Justice (CEA in Birmingham 4/8-10/21)

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Ken Bugajski / College English Association
contact email: 

The College English Association welcomes proposals for presentations on the general conference theme: Justice. The College English Association’s 52nd national conference will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, where the freedom ensured by civil rights has been contested by the government in both the past and present. Birmingham’s notoriety as a focal point of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Birmingham Campaign, the imprisonment of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the writing of his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is matched by the city’s renown for forging steel, founding Veteran’s Day, and hosting the USA’s second-oldest drag queen pageant. Whether it is past conflicts over racism or current struggles over race, the rights of women, or the LGBTQ community, Birmingham and Alabama are places where the right to justice for groups and individuals has been ignored, debated, defended, and championed.

Alabama, too, is part of a rich tradition of Southern Literature and has been home to Zora Neale Hurston, Harper Lee, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, and Booker T. Washington and is a setting in books from authors as diverse as Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Ralph Ellison, Fannie Flagg, John Green, and Yaa Gyasi.

CEA invites proposals from academics in all areas of literature, language, film, composition, pedagogy, and creative, professional, and technical writing. We are especially interested in presentations that feature topics relating to justice in texts, disciplines, people, cultural studies, media, and pedagogy. For your proposal, you might consider these concepts related to Justice:

  • resistance: protesting injustice
  • equality: shifting perceptions of race, class, cultures, regions, genders, sexualities
  • reclamation: spotlighting forgotten or unknown texts, authors, places, cultures
  • discourse: employing rhetoric and argument
  • physicality: placing the body/publishing the text in contested spaces
  • movements: challenging the status quo through ideas, genre, form
  • legitimacy: considering literature and the law
  • education: teaching empathy and dialog
  • individuality: combining the personal and political


General Program

CEA also welcomes proposals for presentations in any of the areas English departments typically encompass, including literature criticism and scholarship, creative writing, rhetoric, composition, technical communication, linguistics, and film. We also welcome papers on areas that influence our work as academics, including student demographics, student/instructor accountability and assessment, student advising, academic leadership in departments and programs, and the place of the English department in the university.


Online Submission

Proposals should be submitted electronically by October 1, 2020 through our conference management database housed at the following web address: https://www.conftool.pro/cea2021.

Electronic submissions open August 15 and close on October 1, 2020. Proposals should be between 250 and 500 words in length and should include a title. Please note that only one proposal may be submitted per participant. Notifications of proposal status will be sent in early December.

Submitting electronically involves creating a user ID, then using that ID to log in—this time to a welcome page. A link then will be provided for submitting your proposal under one (or two) of the following appropriate topic areas:

Academic Administration Leadership / African-American Literature /American Literature: Early, 19th Century, 20th and 21st Century / Assessment and/or Learning Outcomes / Book History and Textual Criticism / British Literature: Anglo-Saxon and Medieval; 16th and 17th Century; Restoration and 18th Century; 19th Century; 20th and 21st Century / Byron Society of America (BSA) / Caribbean Literature / Children’s and Adolescent Literature / Composition and Rhetoric: Practice or Theory / Creative Writing: fiction and poetry or non-fiction / Disability Studies / Film and Literature / Film Studies / Grammar and Linguistics / Graphic Novels / Hispanic, Latino/a, and Chicano/a Literature / Irish, Scottish, and Welsh Literature / Literary Theory / Thomas Merton (ITMS) / Multicultural and World Literature / Native American Literature / Peace Studies / Pedagogy / Pedagogy: Diversity in the English Curriculum / Pedagogy: Service Learning / Pedagogy: Active Learning / Popular Culture / Post-Colonial Literature / The Profession / Queer Studies / Religion and Literature / Southern Literature and Studies / Teacher Education / Technical Communication (ATTW) / Transatlantic Literature / Travel and Literature / Visual and Material Culture / War and/or Trauma and Literature / Women’s Connection, Women’s literature, and WGST


Important Additional Information

  • CEA equips each room with a data projector and adapter for your laptop. CEA does not provide computers/laptops and does not provide Internet access. Therefore, there will be no access to the Internet in the conference rooms.
  • If you have attended CEA before and are willing to serve as a session moderator for a panel other than your own, please indicate so on your submission.
  • If you are submitting a pre-formed panel with multiple participants, kindly create a user ID for each proposed participant.
  • To preserve time for discussion, CEA limits all presentations to 15 minutes.
  • No person may make more than one presentation at the conference.
  • Presentations must be made in person at the conference venue. Neither proxy nor “virtual” (Skyping, etc.) presentations are permitted.
  • Papers must be presented in English.
  • Any form of special accommodation must be requested at the time of proposal submission.
  • CEA is unable to sponsor or fund travel or underwrite participant costs.


A Special Invitation to Graduate Students

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their conference presentation for the CEA Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award, which carries a prize of $250. Submissions will be solicited via email in January of 2021.


Join the College English Association

All presenters must join CEA by January 1, 2021 to appear on the program. To join or to find out more information about the organization and conference, please see the CEA website at www.cea-web.org.



The 2021 conference will be held at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel.

Phone: 1-205-324-5000

Address: 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham, AL

Web address: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bhmsi-sheraton-birmingham-hotel


Connect with CEA


Have Questions?

Please contact Ken Bugajski at cea.english@gmail.com (and put “Program Chair” in the Subject line).