Willa Cather Foundation panels at American Literature Association

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Willa Cather Foundation
contact email: 

Call for Papers: The Willa Cather Foundation seeks proposals for both a roundtable and a panel at the 34th annual conference of the American Literature Association, held in Boston from May 25-28, 2023.

The roundtable, “Contextualizing Willa Cather, will be comprised of either four or five brief (8-10 minute) presentations dealing with some aspect of Cather’s life or work. There will be time after the presentations and before the Q&A for participants to respond to one another’s work. Please note that the rules of ALA permit presenters to participate in a roundtable in addition to giving a paper.

“Context” is meant to suggest an expansive and flexible framework for considering Cather within the cultural crosscurrents and historical events among which she lived and wrote as well as at other temporal moments, including our own. Cross-disciplinary approaches are welcome. Topics could include (but are by no means limited to) labor and leisure in Cather’s life and fiction, race and ethnicity in Cather’s fiction, indigeneity in Cather’s fiction, settler colonialism in Cather’s life and fiction, Cather and Queer histories, Feminist responses to Cather in the 1970s and beyond, teaching Cather’s fiction in the 21st century classroom, teaching Cather’s fiction in the virtual classroom, Cather and urban/rural spaces, philosophy and religion in Cather’s fiction, approaches to Cather’s letters, and ecological issues in Cather’s fiction.

The panel, “New Directions in Willa Cather Scholarship,” seeks three proposals for longer (15-20 minute) papers dealing with any aspect of Cather’s life and work. We are looking for the most interesting and innovative new work on Cather.

Graduate student presenters are very welcome and for assistance with conference expenses may apply for the Willa Cather Foundation Scholarship for Student Research.


Please submit abstracts of approximately 200 words for the roundtable and 300 for the panel no later than January 15, 2023 to Sarah Clere at sarahclere@gmail.com. Please indicate whether your abstract is for the roundtable or panel and attach it as a Word document.