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Calls for Papers (CFPs)

SAMLA welcomes broad participation in planning, chairing, and presenting as part of sessions for its next conference, SAMLA 93, taking place on November 4-6, 2021, in Atlanta, GA.

Each Session Chair writes their own Call for Papers (CFP) and submits it to SAMLA for approval and posting. Presentation abstracts are then directed to the individual Chair, who selects and notifies their panelists accordingly. The Chair then submits information about the panel they have selected to SAMLA for inclusion in the conference program. 

Please read the instructions below for further details and links to the appropriate forms.

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Instructions for Prospective Chairs

Prospective Chairs should begin by deciding on the session's type and format:

  • Session Types include Regular Sessions, Affiliated Group Sessions, and Special Sessions. For your convenience, we have defined these session types here. Unless you are representing an existing Affiliated Group or Regular Session, your CFP will be classified as a Special Session. If you represent an organization looking to become an Affiliated Group, or if you are unsure if your session is a recurring Regular Session, please email Dan Abitz at [email protected].
  • Session Formats include Traditional Sessions, Roundtables, Workshops, Readings, and more. We have described the most common formats here. SAMLA welcomes other session formats when applicable.

Next, prospective session chairs should prepare their CFP language and submit a CFP form for SAMLA's approvalA CFP form should be submitted for each session, even if the session already has a full list of presenters. SAMLA will post all approved CFPs below to encourage scholars to submit abstracts to Session Chairs for approval and, ultimately, inclusion in the conference program.

When selecting panelists, Chairs are asked to take note of the eligibility guidelines posted in the "Instructions for Prospective Presenters" section below. Chairs may choose to widen their selection process by posting their CFPs to other databases 

The final deadline to submit a CFP is June 28, 2021.

Instructions for Prospective Presenters

Scholars interested in presenting at SAMLA 93 should review the approved Calls for Papers (CFPs) below and follow any submission instructions set by the individual Session Chairs. 

SAMLA asks that you abide by certain eligibility guidelines when planning your participation in our conference:

  • All conference participants will need to become SAMLA members AND will need to register for the conference. There are two separate forms to fill out and two separate payments to be rendered to meet these requirements.
  • A member may present only one traditional paper per SAMLA conference. A member may participate in other forms as long as the nature of each panel or presentation differs significantly. This may include, but is not limited to: serving as both Chair and Panelist in one’s own panel; serving as Chair in one session and Panelist in another session; serving as Panelist both in a traditional panel and on a roundtable, reading, or workshop discussion; serving as Panelist while also presenting on our Poster Session. If a member is presenting in multiple formats, it is expected and required that the content of the presentations will also be different. Additionally, members are welcome to serve as Chairs, Co-Chairs, and/or Secretaries for multiple panels.
  • SAMLA is proud to provide ample space for undergraduate research at its annual conference. We invite undergraduate students to participate in Undergraduate Research Forum (URF) panels or our annual Friday-night Poster Session. According to SAMLA guidelines, however, undergraduate students are not permitted to participate in non-URF sessions.

Approved CFPs by Category

NOTE: You can jump to a specific subject by selecting a category from the list below, or you can hit Control-F or Command-F to enter a search term (Chair name, keyword, etc).

African / African American Studies

American Studies

Asian / Asian American Studies

Caribbean Studies

Creative Writing

English Studies (UK & Ireland)

Film Studies

French Studies

Gender & Sexuality Studies

German Studies

Hispanic Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Italian Studies

Luso-Portuguese Studies

Other Languages & Literatures


Rhetoric & Composition

Slavic Studies

African / African American Studies 


In different ways, science fiction has always shown its potential to shape or allegorize society's conflicts and anxieties. However, when it comes to the representation of certain marginalized groups, the genre presents a controversial history of exotification based on racial difference between subjects. In the mid-1990s, Afrofuturism, a term initially coined by Mark Dery, emerges as an aesthetic movement that appropriates certain codes of sci-fi in order to build Afro-centered narratives. In the last decade, the Afrofuturist movement has been updated as a response to the new works of African and Afrodiasporic authors. New terms and perspectives such as Africanfuturism, Afrojujuism, etc. are presented in order to include different views and wishes for the future of Black people. Black artists of a variety of diasporas use different and creative strategies to “recreate the past, transform the present and project a new future through their own optics” (Kabral, 2018). This panel is interested on submissions that discuss the different ways Afrofuturism works to build new futures for Black people across a variety of diasporas. Submissions from diverse approaches, perspectives and disciplines are especially welcome. We look forward to having this conversation at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s 93rd Annual Conference from November 4-6, 2021, in Atlanta, GA. Please send an abstract of 250-350 words and a short bio to [email protected] by July 30, 2021.


Because there was not one core goal advanced at its center, the Harlem Renaissance, for many, was a disparate literary and cultural movement that even figures such as James Weldon Johnson felt had failed. After all, divisions formed among thinkers on the ideal direction for Black art, as indicated by the 1926 Crisis survey, and artists often found themselves bickering over what constituted an authentic representation of Blackness at a time when the United States was still consumed with monolithic visions of “the Negro” (see, for instance, “Negro Character as Seen by White Authors” by Sterling A. Brown or Ethnic Notions by Marlon Riggs). And yet, despite these divisions, the Harlem Renaissance, or New Negro Movement, was also marked by deeply intricate social networks that enabled Black art to thrive. Literary salons, for instance, were commonplace for the era, offering necessary space where Black “artists and intellectuals came together to encourage each other, share and develop their work, and immerse themselves in black culture, philosophy, and politics” (Williams 1080). The most famous of these was perhaps the weekly salons of Georgia Douglas Johnson, who opened her home to central figures such as Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Jessie Redmon Fauset, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Bruce Nugent, Zora Neale Hurston, and so many others whose work defined this groundbreaking moment in time (Williams 1081). 

Revealed here are both the social networks and social distance at work during a formative time in African-American literary history. While the salons offered one of many collaborative spaces in which Black artists convened to discuss the very nature of Black art and theories for Black community development (often centered around the socialist socioeconomic and political agenda), there was also a heavy spirit of individualism. As Langston Hughes noted in his brief response to the Crisis survey, “[T]he true literary artist is going to write about what he chooses anyway regardless of outside opinions. You write about the intelligent Negroes; Fisher about the unintelligent. Both of you are right…It’s the way people look at things, not what they look at, that needs to be changed” (“The Negro in Art” 192). Therefore, to gain a better understanding of the Harlem Renaissance era (and the African-American literary tradition at large), we must be willing to examine both the undeniable spirit of collaboration that has fostered so many lasting ideals and perspectives on Black art as well as the equally powerful spirit of individualism that enabled Black artists to pursue their own paths, even if criticized for their “spiritual truancy.”

For this session at the ninety-third annual South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) convention, the Langston Hughes Society is pleased to accept abstracts of no more than five hundred words (for a fifteen- to twenty-minute presentation) on these important topics. Interested participants are asked to consider, for instance, the nature of collaborative work during the Harlem Renaissance era and beyond, how these vital networks contributed to the intellectual and ideological arcs of this time, and literary representations of social networking in the African-American community as a vehicle for cultural and ideological exchange. Participants may also consider the ways in which Black artists flourished under social distance, venturing out from Harlem—the epicenter of Black cultural life at the time—to explore the Black condition in other sectors of the United States and across the globe. Some topics for consideration include but are not limited to:

  • the production of the infamous journal FIRE!! by Wallace Thurman in 1926
  • the collaborations between composer Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes on works such as Don’t You Want to Be Free?, Shakespeare in Harlem, Tropics After Dark (with Arna Bontemps), and the Ballad of the Brown King
  • representations of the “Niggerati” and life in “Niggerati Manor” in works such as Wallace Thurman’s 1932 roman à clef, Infants of the Spring, and Richard Bruce Nugent’s Gentleman Jigger, not published until 2008
  • the complex collaboration between Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston on the 1930 folk comedy, Mule-Bone
  • the impact of Walter Jekyll on the poetry of Claude McKay and his decision to employ Black vernacular expression in his 1912 collections, Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads
  • the under-examined collaborations between Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes with the 1932 Popo and Fifina and the 1958 Book of Negro Folklore
  • points of convergence between the Harlem Renaissance and the earlier years of the Chicago Black Renaissance  
  • the text and image collaboration between Langston Hughes and Roy DeCarava in the 1955 The Sweet Flypaper of Life
  • the correspondence and collaboration between Langston Hughes and Margaret Danner, including the 1970 spoken-word album Poets of the Revolution (recorded in 1964) 
  • the exploration of Black intellectual vagabondage in the novels of Claude McKay and his decision to explore the Black condition abroad while literature of the era focused predominantly on the African-American experience in the United States
  • the fictional depictions of collaboration among unlikely counterparts to challenge U.S. racism, such as W. E. B. Du Bois' 1920  short story "The Comet," or Western imperialism, such as his 1928 novel Dark Princess
  • the efforts of Zora Neale Hurston to gather African-American stories in the South, collecting folklore and cataloguing folk culture in areas largely neglected by other writers of her time, as evidenced by her 1935 Mules and Men and Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” not published until 2018
  • the satirical critique in George Schuyler’s 1931 Black No More of not only race relations and racial politics in the United States but also organizations such as the NAACP that Schuyler contended openly promoted a Black agenda while secretly flourishing on Black pain

While papers need not be centered on Langston Hughes or thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance era and while we encourage interested participants to consider how these issues unfolded in the African-American literary tradition at large, special consideration will be given to proposals with an emphasis on the work and/or legacy of Hughes.

The deadline for abstract submissions for this panel is Friday, June 4, 2021. Please send, as (an) e-mail attachment(s), your abstract along with a brief CV and 100-word biographical statement to Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, President ([email protected]); to Dr. DeLisa D. Hawkes, Vice President ([email protected]); and to Dr. Richard Hancuff, Secretary ([email protected]). Indicate, if applicable, any audio-visual needs. Note also that in addition to the membership and registration fees required for SAMLA, presenters on this session must also be current members of the Langston Hughes Society by the time of the conference in order to present. 

For more information on the Langston Hughes Society and our mission, please visit us online at

Works Cited

“The Negro in Art: How Shall He Be Portrayed.” The New Negro: Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Gene Andrew Jarrett, Princeton UP, 2007, pp. 190-204.

Williams, Carmaletta M. “Salons.” Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Cary D. Wintz and Paul Finkelman, Routledge, 2004, pp. 1080-1083.


