Call for Papers

for Papers


Literature Association

23rd Annual Conference


May 24-27, 2012


San Francisco


Embarcadero Center

San Francisco,



Conference Director:      Alfred


A & MUniversity


Conference Fee:  For those who pre-register before April 15,
2012:  $90 

($60 for
Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty).

 After April 15, the fees are $100 and $75.



for Proposals:       January 30, 2012



<< scroll down for more


ALA website contains further details and instructions for submitting proposals as
well as important information for representatives of
participating author societies. 
Proposals from individuals and program information from author societies
should be sent to Professor Alfred Bendixen via email


January 30, 2012 following the instructions on the website:

Our San Francisco Location:
In 2012, the American Literature Association will return to the Hyatt Regency
in San Francisco in the
one of the best locations in this exciting city. For further information,
consult the hotelÂ’s website (



Conference Housing Information
: The Hyatt
Regency San Francisco will offer a conference rate of $165 for a single or
double room (triples are $190).  For
reservations, please use the on line
link at or call
1-800-233-1234 before April 15, 2012 and
sure to request the American Literature conference rate.


For the 2012 conference, the

will again rely on electronic submission of program information and conference
proposals.  As usual, the societies that
make up the American Literature Association will organize much of the program.
Individual societies will issue their own calls for papers, which may be listed
on the

website as well as on the societies’ own website and publications.  Guidelines for author societies are detailed
towards the end of this notice.


may also propose papers or panels to the conference director by January 30, 2012.  Preference will be given to papers and panels
that represent authors, genres, or topics that are not covered by the societies
that make up the ALA.  Proposals must
follow the guidelines described at the end of this notice.


Conference Schedule


            Thursday, May 24 2012:             Sessions from 8:30 AM until 6:50 PM.

Exhibit set up for exhibitors

Reception : 
6:50- 8:00 PM

              Friday, May 25, 2012:              Sessions from 8 AM
until 6:20 PM.

Exhibit:  9 AM –5 PM

             Saturday, May 26, 2012:           Sessions from 8 AM
until 7 PM.

Exhibit:  9 AM – 1 PM

Reading and
7 PM

             Sunday, May 27, 2012:                          Sessions from 8:30 AM until 1 PM



:   An
exhibit of scholarly books will be held during the second two days of the
conference. Thursday will be used to permit exhibitors to set up.  About twenty publishers are expected to take
part. To have your books represented at the exhibit, ask your publisher to
consider taking part in the book exhibit or to contact ScholarÂ’s Choice (see
information below), which will organizing exhibits for publishers.  Publishers should direct any questions to
Alfred Bendixen at
-- We welcome the participation of publishers and are one of the few scholarly
organizations that do NOT charge an exhibit fee.


Scholar’s Choice:  The Scholar’s Choice will again have a combined
book exhibit at the 2010
ALA meeting.  The procedure that should be followed has been sent to us by The
ScholarÂ’s Choice:


interested in having their book displayed at the 2012
conference should contact their
publisher & let them know they'd like to see their book included in The
Scholar's Choice exhibit.  Please keep in mind that the publishers pay a
fee to display with The ScholarÂ’s Choice and may not
have the marketing budget necessary to honor all requests, particularly for
older titles. It is The ScholarÂ’s Choice policy to have one copy of the book on
display. They accept orders for the books which are fulfilled by the publisher.
Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis so reserving
early is recommended. Please note that The Scholar's Choice displays on behalf
of the publishers and ALL requests must be made by the publisher, not the
author. If they don't already have the necessary paperwork,  your press may
email Debby Pitts at


conference fee

covers the costs of the conference including the opening and closing
receptions.  It does not include any
meals. All of those who are on the program are required to pre-register.
For those who register before April 15, 2012, the pre-registration rate is $90
($60 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty).  After April 15, the conference fee becomes $100
($75 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty).
Registration Information for the conference will be available on the website in
January. The website will list the program as soon as it is available –a draft
will probably appear during the second week of  March. 
Copies of the printed program will be mailed in late April to those who


Membership in the

is not required in order to propose or present a paper.  In fact, technically the members of the
American Literature Association are the various author societies.  Individuals may keep informed about the
activities of the ALA by checking our website
(, which is the primary source for information about


activities.  Individuals can also be
placed on a mailing list by sending a check for $10 made out to the American
Literature Association to: Alfred Bendixen, English Department, Texas A&M
University, College Station, TX 77843-4227. 
Those on the mailing list will receive copies of the annual call for
papers and tconference announcement.


