Language and Literature is full of great topics. Find the one that relates to you below, then review the expanded information for submitting your work. Find more subject areas on our call for papers page as well!
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Language and Literature
Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative
Melinda McBee, PhD, Collin College, English, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper proposals on any aspect of biography, autobiography, memoir, and personal narrative are welcome. Literary papers as well as creative works will be accepted.
B. Mark Allen, PhD, South Texas College, History and Philosophy, email@example.com
Panels are now forming for presentations regarding all aspects (historical, literary, cultural, etc.) of Captivity Narratives. All topics and approaches to the genre are welcomed. Graduate students/future teachers are particularly welcome to participate – or to simply register to attend the conference and its captivity narrative panels.
Children’s / Young Adult Literature and Culture
Diana Dominguez, PhD, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Literatures and Cultural Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Area Chair: Renae L. Mitchell, SWPACA Leadership Institute Fellow, University of New Mexico, email@example.com
Panels are now being formed in the Children’s / Young Adult Literature and Culture area. Scholars, researchers, professionals, teachers, graduate students and others interested in this area are encouraged to submit an abstract.
This area covers a wide variety of possible mediums: traditional book/literature culture, but also comics, graphic novels, film, television, music, video games, toys, internet environment, fan fiction, advertising, and marketing tie-ins to books and films, just to name a few. Proposals on fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or cross-genre topics are welcome. Interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome, as are presentations that go beyond the traditional scholarly paper format.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Diversity in Children’s and YA literature (gender, race/ethnicity, disability, body image, sexual identity)
- Use of innovative or “novel” formats for both children’s and YA literature
- The next “big” thing in children’s and YA literature
- Film adaptation issues
- Historical approaches to children’s and YA literature and culture
- New readings of children’s and YA literature and culture
- Re-imaginings of myth, fairy tale, and other traditional stories
- Explorations of specific authors in the children’s and YA areas
- Fan fiction and fan followings of books, films, and authors
- Beyond books and films
- Awards for children’s and YA literature (issues and controversies)
Proposals on other topics related to Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Culture will be read with interest.
Katherine Sugg, PhD, Central Connecticut State University, English, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Area Chair of the Cormac McCarthy Area of the Southwest PCA/ACA conference is seeking paper proposals on any aspect of the work of Cormac McCarthy, including novels, plays, and television and film scripts and adaptations. We invite presentations about all facets of McCarthy’s work in forms ranging from critical essays to analyses employing recognized research methodologies. The chair also welcomes pre-formed panels, but will need submissions to be uploaded individually as required by the SWPACA. Paper presentations should be 15 minutes and should present an arguable thesis or develop a compelling question.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- McCarthy and the West
- McCarthy and apocalypse
- Narration and historical imaginaries in McCarthy’s work
- Narrative theory approaches to McCarthy’s writing
- Gender and sexuality studies approaches to McCarthy’s work
- McCarthy and Hollywood
- Issues in film adaptation
- Neoliberal discourse and/in McCarthy
- Southern gothic and its meaning now
- Horror and McCarthy
Creative Writing (Poetry, Fiction)
Jerry Bradley, PhD, Lamar University, English, email@example.com
The Creative Writing sessions at SWPACA seek original writing on any theme and in any genre (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama). Presentations and panels on creative writing pedagogy will also be considered.
Submit your abstract or creative writing piece to the conference’s submission database.
Eco-Criticism and the Environment
Jeremy Elliott, PhD, Abilene Christian University, Language and Literature, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ecocriticism and the Environment area welcomes abstracts on film, literature, advertising, video games, social media, architecture, music, religion, and really any other method of human expression.
Potential topics include:
- how can ecocriticism speak to digital realities/emergent realities in video games and other immersive experiences?
- to what degree does our built environment inform our conception of physical nature?
- how do stories that we tell about our natural environments explain something about our understanding of the natural world?
- how can the stories we tell help create a more productive environmental future?
