Midwest Writers and Rural Decline (abstracts due 2/1/2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Andy Oler / Indiana University
contact email: 

Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature -– 43rd Annual Symposium
May 9-11, 2013 at Michigan State University, East Lansing

Since the "Revolt from the Village" of the early twentieth century,rural decline has been a consistent theme of regional literature. This panel will explore how writing from or about the Midwest engages the trope of rural decline, whether that be in negotiating the realities and myths of rural life or the expectations of national publishers. Proposed papers may address--but are not limited to--fiction, nonfiction, or scholarly writing on the following topics:

- Institutional/systemic crisis in rural areas
- Midwest horror as a response to rural decline
- Migration narratives as/against rural decline
- Changing rural populations
- Mechanization and agricultural innovation
- Critical anti-urbanism
- Cross-regional comparisons of rural decline

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to both Patricia Oman (poman@hastings.edu) and Andy Oler (soler@indiana.edu) by January 25, 2013.