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Call for Papers: The American Short Story – New Horizons

Call for Papers

In cooperation with

the Society for the Study of the American Short Story,

the American Literature Association, and the Obama Institute

The American Short Story: New Horizons

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany

October 5-7, 2017

Program coordinator: Oliver Scheiding

Organizing Committee:

James Nagel, Olivia Edenfield, Elke D’hoker,

Jochen Achilles, Dustin Anderson, Damien Schlarb

Throughout its history, the American short story has been praised either as a highly polished gem or condemned as literary fast food. Despite such rise-and-fall predictions, the short story has always been a demanding form. Its narrative economy in terms of time and space records decisive, intimate moments of life that give the American Short Story a broad social resonance. As such, the short story offers a vibrant field of research. There is a renaissance in progress not only in terms of the short story’s productivity but also in terms of innovative theoretical questions. The current state of research is, however, probably best described as “ripening.”

The conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons” invites both panels and papers that address fresh and original questions relevant to studying the American short story: how the genre works as performance in itself; how it conveys a theory of culture in which aesthetic structures and the presentation of cultural problematics interrelate; how the short story and the practices of text-making are related to the cultures of print in which textual circulation and economic exchange are homologues; how we can read the short story as an expressive form alongside its material dimensions, its vitality of forms (i.e., short-short fiction, flash fiction), and the multiple meanings of such concepts as authorship and genre; how we can reassess the short story as a field to map out exchanges not just among authors, but also among editors, publishers, reviewers, readers, and the physical text, with its advertisements, illustrations, and editorial changes. The conference thus seeks to explore the American short story as a coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature, presently culminating in a digital culture in which brevity rules.

Suggested Topics:

  • History of the American Short Story
  • American Short Story and Ethnicity
  • Gender/Sexuality Studies and the American Short Story
  • American Short Story and Literary/Cultural Theory
  • American Short Story and Linguistics
  • American Short Story and Psychology
  • American Short Story and Religion
  • Early Short Narratives prior to 1800
  • American Short Story and Periodicals
  • American Short Story and Graphic Narratives
  • American Short Story and Print Culture/Material Culture
  • American Short Story and Translation/Translators
  • American Short Story and Storytelling
  • New and old Forms: Short and Short-Short Stories
  • American Short Story Cycles
  • The American Short Story and Life Writing
  • American Short Stories and Authors
  • Flash Fiction and Microfiction
  • American Short Story and Visual Arts/Film
  • American Short Story and Digital Research
  • American Short Story and the Digital Age
  • American Short Stories and Globalization
  • American Short Stories and Transnationalism
  • American Short Stories and Medical Humanities
  • American Short Story and Literary Periodization/Movements
  • American Short Story and MFA Programs
  • American Short Story and Music/Theater
  • Editing and Anthologizing the American Short Story
  • Publishing and Reception of the American Short Story
  • American Short Story and Pedagogy
  • American Short Story and Genres (Novel, Novella, Essay etc.)
  • New Literary Histories on American Short Stories (1980s to the Present)


Panels and roundtables have three presenters, although some may have more. Proposals for pre-arranged panels should include a 250-300-word description of the topic and full contact information for all members of the group. The person submitting the proposal is the chair of the session. He or she may also be a presenter, but need not be.

All persons wishing to give a paper at the conference, including all members of pre-arranged panels, should give a one-paragraph abstract of the paper to be presented along with a biographical paragraph giving the credentials of the presenter to address this topic. Individual papers should be scheduled for 20 minutes.

The organizing committee screens all proposals and abstracts, issues acceptances, and arranges the presentations on the program.  It will form panels to accommodate papers not included in pre-arranged groups.

Please submit all proposals and abstracts to Oliver Scheiding ( by June 30, 2017.

CfP: “The American Short Story: An Expansion of the Genre” Symposium, Oct. 20-22, 2016


The American Short Story: An Expansion of the Genre

A Symposium of the American Literature Association organized by

The Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS)

October 20-22, 2016

Hyatt Hotel, Savannah, GA

The Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS) requests proposals for papers and presentations at an international symposium on the short story to be held in Savannah, October 20-22, 2016, at the Hyatt Hotel.

Proposals need be only a single page with one paragraph that describes the subject of the paper and another that gives the credentials of the speaker. In addition to traditional panels, the symposium will also hold discussion forums, seminar conversations, and roundtable sessions. Creative writers are also invited to present work in progress. All papers will also be considered for publication in the first volume of the new Society journal scheduled to appear in 2018.

A central focus of the symposium will be the expansion of the genre through the discovery of new writers from all racial and ethnic groups, the development of innovative types of stories (flash fiction, micro-fiction, and other forms), the recovery of fiction published in languages other than English, and the reconsideration of the contributions of other writers to the expansion of the genre. Close readings of stories by any American author are appropriate as are broad discussions of historical periods and movements. Examinations of the contributions of minority authors are especially welcome as are explorations of stories originally written in languages other than English.

The Savannah symposium will be followed a year later by an international conference in Germany, October 26-29, 2017, directed by Professor Oliver Scheiding, University of Mainz. More details about this event will be posted on the society website late in 2016.Please send all proposals and program suggestions for the Savannah symposium to the president of the society, Jim Nagel, at

Deadline for proposals: July 1, 2016

Dowload the full CfP here.

CfP: “The Refuge of Objects/Objects of Refuge” Symposium, Dec. 14-18, 2016


The Refuge of Objects/Objects of Refuge

An International Symposium organized by

University of Delware—Center for Material Culture Studies and Universität Mainz—Center for Social and Cultural Studies (SOCUM), Transnational American Studies Institute

December 14-18, 2016

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

We invite proposals for papers or workshops to be given at the first collaborative symposium organized by the University of Delaware’s Center for Material Culture Studies (CMCS) and the Center for Social and Cultural Studies (SOCUM) at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany. The symposium will take place December 14-18, 2016 and will be hosted by the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, the Center for Social and Cultural Studies, and the Transnational American Studies Institute.

