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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)
 
 
 

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66th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

66th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

Thursday, June 3, 2021 to Saturday, June 5, 2021
National Willa Cather Center
425 N. Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970
Willa Cather and Popular Print Culture Call for Papers

"Willa Cather and Popular Print Culture"

June 3–5, 2021 | Virtual Conference with Select On-Site Events
The National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska

Dr. Charles Johanningsmeier, Spring Conference Academic Director

We eagerly anticipate our 66th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference, where we will explore Willa Cather's work in relation to newspapers and magazines. From Nebraska to Pittsburgh and New York, Willa Cather’s career as a writer was—and has been, even since her death in 1947—inextricably intertwined with various popular print forms. This conference will focus on the intersections of Cather’s life and writings with newspapers and magazines. Cather sometimes disparaged periodicals by hinting to friends and colleagues that she reluctantly published her work in them only to support her more serious writing, yet she understood very well their importance to a writer’s standing in American culture during her lifetime. This rich and illuminating aspect of Cather's work is deserving of renewed attention. 

Our 2021 Spring Conference will feature a full roster of virtual and online events; special events (noted in the agenda) will be held in person in Red Cloud, with bonus materials for those who are not onsite. To experience all that our Spring Conference has to offer, please register on our conference platform by clicking the link below:

Register Now on Whova

First timer? 50% off registration with CODE: "welcome21"

After registering, please download the Whova app (on mobile devices) or sign-up/sign-in on your PC HERE

If you're having any trouble signing in jor accessing conference materials, please email or call support during conference hours:
support@WillaCather.org
(402) 746-2218


The conference keynote, select panel discussions, and all exhibits are free and open to the public
through the support of Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Arts Council,
and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

 


Radhika Jones
It's our pleasure to announce our keynote speaker, Radhika Jones, editor in chief of Vanity Fair! Previously, Jones has served as editorial director of the books department at The New York Times, deputy managing editor at Time, managing editor at The Paris Review, editor at Artforum & Bookforum, and managing editor at Grand Street. Jones graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree from Harvard, and holds a PhD in English and comparative literature from Columbia University.

At Columbia, Jones was a research assistant to the American cultural critic and historian Ann Douglas, and taught writing to undergraduates. Jones studied the Victorian and 20th century novel, postcolonial theory and criticism, and the history of English as a discipline. Her dissertation was about late-20th-century rewritings of canonical novels, including Foe (J.M. Coetzee), Jack Maggs (Peter Carey), The Hours (Michael Cunningham), and Possession (A.S. Byatt).

Jones was born in New York City, and grew up in Cincinnati and then Connecticut. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son, and serves on the nonprofit boards of CARE and The Paris Review.


Jean Lee Cole
We're pleased to welcome Dr. Jean Lee Cole, Loyola University of Maryland, as an invited speaker! 
Dr. Cole, who was raised in Nebraska and Iowa, has taught English literature at Loyola since 2001, focusing on American literature as it pertains to race, gender, landscapes, and its place in culture. She is the editor of the journal American Periodicals, and her scholarship on American periodicals and visual culture makes her an ideal speaker for this conference. Her lecture on Willa Cather and magazine illustration is sure to be one of the highlights of the upcoming conference. Watch for more details soon!

 

Download and Print the full Conference Program

Download and Print the full Conference Program
Download and Print the full Conference Program

The full conference program—including exhibits, sponsors, onsite and virtual programs, and more—for the 66th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference can be accessed for both download and printing at the link below.

Spring Conference Agenda

Spring Conference Agenda
Spring Conference Agenda

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Modern Recipes in Popular Print — Recipes for Happy Hour!

Modern Recipes in Popular Print — Recipes for Happy Hour!
Modern Recipes in Popular Print — Recipes for Happy Hour!

Join us as we wrap up another insightful and successful Willa Cather Spring Conference! We'll gather to celebrate our 66th annual conference, and we'll be joined by Animal Engine Theatre Company, who will talk about the creation of their commissioned work, "Henrietta Solway," just before the show!

We hope you'll enjoy sampling a few of these recipes that appeared alongside Willa Cather's magazine publications! Let's share our successes (or dubious results) on the community board!

Call for Papers - CLOSED

Call for Papers - CLOSED
Call for Papers - CLOSED

From Nebraska to Pittsburgh and New York, Willa Cather’s career as a writer was—and has been, even since her death in 1947—inextricably intertwined with various popular print forms. This conference will focus on the intersections of Cather’s life and writings with newspapers and magazines. Cather sometimes disparaged periodicals by hinting to friends and colleagues that she reluctantly published her work in them only to support her more serious writing, yet she understood very well their importance to a writer’s standing in American culture during her lifetime.

Despite the deep significance of periodicals to Cather’s career, however, scholars have focused most of their attention on Cather’s writings that appeared in book form and on her relationships with her editors and publishers at the prestigious publishing houses of Houghton Mifflin and Alfred A. Knopf. In contrast, the 2021 Willa Cather Spring Conference signals a growing recognition of, and interest in, Cather’s interactions with newspapers and magazines. Not only did her work for such periodicals as the Nebraska State Journal, the Pittsburgh-based Home Monthly, the Pittsburg Leader, and McClure’s Magazine support her during her early struggles, but they also shaped her writing and established her early reputation. Throughout the rest of her career, and even after her death, newspapers and magazines continued to play a key role in publicizing her works. Indeed, nearly all of Cather’s most significant short stories and novels first appeared in the pages of a magazine, from Woman’s Home Companion, Collier’s Weekly, and McCall’s Magazine to the Atlantic Monthly, McClure’s Magazine, Century, and Overland Monthly; they were also sometimes reprinted in newspapers both in the United States and abroad.

Participants and attendees of the 2021 Cather Spring Conference will explore the many different ways in which newspapers and magazines played a role in Cather’s career and life. Some possible topics include:

  • Cather’s nonfiction writing for newspapers and magazines
  • Cather’s work as a periodical editor
  • How popular mainstream periodicals of her day—and certain writers for them, such as Fanny Butcher, H. L. Mencken,and Grant Overton—portrayed Cather to their reading publics
  • How Cather consciously and intentionally shaped her public persona via periodicals
  • How Cather’s experiences with popular mainstream periodicals compared with those of writers from traditionally underrepresented groups
  • The influence of Cather’s periodical reading on her own work
  • The reception of Cather’s works by newspaper and magazine reviewers
  • The ways in which Cather and her works were depicted in minority-owned periodicals
  • Strategies for incorporating Cather’s periodical writings and experiences into classroom teaching
  • Cather and her works as they appeared in international newspapers and magazines
  • The impact of periodical publication on Cather’s earnings, popularity, and critical reputation
  • The illustrations that accompanied her periodical publications
  • We also welcome papers that offer context on the popular publishing world in which Cather operated, from approximately 1895 to 1947

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should describe papers or presentations approximately twenty minutes long. Innovative formats are encouraged. Abstracts, along with your contact information and institutional affiliation, should be emailed to education coordinator Rachel Olsen at rolsen@willacather.org by February 15, 2021. Questions may be sent to Dr. Charles Johanningsmeier, Academic Director of the 2021 Spring Conference, at jmeier@unomaha.edu.

Given the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are planning for all possible formats: in-person in Red Cloud, completely online, or a hybrid. Presenters should plan to present their paper or participate in discussions online should circumstances require it.