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Willa Cather Conferences & Call for Papers (CFP)

Willa Cather Conferences & Call for Papers (CFP)

The Willa Cather Foundation hosts an annual Spring Conference in Red Cloud, Nebraska, where Cather scholars, general readers, and those interested in the arts gather to celebrate Nebraska's cultural heritage. Held the first weekend in June, Spring Conference is a great time to tour Cather's Red Cloud, hike the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, enjoy a live performance in the Red Cloud Opera House, and learn even more about Cather's life and writing.

The WCF also organizes a biennial International Seminar and periodic symposia in locations around the country—and the world!—that were important to Willa Cather. Colleagues from around the globe, at all professional levels, and from a number of disciplines gather to share their research related to the seminar theme, and Cather scholars generate new ideas and collaborations for future projects. Though a scholarly conference, plenty of activities—guided tours, exhibitions, and performances—are included for the Cather enthusiast and general reader.

In addition to our own conferences, several major literary and humanities conferences feature panels and paper sessions related to Cather scholarship. We are happy to share Calls for Papers for those panels here, alongside our own.

Cather Symposium in Limavady, Northern Ireland

Cather Symposium in Limavady, Northern Ireland
Cather Symposium in Limavady, Northern Ireland

Cather Symposium: Ireland

June 28–July 1, 2018
Limavady and Derry, Northern Ireland

Hosted by Ulster University and the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, and
Sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Set in the ancestral home of the Cather family, and taking place during the centennial of My Ántonia, the symposium will explore themes deeply resonant in Willa Cather’s life and work (including but not restricted to):

• migration and immigration;

• family legacy and inheritance;

• gender and language;

• and religious identity.

The symposium brings together established and new Cather scholars with Irish scholars and the local community. Visits to Cather family sites, along with social events involving Irish music and storytelling, will be part of the program. The Roe Valley area offers sublime coastal cliffs, mountains and ancient forests, historic ruins and landed estates. Tours of the Giants Causeway and the Walled City of Derry will complete the weekend.

Directors: Willa Murphy, Ulster University, and Aaron Callan, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

Please send abstracts of up to 350 words to the Willa Cather Foundation’s education director, Tracy Tucker, at ttucker@willacather.org by 15 January 2018.

63rd annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

63rd annual Willa Cather Spring Conference
63rd annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

“Here at Last is An American Novel”:

Celebrating 100 Years of My Ántonia

63rd annual Willa Cather Spring Conference
Red Cloud, NE | May 31–June 2, 2018

When critic Randolph Bourne heralded My Ántonia as the arrival of the “American novel,” in 1918, he could not have known the many ways the novel would remain relevant to today’s American experience. As we celebrate the centennial anniversary of My Ántonia’s publication, conference directors Dr. Todd Richardson (University of Nebraska Omaha) and Dr. Kelsey Squire (Ohio Dominican Universtiy) invite paper proposals that examine the life and writings of Willa Cather with a focus on My Ántonia and its reputation as a most “American novel.”

Topics for consideration include:

• Examining My Ántonia or Cather’s works in light of immigration and diversity in the United States, from the late 19th century through today;

• Approaches to teaching, understanding, and interpreting challenging moments from My Ántonia, such as: racialized scenes and language (Blind d’Arnault, Native American absence, and discrimination); suicide; sexual violence; xenophobia;

• Unpacking the significance of Cather’s letters to interpreting My Ántonia, or Cather’s life and work more broadly;

• Exploring unique or surprising connections between My Ántonia — or Cather’s life and work more broadly — with the work of other 20th or 21st century writers or artists;

• Examining My Ántonia in light of its regional and/or environmental setting, particularly considering new approaches to the global Midwest, the rural/urban divide in United States culture, and mobility;

• Exploring representations of community in My Ántonia, including dancing, cooking/food sharing, folkways, or religious traditions;

• New approaches to reading and teaching My Ántonia, especially through participatory culture, such as fanfiction, derivative works, fan studies, literary pilgrimage, and others.

Please send 350-500 word proposals of individual papers to the Willa Cather Foundation’s education director, Tracy Tucker, at ttucker@WillaCather.org, by February 1, 2018, along with your preferred email and college or university affiliation. Papers will be accepted by March 1, 2018. While there is no set word count; papers should be no longer than twenty minutes when read.

Willa Cather at American Literature Association Annual Conference

Willa Cather at American Literature Association Annual Conference
Willa Cather at American Literature Association Annual Conference

The Willa Cather Foundation seeks proposals for two panels for the 29th annual conference of the American Literature Association at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on May 24-27, 2018.

As 2018 is the centenary of the publication of Cather’s My Ántonia, we will dedicate one panel to new interpretations of this pivotal novel. Topics for consideration might include:

  • Exploring My Ántonia in light of immigration and diversity in the United States, from the late 19th century through today;
  • My Ántonia in the classroom, with a focus on how to approach the difficult subjects of the text, such as suicide and xenophobia;
  • New readings of My Ántonia made possible by Cather’s letters;
  • My Ántonia in light of its regional and/or environmental setting, particularly considering new approaches to the global Midwest or the rural/urban divide in United States culture.

