SAMLA 2014 (Nov. 7 - 9 in Atlanta, GA)--Regional Writing: Advocate for or Adversary of Sustainability?

full name / name of organization: 
Timothy K. Nixon, Ph.D. / Shepherd University
contact email: 

Harriet Beecher Stowe's _Palmetto Leaves_ (1873) sings the praises of that part of Florida near present-day Jacksonville, enticing friends and family to become fellow property owners. In it, Stowe celebrates a region, a location, and a lifestyle that she finds attractive. However, one Amazon reviewer questions if in publishing this work she may have unintentionally stimulated some of the tourism that has led to the proliferation of trinket shops, timeshare condominiums, and chain restaurants in Florida today. Is regional writing, then, good for a geography, celebrating its character and documenting its existence, or does it undermine the sustainability of unique and picturesque places by inviting outsiders to come and explore and exploit? This panel will consider regional writing's role and responsibility in sustaining or undermining places' viability and uniqueness. By June 1, 2014, please submit a 250-word abstract, brief biographical statement, and A/V requirements to Timothy K. Nixon, Shepherd University, at