During the Jim Crow era, racial crossing in the United States was officially regulated through legal, economic, religious, and socio-cultural means. When African Americans and other people of color strategically chose to pass, they undermined, often at great risk to themselves, white hegemony and the fantasy of a definitively either-or color line. Following Brown vs. Board of Education and the Civil Rights accomplishments of the 1960s, racial crossing‚ including disguise and transformation, cross-racial interaction, relationships, and friendships‚ continued to be prevalent as it also manifested in new, productive, and sometimes strange forms. For example, Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage and gave rightful acknowledgment to Mixed Race unions and families. Yet, in other instances, whites were now the ones‚”caught‚” or “outed” as passing, both in terms of artistic production and also in real life. With this SAMLA panel, we ask: how can we interrogate racial crossing in the 21st Century? Questions to consider include, but are not limited to: How does racial crossing revise and/or complicate conventional definitions of racial passing? How can we understand the history of passing as Black‚ i.e. the recent examples of Rachel Dolezal, Jessica Krug, or CV Vitolo-Haddad who were forced to admit their whiteness after passing as Black? How is racial crossing expressed in creative works, such as literature, film, music, etc.? What about our current century has impacted racial crossing and given it unique contours? How does racial crossing intersect with other aspects of identity, such as class, sexuality, gender, religion, etc.? How can we contextualize racial crossing? What are literary and/or historical examples of racial crossing that tell us something about racial crossing today? How does racial crossing help us understand various institutions, such as education, the law, incarceration, etc.? We solicit papers on any aspect of racial crossing as defined above, which would entail not only passing as white, but more generally, any act of crossing the boundaries of race in the twenty-first century.

Potential panelists can send 300-word abstracts and 150-word bios to both Donavan Ramon, Ph.D. at [email protected] and Clark Barwick, Ph.D., at [email protected] by July 1st 2021.


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American Studies


This panel seeks to examine the relationship between “apocalypse” and “utopia” in American literature and culture. In the wake of 2020 and its arguably apocalyptic elements, coupled with increased conversations about how these moments of rupture and upheaval might serve as openings for crafting a better world and a better society, this panel welcomes submissions on any aspect or portrayal of the relationship between the apocalyptic and the utopian in American literary and cultural production--novels, short stories, poetry, comics, graphic novels, films, television, etc. How might we understand the relationship between apocalypse and utopia in seeking to form a politics of utopia (and all that phrase might entail)? Abstracts addressing the conference theme in relation to apocalypse and utopia are especially welcome. By July 14, please submit an abstract of 250-300 words, a short biography, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Laura Thorp, University of South Carolina, at [email protected]


Having long established the importance of place and the deus loci in the work of Elizabeth Madox Roberts, this panel urges participants to think beyond this metric and consider the ways that Roberts’ work is shaped by not only place but by distance. In conversation with this year’s conference theme “Social Networks, Social Distances,” this panel seeks papers that interrogate the effects of physical and temporal distance in Roberts’ work and how distance both complicates and reinforces the importance of specific places in her novels. Papers should be no more than 15 minutes in oral presentation. Please email titles and abstracts of 250 words and professional bios of 50-100 words to Eleanor Hough (dept. of English University of Kentucky, [email protected]) no later than July 10, 2021.


Since the 1970s, anglophone literature has increasingly been defined through global circuits of culture and commerce. Although some authors may still claim an autonomy from the logic of the market, scholars in postcolonial and global modernist studies today emphasize how contemporary literature remains inevitably entangled in commercial life: from funding, publishing, and advertising, to the battles for cultural capital among awards committees, universities, and nonprofit institutions. This panel aims to explore the relationship between contemporary anglophone literature and its markets. Papers might consider how clusters of authors have reconciled commercial recognition with their cultural identities; how editors, magazines, and publishing houses contributed to the shaping of contemporary literary history; and how the shifting market for anglophone literature continues to shape our understanding of terms like “modernism.” Priority will be given to papers that can move beyond one author’s personal record and link a granular attention to everyday life with large-scale questions in intellectual history. Please send 250-300 word abstracts to Ian Afflerbach at [email protected] by July 10, 2021.


This panel welcomes submissions focused on any aspect of the breakdown, rearrangement, dissolution, and assimilation involved in reimagining the construction of identity and heritage inscribed in bodies in twentieth-century American fiction. Please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, a brief bio, and any AV requirements to Dr. Maria Orban, Fayetteville State University, at [email protected], by September 30.


Despite being right under our feet and figuring prominently in works such as the Muscogee poet Joy Harjo’s “New Orleans,” La Florida largely occupies a forgotten space between fallen empires and contemporary nations. If we accept Benedict Anderson’s notion that print-capitalism essentially functions like an analogue social network, allowing “people to think about themselves, and to relate themselves to others” (36), we gain a better grasp of how traditional disciplinary boundaries support the imagining of contemporary nations. When we return to La Florida we see how Spanish failures to maintain their colonies here underscore the vitality of Indigenous struggles against invading colonizers in ways that remain relevant from Standing Rock to the Highlands of Chiapas. Further, we better understand how these previous attempts at European occupation decenter US narratives that privilege Jamestown and the Plymouth colony as somehow being the first European colonies to be established amidst a vast, pristine wilderness. 

In this context, this panel invites presentations that engage with the literary legacies of La Florida from the 16th Century to the present, considering how these contest US self-imaginings centered on Anglo hegemony, monolingualism, US exceptionalism, and settler colonialism. How does an acknowledgement of multiple European colonies in this land destabilize contemporary US nationalism? Further, can this acknowledgement lead settlers to deeper understandings of Indigenous spaces and relations, which, to cite the Abenaki scholar Lisa Brooks about the Native northeast, is “a network of relations and waterways containing many different groups of people as well as animal, plant, and rock beings that was sustained through the constant transformative ‘being’ of its inhabitants” (3)?

Please send a 250-word abstract, contact info, and any AV requirements by July 15 to Melissa Birkhofer, Western Carolina University at [email protected].

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. Verso, 1983.

Brooks, Lisa. The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast. University of Minnesota Press, 2008.


This panel intends to examine the works of Muslim American poets, novelists, playwrights, jazz musicians, punks, hip hop artists, filmmakers, and visual artists. We welcome submissions that examine the varied compositions of Muslim American identities as depicted in cultural texts as they challenge and engage with the canonical codes and sociopolitical norms of national, theoretical, literary, and aesthetic spaces. Keeping in mind the theme of SAMLA 93‚ Social Networks, Social Distances‚ panelists might consider how these writers and artists employ different media in their articulation of social networks and distances as Muslim Americans to deal with issues of language, representation, location, technology, and education. Please submit a 300-word abstract, with a short biography and A/V requirements, to Mahwash Shoaib ([email protected]) by September 30.


It has been more than two decades since Ashraf Rushdy published his genre-defining analysis of neo-slave narratives, which argues that literary artists of the 1960s and 70s became interested in creating fictionalized versions of antebellum slave narratives in order to articulate new understandings of Black political subjectivity that developed during the civil rights era. In the decades following the book’s publication, we have seen a surge of antiracist literature and activism aimed at addressing deadly police violence, mass incarceration, and ongoing discrimination in employment, education, healthcare, and housing opportunities for African-American people. At the same time, we have also seen a resurgence of interest in the production of neo-slave narratives across a variety of different media, including fiction (Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Water Dancer, Daniel Black's The Coming, Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing), film (Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave, Harriet), and television (2016’s remake of Roots, The Good Lord Bird, The Underground Railroad). This panel invites presentations that address the ongoing significance of the neo-slave narrative as a vehicle for revising contemporary understandings of Black and white identity at a time when an emergent discourse of antiracism and Black Lives Matter activism is challenging a perceived sense of complacency in racial politics held over from the late twentieth-century. Panelists are asked to investigate what role these texts might play in the nation’s collective efforts to grapple with a shameful racist history and to work toward establishing a more perfect union that lives up to its democratic ideals. General topics for the panel might include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:

  • Analyses of one or more 21st-century slave narrative from any disciplinary perspective
  • Comparative analyses between 21st century neo-slave narratives and those produced during or shortly after the civil rights era
  • Comparative analyses between 21st century neo-slave narratives and antebellum slave narratives
  • Adaptations of literary slave narratives for film or television

Interested panelists should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, a brief bio, and any a/v requests to [email protected] by July 26, 2021



This traditional format session (20-minute papers) welcomes submissions on any aspect of Mark Twain's life or work. Abstracts addressing the conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, are especially welcome. By June 18, 2021, please submit an abstract of 250-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to John Bird, Winthrop University, at [email protected].


Collective expressions of moral outrage suggest the critical role that emotions play in projecting shared values, forming political alliances, punishing wrongdoers, and mobilizing collectives. Events that prompt widespread moral outrage reveal a society’s predispositions and judgments, flex the political power of social media, impact policy and law, and inspire new social movements or organized resistance. They can also exacerbate conflict, generate “pseudo” crises, or sabotage claims about inequities or the legitimacy of redress. This Special Session aims to explore widely circulated expressions of “moral outrage,” considering news events, political platforms, social media posts, and other mediated outrage events in contemporary American culture. What constitutes moral outrage and how does it function in mediating legal judgments, decision-making, mobilizing group activism, or creating new social movements? How do normative appraisals of the victims and perpetrators shape the level of moral outrage expressed? What social predispositions and appraisals mitigate responses or evoke outrage (rather than, say, sympathy or pride) when witnessing outrageous behavior? We welcome submissions on any aspect of Moral Outrage in contemporary American society. Interested panelists should send abstracts of no more than 250 words and a brief bio to Myra Mendible, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University, [email protected] by July 30, 2021.


Social isolation appears to have brought about a renewed interest in poetry as people seek solace in the written word. Emily Dickinson’s work has proved particularly apt, perhaps because the myth of Amherst has long been associated with reclusiveness and perhaps because her prolific use of "I" makes her seem to speak to us, for us, and with us, allowing us to feel less alone during lonely and uncertain times. Long before the computer, Dickinson created a social network that aligned with nineteenth-century practices‚ she wrote letters to connect and to console, and she incorporated hundreds of her poems within them. Readers during a pandemic in the twenty-first century see themes of isolation, resilience, resolution, and despondency in Dickinson’s work. The Emily Dickinson International Society seeks presentations that explore these "pandemic themes," proving or challenging the idea that Dickinson is the queen of social distancing. We welcome traditional as well as creative papers, and graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply. Please send a CV and abstract to Dr. Trisha Kannan at [email protected] by July 1, 2021.


The social distancing of the previous year meant many Americans spent more time than ever watching streaming television and movies at home. Some of this content, especially television programs, incorporated the realities of the pandemic into their narratives. Others, often animated or genre-based narratives, doubled-down on the absurdity of pandemic life in the presentation of even more absurd realities and possibilities for twenty-first-century life. This call for papers for a traditional special session at SAMLA 93 seeks presentations that will investigate the ways that television programs (broadcast, narrowcast, or streaming) and movies (theatrical, television, or streaming) narrate and represent human existence, practices, and activities as surreal or absurd. How do such programs represent or mediate our relationships to our pandemic realities? How do they help us theorize narratology or revise previous theorizations? How do they push us to reconsider our perceptions of reality or present unresolvable conflicts? Do their characters provide well-developed and diverse screen surrogates? How do such narratives provide meaningful venues for explorations of and interventions in social justice? Please send 250-word abstracts for presentations that will consider these or related questions, issues, and texts, a brief bio/CV, and any AV needs/requests to Jordan Dominy, Associate Professor of English at Savannah State UniversIty, at [email protected] by June 21st, 2021.