The easiest
way to find out about the conference and all
activities is by consulting our website:


ALA Guidelines: The most common
format is a time
slot of one hour and twenty minutes with three papers and a chair.  This permits some time for discussion and
three papers of approximately 20 minutes (or ten typed double-spaced pages).
Organizers of panels are free to use other formats provided they respect the
time limits.  Please note that the normal
reading time for a paper is two minutes per double-spaced page (or 20 minutes
for a 10-page paper). Furthermore, the

encourages panel organizers to experiment with innovative formats including
discussion groups and panels featuring more speakers and briefer papers. Chairs
will make sure that the panels start and end on time and that no speaker goes
beyond the allotted time limit.  Chairs
may NOT present papers on the panels that they are moderating, and no one may
present more than one paper at the

conference. Individuals may, however, present a paper on one panel, and chair
other panels, and/or also present on roundtable discussions.


Procedures for Author
  The representatives of the various author
societies that make up the American Literature Association will organize most
of the program.  Societies are expected
to offer their own calls for papers using their websites, email list-serves,
newsletters, other publications, or mailing lists.  Each society is also expected to post a call
for papers or announce its plans on this
ALA website by sending the CFP to the conference director at as soon as possible and
No Later Than December 1, 2011.   Societies are expected to advertise the
national conference in their publications or on their websites.  This expectation can be met by including the
following notice in appropriate publications and websites:


American Literature Association’s 23rd annual conference will meet at the Hyatt
Regency San Francisco in  Embarcadero
Center on May 24- 27, 2012 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day
weekend).  The deadline for all proposals
is January 30, 2012. For further information, please consult the ALA website at or
contact the conference director, Professor Alfred Bendixen  of
TexasA & MUniversity at with specific


The official representatives of each author
societies should confirm tentative plans for sessions with the conference
director by email at
before Nov 1, 2011. This is essential if any society is requesting more than
two sessions and a business meeting. All that is required is an email noting
the number of desired sessions and any special requests. If your society, for
whatever reason, chooses not to sponsor a session this year, please let the conference
director know that.


By January 30, 2012, the conference director
should receive an email  with the complete program information. That
information should follow the following format for each panel:


1.         The subject line of the email should read
ALA 2010: Name of Society. This enables the conference director to file emails
efficiently. Then provide the rest of information as both an attachment
(preferably in WORD) and pasted in.  The
will use Ariel
Narrow (12 point font); please do so if you can.  If you cannot, do not worry about it.

Provide the program information so that it can be pasted into the final
program.  Please look at the following
sample and then at the specific instructions that follow:


The Sublime in the Poetry of Sample
Organized by the Ima Sample Society


Chair:  Joseph Goodscholar,

University of


1.         “Irony and Angst in the poetry
of Ima Sample,” Noah Problem,
College of
Notre Doubt

2.         “The

BeautifulGarden in The Jungle: Sample’s Influence on Sinclair,” Raphael Hythloday,
University of
East London

3.         “Sample’s
‘Mambo’ Poems and the Humor of Mark Twain: Beyond Beauty and Truth,” Uriah
Heap, Independent Scholar


Audio-Visual Equipment required: None


Requested slot: Thursday or Friday


Business Meeting Requested: 
immediately following panel if possible


note that the sample above has no formatting (no bold, no CAPS). Please note
that the presentations are listed with numbers and then five spaces and then
the information.  They are NOT INDENTED
as some word processing panels will do automatically unless you turn off
auto-format. Book titles are italicized. If the conference organizer can cut
and paste, then everything goes quickly. 


Provide the exact Title of the Session as you wish it listed in the Program.  (Please try to be both concise and precise). Please do NOT use CAPS or special fonts or
highlighting or Bold or any special formatting in any part of the material you

On the second line, please write Organized by Name of Your Society

Then list:  Chair: Name,

For each paper, begin with a number, skip five spaces or hit tab, then
provide the title of the presentation in quotation marks, and then the correct
name of the presenter, and his or her academic affiliation. For independent scholars,
you may identify a society, a place, or just note independent scholar or
biographer or anything you deem appropriate. 
For any questions about matters of format and style, please consult The
Chicago Manual of Style

You may list a respondent, if appropriate and desired.

Then write Audio-Visual Equipment Required and state NONE or request
the specific equipment desired.  The
ALA will normally
provide projectors for powerpoint
and dvd presentations and screens (but we will not provide laptop computers).  We will no longer provide overhead
projectors, slide projectors, vcrs,
or cd or cassette tape players (but you may, of
course, bring your own cd or tape player). Please
note that audio-visual equipment is very expensive and usually takes up over $12,000
of our budget. It costs much more to rent a piece of a/v equipment and a
competent Tech person for three days than it costs to buy it. Feel free to use
a/v if needed, but make sure that all audio-visual requests reach the
conference director by January 30, 2012.

Because of the complexity of the program, we cannot permit individual
societies to request specific time slots, but you may designate two preferred
days and request either morning or afternoon.  The conference director
will attempt to honor all reasonable requests provided the required program
information arrives by January 30, 2012, but no promises or guarantees can be

H.         Please
italicize book-length works and foreign phrases and use quotation marks

shorter works.

