Technology and Carson McCullers

deadline for submissions: 
August 23, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Carson McCullers Society/ Society for the Study of Southern Literature
contact email: 

 Technology and Carson McCullers

Session Proposal for the Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL) 2022 Hybrid Conference

February 17-20, 2022, Atlanta, GA

The Carson McCullers Society invites proposals for presentations related to technology as imagined through the works and influence of Carson McCullers. From Miss Amelia experimenting with medical tinctures in The Ballad of the Sad Cafe to Frankie’s father working with watches in The Member of the Wedding, many of McCullers’ characters engage with technology overtly. However, in the spirit of the SSSL  2022 Conference theme, we also encourage potential panelists to think of technology in broad and creative ways. In Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narratives, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas (2017), for example, Tom McEnaney suggests that the relationship between characters and sounds in mid-century novels, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, creates a “new neighborhood,” joining North and South America. As such, McNaney theorizes reading as a type of technology. How else might we read McCullers’ work as inventing, resisting, and or engaging technology? Other questions to inspire possible paper topics include:

·       In what ways does McCullers comment on the technology of the mid-century South and world at large?

·       How does technology influence archival, biographical, and literary research on McCullers? (Panelists might think of McCullers’ telegrams, recordings of therapy sessions, photography, handwritten and typewritten mailed correspondence, etc.). 

·       How does teaching act as a kind of technology? Please consider sharing your ideas and experiences for teaching and engaging with McCullers’ work in the classroom and beyond.

Please email your roughly 200-word paper proposal and 100-word biography to Paula Rawlins ( by Monday, August 23, 2021. We invite and encourage proposals from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, especially those who may not identify as “southernists,” as well as from Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other people of color; LGBTQIA+ individuals; and those with a range of (dis)abilities; as well as scholars who are students or contingent faculty. We will contact panelists by August 30th. 

SSSL 2022 Hybrid Conference, February 17-20, 2022: