Sustainable Stories of Carson McCullers (The 86th Annual SAMLA Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, November 7-9, 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Alison Bertolini: The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians (Columbus State University) in conjunction with The Carson McCullers Society

In recent years, there has been a revived interest in the work of Carson McCullers. For example, in 2001 the Library of America published a collection of her novels followed by a second print run in 2004. Also in 2004, talk show host Oprah Winfrey chose The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as the selection for her popular book club, and soon after The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter became part of The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. More than 40 years after McCullers's death, the love, loneliness, and longing that haunt her stories still resonate with readers.

To reflect the larger conference theme, The Carson McCullers Center in conjunction with The Carson McCullers Society invite papers relating to the idea of sustainable stories. We are interested in papers that discuss how and why McCullers's work is particularly suited to endure the test of time. Papers might also address the ways that McCullers' stories suggest that we reduce and reverse trends of degradation (environmental and otherwise), economic instability, and social inequalities, and how we might lead more sustainable lives. Alternately, papers might interrogate the idea of sustainability, both literally and figuratively, by discussing how the very notion can work to reinscribe hierarchies of power and other hegemonic forms of oppression.

Presentations about McCullers and her work that are not directly related to the conference theme are also welcome.

By June 10, 2014, please send abstracts of 300 words or so and a brief bio to Alison Bertolini at