SAMLA 86: Sustainability and the Humanities

Sustainability, or the ability to endure, lies at the heart of many of our pressing problems in the humanities. American universities are serving a larger and more diverse student body than ever before, but shifting employment and institutional structures pose potential threats to long-standing models of our profession and perhaps to the notion of the university itself. Technological advancement offers hope; digitization and information systems have preserved precious archives and made early and oral literatures accessible to a wider audience than ever before, but rapidly changing technological standards have already left some projects abandoned or unreadable. Arts and literatures of all societies have long dealt with the relationship between man and nature, even as that relationship continues to grow more and more fragile with time. For SAMLA 2014, presenters are urged to consider the problem of sustainability and the tensions between progress and preservation in literature, creative works, institutional and pedagogical models, technology, and social structures.

We have two excellent plenaries scheduled. Recipient of awards including the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecture for his prose and poetry, former University of Kentucky professor Wendell Berry will deliver our creative plenary. His connection with the land and his advocacy for sustainability will help inspire us to find solutions for the ever-present tensions between progress and preservation.

Ursula Heise, UCLA Professor with a joint appointment in English and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, will deliver the critical plenary. Professor Heise’s interdisciplinary work leads the field of sustainability studies, with a focus on contemporary environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan. She has published widely, and her current book project is Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Database, and Endangered Species.

Membership and Registration

Both current SAMLA Membership and Conference Registration are required to participate in the conference. You can process your Membership and Registration by completing both of the forms linked below:

Membership: To attend the SAMLA 86 (2014), Membership must be processed for the 2014-2015 year. Chairs are required to process their membership by June 20, 2014 for final session approval. All other participants must process their membership by August 30, 2014 to be included in the conference program.

Registration: To attend SAMLA 86 (2014), all participants must process registration. Early Registration is available at a discounted price before October 1st. Regular Registration (at the full rate) will be available online between October 1 and October 31st. If members do not register online before October 31st, members can pay Late Registration on site at the conference November 6-9, as online registration will be unavailable between November 1-6.


Conference Guideline Updates

The Session Guidelines and Chair Guidelines have been updated. 

Also, SAMLA is excited to present the new CFP/Special Session Proposal Form and the Session Information Form, which contain important information regarding our submission policies. Please see the Forms page for the latest versions of these forms.

Hotel and Travel

SAMLA is happy to announce that hotel room reservation for the SAMLA 86 Conference is now available online. SAMLA has a reserved a discounted rate for conference attendees. To receive the discounted reservation rate, please see the Hotel and Travel page of the Conference section and register via this page. And please note that these rooms will be in limited supply; therefore, we encourage all attendees to reserve your rooms as soon as possible.

The Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center
















The Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center
Location of SAMLA 86

2014 SAMLA Conference Program cover


November 7-9, 2014
Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia

Special Focus
"Sustainability and the Humanities"

Dr. Ursula K. Heise, 

Wendell Berry, 
American Novelist & Essayist



May 31st

Last day to submit a CFP 





SAMLA 86 Check-in Desk Hours and Locations

Day/DateLocationActivityStart TimeEnd Time
November 6

Front Lobby

Early Check-In

4:00 pm

8:00 pm

November 7

Buckhead B 


7:00 am

8:00 pm

November 8

Buckhead B 


7:00 am

8:00 pm 
November 9 

Buckhead B


7:30 am

12:00 pm 


SAMLA 85 Conference Impressions

Below please find some highlights from SAMLA 85 in Atlanta, Georgia.


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Please contact the SAMLA office via email with any questions or concerns related to SAMLA’s annual Conference.

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