For many present-day readers, early American literature seems a nexus of far removed, boring, stodgy, and simply no longer relevant texts, ideas, authors, and tropes. Yes, we hear politicians frequently invoke the “Founding Fathers” and the ideals of the American Revolution in their rhetoric, but few people voluntarily pick up a sermon by Cotton Mather, an exploration narrative by John Smith, Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, or even Benjamin Franklin’s famous Autobiography as pleasure reading. Yet, if we look a bit more closely, early American literature and history pervade contemporary culture, especially in the 20th and 21st centuries. Beyond well-known examples like Disney’s Pocahontas and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Hamilton that made Aaron Burr a household name, contemporary writers and artists in literary and popular venues take up and rework early American materials in both explicit and implicit ways. Such texts translate the unfamiliar language and sensibilities of early America as a usable past to find common denominators that address (and often problematize) historic and ever-present concerns with social justice and definitions of democracy for the general public. Ultimately, these links reveal the complementary nature of early American themes and their present-day echoes, establishing intricate transhistorical nexuses that scholars and teachers alike must grapple with and purposely deploy to help students overcome temporal, cultural, and linguistic distances that often limit comprehension, familiarization, and the ability to see the present-day import of our nation’s past. 

In the spirit of fostering dialogue in this area, we seek paper proposals for two panels—one critical and one pedagogical (complementary approaches often seen as disparate)—that explore networks connecting contemporary and early American imaginaries. Interested panelists should send abstracts of no more than 500 words to [email protected] and [email protected] by July 30, 2021.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin has described transnationalism as an exploration of “the ways in which ideas, people, culture, and capital have circulated and continue to circulate physically, and virtually, throughout the world” (19). Much of this cultural circulation in the United States has been the result of violent imperialism and neocolonialism—transgressions committed under the guise of global citizenry (for example, the Vietnam War) which have not been publicly accounted for in any tangible manner. This historical evasiveness has complicated the relationship between transnationalism and the U.S. empire, while also perpetuating a discourse within the U.S. that often privileges white American lives and narratives over others. That is to say, the U.S. empire’s cultural hegemony often seeks to frame the Other in a dehumanizing light, leading Judith Butler to question “whose lives count as lives?” (20) This panel seeks to examine transnational American literature and popular culture as sites of resistance to such discourse. How might transnationalism help to critically reframe the ways in which U.S. culture and media choose to talk about and present those lives and cultures originating from beyond U.S. borders? Papers should explore post-1945 transnational American literature or popular culture; they may choose to focus on the transnational turn at-large during this period, a specific cultural movement within transnational American literature or popular culture, or a single work or author. Further, papers might address how the transnational American turn can avoid notions of American exceptionalism, decenter the idea of nation, and/or redefine space, movement and temporality within American literature or pop culture. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, a brief bio, and A/V requirements (if any) to F. Tyler Elrod (he/him) at [email protected] by July 2, 2021.

Works Cited

Butler, Judith. Precarious Life. 2004. Verso, 2020.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. “Unsettling American Literature, Rethinking Nation and Empire.” The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American American Literature, edited by Yogita Goyal, Cambridge UP, 2017, pp. 19-36.


The Society for the Study of Southern Literature invites papers on the South and science fiction for a panel at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s 93rd Annual Conference from November 4-6, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. Papers may discuss any of the subgenres of science fiction, including alternate history, afrofuturism, post-apocalyptic, scifi gothic, traditional, ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ science fiction, scifi horror, etc., and may focus on any form of media as long as the South, its history, culture, or locale intersects in some way. We welcome presentations that offer to 'expand' the canon of southern literature and science fiction itself, especially papers that focus on works by authors of color or works not 'typically' understood as 'southern' or 'science fiction.' Please, submit abstracts of 200-500 words to Cameron Lee Winter (he, him, his) at [email protected], a short biography that includes preferred pronouns, educational background, relevant awards or publications, and current research interests, and any A/V requirements. The deadline for these submissions is Monday, May 31, 2021.


Playing on the SAMLA 93 conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distances, the Society for the Study of Southern Literature invites papers on topics relevant to questions and issues of Southern networks and distance. A region often rendered into a single, monolithic entity, the South as articulated in various literatures rests at intersections of global politics, culture, economy, and history, which are often overlooked in traditional Southern studies. With those concerns in mind, this panel seeks submissions that investigate questions of Southern canon and the expansion thereof through Critical Race Theory, Circum-Caribbean Studies, Diasporic Studies, and the “South” in the 21st century.  We also welcome investigations related to ideas explicitly mentioned in the SAMLA conference themes of disease and crisis, community solidarity, online communities, conspiracy theories, racial and economic justice, regional politics, and many others, and especially welcome the perspectives of those that consider themselves emerging scholars in the field. If you have any questions, please contact either Cameron Lee Winter ([email protected]) or Shari Arnold ([email protected]). Please, submit abstracts, biographies, and A/V requirements via the following link by Monday, May 31, 2021:


This panel welcomes proposals treating the life and works of Truman Capote.  By July 14th, please send a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Stuart Noel, Georgia State University, at [email protected].


The whole world has suffered the ravages of the COVID-19 virus. More than half a million Americans have died after contracting the virus. As grim as that sounds, pundits, comedians, cartoonists, and TV talk shows, among other media‚ have used humor to cope with this tragic pandemic. The chair of this traditional format session welcomes submissions on any aspect of “The Uses of Humor to Muddle through the COVID Pandemic.” By June 18, 2021, please submit an abstract of 500-1,000 words, a brief bio, a commitment to attend the conference, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Joe Alvarez, Independent Scholar, at [email protected].


Papers for this traditional session may focus on any aspect of Walker Percy’s life and works, either fiction or non-fiction. Especially welcome are topics relevant to the SAMLA 93 conference theme: Social Networks, Social Distances. How are Percy’s novel’s characters networked and connected, or conversely, distanced and alienated, whether socially or other ways, such as existentially?  Percy also wrote extensively on the human capacity for language, or “symbol-mongering,” as he called it. Percy’s semiotic viewed human communication as a “tetradic event,” one that is necessarily a social event, requiring a community of speakers, with these themes pervasive in his novels as well as his philosophy, his scientific research, and his other interdisciplinary research. Please send 300-word abstracts on these topics or any aspect of Percy’s fiction or non-fiction by July 1, 2021, to Dr. Karey Perkins, South Carolina State University, at [email protected]. Please also include a brief bio and any A/V requirements in your abstract.


In “Four Master Tropes” from A Grammar of Motives, Kenneth Burke defines the synecdoche as a “part for the whole, whole for the part, container for the contained, [and] sign for the thing signified…” (Burke 508). To this extent, both matters of scale––the part and the whole––are interchangeably comparable. When this definition is applied to the structure of a community, a community represents a whole, and its members represent the parts that comprise it. As such, an examination of this part-to-whole framework offers insight into the ways in which community members’ individual experiences, beliefs, and identities inform collective networks of culture, the ways in which customs and traditions associated with a collective culture prioritize or distance individual members (or sub-cultures), and the ways in which the conditions of a given community may mirror or contrast the holistic culture of a nation. Correspondingly, in  twentieth-century American fiction, the inception of narrative modes such as free indirect discourse and stream of consciousness provides insight into the networks of sociocultural experiences that reiterate collective forms of American culture, while offering voice, representation, and structure to a nexus of sub-cultures and communities. This traditional panel seeks papers that employ a part-to-whole community framework to examine representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century American fiction. Please send an abstract of up to 350 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Hannah Roberts, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, at [email protected] by July 13, 2021.


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Asian / Asian American Studies


This panel welcomes presentations on any aspect of studies in literature, language, rhetoric, and arts within the realms of Asian / Asian American Studies, and aims to take a close look at how ideas of social networks and social distances may be interpreted in studies within these fields. Comparative or interdisciplinary studies, multiethnic, transnational, and cross-cultural research related to the SAMLA 93 theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, are especially welcome. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract/proposal, a brief academic bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Shannon I-Hsien Lee, Georgia State University, at [email protected], by June 30, 2021.


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Caribbean Studies


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Creative Writing


This regular session welcomes submissions of creative work in any genre exploring any aspect of "Isolation and Connection: Creative Work for the Post-Millennial, Post-Pandemic, Post-IRL World." Published work, work whose publication is forthcoming, and work-in-progress are all welcome to be read. Please submit an abstract of between 150-250 words describing the work that will be read at the conference, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Dr. Candace Nadon, Fort Lewis College, at [email protected] by June 1, 2021.


This panel will consider this year’s theme, “Social Networks, Social Distances,” by looking behind it, into the reason for the isolation and new ways of connecting in 2020-21. Poets have always considered the body, mortality, and illness. For the first time in contemporary poetry, we have encountered a pandemic. It no doubt leaves us with new ideas about these old subjects, new considerations – the risks of being close to people, the swiftness with which it sweeps into our lives, the emotional implications. For this special session, we will share work that considers the social networks and distances from their root. Presentations may also include short essays that shed light on the way the poems are tethered to this topic. Send a brief writing sample of 3-5 poems and your CV to Emily Schulten Weekley, The College of the Florida Keys, at [email protected] by July 15, 2021.  


This regular poetry session welcomes creative submissions on any aspect of the conference theme: "Social Networks, Social Distances." This session aims to feature all types of poems and poets; poems that address the global pandemic's effect on personal relationships are especially welcome. By July 1, 2021, please submit a sample of original poetry that fits the conference theme (3-5 poems, 10 pages max), a brief bio, and any A/V requests to Sara Pirkle, University of Alabama, at [email protected]

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English Studies (UK & Ireland)


In light of the conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distances, we are inviting paper proposals on any aspects of Bond, Fleming, and Networks. This could include the way James Bond interacts with and/or distances from various spy networks, such as the Soviet noire SMERSH, the international terror organization SPECTRE, and the Cambridge Spy ring (relevant to some Fleming novels). It could also address the way Bond forges “networks” with allied spy organizations like the Deuxième Bureau (René Mathis) the Japanese secret service (Tiger Tanaka) and of course the CIA (Felix Leiter). Papers could also explore the various “networks” of spy fiction and film that provide contexts for discussing Fleming’s novels and the Bond films, or the networks of the Bond films as they evolve and expand over time. We are open to proposals on Bond and Fleming that address this broad theme in a variety of specific ways. Please send 250-word paper proposals, brief bios, and A/V requirements to Oliver Buckton at Florida Atlantic University ([email protected]) and Matthew B. Sherman ([email protected]) by June 1, 2021.


This traditional session welcomes submissions on any aspect of the Conference theme. By May 30, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Dr. Anita Turlington, University of North Georgia, at [email protected].


"Early Modern English Drama Exclusive of Shakespeare" welcomes abstracts on any aspect of early modern English drama. Abstracts concerning the works of dramatists such as Massinger, Middleton, and Marston, whose plays are underrepresented, are especially encouraged. By July 1, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to W. Reginald Rampone, Jr., PhD, South Carolina State University, at [email protected].


