CFP: “Robert Frost and Animal Studies” / American Literature Association Conference in May 2019 in Boston, MA

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Grzegorz Kosc / President / Robert Frost Society
contact email: 


CFP: “Robert Frost and Animal Studies”


American Literature Association 30th Annual Conference in Boston, MA

May 23-26, 2019 at the Westin Copley Place

Sponsor: Robert Frost Society (session 1)


“We were lost piecemeal to the animals, / Like people thrown out to delay the wolves,” Robert Frost wrote famously in his poem “The White-Tailed Hornet” of the modern trend to investigate animality in humans. Robert Frost Society invites new essays on Robert Frost’s life and work which would engage some of the critical frameworks being developed today in animal studies.

The poet’s scornful remarks on dogs in “Mending Wall” and “The Rabbit Hunter” would suggest typical arrogance of human exceptionalism. Other dog poems, however, like "One More Brevity" or "Canis Major" greatly complicate or disprove such easy conclusions. So does his lifelong preoccupation with Darwin.

We welcome new studies investigating such motifs as human-animal relationships, human exceptionalism, posthumanism, indigenous people as animals, madmen as animals, pet keeping, domestic animal breeding, casual murders of animals, etc. in his poems, poultry stories, and letters. Stories about champion chickens, poems told from the view of woodchucks, question-asking horses, socially sensitive birds—all wait to be reconceptualized in the new critical terms of animal studies. Of course, we would also consider more general studies involving Robert Frost’s animal motifs.


Deadline for proposals: January 15, 2019 / expected length: 300-350 words