These ideas are representative, and certainly not an exhaustive list.
European Popular Culture and Literature
Tyler Blake, PhD, MidAmerica Nazarene University, English, email@example.com
Papers are now being accepted on topics related to any aspect of European popular culture and literature. Scholars, graduate students, instructors, and others interested in European popular culture and literature are invited to participate. European novels, poetry, plays, film, television, fashion, food, religion, music, folkways & mores are possible topics.
Helen McCourt, PhD, Collin College, English, HMcCourt@collin.edu
The Folklore Studies panel seeks (presents/requests) presentations on any area of folklore studies including folklore and literature, social customs, food lore, myths and legends, and so on. The study does not need to be restricted to folklore as it appears strictly in literature, but can take a wide ranging view on all aspects of folklore as it presents itself historically, socially, and literarily.
Graphic Novels, Comics, and Popular Culture
Robert G. Weiner, Texas Tech University Library, firstname.lastname@example.org
The area chair seeks presentation proposals on Graphic Novels, Comics, and Popular Culture.
Any aspect of Comics and Graphic Novels in Popular Culture will be considered, but particular attention will be paid to those presentations that discuss distinctive American aspects of comics and graphic novels in the context of history and the content. Why is the superhero as we know it today a uniquely American creation? Why is the birth of the comics industry tied to the Jewish American experience? Does the Americanism of comics and graphic novels have anything to say to the world today or have other styles such as manga, Bande dessinée, or fumetto have more of an impact today?
Possible panel/discussion topics:
- Comics podcasts. With so much comics-related news on websites, another form that has taken off in recent years includes the podcast/radio show. How well do these podcasts relate comic/graphic novels news? We have podcasts on the Golden Age of comics, superhero comics, and most recently The Comics Alternative, which goes beyond superheroes to discuss the independents. What impact do podcasts like this have?
- The concept of the super-villain! There is much scholarly literature on the superhero but not nearly as much on the super-villain. Yet a superhero is usually only as good or interesting as their super-villain counterpart. Stan Lee said that coming up with interesting super-villains is often difficult. Why? How have super-villains in comics changed over the years? What makes a super-villain like the Joker or Magneto so compelling? We would welcome full panels on super-villains.
- What is the future of the superhero-based movie? Will the superhero movie continue to be popular? Are people tired of the superhero movie? Has the superhero film run its course?
- With the success of Sony and Marvel Studios Spider-Man: Homecoming do you think more collaboration is forthcoming say between Fox and Marvel or Universal and Marvel?
- Pedagogical approaches to teaching graphic novel content. This has become an increasingly important part of comic studies, and the area chair seeks those scholars who would like to present on this topic.
- Sequential art and storytelling
- Manga, anime and the movies
- Comic conventions/fan culture
- Particular artists or writers (Bendis, Steranko, Kirby, Everett, Niles, etc.)
- The rise of the graphic novel
- What is a graphic novel?
- History of newspaper comics
- Gay characters in comics
- Film and superheroes
- Adapting graphic novels for the screen
- Racism and the X-Men
- Spider-Man as the Everyman
- Cartoon Network: Good or bad for comics?
- Comics and philosophy
- Graphic novels as outlets for social justice (e.g., World War III)
- Comics as political satire (e.g., Tom Tomorrow, Addicted To War)
- Horror comics
- “The Resurrection of Captain America” – Why NO comic character ever stays dead.
- DC, Marvel, and comic corporations
- Comics studies and film studies: How do the two intersect?
- The definition of the superhero
- Indies and their role
- Comics and graphic novels around the world (e.g., Tintin, Asterix)
- The scholarly study of graphic novels/comics in the academy
- Libraries and graphic novels
Lisa Wagner, PhD, University of Louisville, Classical and Modern Languages, email@example.com
Submissions for panels and individual papers on all aspects of Linguistics are welcome. Submissions on the following topics in Applied Linguistics are especially encouraged:
- Linguistic Landscapes
- Language in the Media
- L2 Teaching and Learning
- Discourse Analysis
- Language and Gender
Samantha Lay, PhD, University of West Alabama, English, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Area Chair is now accepting proposals to the “Literature (General)” category. This area will provide a forum for scholarly presentations on literary subjects outside of our more specific literature areas. Before submitting to the General area, please peruse the specific area list on this page.
