[UPDATE] Borders and Landscapes in the Works of Cormac McCarthy - CFP Deadline Approaching

full name / name of organization: 
Writing and Society Research Centre - University of Western Sydney
contact email: 

Conference dates: 23-25 July 2014

Call for Papers

The works of Cormac McCarthy cover nearly two hundred years of southern and southwestern American history. Set initially in Tennessee and greater Appalachia, and more recently on the U.S./Mexico border, his books blend realism, mysticism and mythology, a combination that locates him squarely within the tradition of William Faulkner and Mark Twain, yet with a voice uniquely his own.

McCarthy is known for spending considerable time in the various locations explored in each of his novels, researching the flora and fauna, as well as the architectural, geological and geographical features of his settings. Taking his interest in place (as well as displacement) into consideration, the theme of this conference will be “Borders and Landscapes.”

Some possible approaches to this theme might include:
• the role of exploration in McCarthy’s novels
• cartography, topography and methods of navigation
• frontiers and frontier myths
• the political philosophy of borders in McCarthy’s Western novels
• the organization of geographical spaces into sovereign territories
• McCarthy’s philosophy of Nature
• environmental philosophy in works such as The Orchard Keeper
• the destruction of landscape in works like Blood Meridian and Suttree
• the post-apocalyptic landscape of The Road
• the confrontation between Technology and Nature in McCarthy’s works
• the relationship between the individual and the environment
• landscape and community in works such as Outer Dark and Child of God
• comparisons to the treatment of landscape in Australian fiction by writers like Patrick White, Miles Franklin, Thea Astley, Peter Carey, Henry Lawson, Julia Leigh, Thomas Keneally, Tim Winton, et al.
• adaptations of McCarthy’s books to film
• a treatment of McCarthy’s writing as an example of late modernism

We welcome expressions of interest across a wide range of themes and disciplines, including, but not limited to those listed above. Given that the conference focuses on an American author, but will be taking place on Australian shores, we especially encourage abstracts on the geographical spaces of the two countries as they are represented in literature.

Deadline for Abstracts Approaching : 30 November 2013

Abstracts for a 20 minute talk should be 200-300 words. Abstracts should be emailed, along with a current CV, to Lou Jillett at l.jillett@uws.edu.au and info@cormacmccarthy.com (please send your submissions to both email addresses).

cfp categories: 
modernist studies