EXTENDED DEADLINE--CFP for The Works and Influences of Charles Portis: A Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
June 19, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Kevin Jones/University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
contact email: 

The Department of English, Rhetoric & Writing, and Media Communication and the Department of History, Social Sciences & Philosophy at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith

The Works and Influence of Charles Portis: A Symposium

November 2-5,  2023 

A Call for Papers on the Works and Influence of author, veteran, journalist, bureau chief, and Arkansawyer, Charles Portis for a Symposium hosted by the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.  In celebration of the May 2023 publication of the Library of America series, The Collected Works of Charles Portis, edited by Jay Jennings, this symposium explores the writing and cultural influence of Portis.  

We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines, with a focus on Portis’s work and literary legacy. We especially seek papers that explore Portis’s work beyond True Grit or place True Grit within the larger body of Portis’s work and legacy. 

Suggested topics include:

  • Criticism and literary interpretations of Portis’s numerous novels, (Norwood, True Grit, The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, and Gringos) short stories, essays, articles;
  • Film adaptations of Portis’s works;
  • Approaches to historical fiction; 
  • Cultural tourism, travel writing, travel and ecocriticism, travel and identity;
  • Mid-South and Southern fiction, regionalism;
  • Frontier studies;
  • Portis’s nonfiction and journalistic writing;
  • Pedagogical approaches to Portis’s work and films.

Portis received numerous awards, including the Oxford American’s Lifetime Achievement in Southern Literature and the Porter Prize Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award, and was a contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Oxford American. 

This University of Arkansas Fort Smith symposium features Jay Jennings and support from Jonathan Portis, the City of Fort Smith, local museums and organizations, the Fort Smith Historical Society, and others. 

Submissions due by June 19, 2023 to Dr. Kevin Jones at portisportal@uafs.edu

Please include the following with your submission:

-Paper title, abstract (no more than 300 words)

-Biographical summary (no more than 100 words)

-Please note any interest in being on a panel or chairing sessions