Areas of interest might include:
- Literary theory
- Literary history
- Interdisciplinary approaches to literary analysis
- Experimental writing (other than poetry – see specific area lists)
- Genre criticism
- Historical or cultural criticism
- Regional literatures
- Popular forms of literary expression beyond our noted areas
Mystery / Detective Fiction
Lexey Bartlett, PhD, Fort Hays State University, English, email@example.com
As popular genres, mystery and detective fiction reflect a wide range of changes in society in contemporary works, but they also have a venerable classic tradition. Submissions are welcomed that address mystery and detective fiction from both ends of this spectrum and every point in between.
- Research addressing or applying theoretical or structural topics in the genre
- Work focusing on any subgenre or aspect of mystery and detective fiction, from the hard-boiled to the cozy and from the latest trends to the classics
- Work applying other theoretical approaches to representations of detectives and other characters from a wide range of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities
- Papers addressing particular regional aspects of mystery or detective fiction
- Work on international writers in the genre
- Analyses of television or film adaptations of the genre
Myth and Fairy Tales
Sheila Dooley, PhD, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Writing and Language Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
All scholars working in the areas of myth and/or fairy tales are invited to submit paper or panel proposals for the upcoming SWPACA Conference. Panels are now forming on topics related to all aspects of myths and fairy tales and their connections to popular culture. To participate in this area, you do not need to present on both myths and fairy tales; one or the other is perfectly fine. Presentations considering both genres are of course welcome and can stimulate interesting discussions. Proposals for forming your own Myth or Fairy Tale-focused panel – especially panels focused on one particular myth/tale – are encouraged.
Paper topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Where Fairy Tales and Myth Overlap
- Non-Western Myths and Fairy Tales
- Revised Fairy Tales
- Fairy Tales in/as “Children’s Literature”
- Urban Fairy Tales
- Ethnic Myths and Fairy Tales
- Gendered Readings of Myths and Fairy Tales
- Postcolonial Myths and Fairy Tales
- Myths and Fairy Tales in Advertising Culture
- Reading Myths and Fairy Tales in the Popular Culture of Past Centuries
- Performing Myths and Fairy Tales: Drama and/or Ritual
- Genres of Myths and/or Fairy Tales: Film, Television, Poetry, Novels, Music, Comic Books, Picture Books, Short Stories, or Graphic Novels
Poetry and Poetics (Critical)
Scarlett Higgins, PhD, University of New Mexico, English, email@example.com
We are now forming panels for presentations of American poetry and poetics criticism at our 2018 conference. There are no limits in regard to historical period, topic, or theme, and we welcome panel proposals, especially those that include panelists from multiple institutions.
Poet-critics who may wish to participate in the readings panels should contact Jerry Bradley, Area Chair of Creative Writing [Poetry, Fiction], via the SWPACA website.
Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Robert Galin, University of New Mexico – Gallup, English and Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite proposals for individual or panel presentations that relate to the teaching, practice, and/or analysis of how rhetoric and technical communications/technical writing influence or are influenced by culture.
We look forward to a variety of ideas and emphases, though papers of similar orientations will be grouped together in sessions whenever possible. Papers may focus on ways in which popular and American culture inform the pedagogical, theoretical, and practical work of rhetoric and technical communication.
Sample emphases (these are not limitations, just ideas): Rhetoric and Civic Humanism, Poetics and Rhetoric in Everyday Life, Technical Writing for Non-Techies, Rhetorical Analysis in Political Campaigns, Rhetorical Analyses across Cultures and Disciplines, Technical Writing and Real Life.