John R. Milton Writers' Conference: This Lonely Frontier: Exploring Boundaries of Space, Identity, and Genre

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Leah McCormack / The University of South Dakota

Please join us from 25-27 October 2018 for the 11th biennial John R. Milton Writers’ Conference at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. The 2018 conference theme, “This Lonely Frontier: Exploring Boundaries of Space, Identity, and Genre,” celebrates the 50th anniversary of Milton’s poetry collection This Lonely House (1968). We are excited to confirm Percival Everett, Ellen Forney, and Erika T. Wurth as keynote and featured authors; in addition, the conference will feature a workshop on creating comics, led by Ellen Forney, and readings by USD’s Department of English faculty duncan b. barlow, Leah McCormack, and Lee Ann Roripaugh.

We invite proposals for critical and creative panels, roundtables, and individual submissions engaging with the exploration of space, identity, and genre—or with other topics Milton investigates in This Lonely House: “The Human Dream,” “Our Human Trust,” “Margin Dwellers,” and “A Faulty Memory.” Possible areas of focus and approaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Western American literature, history, and culture;
  • indigenous and Native American literature, history, and culture;
  • discourses of marginalization, including race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, or ability;
  • women, gender, and/or sexuality;  
  • representations of mental illness in literature and/or popular culture;
  • postcolonial literature and/or theory;
  • comics and/or graphic narratives;
  • hybrid texts, blurred genres, fact vs. fiction, and/or experimentation;
  • cultural and media studies, including but not limited to popular culture, television, film, “fake news,” or speculative fiction;
  • the relationship of “frontiers” to writing, scholarship, or pedagogy;
  • the relationship between specific landscapes and forms of identity;
  • writing’s ability to question/challenge categories of gender, race, or ability.

Deadline for submissions: 1 May 2018                      Please send to: Milton.Conference@usd.edu

Submission Guidelines:

For critical work, please submit a 250-word abstract, along with a brief biographical note, by 1 May 2018. Panel and roundtable proposals should include biographical notes for all presenters and a 250-word justification for the session. Panel proposals should also include individual presenters’ abstracts. We welcome panel proposals that incorporate both critical and creative presentations.

For creative submissions, please provide either 8-10 pages of poetry or no more than 10-12 pages of creative prose writing, along with a short biographical note, by 1 May 2018. While creative work that explicitly or implicitly engages with the conference theme, or is related in some way to Milton’s This Lonely House collection, is especially welcome, we will gladly consider all types of creative work on any theme and in any style for readings at the conference’s creative writing panels.

For more information, please visit: http://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/english/milton-conference

For additional information or inquiries, please contact: Milton.Conference@usd.edu