The 26th Southern Writers/Southern Writing (SW/SW) Graduate Student Conference -- Deadline Extended!

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
EGSB (English Graduate Student Body) at the University of Mississippi



The 26th Southern Writers/Southern Writing (SW/SW) 

Graduate Student Conference

University of Mississippi 2023 

Call for Submissions

“Y’all and/in the Queer South”



The Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference (SW/SW) is an interdisciplinary graduate student conference, featuring both critical and creative explorations of U.S. southern culture and expression. It will be hosted by the University of Mississippi from 28-30 July 2023

While the conference was once an annual tradition, the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our last scheduled conference. This is our first re-installment since the pandemic began two years ago. We hope to renew this as an annual tradition moving forward.

SW/SW seeks to foster a multi-disciplinary environment, featuring graduate students, creative writers, activists, and community members with an interest in the US or Global South from all departments and fields of study. In addition to academic research presentations (papers, posters, and roundtables), we welcome creative submissions (poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, photography, film excerpts or shorts, etc.), and activist roundtables


In 2021, country-singer Miranda Lambert released the song "Y'all Means All" which served as the introduction song to the 6th season of Queer Eye. The song invents a campy excess that destabilizes "black and white" stereotypical narratives of the South with an interrogation of its diversity, including in its “y’all” conservatives, nonbinary people, trans people and drag queens. Like contemporary forms of southern studies, the song redirects attention beyond a monolithic South toward a representation of multiple, overlapping, and contradicting types of worldbuilding within the region, insisting one rubric cannot and will not do. 

Whereas the term “y’all” is ubiquitous within the southern imagination as a colloquialism that inspires kinship and a connection to home, often evoking paternalism and regional stereotypes, the 26th SW/SW Graduate Conference proposes that it has recently been reclaimed as a guiding principle for inclusivity across identities. 

We aim to investigate how to better represent the south’s diversity without homogenizing or erasing differences. The framework of “y’all” offers a pathway towards an interrogation of the essentialism within the very title “Southern Writers/Southern Writing,” while being cognizant that there is no perfect framework for inclusion. 

Some questions guiding this interventions include: Does a reappropriation of the word or concept of “y’all” have any destabilizing effects on our assumptions about the South? Has it had lasting impacts as a tool for multicultural or diversity projects within the region? Does “y’all”—or the idea that “y’all” invokes— invite other voices or further isolate them?

We welcome abstracts for papers, posters, panels, creative works, and activist roundtables that consider and interrogate southern experience and expression. While we encourage submissions that address the themes and topics listed in this CFS, we also welcome those that diverge from it. It is not necessary to address “y’all” specifically; rather, we hope to compile a vast array of contributions across fields and disciplines that represent southern diversity and all its variations. 

Possible Topics:

  • Intersectional readings or critiques, including sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, class, nation, neurodivergence, plural identities, or other forms of identity and experience within the US or Global South.

  • Queer theory, Asexuality Studies, Trans Theory, Affect Theory, Southern Studies, Global South Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and more.

  • Activism in multiculturalism or diversity and inclusion within and across the US South and/or Global South.

  • Disciplinary or departmental inclusion and/or representation of nondominant subjects or research done by nondominant subjects, especially in STEM.

  • Personal or collective confrontations with the word "y'all" and its rhetorical effect on the body, mind, or self.

  • Folklore and its repetitions of or challenges to the word "y'all", southern regionalism, or a dichotomy between tradition and modernity.

  • Foodways, culinary studies, and other forms of culture making within the US or Global South.

  • Ecocriticism, environmentalism, and other research that addresses the geographical and ecological makeup of the US or Global South and its natural spaces.

  • Religion, sociology, ethnography within the US South or Global South.

  • Media or popular culture (especially film, television, music, and podcasts) representations of queerness, southernness, or the combination of the two.

  • Social science research including linguistics, anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, etc. about people living within the US or Global South

  • Archival research (including letters, diaries, periodicals, and material culture) relating to the US or Global South

  • Government policy, political science, law, labor, commerce, and capital within the US or Global South

Instructions for submission:

For all submissions (research, creative, or activist), please submit a 250-word abstract that explains how the proposal engages with Southern expression or culture and one (or more) of the topics listed above. Please also include a 100-word biography for each presenter.

* For creative submissions, please also submit ONE of the following: 1) a 5-page (or less) excerpt of a written creative work; 2) a 10 minute or less excerpt of film or video; 3) a zip folder with images of an artistic or other visual medium.

Additional Notes:

Undergraduates are encouraged to submit projects. There is the possibility to form special undergraduate panels


To apply, please visit our website (, where you can find our submission form (

For questions, please email Anthony Gottlich ( or

The deadline for submissions is extended to January 31st, 2023.