Power, Identity, and Relationships in the Works of Carson McCullers

17 Feb
SAMLA 2019, Atlanta GA, November 8-10, 2019
The Carson McCullers Society is pleased to invite paper proposals for SAMLA 2019 on the conference theme of “Language: Power, Identity, and Relationships.” Proposals addressing any aspect of McCullers’ life and works are welcome, especially those that contribute new understandings of how McCullers deploys language to institute, reify, challenge, and/or reconfigure power relations at the individual, communal, societal, national, or geopolitical levels. If interested, please submit a 300-word abstract and brief bio to Amber P. Hodge, Carson McCullers Society Secretary, at ahodge@go.olemiss.edu by Monday, May 20, 2019.

Carson McCullers Annual Outstanding Conference Paper Award

12 Feb

The Carson McCullers Society is pleased to invite submissions for its annual prize for Outstanding Conference Paper. This award recognizes the best entry for a scholarly essay on the life and work of Carson McCullers presented at a conference the previous year. Entrants should provide evidence that the paper was presented at a national, regional, or international academic conference during 2018 (January to December) and that the winner is eligible for the award as an active member of the Society (information on membership can be found here on our website). Submissions for this blind-judged competition are welcome from all levels of scholars and bear a $100 dollar honorarium and recognition by the Society for the best entry. Please send submissions to Carson McCuller Society President Isadora Wagner (Isadora.wagner@westpoint.edu) by Monday, April 8, 2019. The winner will be announced in early May.

Call For Papers: The Short Fiction of Carson McCullers

24 Feb

Proposed submissions are requested for an edited collection of essays tentatively titled Understanding the Short Fiction of Carson McCullers. This collection will contribute to current scholarship by 1. Analyzing lesser-known short texts by McCullers, and 2. Examining (or reexamining) McCullers’ short texts using current contemporary perspectives. Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

•Comparative readings of the short work of Carson McCullers (short fiction compared with other short fiction, or short fiction compared with longer texts);

•The reception and evolution of McCullers’ shorter works across national boundaries;

•Representations of disability and illness within the stories of McCullers, or reading her short work though the theoretical lens of disability and illness;

•Explorations of justice, war, violence, the greater good, and morality within her work;

•The intersections of race and gender in McCullers, including how her stories might figure within postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and other analyses of racial and national formation;

•McCullers’ narrative techniques;

•Ongoing critical reception to McCullers, both her life and work; for example, what newly available archival material adds to the conversation surrounding McCullers’ short fiction

•Gender identity studies, sexuality studies, LGBT studies, queer theory;

•Critical animal theory;

•Trauma in the work of McCullers;

•McCullers’ work in connection with new approaches in southern studies;

•Reading her short fiction in light of other social, cultural, political, philosophical, and religious movements of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Article abstracts (approximately 500 words) and a brief CV should be submitted by March 15, 2018 to Dr. Alison Bertolini (alison.bertolini@ndsu.edu) and Dr. Casey Kayser (ckayser@uark.edu). Longer outlines or drafts are also welcome at this time.

Selected authors will be notified by April 15, 2018. For those invited to contribute to the collection, chapters should be 5,000-7,000 words (MLA format, minimal footnotes or endnotes please), and completed essays should be submitted by August 1, 2018. Queries are welcome concerning submission topics. A contract for this book through a peer-reviewed academic press is pending, following a review of proposed chapters.

Carson McCullers Annual Outstanding Conference Paper Award (for 2017)

24 Feb

The Carson McCullers Society invites submissions for an annual scholarly “Prize for Outstanding Conference Paper,” to be awarded to an essay on the life and work of Carson McCullers presented at a conference in the past year. Entries should provide evidence that the paper was presented at a regional, national, or international academic conference during the previous calendar year (January to December 2017) and that the winner is eligible for the award as an active member of the Society.

Submissions are welcome from graduate students and all levels of scholars. Judging will be a blind process, and the award carries a $100 honorarium. Please send submissions to Carson McCullers Society President Alison Graham-Bertolini (alison.bertolini@ndsu.edu) by April 1, 2018. The winner will be announced in early May.

Annual Award for Outstanding Conference Paper 2016 Winner

31 Mar

Congratulations to Kassia Waggoner, the winner of our annual award for outstanding conference paper, and the recipient of the $100 honorarium.

Waggoner’s paper, “Embodied Listening: Singer as Feminist Listener in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” was presented at PAMLA 2016 as part of a panel on “disabilities in American literature”.

Our judges were unanimous in choosing the winner, and their comments included:

“Valuable analysis, most applicable to other works, most fully worked out. The writing is quite clear.”

“I learned from this essay. Clear and well done.”

“Not only is the essay polished and well-considered, but the author provides a fresh way of considering Singer’s role in Lonely Hunter from the perspectives of feminism and disability studies.”

Congratulations once again to our winner. Look out for our 2017 award, the details of which will be announced later in the year. We look forward to an exciting year for McCullers studies.

Carson McCullers in the Twenty-First Century

14 Dec

Carson McCullers Society Board Members Alison Graham-Bertollini and Casey Kayser have co-edited the new collection of essays, Carson McCullers in the Twenty-First Century. book-coverThe collection includes chapters about McCullers’ fiction, autobiographical writing, and dramatic works, and is groundbreaking because it includes the first detailed scholarly examination of new archival material donated to Columbus State University after the 2013 death of Dr. Mary Mercer, McCullers’ psychiatrist and friend, including transcripts of the psychiatric sessions that took place between McCullers and Mercer in 1958. Further, the collection covers the scope of McCullers’ canon of work, such as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), The Member of the Wedding (1946), and Ballad of the Sad Café (1943), through lenses that are of growing interest in contemporary literary studies, including comparative transatlantic readings, queer theory, disability studies, and critical animal theory, among others.


14 Dec

The Carson McCullers Society and the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians sponsored a panel at this year’s South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference, held November 4-6 in Jacksonville, Florida:
Chair: Casey Kayser, University of Arkansas
Cousin Lymon: A Portrait of Dwarfism in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the
Sad Café   –John David Harding, Saint Leo University

“The Worlds at the End of the Long, Stale Afternoons”: Gender Fluidity and
Utopian Vision in Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding  –Cameron Williams, University of North Georgia

As Freud Likes It: The Oedipal Complex in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the
Sad Cafe  –Tara Dybas, California State University Stanislaus

Reading Androgynous Bodies: Vision, Gender, and the Reproductive Politics of
Miss Amelia in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Cafe –Sarah-Marie Horning