Creative Nonfiction at CEA 2013, April 4-6, Savannah, Georgia

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College English Association
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Creative Nonfiction at CEA 2013
Savannah, Georgia
April 4-6, 2013

The Savannah Riverfront Marriott
100 General McIntosh Boulevard
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone (912) 233-7722

Conference Theme: NATURE

The College English Association, a gathering of scholar-teachers in English studies, welcomes proposals for presenting an original work of creative nonfiction on the theme of nature for our 44th annual conference. Submit your proposal at

When it comes to nature writing, thoughts often turn to Thoreau and his retreat to Walden Pond where he went to live simply, apart from the consumer-driven society he believed led men to desperate lives. In more recent years, nature lovers and exiles from consumer culture may find communion in the pages of Orion, Ecotone, and Audubon, magazines whose regular contributors include Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Bill McKibben, and Terry Tempest Williams, all of whom carry on Rachel Carson's call to examine and confront how industrial methods of production degrade the environment and our mutual lives.

Thoreau's retreat was also about pilgrimage, a spiritual journey into the woods where he hoped to discover "the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach." His search echoes through Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Amy Leach's Things That Are, Gary Snyder's The Practice of the Wild. This list is not exhaustive. From the heart of its very narrowness is a longing to add science writers, food writers, animal conservationists, and urban sociologists.

How does nature shape us? How do we shape nature? How do we even define "nature" and "nature writing"? Do conventional concepts of nature writing too often neglect, as scholar Lauret Savoy suggests, the lived experiences of people of color? Does popular nature writing remain Eurocentric, thus obscuring the connection between where one lives and economic injustice? Does what constitutes "nature writing" need to be redefined?

In addition to creative nonfiction, CEA accepts scholarly essays on the theme of nature.

Submissions Due: November 1, 2012

For information on how to submit, please see the full CFP at

All presenters at the 2013 CEA conference must become members of CEA by January 1, 2013. To join CEA, please go to

Other questions? Please email


Erica Bleeg

Assistant Professor
Department of English
James Madison University