, please contact Tracy Tucker via email at
ttucker@willacather.org or by phone, 402-746-2653.

Directors:
Dr. Timothy Bintrim, Saint Francis University
Dr. James Jaap, Penn State Greater Allegheny

Site Director:
Dr. Faith Barrett, Duquesne University

WCF Staff:
Ashley Olson, Executive Director
Tracy Tucker, Education Director