Call for Creative Nonfiction, CEA Conference, March 29-31, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
College English Association
contact email: 


College English Association 43rd Annual Conference
March 29-31, 2012 | Richmond, Virginia
Omni Richmond Hotel, 100 South 12th Street
Richmond, Virginia 


Submission deadline: November 1, 2011

BORDERS: Call for Creative Nonfiction

The College English Association welcomes proposals to present creative nonfiction at our 43rd annual conference. This year's conference will focus on the theme of borders. Borders gather in, divide, and demarcate the line between one state of being and another. One could be caught in a borderland too, as in limbo, a Latin word 14th-century theologians introduced that indeed means "border," where the uncertain soul sits, reluctant to make a decision, perhaps awaiting the right kick or gentle nudge toward a more favorable destination.

Nonfiction writers address real and metaphorical borders. In Coyote, Ted Conover traces the journeys of migrant workers crossing from Mexico into the U.S. In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf dares to cut across the grass on the campus of "Oxbridge," a conflation of Oxford and Cambridge, where in her time women were not admitted. Upon her transgression, the policing groundskeeper becomes terribly flustered and tries to get her to take the well-maintained path. So many compelling essays are about crossing the line. There's The Poetics of Space, too, where Gaston Bachelard reflects on the domestic borders of drawers and doors and windows. What's in them? What's behind them? What do they conceal? What do they expose? Herein he attempts to tease out the complicated, elusive, and directive arrangements of intimacy in our everyday lives. His work also reminds us that borders are a means of organizing, giving form and creating new forms through improvising on tradition, so you may think of borders not only in terms of subject but structure and style.

Please see the submission instructions at

General Call for Papers
CEA also welcomes proposals for presentations in any of the areas English departments typically encompass, including literature, creative writing, composition, technical communication, linguistics, and film. We also welcome papers on areas that influence our work as academics, including student demographics, student/instructor accountability and assessment, student advising, academic leadership in departments and programs, and the place of the English department in the university.

All presenters at the 2012 CEA conference must become members of CEA by January 1, 2012. To join CEA, please go to

Other questions? Please email


Erica Katherine Bleeg
James Madison University
Department of English
MSC 1801
800 S. Main Street
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807