The theme of the symposium is the material culture of “Refuge.” In view of recent political events and natural catastrophes that have displaced millions and created international humanitarian crises, this term has acquired a new sense urgency for students and teachers working in the fields related to material culture studies. Definitions dating back to the great trans-Atlantic migrations of the seventeenth- and eighteenth centuries have characterized “refuge” in mostly spatio-political terms as insular settings of escape or privilege, as colonial enclaves or postnational territories, or as secular or sacred retreats. Rather than rehearse the spatial premise of these terms, however, the aim of this symposium is to reflect historically, methodologically, and theoretically on the material dimensions of “refuge,” that is, on the way in which objects generate or confound refuge, or accompany or encumber refugees, in short, the materiality conditioning both the refuge and refugees.

The invite papers that consider the materiality of refuge across the disciplines, periods, and geographies in all the diversity of material objects involved. In tandem with the conference theme of “The Refuge of Objects/Objects of Refuge,” the conference committee invites papers that showcase material culture scholarship in three different formats: conference papers, roundtable presentations, and hands- on workshops.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Fugitive Things
  • Things of Im/Migration
  • Sanctuary Objects, objects of respite
  • Material Witness/Witness Matters
  • Objects in Translation
  • Objects as Transition
  • Safe Things
  • Survivor Objects
  • In/direct objects
  • Object Relations
  • Sentimental Objects
  • Remembered things, forgotten objects
  • Traumatic Objects

A one-page proposal and a brief biography of the author (one that includes full name, professional designation) should be submitted to: Proposals will be vetted by an interdisciplinary committee.

Deadline: January 30, 2016

Dowload the CfP here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Space, Mobility, and Power in Early America and the Atlantic World, 1650-1850

CALL FOR PAPERS: Space, Mobility, and Power in Early America and the Atlantic World, 1650-1850

A conference co-sponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the University Paris Diderot, the University Paris-3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, and the Institute of the Americas (France)

Organizing committee: Claire Bourhis-Mariotti (Paris-8), Pierre Gervais (Paris-3), Marie-Jeanne Rossignol (president, Paris Diderot), Rahma Jerad (Carthage), William Slauter (Paris-Diderot).

Program/Scientific Committee : Emma Hart (St Andrews), Allan Potofsky (president, Paris Diderot), Daniel K. Richter (McNeil Center, UPennsylvania) Oliver Scheiding (Mainz), Irmina Wawrzyczek (Lublin), Bertrand van Ruymbeke (Paris-8).

Principal Venue : University Paris Diderot Paris 7.

Dates : December 8-10 2016


The European Early American Studies association proposes to focus its 2016 meeting on the interrelated themes of Space, Mobility, and Power. In recent years, many scholars have adopted an Atlantic approach to the study of early modern empires. Whereas imperial history viewed power as flowing from metropolitan center to colonial periphery, focused on political institutions, affording little agency to non-white actors, Atlantic history has broadened our understanding of the dynamic process of early modern colonization. Although the limitations of Atlantic history continue to be debated, the approach has undeniably focused attention on the mobility of peoples, commodities, and cultures, and revealed the multiple channels through which power and people flowed both within and among continental spaces. Indeed, its efficacy is demonstrated by recent work that re-evaluates some of the core topics of the old imperial history, including state formation, imperial government, political economy, religious communication networks, sovereignty, and European territorial expansion, to name a few examples.

One consequence of this process of pouring old wine into new bottles has been an enhanced focus on the connected issues of space, mobility, and power. If political power did not flow from center to periphery, how did it function? How did the scale and character of the American landscape affect European claims to power over it? How did provincial and colonial agents in the New World relate to imperial centers of authority when traders, trappers, soldiers, slaves and missionaries, among others, were entangled in a complex and often conflictual relationship with Imperial-Atlantic decision-makers? Did the European colonial experience in North America prompt Atlantic political and economic integration in the period of early globalization? What were the social problems created by the forced circulation of people and goods at the local and transnational levels? How was local production in certain regions linked to new forms of international exchange? We welcome proposals that address these questions or otherwise consider the interactions of space, mobility, and power in the history of early America and its relationship to the larger Atlantic world. Possible panel topics include:


  • The flow of wealth around the Atlantic
  • Degrees of unfreedom in the Atlantic world’s labour regimes
  • Migrations into, out of, and around the Atlantic World
  • Individuals and societies on the margins or outside of formal Atlantic empires
  • Interactions between agents of empire and others
  • Space, mobility, and power within and among indigenous polities
  • Mapping and documenting space
  • Contested spaces
  • The territorial limits of empire
  • The role of religion/religious networks in mobilizing space and power
  • Textual mobility and the traffic of books, letters, and documents

–    Censorship and other means of controlling the flow of ideas and information

  • Commerce and political diplomacy between republics and reformed monarchies
  • Merchant cultures and practices across the boundaries of empires
  • Cultural and linguistic cohesions within new political regimes



1 December 2015: Application deadline. The application is to consist of three documents: a 300-400 word abstract of the paper; a 100 word biographical statement; and a 2-page (maximum) cv. Please entitle each document with your last name, followed by eeasa2016. For example: condorceteeasa2016.doc. The conference address for submissions:

30 January 2016. Response by the program committee.

15 November 2016. Submission of the conference papers which will be precirculated in limited fashion.

8-10 December 2016: Conference, “Space, mobility, power in Early America and the Atlantic World, 1650-1850”.