Call For Papers



Hosted by The University of New Mexico, March 22-25, 2018

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper and panel submissions for its fifth biennial conference, which will take place March 22-25, 2018 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. We invite individual paper or group proposals on U.S. literary culture—broadly conceived—during the long nineteenth century.

The fifth biennial C19 conference welcomes readings of the capacious meanings of “Climate,” from meteorology to metaphor, ecocriticism to racial justice. Thinking about climate within the context of the long nineteenth century might allow for new modes of approach to such issues as the human, nonhuman, or posthuman; ethnicity; gender; sexuality; race; class; colonialism; land use; labor; aging; religion; enclosure; agriculture; food; subject/object relations; geological or deep time; energy; extinction; or institutions.

 The nineteenth century witnessed the coinage of such terms as “ecology” and “climatology,” and it grappled with questions of agency and environment by asking whether human behavior had a collective impact on climate, or whether climate shaped human temperament and culture. For some, climate possessed an explanatory power to justify racial difference as well as differences in character and nationality. Climate could also go beyond the environmental to refer to a general aesthetic sense of atmosphere, mood, and opinion. To what extent is the term a euphemism for culture? How and when has the term been used to think against or beyond culture? Was climate invoked to articulate national and regional distinctions within a comparative framework or did it offer ways to think beyond the nation-state toward a transnational model? “Climate” has a special urgency in our present moment of anthropogenic climate change and resource depletion, crises producing monumental political and social uncertainties. The late-eighteenth-century advent of industrialization is one proposed marker of the beginning of the anthropocene (or the epoch of measurable human geological impact on the earth), and thus the urgency of “Climate” today is simultaneously a nineteenth-century topic, as well.

 The conference theme of “Climate” invites us to explore the term’s various layers of signification from its meteorological relation to weather, atmosphere, and storms to its metaphoric association with mood, variability, and time.  In our own highly contested political climate when environmental, social, economic and racial justice represents an ongoing struggle, what does it mean to explore the climates of the nineteenth century?

To submit a proposal for the 2018 conference, go to:


C19 welcomes proposals for roundtables, workshops, dialogues, and novel presentation formats, as well as traditional panels and individual paper submissions. We are especially interested in proposals that reflect a diversity of institutional affiliation, academic rank, and disciplinary background. Please include at least four presenters on a panel, one of whom might be a respondent. All group proposals must leave time for discussion (each session is 90 minutes long). Individuals seeking potential collaborators may wish to use the C19 listserv, the discussion board on C19’s Facebook page, or via Twitter using the #C19Am hashtag or by tagging @C19Americanists.

 C19: 2018 will once again feature a series of seminars, which were introduced at the 2014 conference in Chapel Hill. Seminars will provide participants the opportunity for a collaborative conversation around a particular topic. Each seminar will be capped at 15 participants and will be run by leaders with expertise in the topic. Each participant will submit a five-page position paper before the conference to be read in advance by the other participants; time in the seminar itself will be reserved for discussion. Seminar participants will be listed in the program. Participation as both a presenter and seminar participant will be allowed only as space permits. Topics and seminar leaders are listed on the “Seminars” tab.

Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a substantive role (presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and one appearance as a session organizer, chair, seminar participant, or speaker/facilitator on a professional support session. Please submit only one proposal for a substantive role. 

To submit a proposal for the 2018 conference, go to:

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2017. 

 Queries about the Conference Program should be addressed to Program Chair, Carrie Tirado Bramen:

If you are organizing a session and are looking for additional panelists, please consider emailing your CFP to

CFPs for Individual Panels

C19 in the Classic Hollywood Imaginary

I am organizing a panel for C19 on Hollywood representations of the nineteenth century, and I invite proposals that address some of the issues raised below. Please send abstracts of 150-200 words by August 1 to Julia Stern at

This panel will explore Hollywood’s phantasmagoric C19 through the double-consciousness of the late 1930s and early 1940s, as economic depression opened onto to a climate of international fascism, genocide and world war.  How did the 19th century come to signify the ideologies, dreams, and anxieties of an American culture on the brink? This historical precipice enabled what arguably is Hollywood’s richest creative period.  With the Great Depression and the advent of sound cinema, through the end of the Second World War, Classic Hollywood imagined the 19th-century through an explosion of genres. This session focuses on the historical biopic (featuring John Brown as villain in The Santa Fe Trail); the proto-Civil War melodrama (Bette Davis’s Jezebel); and settler colonial conquest (in John Ford’s Stagecoach), to suggest several powerful examples.  Papers will open a conversation about how the 19thc functioned in the classic Hollywood imaginary.  Proposals featuring women’s pictures, westerns, gothics, and biopics encouraged; and work on films featuring Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, or Olivia De Havilland is encouraged particularly.


