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. 


Conference Guideline Updates

The Session Guidelines and Chair Guidelines have been updated. Please see the Forms page for the latest versions of these documents.

Also, SAMLA is excited to present the new Participant Guidelines, which contains important information regarding membership and registration policies for all conference participants. This document is now available on the Forms page.

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





More information about Member Events is forthcoming.


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 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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