FINAL REMINDER: New Approaches to N.K. Jemisin (prospective ALA pitch)

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Alex Anderson and Matt Morgenstern, Purdue University Department of English
contact email: 


The CFP to follow is for a prospective panel at the American Literature Association’s 2022 meeting in Chicago (more information on the conference is linked here). To supplement the panel pitch, we would like four individual papers to submit to the conference organizers as an indication of interest in the panel; unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the panel will be accepted by the organizers. Nevertheless, after receiving and deciding on individual paper proposals, we will communicate our decisions by early-November with the aim of submitting the panel pitch to ALA by 12/1.

If you are interested in submitting to the panel, email Alex Anderson ( and Matt Morgenstern ( with a title and brief abstract (max. 250 words, all in one document) for the prospective paper by November 1, 2021. Please list an email address in the document with which you prefer to be contacted. While we will only choose four individual papers, we will inform all contributors of our decisions by November 8, 2021. We will then keep contributors updated as the panel submission process unfolds. If you have any questions about potential topics, please reach out to Alex and Matt at the provided emails.



N.K. Jemisin is a prominent voice in contemporary speculative fiction as the author of the Hugo- and Locus-award winning Inheritance and Broken Earth trilogies, as well as the recent bestselling Hugo- and Nebula-award nominated novel The City We Became. Yet, as an emergent master of speculative fiction, Jemisin’s work demands more scholarly attention. Accordingly, this panel prompts interdisciplinary readings of Jemisin's work that contribute to scholarly conversations about American literature, American speculative fiction, and, more broadly, the future of global speculative fiction. For this panel, we are interested in approaches to Jemisin's work (including her novels, short stories, nonfiction, and/or comic book writing), that may include the following:

  • Ecocritical and environmental justice readings
  • Nonhuman presences (animals, plants, organisms)
  • Readings of race and racial identity
  • Digital humanities methods and conversations
  • Theories of affect and emotion
  • Readings of sexuality and/or gender identities and expressions
  • Theories of memory and trauma
  • Teaching Jemisin in the neoliberal university
  • Representations of class, labor, and power
  • Engagements with critical disability studies
  • Jemisin in conversation with the “Global” novel
  • Readings of space, place, and movement 

In addition to these approaches, we welcome other approaches that creatively engage Jemisin’s work.