Calls for Papers


23rd annual meeting in Cincinnati, OH, Nov 21-24. Conference theme: Underground Histories. Looking for both creative and scholarly presentations. Go here for full details. Abstracts due October 15, 2018

CFP: “Winesburg, Ohio: The First 100 Years”

is an informal roundtable discussion about the classic book’s first hundred years in print, for the 2019 SSML Symposium. Please send brief proposals to Robert Dunne, Central Connecticut State University, by Jan. 25, 2019.

CFP: “The Future of Winesburg, Ohio”

is a panel for the 2019 SSML Symposium that will showcase postmodern or other contemporary academic approaches to Sherwood Anderson’s classic, as we head into the book’s second hundredth year. Send brief proposals to Robert Dunne, Central Connecticut State University, by Jan. 25, 2019.

CFP: On Bonnie Jo Campbell

We invite paper proposals for a special panel sequence on Bonnie Jo Campbell, who will receive the 2019 Mark Twain Award for Outstanding Contributions to Midwestern Literature. These papers will be presented at the 49th annual SSML Symposium in East Lansing, MI, on May 16–18, 2019.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, a native of Kalamazoo, MI, is the acclaimed author of three short-story collections—Women & Other Animals (1999), American Salvage (2008), and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (2015)—and two novels—Q Road (2002) and Once Upon a River (2011). She was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics’ Circle Award in 2009 for American Salvage, and she has been called a master of rural American fiction and Midwest noir. The panel organizers are seeking proposals on any aspect of Campbell’s fiction, especially as her work pertains to our understanding of the American Midwest as a region, place, space, or idea. Proposals may also focus on Campbell’s attention to gender, class, and rurality, among other ideas. The panel organizers plan to edit a special issue of SSML’s peer-reviewed journal Midwestern Miscellany on Campbell and her work.

Please submit a 250-word proposal, along with a brief CV, to both Dr. Andy Oler and Dr. Ross K. Tangedal by January 1, 2019 for full consideration. Note: Submit your proposal directly to the panel organizers, rather than to the SSML conference portal. The organizers will then select panelists and submit the panel on behalf of all participants.

CFP: The Little Blue Books at 100: Haldeman-Julius’s Revolutionary Publishing Venture

Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, March 29-30, 2019.

In March 1919, socialist publisher Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, of Girard, Kansas, began publishing what would become the Little Blue Books. Girard had been a major location of Socialist and Free Thought publishing since the 1890s, and the home of the Appeal to Reason, the nation’s largest Socialist newspaper. Haldeman-Julius took over the Appeal in 1919 and shortly thereafter began publishing the small, inexpensive pocket-sized booklets on a variety of subjects and titles. During the course of his 30-year career, Haldeman-Julius printed and sold an estimated 500,000,000+ Little Blue Books, with over 2,000 different titles. His death in 1951 ended the publishing dynasty he built in the small southeast Kansas town.

Haldeman-Julius, with help from his wife Marcet, revolutionized mass-market publishing, particularly in paperback books, making his products affordable to all. He also pushed the boundaries of publishing norms by being one of the earliest publishers to publish sexual education information. He popularized the self-help/improvement book, was among the earliest to decry racial segregation, and was the first to publish African-American literature anthologies. He also first printed the philosophical works of Will Durant in the series.

In observance of the 100th anniversary of the Little Blue Books, Pittsburg State University will hold a two-day symposium. We invite proposals for individual papers (including undergraduate and graduate papers) that explore the phenomenon of The Little Blue Books and Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. Special session topics to which you may propose an individual contribution include, but are not limited to,

  • Emanuel Haldeman-Julius
  • Marcet Haldeman-Julius
  • Haldeman-Julius’s Publishing and Marketing Measures
  • The Socialist Press of Girard, Kansas
  • Little Blue Books as Textbooks
  • The Writers of the Little Blue Books
  • Series found within the Little Blue Books
  • The Legacy of the Little Blue Books
  • Publishing Aspects of the Little Blue Books
  • Little Blue Books as Literature
  • Little Blue Books: Socialist Literature or Open-Minded/Free-Thinking Literature?

Send proposals of no more than 250 words for individual papers (between 25-30 minutes in presentation length) and panel sessions, plus a one-page CV as Word or PDF attachment, to Find more information at Direct questions to Deadline: September 21, 2018.

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