George Saunders Society, ALA, Boston, MA, May 25-28, 2023

deadline for submissions: 
January 13, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
George Saunders Society
contact email: 

The George Saunders Society invites prospective participants for one or two panels at the 2023 American Literature Association conference in Boston, MA, to be held May 25 to 28, 2023. We are interested in presentations on any aspect of George Saunders’s life and work; in this, our fourth year of activity at ALA, we are particularly interested in papers that challenge, complicate, or go beyond the most common (particularly religious, ethical, or new sincericist) readings of the author’s work in the critical literature to this point. The topic is therefore open, but possible approaches might include:

  • Saunders and neoliberalism
  • Saunders and political commitment
  • Motherhood and fatherhood in Saunders
  • Depictions of disability in Saunders
  • Saunders and science fiction/genre fiction
  • Saunders and critical race theory
  • Saunders and ecocriticism
  • The maturation of Saunders’ style (with interest in Liberation Day [2022])
  • George Saunders in the undergraduate classroom
  • Saunders as celebrity/Saunders as literary tastemaker (including the George Saunders Story Club Substack)
  • Saunders as teacher/Saunders and MFA culture (including interventions raised by the recent writing instruction collection A Swim in a Pond in the Rain [2021])
  • Saunders and his literary ancestors, peers, and descendants
  • Saunders audiobooks and adaptations (including the Netflix film Spiderhead)

Please e-mail abstracts of 250-350 words in Microsoft Word or PDF format to Dr. Brian Jansen, McGillicuddy Humanities Center, University of Maine—at brian.jansen@maine.eduno later than Friday, January 13, 2023. We would also welcome fully formed panels. Each submission should also include a brief biographical note, including your name as it will appear in the conference program, institutional affiliation, and preferred mode of contact during the second half of January 2023. Please indicate any AV needs.


The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place May 25-28, 2023 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2023. For further information or specific questions, please consult the ALA website at