**EXTENDED DEADLINE** 27th Annual Southern Writers/Southern Writing Grad Student Conference

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Southern Writers/Southern Writing



The 27th Southern Writers/Southern WritingGraduate Student Conference 

University of Mississippi

July 26th-27th, 2024

Call for Submissions

“Southern” Legacies in the 21st Century


The Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference (SW/SW) is an interdisciplinary conference, welcoming graduate students, creative writers, activists, and community members with interest in the U.S. or Global South from all departments and fields of study. The 27th edition of SW/SW will be held at the University of Mississippi from July 26th-27th, 2024.


The work of New Southern Studies (NSS) of the early 2000s and contemporary southern studies scholarship have challenged and revisioned the field. In the Routledge Companion to the Literature of the U.S. South (2023), Kathryn McKee explains that one central premise of NSS was “the idea of the U.S. South as an invention…one that the nation would do better without.” NSS scholars theorized that "the guiding concerns and methodologies of New Southern Studies might be more durable than the [‘South’] itself." The malleability of the term and meaning of 'south' has since created something of an explosion of souths: instead of reifying the seeming monolith of the “South,” scholars have used NSS to illuminate a plethora of souths ad infinitum (queer souths, border souths, tacky souths, swamp souths, etc.).


The 27th SW/SW Conference calls for scholarship, art, and activism that asks, answers, or troubles the question: What are the many legacies that southern studies contends with today?


The conference committee invites critiques and assessments of what the study of  “south(s)” and/or “southern” culture(s) looks like today–either in directly discussing 21st-century topics and/or what it means to investigate “southern” histories in contemporary scholarship. Submissions on various forms of cultural production or media from the precolonial to the modern era are welcomed, especially those that address how people reckon with legacies of violent, colonial histories and their aftermaths within the U.S. and/or Global South(s). We are including and encouraging the submissions of writing and scholarship often excluded from consideration in a former Southern Studies that had been characterized by exclusionary histories and politics and  are eagerly interested in including people from all backgrounds and scholarship of all types of souths.


Topic examples could include (but are absolutely not limited to):

  • Challenging what “legacies” (in contexts other than heterosexist and paternalistic rhetoric that “legacies” have been historically loaded with) mean in a contentious “south”

  • Considerations of ecological trauma, resistance, and activism in the past and present in U.S. and/or Global South

  • Sociological analyses of what “southerness” means to a contemporary urban south

  • Critical histories of “southern” issues that may contrast with how such histories have been previously characterized by white supremacist dialogues

  • Gendered discourses of southern hospitality in media (fiction, non-fiction, material culture, etc.)

  • Ethical documentary practices of representing “southerness”

  • Challenging narratives of southerness in contemporary poetry

  • Globalizing conversations around multilingual literature as “southern”

  • Debating a new regional identity that reconsiders the rhetoric of “Old South,” “Lost Cause,” or other monoliths

  • Considering regionalism’s importance in a period of mass globalization and internet connection and/or in comparison to prior conceptions and iterations of regionalist ideas

  • Political analysis of populist movements of the U.S. South

  • Discussing the usefulness of a Southern Studies in the 21st century


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. Additionally, 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.


To apply, complete the online submission form on the conference website.

The deadline for submissions is MARCH 15th, 2024. Accepted presentations will be notified no later than the end of March.

Please direct all questions to the conference chairs.