Like it or not, we are all children of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is a term for the eighteenth-century intellectual and social movement that valorized facts, progress, scientific rationality, and the use of one’s reason in public debate without fear of political reprisal. Immanuel Kant defined the Enlightenment as the “progress of mankind toward improvement” through the “freedom to make public use of one’s reason on every point.” Enlightenment ideas and criticism were able to muster the passions of large populations and improve the lives of the oppressed yet, the place of the Enlightenment in public debate today has all but disappeared as a large segment of the public has become distrustful of facts and reason. Perhaps this movement has receded from public consciousness for good reason: trust in reason can bleed into blind faith, which, in turn, can transform into irrationality and cruelty. The dark side of reason has built systems of oppression for animals, the disabled, and people of color. These systems include animal farming, eugenics, and slavery, to name just a very few. Which is to say, Enlightenment reason has turned out to be a two-edged sword, a blessing and a curse. This traditional session welcomes any submission that examines present-day debates about the Enlightenment as well important eighteenth-century texts to better understand what the movement’s architects had in mind and what we have actually inherited. In other words, how do enlightenment texts construct, disrupt, and/or inform the idea of enlightenment? How do “social networks” and “social distances,” systems of liberation and control, complement and/or conflict with one another in the Enlightenment? By July 1, please submit an abstract of 150-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Session Chair Jared Hines at [email protected].


This traditional session welcomes submissions that address questions of intimacy and/or alienation, broadly conceived, in D.H. Lawrence's poetry, short fiction, novels, essays, or other writing. How do Lawrence's texts illuminate or complicate our understanding of our current moment, in which we are both more connected to others than ever while at the same time being forced to keep our physical distance? By July 25, 2021, please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, a brief bio, and any AV requirements or scheduling requests to Tonya Krouse, Northern Kentucky University, at [email protected].


Joseph Conrad’s biographical social and literary networks, as well as within his works—Polish, French, English, global—have been well-mapped by Conrad scholars. This panel invites further explorations of such traditional literary examinations of social networks and social distances but extends conceptualization to less well-travelled connections. Papers on the topic Conrad’s distance and closeness from contemporary audiences are especially welcome, particularly on teaching Conrad in today’s classroom. What strategies have been effective in your classroom for introducing a new generation of readers and students to Conrad’s explorations of global imperialism? What pedagogical resources, methodologies, and approaches ameliorate the impasse that his intricate and challenging texts often present to the newcomer? What intertexts, such as the video game Spec Ops: The Line (2012) based on Heart of Darkness, the documentary King Leopold’s Ghosts (2006), or film adaptations such as The Duellist (dir. Ridley Scott, 1977) or Almayer’s Folly (dir. Chantal Ackerman, 2011) can bridge the gap between early-twentieth and early-twenty-first century audiences, between written texts and new media formations? Finally, in light of pressing needs to diversify curricula--and Michael Eric Dyson's call to demote Heart of Darkness from the canon (New York Times, 7 June 2020)--carefully researched and reasoned examinations of whether, why, and what Conrad should continue be taught are also invited. Papers on the topic of teaching Conrad may be considered for a proposed special issue of Conradiana. Please submit proposals of 300 words and 100-word biographies by July 15, 2021 to Jana M. Giles, [email protected].


This traditional panel session welcomes submissions on readership and literature, especially popular literature, during the Georgian or Regency period, approximately 1795 to 1837. Abstracts addressing the conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, are especially welcome and a good fit for the period, when authors and readers can be seen aligning and networking through books. By June 1, 2021, please submit an abstract of 300 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Dr. Margie Burns, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, at [email protected].


The Poetry and Prose of Matthew Arnold reflect an array of influences, perhaps accounting for the range of conflicting conclusions reached and approaches taken to his work. To address some of these critical conflicts, this panel will address the intellectual influences that inform Arnold’s complex approach to his own literary aspirations early in his life and to the prose criticism (literary, social, political, and theological) that occupied him until his untimely death. By September 30, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Stephen Whited, Piedmont College, at [email protected].


This traditional panel invites submissions on any aspect related to Medieval (400-1400 CE) English or Irish Studies, including texts in Old English, Middle English, Latin, Irish, Gaelic, Welsh, etc. Abstracts addressing the conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distances are especially welcome, but not required. This might include medieval texts that bridge physical distances or that explore the distance of time between the text and our present day. By July 1, 2021, please submit an abstract of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Nathan Fleeson, English I (Medieval) Chair, at [email protected].


Shakespeare and Erotic Desire welcomes any submissions on any aspect of eroticism in Shakespeare's plays and poetry.  By July 1, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to W. Reginald Rampone, Jr., Ph.D., South Carolina State University, at [email protected].


The International T. S. Eliot Society invites submissions for its panel at SAMLA 2021 in Atlanta, GA, from November 4-6. The conference theme is Social Networks, Social Distances, and this makes excellent fodder for considering Eliot’s own efforts to develop networks (aesthetic, critical, personal, ideological, etc.) and/or to distance himself from various ideas, people, movements, etc., throughout his complex career. The panel falls on the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Waste Land, itself an excellent subject for the theme, but the panel invites papers on any subject related to Eliot. Please submit a 250 word abstract and brief bio to Craig Woelfel ([email protected]) by June 15.


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Film Studies

Film Studies

The Covid-19 pandemic left an indelible mark on both filmmaking and the way in which the general public experienced film. The need for social distancing led film makers and producers to change much of the way films were produced, marketed, and released. Big budget films that would have previously included massive casts had to be adapted, delayed, or sidelined for smaller, easier to produce film projects. Wide-spread theater closures led to the delay of highly anticipated films, elevated the prominence of the independent film industry, and sped the movement of new films to streaming platforms. While many of these changes were simply an acceleration of emerging practices, much of the change profoundly altered the way people create films and will experience them in the years to come. This panel invites papers that explore the many ways the pandemic has affected the film industry. Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:
•Technological advancements in film resulting from the pandemic
•Social distancing’s influence on film content
•Opportunities and challenges created by the pandemic for filmmakers who are female and/or people of color
•The pandemic’s effects on film in the developing world
•Pandemic as a film subject
•The blurring of streaming and cinema boundaries in terms of prestige and content
•Social media’s increasing influence on film and its reception during the pandemic
•Interpretation of films created and/or released during the pandemic
•Fan response to delays of highly anticipated films, particularly those included in large tentpole franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe
•Reception of classic films which were re-released or discovered by new fan bases

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words, a brief bio, and your A/V requirements to Mikki Galliher at [email protected] by June 30, 2021.


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French Studies


This panel welcomes papers focused on the exploration of the ways in which French and Francophone women’s writing, film, and other art forms initiate, navigate, and complicate notions of distance and network. How do these women create new understandings of social order and contest inequities? Especially welcome are the examination of the liminal spaces between tradition and new order and the ways in which these texts question conceptions of identity, privilege, ethnicity, class, race, sex, gender and language. Papers may be in French or English and may not exceed 20 minutes.  Please send a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requests to Susan Crampton-Frenchik, [email protected], by June 30, 2021.


In A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, historian Ronald Takaki presents a new and inclusive view of American history that establishes new networks and reconsiders certain distances between groups: “[r]ace…has been a social construction that has historically set apart racial minorities from European immigrant groups” (10). In the spirit of this book, this session wishes to contribute to a multicultural history of France by accepting papers on the literary and cinematic representations of diversity in France (including beyond the Hexagon) about the multiple groups making up the French mosaic and participating in its history, from World War I to today: (post)colonial, European, Latin American, North American or other groups. Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief bio in French or English to Martine Fernandes Wagner at [email protected] until July 15, 2021.


The theme of this year’s SAMLA conference, Social Networks, Social Distances, invites us to reflect on the contradictory challenges that we have faced in these pandemic times. How do we connect with others in solitude? How might isolation foster a sense of connection or community? As a Women in French panel, this session will explore these questions in the context of French and Francophone womxn artists and writers. Proposals on examples of womxn who create apart and connect together in literature, film, theatre, and other modes of creation from all time periods and all areas of Francophone culture are welcome. Possible topics might include but are not limited to illness, disability, incarceration, injustice, difference, trauma, family, and exile. Please send 250-word proposals in English or French along with presenter’s name, academic affiliation, and email to Adrienne Angelo ([email protected]) by June 30th, 2021.


Zola’s novel Nana presents in typical naturalist manner a rather misogynist portrayal of a nineteenth-century vari theatre actress, who ascends from streetwalker to high-class courtesan, yet, remains destined to fail, because of hereditary and social determinants. The novel mirrors, to an extent, late nineteenth-century French society’s perception of actresses, whose amorous affairs were seen as a professional attribute that enabled these women to support their lifestyle, providing them with financial support and beneficial social relationships. Several contemporary actresses, who eventually embraced a journalistic or literary career, played with this cliché and used it for their own benefit, and that of other female stage performers, artists and writers. They parodied the existing gender-bias, frequently pursued a feminist agenda, all the while drawing on their seduction techniques acquired on and off stage. Roberts illustrated this convincingly in Disruptive Acts, her book about the former actress and future journalist Marguerite Durand, founder of the feminist newspaper La Fronde. Other examples might be Séverine or Marie Colombier; but they certainly were not the only ones. This panel seeks to look at (former) nineteenth-century actresses turned journalist/writers who were able to network successfully with female colleagues to strengthen each other’s careers, preventing a naturalist “fail.”  Please send your 150-200 words paper proposal, contact information, and a 50-word biographical statement to my email address [email protected]. The due date is June 30, 2021. Elisabeth-Christine Muelsch, Prof. of French, Department of English and Modern Languages, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas 76909.


The current pandemic offers us the possibility of (re)viewing identity, disidentification, and, most importantly, new ways of articulating becoming. As we physically distance and redefine ourselves as well as our relationships with others, we discover new angles. Social distancing risks dislocation. It may, however, bring intimacy within ourselves as well as connection to others in new ways. We seek to explore how this plays out. No limits apply. These questions resonate through narrative (literary, film, etc.) and in our classrooms. We welcome examining identity, disidentity, or other positionings within and through everyday life and narrative in the broadest sense. Like our experience of time during the pandemic, such concepts expand, contract, in a continual (de)centering of text and existence. Perhaps this means the current actuality of a Zoomified world that ruptures our contact with the physical object, such as book and paper, as we engage with the keyboard and bright light of the screen. How is the contemporary moment represented in text or classroom, past or present? We look forward to adding your voice to the discussion. Please send an abstract of 200-250 words to both E. Nicole Meyer ([email protected]) and Kiki Kosnick ([email protected]) by June 30, 2021.


The aim of the session is to explore women’s and/or feminist map-making and its effects on social networks through various facets including, but not limited to, the geographic, literary, philosophical, political, artistic, pedagogical, architectural, and the every-day. Possible questions of interrogation could be the following: What do feminist or woman-made maps look like? In what spaces do they emerge? How do women’s or feminist perspectives in mapping intersect, parallel, or diverge, geographers Meghan Kelly and Britta Ricker enquire, from conventional cartographic practices? What risks do these maps entail? What is seen and what is not seen, and why? What are their effects on social networks, social distances, and society at large? Since this session is part of the Women in French panels, papers that focus on French-speaking peoples and spaces (i.e., cities, texts, artworks, classrooms, etc.) are invited; those from diverse approaches, perspectives and disciplines are especially welcome. Please send an abstract of approximately 150 words in either French or English and a brief bio to Jodie Barker ([email protected]) by June 30, 2021.


