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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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61st Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

61st Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 8:00am to Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 8:00pm
Red Cloud Opera House
413 North Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970

The 61st annual Willa Cather Spring Conference
June 2-4, 2016
Red Cloud, Nebraska

Join us in Red Cloud, Nebraska for our 61st annual Willa Cather Spring Conference! As the world remembers the sacrifices made during the Great War, we gather to discuss the war's impact not only on Willa Cather's life and war-era writings but on those of her literary contemporaries, as well as the legacy of the war on American culture. Highlights of the Conference include papers and panel discussions; a keynote address by Dr. Pearl James; 2016 "One Book One Nebraska" author Karen Gettert Shoemaker; readings of poetry and drama of the World War I era; dance instruction and popular music of the 1910s; and a Red Cloud Opera House performance, Keep the Home Fires Burning: Music From the Great War, by soprano Sarah Young.

Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule
Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 2

9:00 – 10:00  
“The Home Longing: Willa Cather Encounters the Great War”
 Dr. Mark Facknitz, James Madison University

10:00 – 5:15  
Scholarly papers

7:00 – 8:15    
Keynote address:
“The New Death: Willa Cather and World War I”
Dr. Pearl James, University of Kentucky

Friday, June 3

9:00 – 10:30  
Welcome and scholarship presentations

11:00 – 12:15  
Book talk and signing:
Karen Gettert Shoemaker, author of The Meaning of Names,
2016 “One Book One Nebraska” selection

1:30 – 2:30    
“Cather’s ‘Doomed’ Novel:
One of Ours and the Romance and Reality of War”
Dr. Richard Harris, Webb Institute

2:45 – 4:15    
Alternating activities at historic sites

A. Poetry of the Great War

B. Der Tag, or Tragic Man

4:30 – 5:30    
Artists’ reception

5:45 – 7:00    

7:00 – 8:30    
Dances and Music of World War I
with dance instructors Nick Hernandez and Maja Peci

Saturday, June 4

7:30 – 9:30    
Conference breakfast

8:30 – 9:30    
Service—Grace Episcopal Church, Rev. Charles Peek, Officiant

10:00 – 11:45  
The Passing Show:
“Decades Since Our Doughboy: One of Ours and the War Years”
Moderator Dr. Julie Olin-Ammentorp, and panelists:
Drs. Dan Clayton, Max Despain, Andrew Jewell, Janis Stout

12:00 – 1:15  
“Win the War in the Kitchen: Historic Recipes of World War I”

1:30 – 2:30    
“‘War Was a Story to Willa’: Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant’s ‘War as Lived’”
Dr. Diane Prenatt, Marion University

3:00 – 5:30    
“World War I: The American Legacy” (documentary film)

— or —

Pilgrimage to “Catherton” and Bladen, Nebraska, by caravan

6:00 – 7:30    
Banquet featuring French regional cuisine and
celebrating construction of the National Willa Cather Center

7:30 – 9:00    
"Keep the Home Fires Burning": Music from the Great War
Dr. Sarah Young, soprano

High School Educators Scholarship

High School Educators Scholarship
High School Educators Scholarship

To further our educational mission, the Willa Cather Foundation has created the High School Educators Scholarship in 2016. Through this program, five high school educators will receive a Spring Conference registration scholarship, so that they may experience the historic sites, the cultural opportunities, and the Cather scholarship that Spring Conference offers. It is our sincere hope that these partnerships will facilitate a dynamic exchange of ideas between Cather scholars and high school educators, upon whom we rely for our next generation of Cather readers. To apply for the High School Educators Scholarship, please complete the form below or contact education director Tracy Tucker, at 402-746-2653 or Deadline is May 10, 2016.

Call For Papers (Closed)

Call For Papers (Closed)
Call For Papers (Closed)

“Both Bitter and Sweet”: Cather, Literature, and the Great War

The years 2014–2018 mark the centennial of the First World War and represent a time to re-examine Cather’s writing of that period, particularly her 1922 novel One of Ours, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Scholars are invited to submit proposals on Cather and World War I in particular, or related topics that broaden and extend our understanding of Cather’s work both about and during the war years. Subjects of interest include, but are not limited to:

• The critical and popular reception of One of Ours, the novel’s stance on the war, and comparisons between Cather’s novel to other depictions of the Great War
• Questions of gender, including women’s participation in World War I and women’s writing about war, including those by Cather’s friends Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant and Dorothy Canfield Fisher
• Cather’s Pulitzer Prize and its meaning to her life and career
• Cather’s attitude toward and reflections on war, explored through her novels written during WWI—The Song of the Lark and My Ántonia — and through her letters, her essays “Roll Call on the Prairies” and “The Education You Have to Fight For,” and her short stories of the period
• Cather’s love of France and European culture
• Biographical exploration of G.P. Cather (the cousin on whom Claude Wheeler was loosely based), the idea of heroic masculinity, and civilian responses to the war
• Popular culture of the World War I period, including music, trench art, fashion, and film
• Poetry and literature of WWI vis-à-vis central issues in Cather’s war writing
• Memorials and representations of WWI in both high and popular culture
• WWI as setting, both as physical landscape and as the intersection of cultures, competing historical perspectives, and artistic responses

Conference directors Julie Olin-Ammentorp and Max Despain invite proposals on the above or related topics by February 1, 2016. Please email proposals to WCF education director Tracy Tucker, along with a short resumé or vita (