For our second panel, we seek the best in contemporary Cather scholarship, including, but not limited to:

  • Re-assessments of Cather’s work in connection to her literary contemporaries;
  • Innovative approaches to Cather;s form, and to her understanding of literary form;
  • Critical interpretations of Cather's work in relation to the arts;
  • Transdisciplinary perspectives of Cather in the context of globalization, gender, sexuality, capitalism, and/or modernity.

Please submit proposals (no longer than a page with a header including name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail contact information) no later than December 18, 2017 to Charmion Gustke, charmion.gustke@belmont.edu. Please attach your abstract as a Word document and paste the text into your e-mail message. Acceptances will be issued by January 15, 2018. Papers accepted for these panels will not undergo any additional level of review—acceptance for the panels constitutes acceptance for the conference.

For further information about the conference generally, please consult the ALA website at www.americanliterature.org or contact the conference director, Professor Leslie Petty via email (pettyL@rhodes.edu), with specific questions. For questions about the Cather panels, please contact Charmion Gustke.

Woodress Scholar Archive Research Grants 2018

Woodress Scholar Archive Research Grants 2018
Woodress Scholar Archive Research Grants 2018

Woodress Scholar Research Grants (2018)

The Cather Project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announces the availability of a Research Grant for visiting scholars.  This grant provides financial support for scholars to travel to and reside in Lincoln, NE, for four consecutive weeks, in order to conduct research on Willa Cather using Cather resources in Nebraska and at UNL. 

Applications are invited from early career scholars, advanced graduate students, recent PhDs, and faculty not yet tenured.  Projects should reflect the need for research at the UNL Archives and in Nebraska. 

Each Woodress Research Grant is $4,000 and the scholar is expected to be in residence in Lincoln for four consecutive weeks during March 1 – December 20, 2018.  The Cather Project will assist with advice about travel, lodging, and a trip to the Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, Nebraska (2 ½ hours away) to enable the scholar to research materials in the Foundation’s archives and visit the area of Cather’s childhood.

The Cather Project produces the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition and Cather Studies, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.  The Archives and Special Collections of the UNL Libraries hold the largest collection of Cather letters to and from her, edited typescripts, manuscripts, multiple editions of her works, and many other Cather-associated materials. 

Funding for the grants is from the Roberta and James Woodress Fund (created from a gift by Roberta and James Woodress; Mr. Woodress was an eminent Cather biographer and emeritus professor of English at University of California-Davis).

To apply, please send, as e-mail attachments, to Beth Burke at eburke3@unl.edu, the following items:

  • your c.v.

  • a statement of no more than 3 pages describing the proposed research project and the importance of materials and resources at UNL to your project

  • a sample of  scholarly writing (20-25pp: preferably focusing on Cather, though not necessarily exclusively)

 

In addition, two letters of recommendation should be sent directly by your recommenders to Beth (eburke3@unl.edu).   Letters should be specific to the fellowship and proposed project rather than general letters of recommendation from your job placement dossier.

The deadline for submission of materials is DECEMBER 30, 2018 and we will inform successful applicants by FEBRUARY 1, 2018. 


Guy Reynolds, Director, The Cather Project
309 Andrews Hall

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE  68588-0396

(402) 472-1919

www.cather.unl.edu

64th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

64th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference
64th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

May 31–June 1, 2019 — Cather at the Theater. 64th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

Further details to be released soon.

17th International Willa Cather Seminar

17th International Willa Cather Seminar
17th International Willa Cather Seminar

Virginia | Summer 2019

Co-Directors: Marilee Lindemann, University of Maryland Ann Romines, George Washington University, emerita

Site Director: John Jacobs, Shenandoah University, emeritus

Sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Further details will be released soon.

16th International Willa Cather Seminar in Pittsburgh (Closed)

16th International Willa Cather Seminar in Pittsburgh (Closed)
16th International Willa Cather Seminar in Pittsburgh (Closed)

Beyond Nebraska: Willa Cather’s Pittsburgh

The 16th International Willa Cather Seminar

Dates: June 11-17, 2017
Location: Duquesne University, 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, Pittsburgh rapidly expanded as steel, glass, and other industries grew to meet the demand of a growing nation. Immigrants and African Americans flocked to the city as jobs were readily available, and the city nearly tripled in population during this decade. This was Cather’s first experience in an urban, multi-ethnic and -racial city, and she took advantage of all the city had to offer. She worked as an editor, teacher, reviewer, and freelance writer. She cultivated friendships 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 wide range of topics within Cather studies, but particularly the following:

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).

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

17th International Willa Cather Seminar - Seeking Proposals for 2019 (Closed)

17th International Willa Cather Seminar - Seeking Proposals for 2019 (Closed)
17th International Willa Cather Seminar - Seeking Proposals for 2019 (Closed)

The Willa Cather Foundation invites proposals for the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar, to be held in June 2019. Seminar directors work alongside WCF staff and Board to create a one-­of-­a-­kind conference experience for Cather scholars and enthusiasts in locations central to Willa Cather’s life and writing. Past seminars have been held in Red Cloud, Lincoln, and Nebraska City, Nebraska; Santa Fe; Quebec City; Frederick County, Virginia; Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, Vermont; Paris and Provence, France; Flagstaff, Arizona; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Chicago. Seminars traditionally last 5-­6 days and blend concurrent sessions of academic papers, keynote lectures, tours of Cather-­related sites, performances, public events, and social activities.

