CFP: [American] Region, History, Environment: Constance F. Woolson and Her Contemporaries Write the Natural World

full name / name of organization: 
Kathryn B. McKee
contact email: 

Constance Fenimore Woolson Society
Eighth Biennial Conference

April 16-19, 2009
West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Even a brief excursion into the writings of Constance Fenimore Woolson
(1840-1894) reveals the author’s interest in the natural world. An amateur
botanist, Woolson was no detached appreciator of picturesque landscapes;
she was attuned to the details of the environment and alive to the changes
an industrialized nineteenth century was working on the places of America.
 The eighth biennial meeting of the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society will
focus on Woolson’s knowledge of and interest in the natural environment as
she rendered it in her travel sketches, fiction, poetry, and letters. All
papers are welcome, but participants might consider the ways in which
Woolson and her contemporaries were engaging specific physical locations,
as well as more generally depicting land and landscape.

Possible topics include but are not limited to these:

landscapes, real and imagined
swamps, coastlines, mountains, rivers
urban/rural tensions
the idea of wilderness
women and mechanized industry
railroads, mass transportation
late nineteenth century industrialization
tourism as industry
literature and ecology
development of regional identities
travel writing
writing Appalachia
natural science, plants, collecting
botany in the nineteenth century
the environmental consciousness of Woolson’s contemporaries, beginning with
Rebecca Harding Davis, Mary Murfree, and Sarah Orne Jewett

Please send 250 word abstracts to Kathryn McKee ( at the
University of Mississippi, Department of English, University, MS 38677 by
October 1, 2008.

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Received on Mon Jul 07 2008 - 00:33:49 EDT