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Gender & Sexuality Studies


Women’s narratives‚ who gets to tell them, how they are told, and why they are important‚ remain a source of contention in society. Historically, the style in which women write, as well as their choices in reading material, have been critiqued in an attempt to control narratives about who women are—or who they are “supposed to be.” Even as women gain access to forums for self-expression, including self-publishing and managerial jobs in film and television studios, the social networks that permit a wider variety of voices to express themselves often suppress women’s efforts. This traditional panel examines how narratives about who women are and how they should be represented have taken form over time. The panel will discuss the attempts to control women’s self-expression over the years: what (and how) women read, watch, and write, in any format. Many of these formats now overlap; films written and/or directed by women face possible issues not only in the studio, but also in the reception of those films by film critics, audiences, and bloggers. Language itself is another possible form of control: from damning with faint praise, to the patronizing characterization of many female authors as “middlebrow” to the internet’s reactions to films with female protagonists. Presenters must be SAMLA members to attend and may read only one paper at the convention. Please submit by e-mail a 250-word abstract, a brief bio, and A/V requirements by May 21, 2021, to Dr. Laura J. Getty, University of North Georgia ([email protected]).


The nation’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, spoke at the recent Inauguration and addressed the nation through her reading of “The Hill We Climb.” Her work exemplifies the necessity of poetry and prose to continue progress in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The title of her poem attests to the need for progress as a global community, highlighting both transformation and collective involvement. In this panel, we invite papers that explore the ways in which poetry and prose can be used as pedagogical tools for change in the areas of inclusion, diversity and equity. Potential interdisciplinary topics might include: primary sources; cultural texts; historical writings; recent technologies; global approaches. These examples of poetry and prose can help to ground students’ awareness and involvement in all areas of cultural and identity studies. Poetry and prose not only reflect emotion and imagination but also are evocative of the ways in which social groups interact, particularly through social networks. Through such networks, individuals reduce “social distancing” in support of a DIE-integrated future. With this knowledge, a community of students may break from inherited concepts, while at the same time, promoting collective social changes. Please send abstracts of 250 words to Dr. Petra M. Schweitzer ([email protected]) and Dr. Casey R. Eriksen ([email protected]) by July 15, 2021.


This year's SAMLA theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, asks us to consider how societies use networks to find unity and create division. SAMLA’s Queer Studies group welcomes presentations that interrogate how queer individuals, communities, and spaces have functioned to coalesce and fragment LGBTQ identities. From lesbian bars and Gay-Straight Alliances to the queer leitmotifs of nineteenth-century literature and films that center on transgender experiences, how have LGBTQ individuals created and used networks to create a sense of community? How have queer spaces and networks also served to reify longstanding forms of systemic discrimination while maintaining a facade of diversity and inclusivity? Whether your analysis focuses on identity formation in 21st-century digital dating apps and 20th-century M4M/F4F AOL chat rooms or the wordplay of queer poets ranging from Ancient Greece’s Sappho and 17th-century Mexico’s Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to Federico García Lorca, Audre Lorde, Kay Ryan, and Tommy Pico, we welcome scholars from all fields and perspectives. The Queer Studies group at SAMLA employs the term “queer” as an inclusive noun, adjective, and verb that highlights intersections between sexuality, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, education, economic background, political affiliation, and temporal and spatial realities. Please send an abstract 200-300 words in length along with a one-paragraph academic bio and A/V requests to [email protected] by July 1.


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German Studies


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Hispanic Studies


Early modern Spain was characterized by many effervescent points of contact between social, political and religious groups. Interactions in Cervantes’s society could require generating new relationships, distancing oneself from others physically or intellectually, and even masking or unmasking one’s identity to achieve specific goals, such as securing access to a richer social network. Indeed, such interactions were particularly consequential between those in power and those not in power. The potential benefits and risks to one’s status and position arising from opportunities for social contact were of paramount consideration for social interactions in Golden Age Spain. As such, they were often represented by Cervantes in his works.

Taking into account the nuanced complexities of social interactions ruled by cultural, political and religious expectations and regulations, how did Cervantes engage in the possibilities and limitations of social connections? How did he bring characters of similar or different walks of life together, or keep them apart? How did social distancing, social contact, and masking identities frame human relations in his stories?

The Cervantes Society of America at SAMLA 93 welcomes papers that examine ways in which Miguel de Cervantes tackled these tensions within and between social networks in Golden Age Spain to represent different forms and permutations of social contact during early modernity.

Please submit by e-mail a 200-word abstract, a brief bio, an abbreviated one-page CV, and A/V requirements by July 10, 2021 to the chair, Xabier Granja ([email protected]). All presenters must be members in good standing of the Cervantes Society of America to be able to participate in this session.


We invite faculty to present an academic paper on any aspect of Mexican literature, popular culture, and film. The emphasis is on the 20th century to present. Presentation proposals on Mexican narrative prose, poetry, essay, and film are sought. By July 28, please send a 200 word-abstract (for papers lasting 15 minutes) to Jose A. Cortes-Caballero, Georgia State University – Perimeter College, [email protected].


Referring to Central American literature, Karl Kohut asserts that “la relación entre la historia nacional y la literatura es estrecha (9).” This noted proximity is nuanced by Arias’ observation that throughout that region’s history since independence, the population—literate or not—has always looked to their writers as a sort of moral and political compass (“Literary” 18), underscoring the protagonism of the written word in mapping out national trajectories. This correlates the power of voice with agency beyond the realm of metaphor, and presents the question of what happens to those who do not have a platform from which to be heard or read. In this regular session, we will explore the social spaces of inclusion as well as exclusion created through Central American literature. Please submit a 200-word abstract in Spanish or English, a brief bio, A/V requirements, and contact information by July 15 to Kerri Muñoz ([email protected]).

Arias, Arturo. “Literary Production and Political Crisis in Central America.” International Political Science Review, vol. 12, no. 1, 1991, pp. 15-28.
Kohut, Karl. “Introducción: Una(s) literatura(s) por descubrir.” Literaturas centroamericanas hoy: Desde la dolorosa cintura de América, edited by Karl Kohut and Werner Mackenbach, Vervuert Verlag, 2005, pp. 9-12.


This regular session welcomes submissions on any aspect of the theme of social networks and their impact in the literature of Peninsular Spain from the Renaissance to 1700. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By September 30th, 2021, please submit an abstract of 250 words in Spanish or English, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Linda Marie Sariego, Neumannn University, at [email protected].


The current times of crisis and seclusion allow us to reconsider the field of Latina/o Literatures and Cultures in terms of segregation and isolation but also of association and networking. This panel invites papers in English or Spanish on any aspect of Latina/o cultural production that examines concrete instances that reflect this current situation within the field of cultural studies. Please submit a 250-word abstract, a brief academic bio, A/V requirements, and contact information in a single Word document by June 1, 2021. Materials and/or questions should be sent via email to Ignacio Rodeño ([email protected]).


This session is open to teachers and scholars interested in the general topic of the conference, but also to those that have found new ways of teaching and found new content for their literature classes related to the general topic. Papers can be in English or in Spanish, no more than 15 minutes. Please send and abstract, a short bio and any A/V or scheduling requests to Ruth Sánchez Imizcoz, The University of the South, ([email protected])


Abstracts for sessions A, B, and C will reflect any theme related to Peninsular Literature and/or Culture from 1700 to the present. It is hoped that these sessions will explore a wide range of topics from different periods. Abstracts for session D should reflect the 2021 conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances. This is a quadruple session with a maximum of three presenters per session, with presentations not to exceed 20 minutes. Presenters must be SAMLA members to attend and may read only one paper at the convention. Interested participants are urged to send a 250-word abstract in Spanish or English, a short academic bio (approximately 100 words), and contact information via email in a single Word document at their earliest convenience. Deadline for abstract submission: May 21, 2021. Please send materials and/or questions via e-mail to Dr. Stacey E. Mitchell, Chair of Spanish II (Peninsular: 1700 to Present), at [email protected].


This traditional session welcomes submissions on any aspect of Spanish-American literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Abstracts addressing the conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distances are especially welcome. By June 30, please submit an abstract of 200 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Rudyard Alcocer (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) at [email protected].


Theater is a collaborative form of performing art that presents the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The collaborative and performative nature of theater production has served, for example, as a platform to challenge and resist social and political hegemonic power structures. As scholars and educators in the field of Spanish-American theater performance, we observe how theatre production is effective in creating a safe physical space for dialogue, debate, and intercultural awareness. In the classroom, we find particularly valuable the interdisciplinary approach of theater as a tool to enhance students’ critical thinking skills by integrating the learning experience of language and culture with literary immersion, exposure, and aesthetic practice. However, over the past year, theater production has faced several challenges due to a global pandemic, which has forced theater production to reconfigure its platforms and, most importantly, to maintain its collaborative nature. How can we think of theater production as a space that counteracts and resists social distances? How can we invigorate the distance and manage the challenges of being socially isolated, but together at the same time through digital technology? Ultimately, what are the challenges we have confronted as educators and how have we brought back the collectivity in our pedagogy using digital performance platforms? This Special Session welcomes submissions on any aspect of Spanish-American theater performance, particularly in the classroom setting. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By July 15, please submit an abstract of 100-150 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Osvaldo Sandoval-León, Colgate University, at [email protected]


In this special session, we seek to challenge the hegemony of official discourses by elucidating cross-cultural influences on transcultural and transnational identities. In Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean, these shifts reflect interconnected histories, economies, ideas, and institutions that stem from colonial clashes between heterogeneous diasporic societies born of hybrid mestizo nations. This panel seeks to examine marginalized voices in Latin America to foster cross-cultural dialogues about the assumptions surrounding migration, migratory subjects, and hegemonic discourses. The essays can analyze literature, performance, film, art, music, and travelogues to shed light on these patterns through unofficial narratives that permit the study of “culture(s) from below.” The deadline for abstract submission is June 5, 2021. Please send materials and/or questions via e-mail to Dr. Sonja S. Watson at [email protected].


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Interdisciplinary Studies


For its sessions at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference, the Association of Adaptation Studies welcomes proposals on all aspects of adaptation: analyses of specific adaptations of novels, plays, poems, histories, comics, movies, paintings, operas, and the like; presentations on adaptation theory and its relation to theories of translation, illustration, remediation, and intermediality; and, in conjunction with the emphasis of this year’s conference of social networks and social distances, presentations that emphasize the importance adaptation in understanding the relationship between social networking and social distancing, whether that relationship is understood as oppositional, complementary, or dialectical. As in the past ten years, the Association plans a series of networked yet distanced panels on these and related questions. Please send queries, suggestions, or 300-500 word abstracts, along with A/V requirements and brief bios, to Thomas Leitch (University of Delaware) at [email protected] by 4 June 2021.


