CFP: [American] âThe Midwest As Seen By Non-Midwestern Writersâ

full name / name of organization: 
Jayne Waterman
contact email:

Call for Papers

for a special issue of Midwestern Miscellany

“The Midwest As Seen By Non-Midwestern Writers”

This issue develops the idea of Non-Midwestern writers views of the
Midwest. Overall, it poses the questions: What does this “outsider”
perspective bring to the literary construction of a Midwestern region?
What do non-native literary depictions of the Midwest signify?
Underpinning these issues, the question of what constitutes a Non-
Midwestern perspective may also be considered. The notion of writing “out
of place,” so to speak, resonates with the questions of Regionalism
today. From the views of the Midwest in Frances Trollope’s Domestic
Manners of the Americans (1832) and Charles Dickens’ American Notes for
General Circulation (1842) to Edith Wharton’s “Midwestern” Hudson River
Bracketed (1929) and The God’s Arrive (1932) or the recent “Minnesota”
novels of the “British” author, Neil Gaiman, to name but a few examples,
the idea of region should be explored and complicated.

Inspired, in part, by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature
(SSML) panel presented at the 2005 MLA conference, “The Midwest As Seen
By Midwestern Writers,” and as an alternate companion piece to preceding
Midwestern Miscellany edition that considered Midwesterners writing about
places other than the Midwest, this issue seeks submissions that
investigate literary depictions and understandings/misunderstandings of
the Midwest from Non-Midwestern perspective.

A one-page abstract of your proposed essay is due by November 1, 2007. If
your topic is choosen for this issue, the complete essay is due by
January 31, 2008. Please send abstracts or queries to the guest editor,
Jayne Waterman, at:

I will be organizing one or two sessions for the 2008 SSML conference
(May 8-10, 2008 at Michigan State University) in which submitted essays
will be presented. Please indicate in your abstract if you are interested
in participating in such a panel.

Please note that Midwestern Miscellany is a publication of SSML; you must
be or become a member of the Society to publish in its journals or
present at its conferences. To join the Society, go to the membership
page at:

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Received on Tue Sep 04 2007 - 11:58:25 EDT

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