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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)
 
 
 

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Un/Tethered: Cather on the Cusp of the 1920s

Un/Tethered: Cather on the Cusp of the 1920s

Thursday, June 4, 2020 to Saturday, June 6, 2020
From the comfort of home!

We hope you will take part as we revisit the short stories of Youth and the Bright Medusa at 100 years.

For Cather and for the nation, the dawn of the 1920s was a tumultuous time, marked by new freedoms and new entanglements. The Great War had ended and women had won the right to vote, but 1919’s Red Summer and Palmer Raids signalled lingering social discord. Into this unsettled world, Willa Cather brought out Youth and the Bright Medusa, her collection of short stories that marked her departure from Houghton Mifflin and launched her long and successful partnership with a new publisher, Alfred Knopf. In the stories of Youth and the Bright Medusa, Cather’s artists move through a world that is by turns inspiring and enervating.

Un/Tethered explores the themes of Youth and the Bright Medusa and the tensions of this time through broad conference offerings, including a keynote lecture by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, Nebraska film and textile artist Michael Burton’s innovative animation installation based on Cather’s “A Gold Slipper,” a day of insightful scholarly presentations, and a musical theater performance of select stories from Youth and the Bright Medusa by Lone Tree Live—a collaboration of regional and national writers, actors, and musicians!

The support of Humanities Nebraska allows us to make portions of our Spring Conference free to the general public. Click on an event to learn more!

A NOTE ABOUT DIGITAL DELIVERY:

For the past year, our Spring Conference planning team has worked to develop an exciting and innovative Spring Conference schedule that celebrates the publication centenary of Youth and the Bright Medusa and Willa Cather herself. After careful thought and in light of our current travel- and event-related restrictions, the team has reimagined our conference and embraced innovation fully by offering our Spring Conference digitally for the first time. While some things will necessarily change, conference-goers will have the same valuable opportunities to connect with conference speakers and one another. We also believe this is an exciting opportunity for us to welcome new audiences into the Cather community. We hope you’ll take part!

Our virtual conference will be delivered via the Whova digital platform. To register and download the app, please use the buttons below!

Register Now on Whova

Get Mobile App

Questions About Whova?

Questions About Whova?
Questions About Whova?

Whova is a mobile app that provides a secure digital platform for delivering conference materials—everything from the conference agenda and speaker information to handouts and slide decks. The mobile app is a powerful tool that allows conference-goers to interact with speakers, with organizers, with sponsors, and with each other in a lot of fun ways that mimic the experience of an in-person conference. The mobile app requires an Android or iPhone. Learn more about the mobile app here!

Whova also offers a web portal, and if you're a mobile app user, you're already registered to use the web portal on your laptop or desktop computer! Just log in using the same email credentials you used when registering through Whova or when setting up the mobile app.

If you do not have a smartphone, you can now create a web log-in that does not require the mobile app. Click the "Sign Up Here" link at the bottom of the web portal page. Please keep in mind that the web portal does not offer all the features of the mobile app. We recommend the mobile app for full functionality.

Virtual Happy Hour Cocktails & Canapé Suggestions

Virtual Happy Hour Cocktails & Canapé Suggestions
Virtual Happy Hour Cocktails & Canapé Suggestions

Cheers! We hope you'll join us in preparing a few of these recipes, contemporaneous with Youth and the Bright Medusa (and a few that are our modern takes on the classics)! Provided in advance to allow you time to place a grocery order, please look for the Community post on Whova and share photos and recipes of your own!


Virtual Spring Conference Schedule

Virtual Spring Conference Schedule
Virtual Spring Conference Schedule

Featured speaker biographies, program descriptions, information on featured exhibits, and a full schedule is here! 

Sponsorship

Sponsorship
Sponsorship

This rich digital conference will bring together Cather fans and literature enthusiasts from all over the country. Together, we’ll celebrate our shared heritage and learn more about the life and work of one of America’s greatest writers. This event would not occur without support from our sponsors. For information about sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please use the link that follows. Thank you!

Conference Leadership

Conference Leadership
Conference Leadership

Diane Prenatt, Marian University
Elaine Smith, University of South Florida

Call for Papers (closed)

Call for Papers (closed)
Call for Papers (closed)

To mark this important anniversary, we are accepting proposals for papers related to the publication centenary of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Topics to be considered include:

  • Youth and the Bright Medusa’s publication history and that of its individual stories, including the collection’s enigmatic title (and the changes in title and contents);
  • Cather’s fictional world of artists, her insiders and her outsiders, and the tensions between these communities;
  • The notions of escape and return, rule and rebellion, and how these relate to Cather, her artists and their lives;
  • YBM’s historical moment: how does this collection relate to the late 1910s and 1920s and the momentous social and cultural changes of the time? To Cather’s personal history? To today’s social issues?
  • Innovative examples of the teaching of Cather’s work, particularly ideas of cross-curricular, digital, and participatory approaches; 
  • Examinations of place, absence, and exile as they relate to culture, art, and intellectualism—both in Cather’s writing and our modern society.

Please send proposals for papers to the National Willa Cather Center’s education specialist, Rachel Olsen, at rolsen@WillaCather.org, by February 1, 2020. Proposals should be 350-500 words. Be sure to include your academic affiliation with the proposal! Papers will be accepted by March 15, 2020. While there is no set word count, papers should be no longer than twenty minutes when read.

A shareable version of the CFP is linked below.

Files: