Contemporary Midwestern Literature at SSML 2020

deadline for submissions: 
December 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature
contact email: 

In 2020, the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature celebrates its 50th year, and as its president-elect, I am organizing a panel sequence on all aspects of contemporary Midwestern literature. These papers will be presented at the annual symposium of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature at the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL, on May 14-16, 2020.

I invite papers on contemporary literature produced in the Midwest, about the Midwest, or by Midwesterners. Presentations may address prose, poetry, or drama, not to mention film, television, music, or other narrative arts. Presentations may take a range of approaches to contemporary Midwestern literature and culture—via individual texts or authors, developing trends, writers communities, literary prizes, or modes of publication such as anthologies, short story cycles, and literary magazines. In short, I define “contemporary Midwestern literature” broadly, and these panels seek to expand the boundaries of what we consider the Midwest and Midwestern literature.

Please submit a 250-word proposal to by December 30, 2019. Note: Submit your proposal directly to me, rather than to the society conference portal. I will organize the panels and submit on behalf of all participants.


Student scholarships for travel

Joseph Wydeven Scholarships are available to students whose proposals are accepted. If you are a graduate student, please indicate that you will be applying for the scholarship should your proposal be accepted. The scholarship will cover the following: 1) the membership fee for one year, 2) one ticket for the awards banquet, and 3) some reimbursement to help defray travel and hotel accommodations (based on distance traveled).


More information can be found at