CALL FOR PAPERS: William Gilmore Simms and the Crucible of Southern Culture
The University Libraries of the University of South Carolina and the William Gilmore Simms Society invite all interested scholars to a conference exploring the life and works of William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870), the antebellum Southís most prolific writer and one of its best known public intellectuals. As novelist, poet, critic, and historian, Simms participated in and commented on all of the major issues in American culture during his life. After the Civil War, his popularity waned as his identification with the Old South increasingly relegated him to the margins of American literature. As the academic understanding of the intellectual culture of the antebellum South has changed, ushered in by the work of scholars such as Michael OíBrien, Drew Gilpin Faust, and Eugene Genovese, Simmsís reputation has undergone a renaissance. The resurgence of interest in Simms has produced a full-length biography, several volumes of criticism, including the fall, 2009 issue of Studies in the Literary Imagination devoted entirely to Simms, and scholarly reissues of his poetry and prose, including new editions of his major novels by the University of Arkansas Press.
The University of South Carolina welcomes academics from all disciplines, especially history, literature, philosophy, and political science, to contribute papers on any aspect of Simmsís life and work for this major national conference. While the conference will address Simms and his writing from all perspectives, one theme will focus on the comparatively neglected post-Civil War period, when Simms elected to stay in his war-torn native South Carolina, embracing the realities of defeat and Reconstruction and committing himself to the task of rebuilding his native state, his profession, and his literary fortunes. Those papers addressing the postwar writings will have the opportunity to be revised for inclusion in a university press publication devoted to that topic. Papers addressing other aspects of Simmsís work will have the opportunity to be considered for a volume of the Simms Review, a refereed journal published by the Simms Society, the conference cosponsor. A prize for the best student paper will be offered, which includes complimentary registration; to be considered, complete papers, not abstracts, must be submitted by June 25, 2010.
Please join us at the historic campus of the University of South Carolina for this gala three-day event, Sept. 23-Sept. 25, 2010. Abstracts (150- 500 words) are due June 25, 2010, and should be sent via e-mail, along with a brief (50-100 words) biography, to: Meriwetn@mailbox.sc.edu. Please imbed the information directly in the e-mail, not via attachment. If accepted, abstracts and biographies will be published in the conference program. Questions should be directed to the same e-mail address above. Conference registration is $145, or $75 to students who are presenting, and includes the cost of the opening reception, banquet, and program. We look forward to welcoming you!
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