The theme for SAMLA 93 is Social Networks, Social Distances. This panel will dissect those terms to examine the idea of social distance/stance and social network/work in relation to global flânerie.  We aim to examine a tension inherent in flânerie since its inception: is the flâneur/flâneuse a solitary wanderer or part of the crowd? Is flânerie guided by an aim to keep socially distant and observe in isolation, or is it a practice in the development of a social theory or stance, which connects the stroller to his/her environment? This play between social distance and stance, and between social network and work (both intellectual, physical or other), reveals a delicate balance in our understanding of urban walking. Seeking to highlight this push and pull, this panel calls for papers that explore literary, mediatic, cinematic, journalistic, and aesthetic representations of flânerie involving any of the following topics:

  • Social Distance/Stance: walking alone or in the crowd, as an observer or a participant; the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on urban strolling with lockdowns, empty city streets, social distancing requirements, and masked flâneurs and flâneuses; the shrinking spaces for strolling due to lack of sidewalks and boulevards, poor urban planning, the dominance of car travel, increased indoor living, more online shopping, etc.; the urban walker as taking a stance; flânerie as social protest; the intersection of politics and flânerie; the flâneur/flâneuse as a representative minority in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, nationality or citizenship status, etc.
  • Social Network/Work: the flâneur/flâneuse as idle or engaged; flânerie as leisure or work; the flâneur/flâneuse as part of a social network, group, or community; the commodification of time; increasing demands on work productivity; decline in leisurely peripatetic acts; cyber flânerie and engagement with the digital “network‚” video games, virtual reality, online strolling and trolling, GPS and other navigation technologies, etc.

While we are particularly interested in the analyses of contemporary material culture, we will consider proposals from any time period, region, or cultural tradition. Please note this special Roundtable format, where participants will share papers one week ahead of the scheduled conference and discuss the papers during the Roundtable discussion. By July 1, 2021, please send abstracts of 250-500 words along with AV requests and short bio to both Kelly Comfort, Georgia Institute of Technology, at [email protected] and Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University, at [email protected].


Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (2015), delivered a TED Talk in October 2013 that provided the audience with a compelling, expository testimonial of life with depression. He states that “depression is the flaw in love,” which creates a binary ethos in which depression manifests itself as the absence of love. However, anxiety and depression flourish on a complicated and often ambiguous spectrum. The intensity with which one can experience joy may mirror the degree to which one can experience despair, or it may not. Those who experience extreme occurrences of depression do not necessarily experience profound levels of happiness. Mental health or illness are certainly influenced by genetic predisposition and environmental factors. This can be exacerbated in contexts of multicultural identity, such as those that involve migration, life transition, and intersectionality. We invite submissions in Spanish, French, and English. By July 14, 2021, please send a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and any A/V requirements to Forrest Blackbourn, Dalton State College, at [email protected]


Translating has long been understood as the art of compromise. Over the centuries, the theoretical debate – from Saint Jerome to Leonardo Bruni, from John Dryden to Friedrich Schleiermacher and beyond – has had to grapple with the intrinsic paradox that any idea of “correct translation” entails betrayal of the original. In later years, the neighboring notions of untranslatability and translation loss have emerged as the ultimate cruxes in the practice, and have led to a non-negotiable understanding that brings together authors, editors, readers, and translators. What happens, however, when something is not simply lost or impossible to render during the translation process, but is rather the object of (intentional or unintentional) mistake? What can come out of a miscalculation on the translator’s part? What becomes of a text when it ends up in the “wrong” hands, or when ambiguity is exploited as a grey area for the translator to impose meaning? What is the status of the translator in this perspective, especially after Lawrence Venuti’s calls for its “visibility”? Rather than simply passing judgment on those instances in which words, style, or meaning are misplaced, this panel seeks to investigate the potentially momentous outcomes of missing the mark – or aiming for a different one – when transferring texts between cultural and/or semiotic systems. Presentation proposals are welcome for any chronological period, world culture, and medium. Please send a max. 250-word abstract and CV to Dr. Fabio Battista (The University of Alabama) at [email protected] by June 30th, 2021.


Literature is rife with the concept of the “social,” whether it be through exclusion or connection. The Bible records letters sent, Church History preserves the ways in which communities gathered and encouraged one another regardless of distance, and Christian writers have invested heavily in understanding the topic of community and social structures. This panel welcomes submissions that address the topics of intimacy, community, or exile. We welcome papers exploring literary works that engage with Christianity (or religion broadly) on the idea of the “social.” Papers might consider one or more of the following:

  • Definitions of community in the writings of A. J. Mojtabai
  • Social networks, broadly conceived, in the writings of Walker Percy
  • Letter writing between authors as a source for inspiration (i.e. the letters of Ernest Hemingway)
  • News or gossip in relation to community connections (i.e. gossip in the works of William Faulkner or the importance of the news in James Fenimore Cooper’s writing)
  • Exile and reconciliation in American Catholic fiction (i.e. J. F. Powers and Harry Sylvester)
  • The nature and definition of exilic literature (or literary depictions of characters in exile) •The question of authenticity in religious literature
  • Ways that literary texts comfort the reader or challenge religious traditions
  • The conventions and techniques of religious literature and their adaptation over time and distance
  • How religious writers turn to other religious traditions for resources of community or inspiration
  • The relationship between society and exile in religion
  • Pedagogical approaches to religious literature
  • The nature of communities built around the reading of good books
  • Creative writing submissions addressing the panel theme are also welcome

Please send a 250-word proposal, a CV, and any A/V requests to Sean C. Hadley at [email protected]. (For creative writing submissions, please submit the full work to be read and not an abstract). All abstracts or creative writing submissions are due May 31st.


This panel session welcomes submissions on any aspect of comics and comic studies. Papers addressing the unique communities of comics fandom, the collaborative nature of comics creation, the representation of community within comics, or any other attempt to address the conference theme are especially welcome. By June 1, 2021, please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, a brief biographical sketch, and any media or scheduling requests to Jason S. Todd, Xavier University of Louisiana, at [email protected].


Engaging with the 2021 SAMLA conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distance, this panel explores the ways that fashion, dress, and style are embedded in social networks and can serve to unify communities, increasingly, perhaps, in “socially distanced” ways: through social media and all manner of virtual connections. Thus, we invite papers devoted to fashion as experienced in our digital, “new media‚” era, but we also welcome papers devoted to fashion during the Victorian and Modern eras that investigate the “social networks” of those periods. We are interested in how the communication of particular modes of dress and the expression of style within such networks can collapse distance and forge community or, conversely, emphasize isolation and individuality. We seek papers on both textual and graphic representations of fashion, and we encourage submissions that examine sartorial themes in literature, theater, art, film, photography, design, periodicals, digital media, and other aesthetic modes of expression. Topics that might be considered include:

  • Telegraphing individual and/or group identity through dress.
  • Fashion and style crossing/creating “boundaries” of social class, gender, age, region, etc.
  • Social media and fashion.
  • Fashion models and/vs. “influencers” as purveyors of style.
  • Virtual and other unconventional fashion shows.
  • Socially distanced fashion (alone at home, on the video conference call, with a mask, etc.).
  • Fashion and transportation/communication/information technologies

By June 25, 2021, please send abstracts of 250-500 words along with AV requests and short bio to both Loretta Clayton, Middle Georgia State University, at [email protected] and Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University, at [email protected]


This regular session welcomes submissions on any aspect of representations of the Holocaust in literature and film. By July 10, please submit an abstract of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V requests to Bärbel Such, Ohio University, at [email protected].


Benedict Anderson, in Imagined Communities, defines nationhood as “an imagined political community...imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign,” positing that “nationality...nation-ness, as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind (3-4). As such, one can define any community that bonds human beings together, positively, or negatively, as a nation. This definition becomes especially significant in light of the current pandemic, where the need for social distancing has made it harder than ever to connect emotionally with those we love, causing us to cling more tightly to communities, social networks, or nations that we are part of. At the same time, however, nationhood has become ever more complex, especially during the pandemic, where membership in one group can isolate an individual from a host of others. This complexity is no more apparent than in Southern literature, where communities bonded by one set of beliefs, traditions, or practices can easily become isolated from other local, regional, or national groups, though they may live in close proximity to one another.

Some topics for consideration include but are not limited to:

  • Literary representations of Southern communities in the United States
  • Multi-ethnic literature of the United States
  • Literary representations of Global Souths
  • Southern trauma narratives
  • Cultural artefacts of a particular Southern nation, such as foodways, religion, technology usage, or communication
  • Communities and the media (television, music, computers, photography or film)
  • Depictions of Southern nations in film or visual art

This traditional panel session welcomes submissions on any aspect of Southern literature, especially literature that explores aspects of global, regional, or communal Souths as cultural artefacts. Abstracts that fit within this year’s conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, and discuss the cultural, traditional, religious, or otherwise unifying bonds of Southern communities are especially welcome, as are explorations of ways in which these nations fit within larger societal organizations, and/or simultaneously distance themselves as subcommunities of existing Souths. By June 1st,please submit an abstract of 250-300 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Em Gates, Georgia State University, at [email protected].


The production of identities and subjectivities across narrative spheres and histories‚ from genres like captivity narratives, slave narratives, autobiographies, biographies, and commonplace books, to contemporary iterations in memoir, blogs, social media, and reality television‚ challenge expectations for how lives can be documented and shared. Life writing crucially expands the bounds of what lives and literatures can look like, demanding that readers attend to histories, lives, languages, and experiences that are often unfamiliar or different from their own. This panel welcomes presentations on any aspect of life writing, and those projects that are related to the conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, are especially welcome. By June 1, please submit an abstract of 250 words, along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements, to Nicole Stamant, Agnes Scott College, at [email protected].


In today's culture, it's almost impossible to avoid "monsters." Straight from mythology and legend, these fantastic creatures traipse across our television screens and the pages of our books. Over centuries and across cultures, the inhuman have represented numerous cultural fears and, in more recent times, desires. They are Other. They are Us. This panel will explore the literal monsters—whether they be mythological, extraterrestrial, or man-made—that populate fiction and film, delving into the cultural, psychological and/or theoretical implications. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, a brief bio, and any A/V needs by May 21, 2021, to Crystal O’Leary Davidson, Middle Georgia State University, at [email protected]. SAMLA’s 93 annual conference, Social Networks, Social Distances, will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia this year from November 4-6. Those accepted must be members of SAMLA to present.


Since the oil-boom of the 1970s, the six-member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have employed a large expatriate labor force, primarily from neighboring South Asian Countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Philippines (nearly half of the total population of these Gulf states are expatriates). Such mass emigration has allowed for the rapid economic expansion of these Gulf countries and has produced several cultural and socio-economic consequences for the countries from where the Gulf’s primary workforces originate.  This panel welcomes papers about any aspect of emigration to the Gulf States and its representations in the broader field of humanities. Paper proposals connecting Gulf emigration to the SAMLA 93 theme, “Social Networks, Social Distances,” are especially welcome. Some of the potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • human rights in the Gulf,
  • politics of migration and citizenship in the Gulf,
  • notions of home, hyphenation, and hybridity in Gulf emigration,
  • complexities of first/second/ third generation Gulf-diaspora
  • Global Universities in the Gulf,
  • Kafala system and Nitaqat Law, and structural violence related to Gulf migration,
  • representations of Gulf diaspora in literature,
  • migrant Gulf literature as activism,
  • pedagogy/teaching gulf emigration


By JULY 16th, please submit a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Priya Menon at [email protected]: I would like to request a later deadline than July 16. Thank you.


