Gone But Not Quite Forgotten: Recovering Lost Writers and Texts

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Pennsylvania College English Association (PCEA) Annual Conference
contact email: 

The Pennsylvania College English Association (PCEA) invites proposals from faculty members, graduate students, and independent scholars for its 2022 Annual Conference on the theme of recovering lost writers and lost texts. We are especially interested in recovering marginalized voices, finding reasons for their disappearance, and charting a path to bring their writing and lives back into the light of current scholarship. Lost or forgotten work by canonical authors would also be welcome subjects of literary inquiry as part of this call, as would be papers that trace the evolution of a literary text from manuscript to magazine publication to book form if the changes are radical. Papers should account for the “loss” of the text or writer, and the critical context or shift in reception that allows for their recovery.


We also invite proposals from faculty members, graduate students, and independent scholars from all areas of English Studies for individual presentations, panel proposals, or roundtables. In addition, we welcome the reading of original, not yet published (at the time of submission) poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Faculty members are also encouraged to propose and chair a session of three to five of their best undergraduate scholars or writers. Each presenter will be allowed up to 15 minutes of time to present.


Keynote Speaker: We are pleased to announce that Dr. Veronica Watson, Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will be delivering the keynote address at the end of our luncheon meeting Friday, May 20, on the writer Frank Yerby, whose lost writings she recovered and edited for The Short Stories of Frank Yerby (University Press of Mississippi, 2020). Her book, The Souls of White Folks: African American Writers Theorize Whiteness, was also published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2015. Her edited collection of essays, Unveiling Whiteness in the Twenty-First Century Global Manifestations, Transdisciplinary Interventions, was published by Lexington Books in 2014. She has published numerous essays and is the Director of the Literature and Criticism Program at IUP and of Justice | Action Consulting, LLC.


Conference Information: The PCEA 2022 Conference will be held at the Living Learning Center at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from May 20-21. Those accepted must register as a member of the Pennsylvania College English Association to present. Know that Pitt has an interim policy that requires faculty, staff, and students on campus to be vaccinated; masks are worn indoors. Visitors are allowed on campus; for information on this policy, including current rules for campus guests, please see johnstown.pitt.edu/vaccine-policy. Please know that we will be working to keep those coming to the conference as safe as possible; as well, please know that we are unique in offering not just an in-person conference, but also several online-only sessions (see “Online Presentation Option” below).


Housing: UPJ’s Living Learning Center has guest rooms available at $60 a night for one or two people. The campus is renowned for its beauty and has many walking and hiking trails. Those who prefer a nearby hotel (e.g., Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Holiday Inn) should make their own arrangements.


Proposal Deadline and Submission: Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a brief biographical statement by March 1, 2022, to https://paenglish.submittable.com/submit and to mtwill@iup.edu. Fees for those whose abstracts are accepted will include membership, conference registration, and lunch (optional).


Online Presentation Option for the Spring 2022 Conference: The PCEA board strongly believes that our yearly conference is best experienced in-person. We follow University of Pittsburgh pandemic protocols, and we will have members’ safety in mind when arranging activities, including panel presentations, lunch, and the keynote address. However, we recognize that being physically present at this year’s conference may not be possible for all individuals due to health concerns, funding cuts, travel restrictions, etc. Because we recognize that some individuals may want to participate in the conference even though they cannot be physically present, we will be offering a small number of online panels that will run concurrently with the in-person sessions. Preference will be given to current or recent

PCEA members. Please note that we will not be livestreaming in-person sessions, which means that online presenters will not be able to view or participate in in-person sessions or view the live keynote address. Online participants will have access only to other online conference sessions (though we do hope to record the keynote address and make it available online). Those who are interested in presenting online should submit a 250-300 word abstract by March 1, 2022, through the following Google form: https://forms.gle/rwrY9yS9sUdMy4RGA. Fees for those whose abstracts have been accepted will include membership and conference registration.


Accepted Papers from the Canceled 2020 Conference: If you had a paper accepted for the 2020 Conference and have not yet heard from us but would like to be included in the 2022 Conference, please send your abstract by March 1, 2022, to https://paenglish.submittable.com/submit and to mtwill@iup.edu.