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The 2021 conference theme, “Prospecting: Uncovering New Veins and Voices in Identity, Genre, and Place” will explore important issues of place, form, and representation. The theme (“Prospecting”) refers to the search for new avenues of expression for authors.

We invite proposals for critical and creative panels, roundtables, and individual submissions engaging with the exploration of our conference theme. Possible areas of focus and approaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Western American literature, history, and culture; 
  • indigenous and Native American literature, history, and culture;
  • discourses of marginalization, including race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, or ability; 
  • women, gender, and/or sexuality; 
  • representations of disability or mental illness in literature and/or popular culture; 
  • postcolonial literature and/or theory;
  • hybrid texts, blurred genres, fact vs. fiction, and/or experimentation; 
  • cultural and media studies, including but not limited to popular culture, or speculative fiction; 
  • the relationship between specific landscapes and forms of identity; 
  • innovation in creative writing pedagogy that addresses diversity, emerging forms, or disability inclusion;
  • writing’s ability to question/challenge categories of gender, race, or ability;
  • discourses on gentrification, urban sprawl, rent control, or cultural shifts/displacement due booming population growth ;
  • relationships between representation and textual experimentation

Deadline for submissions: June 20, 2021 

Please send to: 

Submission Guidelines

For critical work, please submit a 250-word abstract, along with a brief biographical note, by June 20. Panel and roundtable proposals should include biographical notes for all presenters and a 250-word description for the session. Panel proposals should also include individual presenters’ abstracts. We welcome panel proposals that incorporate both critical and creative presentations.

For creative submissions, please provide either 8-10 pages of poetry or no more than 10-12 pages of creative prose writing, along with a short biographical note, by June 20. While creative work that explicitly or implicitly engages with the conference theme is especially welcome, we will gladly consider all types of creative work on any theme and in any style for readings at the conference’s creative writing panels.