Social Justice and Emerson

deadline for submissions: 
December 20, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Emerson Society at ALA


American Literature Association Call for Proposals

The Emerson Society will sponsor two panels at the annual meeting of the American Literature Association, to be held in Boston, MA, from May 25-28, 2017. For information about the conference, see


Emerson and Social Justice     

This panel examines Emerson’s influence on, discussion of, or participation in social justice movements. We welcome papers that consider the relationship between Emerson and social justice broadly considered, but we are especially interested in papers that highlight Emerson's career and work as it relates to social justice movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries or that theorize Emerson as a proponent of social justice in his own time. We welcome new readings of Emerson in light of theories of human rights, as well as presentations that challenge Emerson’s role in human rights advocacy. Historical analyses, theoretical readings, comparative analyses, and influence studies are all welcome, as are discussions of Emerson’s relationship to Thoreau as it relates to the idea of civil resistance and human rights.


E-mail 300 word abstracts to Roger Thompson ( or David Greenham ( by Dec. 20, 2016. Membership in the Emerson Society is required of presenters, but it is not required to submit proposals for consideration. The Emerson Society also provides grants that may be of interest to presenters, including a Research Grant and a Graduate Student Paper Award.More information on grants can be found at the Emerson Society webpage: