SAMLA 87 – In Concert: Literature and the Other Arts

From Sappho with her barbitos, to the gloriously illuminated Book of Kells, to the Troubadours of the High Middle Ages, on up through William Blake and his alchemical etchings, Lewis Carroll's controversial photographic portraits of children, Carl Sandburg's folk music, James Baldwin and Ray Charles' unlikely collaboration at Carnegie Hall on July 1, 1973, and all the way up to William S. Burrough's shotgun splatter painting, writers have never been content to make art solely out of words. The humanities in general have always been markedly multidisciplinary. The academy, too, has generally sought to accommodate, foster, and inspire multidisciplinary creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration by incorporating studio programs, MFA degrees, and hybrid cross-disciplinary majors of all sorts. Digital technology and the Internet, in particular, seem to provide a concrete realization of Hermann Hesse's "the glass bead game" – art as quintessential multidisciplinary game playing. For SAMLA 87, presenters are invited to consider the myriad connections between literature and the other arts – painting, sculpture, photography, book making, music, dance, film, architecture, and the like.

All participants will be required to have a conference year (2015–16) SAMLA membership and to register for the conference.  Membership and conference registration will be available after April 1

Conference Hotel

exterior of Sheraton Imperial in North Carolina

interior of Sheraton Imperial in North Carolina

SAMLA 87 Program Cover


November 1315, 2015
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
Durham, North Carolina

Special Focus
"In Concert: Literature and the Other Arts"

Creative Plenary
Wyn Cooper & Madison Smartt Bell

In addition to “Fun,” the poem that developed into Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do,” Wyn Cooper has published four books of poetry, written lyrics for the musical collaboration Bell & Cooper, and worked as a teacher and editor.

Award-winning novelist Madison Smartt Bell’s artistic endeavors include his novel trilogy on the Haitian revolution and his vocals on the two albums by Bell & Cooper, Forty Words for Fear (2003) and Postcards Out of the Blue (2008).

Critical Plenary
William Ferris

Folklorist and professor William Ferris has written extensively about Southern culture and blues music, most recently in his multimedia anthology The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists.

Featured Speaker
Wiley Cash

Wiley Cash, a novelist and professor from North Carolina, is the author of the bestsellers A Land More Kind than Home (2012) and This Dark Road to Mercy (2013). 


SAMLA Conference Impressions

Below please find some highlights from previous SAMLA Conferences.


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