We ask for succinct 2-­3 page proposals that include the names of directors, their academic status, brief summary of their Cather scholarly and other related experience, justification of site appropriateness for Cather studies, explanation of proposed theme, and specifics on institutional partnership and sponsorship potential. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate strong institutional partnership, sponsorship potential, and sufficient local infrastructure for an academic conference (transportation, dining, lodging, and entertainment options). The WCF staff and Education Committee collaborate with, advise, and support directors and partner institutions in order to ensure that seminar experiences are successful and satisfying for all.

For questions or to submit a proposal, please contact Andrew Jewell, Education Committee Chair (ajewell2@unl.edu), and Tracy Tucker, Education Director of the Willa Cather Foundation (ttucker@willacather.org). Deadline for proposals is February 1, 2017.

High School Educators Scholarship (CLOSED)

High School Educators Scholarship (CLOSED)
High School Educators Scholarship (CLOSED)

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 ttucker@willacather.org. Deadline is May 10, 2016.

Cather Studies 12: Willa Cather and the Arts (CLOSED)

Cather Studies 12: Willa Cather and the Arts (CLOSED)
Cather Studies 12: Willa Cather and the Arts (CLOSED)

We invite submissions for Cather Studies 12, a peer-reviewed volume to be published by the University of Nebraska Press. The theme for the volume will be “Willa Cather and the Arts.”

Here are some of the themes and issues we hope the volume’s essays will explore:

  • Cather’s engagement with, love of, investment in, and representation of art forms beyond the fiction to which she dedicated herself;
  • Cather’s fascinations with performance (music, and especially opera). 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.

While this volume shares its theme with the International Cather Seminar that took place in Nebraska in Red Cloud and on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, consideration is not limited to those who presented their work at the seminar.

The authors of accepted papers who would like to include illustrations will be responsible for: obtaining camera ready electronic reproductions (at least 300 dpi), securing all permissions for publication, and for paying fees charged by the rights holders. The editors may limit the number of illustrations due to space restrictions.

Please submit essays of no more than 7,500 words (including notes and works cited), using the MLA system of citation by February 1, 2016 to:

Beth Burke eburke3@unl.edu
Cather Project

2016 Spring Conference & Symposium (CLOSED)

2016 Spring Conference & Symposium (CLOSED)
2016 Spring Conference & Symposium (CLOSED)

“Both Bitter and Sweet”: Cather, Literature, and the Great War
June 2-4, 2016 | Red Cloud, Nebraska

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. Topics 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 (ttucker@willacather.org). Please see the full CFP for details. 

James Fenimore Cooper and American Women Writers Panel

James Fenimore Cooper and American Women Writers Panel
James Fenimore Cooper and American Women Writers Panel

The James Fenimore Cooper Society will host the following panel at the 28th annual American Literature Association conference, which will take place from May 25-28, 2017, in Boston, MA.

Panel 1: James Fenimore Cooper and American Women Writers

Contributing to a literary marketplace largely shaped by Cooper’s success as a professional writer, American women writers from the 19th century to the present have been strongly influenced by or have consciously responded to Cooper’s novels, themes, and generic innovations. This panel will consider the ways women writers – from Cooper’s contemporaries, such as Catharine Maria Sedgwick (Hope Leslie) to current writers, such as Lauren Groff (The Ghosts of Templeton) – have been shaped by Cooper, his novels, and/or his literary contributions. Papers may consider the ways Cooper was influenced by female contemporaries as well.

Please submit to a 250-word abstract, a brief cv (2-3 pages), and an indication of whether or not the paper may be published in the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal by January 15, 2017. Please also indicate any audio-visual requirements. All proposals should be both pasted into the text of the email and included as attachments (word files or pdfs preferred).

Please submit abstracts and accompanying materials to Luis A. Iglesias (luis.iglesias@usm.edu) by January 15, 2017. Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes (6-8 pages) in length. Brief discussion will follow the presentations. Presenters need not be members of the James Fenimore Cooper Society, though we certainly hope they will choose to join. Please note that as per ALA guidelines, no one may present more than one paper at the conference. Papers presented at the conference will, with their authors' permission, be published in the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal and made available online at the Cooper Society website. Papers may be mildly revised for publication.

15th International Willa Cather Seminar (CLOSED)

15th International Willa Cather Seminar (CLOSED)
15th International Willa Cather Seminar (CLOSED)

The 15th International Willa Cather Seminar
June 5-11, 2015 
Red Cloud and Lincoln, Nebraska

"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

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 may be held in both locations. If needed, travel assistance between the two sites will be available (2.5 hours each way).

Seminar Co-Directors:
Guy Reynolds, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
greynolds2@unl.edu

Ashley Olson, Willa Cather Foundation
aolson@willacather.org

The submission deadline for this event has expired.