Beyond Circulation: Material Texts and Their Distributions, Movements, and Networks

Many studies of nineteenth-century print culture and literary history rely upon a model of “circulation”—of words, images, objects, and people—that frequently overlooks a broader array of practices involved in the formation of mass audiences and publics in the long nineteenth century. Furthermore, as both figure and idea, circulation seems to imply smoothness, speed, and completion—factors that rarely hold true for many C19 institutions such as the postal system, evangelical societies, commercial publishers, freight and shipping agencies, and other projects seeking to overcome vast distances and unreliable infrastructures. Circulation doesn’t always capture movement and exchange at the granular level of rural communities, emerging sites of bureaucratic control, or in new forms of mass visualization such as the stereoscope, panorama show, or flap book. This panel invites presenters interested in pushing the limits of circulation with reference to specific case studies drawn from the United States in the long nineteenth century.

Please send 250-word proposals and a short CV to John Garcia  ( and Sonia Hazard (
by August 31.

Genealogies of Homonationalism

Homonationalism has typically been used to name a late-twentieth and twenty-first century phenomenon in which gay and lesbian rights discourse has achieved power, in part, by donning the rhetoric of U.S. exceptionalism. Yet Jasbir Puar’s 2013 re-articulation of homonationalism as a “facet of modernity and a historical shift” also points to an underexplored set of questions pertinent to nineteenth-century American Studies: What are the deeper genealogies of homonationalism? What forms does it take in periods prior to the popularization of the “homosexual” as a type in Euro-American sexology? What earlier iterations of nationalist homosociality also comprise something like a sexual politics? In what contexts does the homo- of homonationalism become useful for describing non-sexual social formations? What affinities exist between histories of homosociality—erotic, intellectual, aesthetic, literary, militaristic, class-based, or otherwise—and the machinations of white supremacy and settler colonialism?

Scholars of sexuality such as Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Peter Coviello, and Samaine Lockwood have paved the way for this work to be done, attesting to the fact that national belonging in the United States has long taken shape through the cultivation of same-sex intimacy and homosocial attachment. At the same time, scholars such as Mark Rifkin, Siobhan Somerville, and Leela Gandhi have urged scholars to look to the nineteenth century to explore intersections between queer sexualities, deviant racial formations, and anti-colonial politics. Building on this work, “Genealogies of Homonationalism” will interrogate where and how homonationalism takes shape in the 19th century, and in what contexts homonationalism becomes useful, as a category of analysis, for describing intersections between race, citizenship, and socialities oriented toward “sameness.”

We invite 300-word abstracts pertaining to any of the themes and questions addressed above. Please direct these and short CVs to Travis Foster ( and Don James McLaughlin ( no later than September 5th, 2017.


Climate Change and Class

For the 2018 C19 conference in Albuquerque in March 2018, I am seeking scholars to form a panel called “Climate Change and Class” — a panel that addresses the literary representation of the conjunction of climate change and socioeconomic inequality. While environmental justice and environmental racism focus on low-income or minority communities who are forced to live near hazardous or toxic environments, I would like the panel to focus on how climate change or global warming specifically affect the poor. How do authors express concerns about vulnerability, deprivation, limited resources, exploitation, oppression, development, distributive justice, mitigation, and education so that the terms equally apply to financial struggles and anthropogenic climate change? Since both wealth inequality and planetary warming are socially constructed forces of economics and politics, how do authors narrate one in terms of the other in order to reveal and connect the dual exploitation of the poor and the earth?

Please send 250-word abstracts by August 31 to Debby Rosenthal, Professor and Chair, English Department, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH 44118.
To submit a proposal for the 2018 conference, go to: