Cather at ALA 2022

deadline for submissions: 
January 4, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The Willa Cather Foundation
contact email: 

The Willa Cather Foundation will sponsor two separate panels at the American Literature Association’s 33rd Annual Conference, to be held in Chicago, IL May 26-29, 2022.

Cather and Her Contemporaries: As the publication of her letters has demonstrated, Willa Cather had personal, aesthetic, philosophical, and social ties with a wide range of writers, artists, musicians, and public figures. What’s more, her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry were sites of engagement where many of these connections were both widened and deepened. The Willa Cather Foundation seeks paper proposals that pursue a richer understanding of Cather’s connections with her contemporaries, including but not limited to:

  • Comparative readings of Cather’s work juxtaposed with the work of her contemporaries
  • Cather’s biographical, dialogical, and conceptual ties to other writers, artists, and musicians
  • Cather’s social network
  • Cather’s responses to major historic events of her lifetime
  • Major writers or artists influenced by Cather, and/or Cather’s major influences

Cather and Her Publishers: The year 2022 marks the centennial of the publication of One of Ours (1922), as well as the one hundred year anniversary of Cather’s first novel published with the publisher Alfred A. Knopf. She had published with Houghton Mifflin from 1912 to 1918; in 1920 she broke from that pattern by publishing the short story collection Youth and the Bright Medusa and April Twilights and Other Poems with Knopf, but One of Ours was her first novel since My Ántonia (1918). Papers related to the following topics are especially of interest:

  • New perspectives on the publication and reception of One of Ours
  • Important differences between Houghton Mifflin and the Knopfs, including but not limited to production, editing, advertising/publicity, and distribution
  • Blanche Knopf’s role in Cather’s life and career
  • Cather’s magazine work and serialization in various periodicals
  • Various other expressions of Cather’s work, including Armed Services editions, the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Modern Library, audiobook recordings, and fine press editions

Please send 300 word proposals for individual papers and a brief CV to Matthew Lavin (lavinm [at] by January 4, 2022. Include the name of the panel and any AV requests.

NOTE: The Willa Cather Foundation is pleased to announce that travel scholarships for graduate students are available. Please see the section titled "Willa Cather Foundation Scholarship for Student Research" on the WCF’s Scholarship page: