Creative Nonfiction: Voices, San Antonio, TX, March 25-27, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
College English Association
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College English Association
National Conference
March 25-27, 2010
San Antonio, Texas

Conference Theme: VOICES

The College English Association invites papers and creative works-in-progress on the theme of voices in Creative Nonfiction Writing.

"Remember the Alamo!" cried Texans who'd joined arms with General Sam Houston after the Alamo fell. They were defending their home, but we ask now, Whose home was it? At the Alamo itself, voices called from opposing sides of the wall, representing two distinct cultures, ideologies, and ways of being. Truth is about territory. In the interest of hearing an array of voices, we call out for your creative nonfiction on voices. Under the many subgenres of creative nonfiction, a voice may take many forms. Here are a few:

The Personal Essay:
As soon as essayists utter the word voice, the voice is divided. "One person, of course, can have 20,000 different voices," said Marie Howe. Rarely does the voice exist in a box or adhere to a consistent thread. Michel de Montaigne, considered the father of the essay, is known for chasing down the vicissitudes of his thoughts on life's basics: "Of liars," "Of sleep," "Of the punishment of cowardice," "Of the resemblance of children to their fathers," to name a few. These essays are full of voices and personae that inform, sharpen, soften, exalt, and demote one another.

Literary or "New" Journalism:
A blend of journalism and personal slant, literary journalism does not purport to tell the objective truth, but accepts that how one shapes a well-researched story is influenced by personal sensibility. Two early examples from the 1960s are Joan Didion's "Marrying Absurd" on the marriage industry in Las Vegas the night before one could lower his draft status and Tom Wolfe's "There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored (Thphhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (Rahghhh!)…" on hotrod culture in California. More recently, literary journalism has represented other counter cultures. Michael Pollan's An Omnivore's Dilemma, for example, in which the author researches the United States' industrial food system and presents an alternative.

Oral histories and ethnographic essays as well as essays that experiment with form through double and polyphonous voices are also welcome. The aforementioned categories are not meant to be exhaustive or mutually exclusive. The theme of voices, like the not-so-easily-defined genre of creative nonfiction, is infinitely flexible. Submit individual proposals that fall under one of the categories above. If you would like to organize a panel under a different subject relating to passage, please follow the instructions for submitting a panel.

CEA prefers to receive to receive submissions online via the conference management database at Electronic submissions opened August 21 and will close on November 1, 2009.

Abstracts for proposals should be between 200 and 500 words in length and should include a title.

Submitting electronically is a two-step process: 1) setting up a user ID, then 2) using that ID to log in—this time to a welcome page which provides a link for submitting proposals to the conference.

The conference is also inviting scholarly papers on literature and film, so when you submit your proposal, use the pull-down menu to indicate your special topic area (Creative Nonfiction Writing). Also indicate that your submission should be directed to me, Erica Bleeg, chair of the Creative Nonfiction Writing panels.

If submitting a proposal for a panel, panel organizers should create user IDs for all proposed participants.

Though we prefer to receive electronic submissions, CEA will accept hard copy proposals postmarked by October 15, 2009. Be sure to include your name and institutional affiliation, mailing address, email address, title and abstract of 200-500 words, audio/visual equipment needs, and any other special needs.

Address paper submissions to:
Karen Lentz Madison, CEA Program Chair
331 Kimpel Hall
Department of English
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

· For CEA 2010 program questions, contact Karen Madison, CEA 1st VP, email (put "Program Chair" on the subject line).

· For membership questions, contact Joseph Pestino, CEA Treasurer –Membership Center, Department of English, Nazareth College of Rochester, 245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618; phone (585-389-2645); email (put "Treasurer" in the subject line).

· For general conference questions, contact Charles A.S. Ernst, Executive Director –CEA Headquarters, Department of Arts and Sciences, Hilbert College, 5200 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY 14075; phone (716-649-7900, ext. 315); email
· For technical questions, contact Miles Kimball, CEA President- email (put "Technical" in the subject line).

· If you need audio-visual equipment, please specify your needs as clearly as possible. CEA can provide overhead projectors, DVD players, audio tape/CD players, and computer data projectors (presenters must bring their own laptop computers to run data projectors.). CEA cannot provide Internet access.
· To preserve time for discussion, CEA limits all presentations to 15 minutes.
· Papers must be presented in English
· Notifications of proposal status will be sent around December 5th.
· All presenters must join CEA by January 1, 2010, to appear on the program.
· No person may make more than one presentation at the conference.
· Each presenter must make his or her own presentation; no proxies are allowed.
· CEA does not sponsor or fund travel or underwrite participant costs.

Note to Graduate Students
Graduate students must identify themselves in their proposals so we may later send information about CEA's Best Graduate Student Paper Award (which carries a small prize). Submission instructions will be sent to accepted panelists after the membership deadline.