"'The Plains' as a Unique Place in Literature"; MAASA Conference; Tulsa, OK; April 1-3, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Brian Brooks / Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow
contact email: 

Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County depicts an Oklahoma family dealing with the hardships of death, discord, substance abuse, and other problems while confined by "the Plains." Letts sets the play in a claustrophobic space, a house with the windows covered, to make a statement about life on the plains. His study about family requires the audience to evaluate whether or not the Plains is a distinct place, or if the concerns are of larger import.

The Mid-America American Studies Association has adopted the theme "Re-thinking 'Mid-America' in a Time of Crisis" for its annual conference. Since the conference is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 1-3, 2011, this is an ideal time to discuss the depiction of Oklahoma, the Plains, and the family in literature. This panel invites papers that seek to delimit the Plains in literature. Papers should address the question "what can literature reveal about life on the Plains? Topics include, but are not limited to, the family, the home, conceptions of place, and ways literature defines mid-America as unique.

Please submit 250-word abstracts no later than January 7, 2012 by email to brooks01@nsuok.edu. Please include contact information and a short (100-word) biographical statement.

Link to MAASA website: http://www.uiowa.edu/~maasa/cfp.html