Over the past seventy years, neoliberal thinkers have strategically reinvented classical liberal ideals in order to privilege a sense of personal freedom over the perceived overreach of government intervention. Once considered a fringe movement, neoliberalism has steadily become the central tenet of American life. It is now nearly impossible, for example, to imagine any mainstream voice espousing tax hikes or championing the sorts of policies enacted under Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. Promises of privatization today trump collective action in virtually every aspect of life. This epistemic shift can be felt far and wide, from politicians to postmodern theorists.  The panel will investigate symptoms of/responses to this ideological shift, particularly in the areas of literature and media studies. Please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Michael Blouin, Milligan University, at [email protected], by no later than July 1st, 2021.


As the description of Social Networks, Social Distances, the topic for this year’s SAMLA convention, indicates, “networks and distances can be thought of as complementary: a network implies distance, and vice versa.” One of the most common ways of connecting texts in ways that are marked by both distance and intimacy is adaptation, which produces new versions that are both the same and different as the old versions, and incidentally marks those once-definitive versions as versions. This roundtable, whose formal presentations will be limited to 5-7 minutes each, seeks to use textual adaptation to explore the foundational relations between social networking and social distancing. Please send queries, suggestions, or 300-500 word abstracts, along with A/V requirements and brief bios, to Thomas Leitch (University of Delaware) at [email protected] by 4 June 2021.


Among the many political and societal  lessons learned in the past few years is how those with access to technology can manipulate information and therefore assume leadership and shape opinion.  By doing so, attendant corruption and abuse of authority can lead to censorship and misinformation, positing  the marginalized individual against a privileged technocracy. It is only when an individual or individuals rebel against the controlling authority that lost freedoms of speech, thought, and movement can be restored. This session welcomes submissions on research, scholarly or pedagogical, that explores how the individual, represented in literature, film, or popular culture, can regain agency  for the community by rebelling against a larger societal technologically  powerful elite. Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Sean Dugan, Mercy College, at [email protected] by June 15, 2021.


How did you get your position as a professor, department chair, or university administrator? How did you achieve tenure and promotion? How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? How did you get your book published? How did you become an established scholar in your field? How did you achieve academic accolades, maintain your sanity, and still enjoy life? The metaphor of “Both Sides of the Desk” is an image of looking at something from two different vantage points; in this case, how do veterans of the academy view certain topics, and what can newcomers to academic life learn from those who have spent decades in the profession of Arts and Humanities? Whether you are conducting a job search or chairing a department, whether you are a student, instructor, professor, or administrator, this panel is designed to support your professional development and to make your life in the university easier, too. Potential panelists are asked to share their favorite strategies (or “academic life hacks”) on topics related to how to succeed as a professional in Arts & Humanities. Topics may include:

  • Favorite “life hacks” for grading papers?
  • Best strategies for CVs?
  • How to avoid a “melt-down” when feeling overwhelmed by your “to do” list?
  • Balancing life and work in the university?
  • Student engagement in the virtual world?
  • Success in the academic job search?
  • How to deal with difficult colleagues?
  • Success with publishing and book proposals? 
  • How to keep an element of wonderment and fun in your work life?

This panel invites presentations that will help newcomers to the profession of Arts and Humanities succeed as scholars, teachers, academic citizens, and members of a department. Please submit abstracts for papers or posters (250 words) related to the profession of Arts and Humanities to [email protected]. Abstracts are due by July 15, 2021.


In all media, building a vivid world requires the creation of unique, but recognizable characters and settings. Often, creators make characters legible by leaning into existing, racialized stereotypes. In terms of character creation in tabletop role playing games (ttrpgs), there is an assumption that the races available to players are based on or in dialogue with Tolkien essentialism-- dwarves coded as Jewish, orcs as black, halflings an idyllic call to England, humans as white. These stereotypes are not only present in the physical descriptions of the races, but in the histories, traits, and cultures supplied by the game. These races serve as symbols for quick audience assumptions and moral decision making.

In video games, even in this moment of supposed diversity, video game developers still rely on stereotypical elements of character creation and worldbuilding. For example, solely giving a video game character a brown skin tone does not offer the nuance and context that makes race meaningful as a sociopolitical category in the video game world. With very few exceptions, players are left with black characters that basically exist as a form of digital black face, as video game producers seem more focused on using stereotypes to give black characters a kind of legibility that centers on the white male gaze than creating multi-dimensional black characters.

For this session at the ninety-third annual South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) convention, this panel welcomes submissions on any aspect of the racial politics of worldbuilding. Abstracts addressing ttrpgs and video games are especially welcome. By July 1, 2021, please submit an abstract of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Regina Hamilton at [email protected] or Mark Hines at [email protected].


Narratives and stories are ambivalent tools of empowerment, a pharmakon that is potentially a remedy as well as a poison. They are both able to bridge social distances and to divide social networks. The events of the last year have exacerbated the roles of narratives for mental health, specifically. Although the intersection of narratives, story-telling and mental health has been widely discussed across various disciplines, only one side tends to be focused on. In mental health specialties and in narrative medicine, the positive aspects of sense-making and identity-formation are stressed, while the inherent power-relations and ethics are overlooked. In literary, media and cultural studies, the discourses and representations of mental health are often under critical scrutiny, while the positive outcomes of narrative experientiality are rarely considered. This roundtable welcomes papers that reflect on the ambivalent aspects of narratives, on narrative ethics and biopower in connection to mental health. Please note this special Roundtable format, where participants will share papers one week ahead of the scheduled conference and discuss the papers during the Roundtable discussion. By July 23rd, please send a 250 to 500-word proposal, a CV, and any A/V requests to Ronja Tripp-Bodola, [email protected].


The last three decades have seen major problems in moderation, monetization, and maintenance of communications since the explosion of the internet; increasing international and domestic political dissonance, resultant in part from an ever more connected global community and an ever widening gap in the distribution of wealth; and a pandemic which sparked global panic and has demanded the world’s attention for over a year. In such fraught times, there typically appear three potential courses of dialogic action on the individual, regional, and international levels: the apathetic, the cooperative, and the combative. These have risen and been experimented with over and again throughout the histories of the various peoples who have inhabited the world. This panel would seek to create temporal, spatial, historical, and globally diverse footholds to supplement the climb out from the pit of dialectical aporia which so often caves in under societies in times of turmoil. This can be accomplished through the provision and discussion of examples throughout time and space. How have different cultures and societies, in forms ranging from familial to imperial units, addressed the greatest problems of their times through discourse? What means did they utilize to bring this about, and under what circumstances? How were they effective, or not? This traditional session invites abstracts for papers dealing with problems, solutions, means, and methods in public discourse around moments of crisis, from any period and culture in world history. Abstracts should be 300-500 words and should include a brief bio and information regarding A/V requirements. Abstracts should be emailed to Andrew Simmons (University of Georgia, Dept. of Comparative Literature and Intercultural Studies) at [email protected] by July 31, 2021.


This panel invites contributions that explore literary texts, cultural objects, films and other forms of material culture originally written or produced in Spanish, German, or French since 1900. Comparative contributions are also encouraged. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: Language, gender and/or performance in the virtual world. Representations of virtual and in-person friendships/relationships. Digital consumer culture and its effects on the traditional marketplace and on society more generally. Writing and artistic practices while social distancing. Literary and artistic networks and their function as catalysts for intellectual production. Networks (social, media, information) and their ability to engage with, shape or transform the development of 20th and 21st century literature and culture. Papers presented as a part of this panel will receive special consideration for publication in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature (STTCL). Please send proposals of 300 words to Dr. Marylaura Papalas ([email protected]) by September 30, 2021.


Speculative fiction covers a broad range of narrative styles and genres.  The cohesive element that pulls works together under the category is that there is some “unrealistic” element, whether it’s magical, supernatural, or a futuristic/technological development: works that fall into the category stray from conventional realism in some way. For this reason, speculative fiction can be quite broad, including everything from fantasy and magical realism to horror and science fiction—from China Miéville to Margaret Atwood to Philip K. Dick. This panel aims to explore those unrealistic elements and all their varied implications about society, politics, economics, and more. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, a brief bio, and any A/V needs by May 21, 2021, to Mary Ann Gareis, Middle Georgia State University, at [email protected]. SAMLA’s 93 annual conference, Social Networks, Social Distances, will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia this year from November 4-6. Those accepted must be members of SAMLA to present.


For the past year, the world has been in the grasp of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as climate change continues to bear destructive fruit in the form of environmental degradation and extreme weather events. In fact, deforestation and human encroachment is widely held to be a major contributing factor to the initial emergence of COVID-19 in humans. Adding to these crises, social unrest continues to erupt across the globe, from protests against the murder of African Americans by police and the storming of the capitol building by election deniers in the United States to a military coup in Myanmar and mass farmer strikes in India. As tension continues to build, the lines between these events begin to blur and a single state of catastrophe emerges. Andreas Malm elaborates on this point in writing, “it should now be evident enough that corona and climate do not form separate, parallel lines. Corona can be an effect of climate; not the other way around. More importantly, the two are interlaced aspects, on different scales of time and space, of what is now one chronic emergency.” As always in times of world turmoil, we must ask how we got here, what can we learn from our present, and where may we be going? This panel seeks proposals that consider the intersection between literature and these overlapping, chronic emergencies. Does literature have a role to play in representing, interpreting, and/or changing these crises? What can we glean from works that attempt to address any or all of these unending problems? How does literature perpetuate or provide a balm for climate nihilism? Presentations may address these and other questions and may focus on any genre and period. Preference will be given to proposals that attempt to maintain the link between literature and environment. By June 1, 2021, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V requirements to Matthew Spencer at [email protected].


This roundtable session welcomes submissions on any aspect of pedagogical strategies adopted during the social distancing across disciplines and modalities. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By June 15, please submit a short abstract, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Park University, [email protected]


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Italian Studies


This panel welcomes submissions on any aspect of Italian literature, cinema, and cultural studies from 1600 to present days. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By June 15, please submit an abstract of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Silvia Tiboni-Craft, Wake Forest University at [email protected] and Annachiara Mariani, University of Tennessee Knoxville at [email protected].

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Luso-Portuguese Studies


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Other Languages & Literatures


Submissions are invited for a proposed special session of 15-minute traditional papers on domestic cats in literature at the 93rd annual conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), scheduled to be held in Atlanta, GA, USA, 4-6 November 2021. Papers may address any aspect of the subject, including‚ but not limited to the following:

  • Cats and social networks and/or social distances; (Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome)
  • Cats as characters, symbols, companions, pets, inspiration, environmental pests, guides, thieves, mystical creatures, gods
  • Cats and mystery, aesthetics, creativity, abstraction, contemplation, parody, comedy, modernism, myth, the supernatural
  • Cats in science fiction, comics, film, young-adult literature, children’s literature;
  • Cats in the works of specific authors like T. S. Eliot, J. K. Rowling, Lewis Carroll, Edgar Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Mikhail Bulgakov, Stephen King, and others.

Please send abstracts of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Ben P. Robertson, Troy University, at [email protected], by 1 June 2021. Please use SAMLA 93 as your subject line.  All submissions will be acknowledged.  For more information about SAMLA, you may consult the web site at


What evidence do we have for literary facsimiles of global pandemics? With the onset of COVID-19 and its irrevocable effects on the global culture, how can we look at transatlantic texts about epidemics and gain insight as to how the problem has been tackled historically, intellectually, and literarily? We are welcoming texts about transatlantic literature (French, British, Spanish, and American literatures) that tackle this particular problem. I will present a paper looking at pandemics in literature starting with Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year and working up until Albert Camus' The Plague. Through looking at the problem in a literary New Critical lens, we hope to be able to solve problems and challenges connected to the global pandemic in the contemporary geopolitical sphere. Literatures in translation from Spanish and French also welcomed. Please send any submissions to Andrew Lamb at [email protected] by July 1, 2021.


Presentations should address the following  themes:   On Afro-German Autobiography; The German Diaspora:  Borders and Boundaries; German and Afro-German Literary and Cultural Conceptions of Identity; African Heritage in Afro-German Film; Common Tropes in Afro-German Poetry; The Emergence of Afro-German Studies; The Future of Afro-German Studies; German Language Study and Students of Color.  Please submit a 200-word abstract, a brief bio, an abbreviated  one-page CV,  and A/V requirements to Reginald A. Bess at [email protected].


“The emperor very much desires that his story should be received as an evident communal truth” (Caryl Phillips, Color Me English)

If history is written by the mighty (metaphorically signified by the “emperor”), then how do the voices of the non-mighty come as a fissure to deconstruct the emperor’s narratives? How does the history of women or transgender represented by men are construed or misconstrued historically or presently in the third-world countries? Could the historical and current representations of oppression of the marginalized women and transgender by men be any better than a socially structured fallacy?

This Special Session welcomes submissions on any aspect of historically or racially gender-discrimination, in which the lack of representation is traced with the potential causes for the lack. By measuring the distance between the two voices (the oppressor and the oppressed) in literary studies in the third-world countries, a discourse around oppression and its lack of representation is engendered. This venture invites to deconstruct the narratives of oppression which tag it as a thing of the past. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By July 10, 2021, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Shabana Sayeed, Georgia State University, at [email protected]


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This roundtable welcomes submissions on any aspect of community in the online English class. Abstracts addressing the conference theme are especially welcome. By 30 June, please submit an abstract of 100 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Lee Brewer Jones, Georgia State University Perimeter College Online, at [email protected].


How can we use born-digital and digitized archives and archival education resources to support research and instruction in the first-year writing classroom? This roundtable session invites presentations of 5-7 minutes that discuss the practical application of these resources. The conference theme encourages us to consider the “tools we use to come together‚” and also their related challenges. In this vein, presentations that discuss the use of specific digital and digitized materials and also describe the challenges of working with these resources during periods of remote and/or hybrid teaching are especially welcome. Please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Dr. Danielle Gilman ([email protected]), Georgia Institute of Technology, by July 1, 2021.


This proposed special panel invites submissions on any aspect of teaching reading skills in the college classroom. From Creative Writing classes to Literature or languages, how can we encourage students to perform close readings, critical readings, and move beyond comprehension? Abstracts addressing the conference theme of Social Networks, Social Distances are especially welcome, but not required. Please submit an abstract of 250 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Michele Randall, Stetson University, DeLand, FL, at [email protected], by June 1, 2021.



In a time when conservatives have labeled Critical Race Theory the newest intellectual bogeyman and assaults to factual representations of history in the United States flood the mainstream media, the Emerging Scholars Organization is interested in how instructors navigate resistance to critiques of systemic and institutional racism while also creating inclusive spaces in their classrooms and beyond. To that end, we seek contributions for a roundtable discussion about approaches to teaching that identify and overcome boundaries to student learning or ways to push beyond the borders of the traditional classroom. Presentations might address:

  •  Employing anti-racist pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, or other decolonizing praxis
  •  Service-learning or project-oriented courses that emphasize community engagement and / or community organizing
  •  Course design that engages with public scholarship and / or public monuments (such as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice or the Black Lives Matter movement)

We welcome 10-minute presentations on any aspect of course design: choosing a theme, composing syllabus policies, selecting reading materials, constructing lesson plans, creating assignments and assessments, etc. as well as on teaching philosophies and pedagogical theory. The goal of this panel is to generate ideas and disperse materials that will aid participants, especially graduate students, contingent faculty, and emerging scholars, in planning courses that do not shy away from teaching hard histories and critically engage the undergraduate students who take them. Please submit 250-word abstracts and a short bio to [email protected] by JULY 30 for full consideration.


This roundtable invites submissions on the use of peer review as an essential part of the writing process. Peer-to-peer and/or small group analysis is a reciprocal process that is beneficial for encouraging clarity of thought in all disciplines. As community or network, students learn to value input from others as well as more accurately critique their own writing. Beyond the classroom, peer review as feedback on job performance is a workplace skill. Abstracts addressing both the benefits and drawbacks of peer review are invited. By June 15th, please submit an abstract of 200 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Karen Holley, Georgia State University Perimeter College, at [email protected]


SAMLA 93’s conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, calls for us to consider how literature invites, expands or disrupts how we cross social territories and craft virtual worlds to understand human experience. In her essay, “Teaching for Openings,” Maxine Greene argues that literature enables us to transcend “the given,” but also reminds, “We are moved to do that, however, only when we become aware of rifts, gaps in what we think is reality. We have to be articulate enough and able to exert ourselves to name what we see around us‚” (Releasing the Imagination, 1995, 111). In this session, we will discuss the heuristic aspects of literature pedagogy that provide us and students with models and tools for new social learning. We call for papers that investigate sociocultural spaces, texts, contexts to create social networks, or acknowledge social distances.

  • How have socially-informed methods provided catalysts for teaching literature in the past few years?
  • For instance, have you discovered or invited new social events in your classroom? 
  • Are survey or seminar literature courses challenged or enriched when students take on roles as discussion designers or community-based learners? 
  • Have you found touchstone readings or theoretical approaches that nurture students’ efforts to identify with social positions or questions?

By July 1, please send a 250-word abstract with audience participation element and brief bio to Stephanie L. Hodde, Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Military Institute [email protected]


SAMLA’s 2021 conference theme, Social Networks, Social Distances, calls for us to consider how Octavia E. Butler’s work challenges us to connect—with people, with new worlds, with histories, with the uncanny, and with ourselves. This panel looks to examine our pedagogical approaches to teaching Octavia E. Butler. For this session, we are interested in how you and why your use of Octavia E. Butler challenges your students to connect. For instance, do you teach an American Literature survey course but avoid the “canonical” works provided in an anthology, choosing to focus on the speculative with Butler? Or do you use Butler in a middle grades or secondary classroom, a religious study group, or an Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies course? What in-class strategies, tips, and techniques do you use to teach Octavia E. Butler in your classes?

Please complete this form no later than June 30, 2021.

If you have any questions, please email the session chair, Dr. Kendra R. Parker, at [email protected].


This session of SAMLA 93 invites proposals for a roundtable discussion about Alt-Ac (Alternative-Academic) experiences and opportunities. Anyone with a graduate degree working in a career outside of academia or within the academy and not teaching is encouraged to apply. By July 1, 2021, please send a CV and a brief description of how you would contribute to the discussion to Dr. Trisha Kannan at [email protected].


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Rhetoric & Composition


Over the last year, writing instructors have used distance and technology-enhanced learning in a variety of ways to address pandemic mitigation requirements and the interruptions caused by quarantine. Our experiences of distance learning and technology-enhanced teaching have varied greatly. This panel invites proposals that address the lessons learned from this experience. Here are some questions to consider: In many ways, an online course becomes a kind of social network, sometimes through the ways that technology shapes social interactions and sometimes through pedagogical intent. How does technology help to build a social network in writing courses? How might technology-enhanced learning exacerbate social distancing and social isolation for students? How might social networks and social distancing reinforce each other in an online course environment? How might this tension serve as a benefit and/or a detriment to student learning and experience of distance learning? Consider sharing experiences related to fully online instruction, hybrid instruction, or other modes of course delivery. Please send proposals of 250 words to David Brauer at [email protected] by June 1st.


This traditional session welcomes submissions from all aspects of language teaching and research, including, but not limited to, the integration of culture and literature into language teaching, first and second language acquisition, second language pedagogy, and linguistics or literature studies with application to language teaching or learning. We welcome submissions from the study of all languages, but the abstract must be in English. By July 1, 2021, please kindly submit an abstract of 350 words (excluding references), a brief bio, and any A/V requests to Dr. Jing Paul, Agnes Scott College, at [email protected] and Dr. Hong Li, Emory University, at [email protected] Please attach a Word document that includes your abstract, a brief bio and any A/V requests.


Writing, in many emerging writers’ minds, is an isolated, solitary process that necessitates social distance. Meaningful writing, though, is actually an act of community and connection with others at all stages of the process itself - a form of social networking.  As many schools in the past year have found, creating community and social networks in the online learning environment is particularly challenging. This special session roundtable invites abstracts that address how to overcome the challenges of creating community in online learning with the common goal of collectively reinforcing the value of communication skills and the goal of supporting student writing improvement. Of particular interest are abstracts that address pedagogical approaches for building community in writing-centric classrooms across disciplines, abstracts that discuss strategies for building community in Writing Across the Curriculum programs, and abstracts that explore the creation of a collective university learning community using virtual tools. By May 21, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Josef Vice, Purdue University Global, at [email protected]


This roundtable welcomes submissions on the intersections of rhetoric, composition, and the digital humanities. Abstracts addressing how archival research, methods, or tools are affected by “social networks" and “social distances” or how language, representation, location, technology, education‚ interact with society at large are especially welcome. By July 1st, please submit an abstract of 150-500 words, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Jared Hines, Session Chair, at [email protected].




This regular session focuses on how students use their technological, social, and cultural dimensions contribute to their current status as academic scholars and critical thinkers.  




The Writing in College session will explore social media influences how the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms support writing in the college classroom. Writing instructors encourage their students to attend to style, voice, and other aesthetic elements of their text. Writing instructors also encourage their students to think of their work as socially situated and able to effect change in the "real world" outside of the classroom. The teaching Writing in College permanent section welcomes all submissions focused on first year writing practices but is particularly interested in those that consider writing instruction in reference to the connectivity platforms of social media.  Possible topics include but are not limited to these topics:  


- Projects examining the social media effect on student writing.


- Presentations which draw on and/or amplify students voices.


- Presentations which examine the challenges and effective approaches to teaching online versus s face-to-face teaching in a pandemic environment.


- Presentations which examine the language differences and/or the different voices, expressions, and concepts of social media.


- Presentations which promote activist/alternative approaches to teaching writing in the college classroom


- Presentations which present pedagogical approaches to student writing.


- Presentation which offers creative approaches to college writing. 




This section encourages presentations that draw on student work as a primary text as well as interactive presentations that engage audience members. Please send a 300-400 word abstract to Lisa Diehl, University of North Georgia, [email protected] or Matt McEver, at [email protected]  Please include a short biography of 500 words or less. 



This panel welcomes submissions on any aspect of 21st Century College Composition. By May 31, 2021, please submit a 200-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Deborah Coxwell Teague, Flagler College, [email protected].

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Slavic Studies


Papers are welcome on any Slavic language, literature or culture, including film and comparative literature topics, treated from any theoretical or pedagogical perspective. By June 1, 2021, please forward an abstract of about 300 words, brief bio, and any A/V requirements to Karen Rosneck, University of Wisconsin-Madison, at [email protected].


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