I.         Please
remind all of your participants that no-one may present more than one paper at

conference and that we need to know about a/v requests immediately.

J.           Proposals that fail to follow these
directions will be returned to the proposer. 


3.          Please note that the
ALA also accepts Round
Table Discussions.  The difference
between a panel and a round table is that a round table usually has a Moderator
who is participating in the discussion (instead of a Chair who simply introduces
speakers and monitors time) and more than 4 (four) participants.  Roundtable presentations may or may not have
titles listed but round table presentations normally are 8 (eight) minutes or
less in length.


4.         If
you wish to also schedule a business meeting for your society, please request
Business Meeting and provide any desired days and times.  It is important that you let the conference
know if you wish the business
meeting to come before or after a panel. 
Please note that we cannot guarantee to provide specific times, but we
will usually try to put the business meeting directly after one of your


5.         Please note that we no longer need you to provide the email
address or mailing address of your participants since ALL communication with
your panel will go through you.

Please include a phone number where you can be reached
in the event that the conference director is unable to email you.

The conference director will confirm the receipt of
all emails within 3 business days.  The
conference director may
refer you to the website but will never send you an attachment to open, because
of the danger of computer viruses.  By
the second week in March, the conference director will let you know the day on
which your panel or panels are scheduled. 
You should inform your participants of the day and instruct them to
register using the information on the website at and
explaining that their early registration and payment saves the organization
time and money. You will also inform them to check the on-line program for
accuracy and to send any corrections to both you and the conference

WeÂ’ll send a printed program
to everyone who pre-registers. 


6.         If
any conference proposal comes in after the deadline, the conference director
may be unable to place it on the program and will not be able to
consider requests for specific times.


Procedures for Individual
:  Individuals may propose either a paper or a
panel or round table to the conference director no earlier than December 1, 2011 and no later than the deadline of
January 30, 2012.  The conference
director will give preference to papers and panels on authors, texts, and
topics not covered by the member societies of the ALA.
  Those proposing a paper or panel on a topic
represented by an author society should consult with the relevant society
before submitting the proposal to the ALA. 
All proposals must be by email and should be both pasted in and included
as attachments (preferably in WORD).


For an Individual Paper:  In the subject line of the email, please put
ALA 2010 Proposal: and then a brief title of between one and five words.  That will enable the conference director to
file emails efficiently. Please provide a clear and useful title for your paper
and then an abstract describing the paper (usually between 250-600 words) and
then a brief discussion of your status (i.e., an Associate Professor who has
published a book and several articles on this topic/author; a graduate student
who is offering part of his/her dissertation, etc.) or a two-page vita if that
is easier.  It is important that your
abstract enable the conference director and his advisory committee to evaluate
the nature of your work.  You must
also indicate whether you need any audio-visual equipment to present your work.
Please provide a phone number (which will only be used if email fails to work
for some reason).


In choosing papers, the conference director
may need to emphasize the ways in which individual papers contribute to the
formation of logical and coherent panels,


For a panel:  Please follow the sample below so the
conference director can paste in the panels and round tables that are accepted.

In the subject line of the email,
please put ALA 2012 Proposal: and then a brief title of between one and five
words.  In your proposal, which you
should both paste into the email and provide as an
attachment (preferably in Word), begin with the information in the sample

After providing the panel
information in a form that can be pasted directly into the program, please provide
a clear description of the panel and its goals, the titles of individual
papers, appropriate abstracts for the papers, and a brief description of the participants
and their relevant work.  It is crucial
that you note any audio-visual needs in your proposal. Finally, please provide
your phone number (which will only be used if email fails to work for some


Please consult the following Sample.


Sublime in the American Gothic Tradition


and Chair: Joseph Goodscholar,
University of


1.         “Irony and Angst in the Gothic
Novels of the
EarlyRepublic,” Noah Problem,
College ofNotre Doubt

2.         “The
BeautifulGarden in HawthorneÂ’s
The Scarlet Letter,”  Raphael Hythloday,

University of
East London

3.         “Beyond the Castle: Gothic Transformations
in the Humor of American Realism,” Uriah Heap, Independent Scholar


Equipment required: None


if the organizer is not the chair of the session, then write


by: Name of Individual organizer

then Chair: Name


remember that individuals may NOT chair panels on which they present papers.


note that the sample above has no formatting (no bold, no CAPS). Please note
that the presentations are listed with numbers and then five spaces then the
information.  They are NOT INDENTED as
some word processing panels will do automatically unless you turn off
auto-format. Book titles are italicized. Commas are used to separate the title
and presenter and affiliation and there is no period at the end of each
listing.  If the conference organizer can
cut and paste, then everything goes quickly. 


In evaluating the quality of a proposal, the
ALAÂ’s selection
committee tends to be suspicious of any panel in which all the participants are
from the same institution or are all graduate students.  The

welcomes panels that represent a diversity of perspectives and demonstrates
relevant expertise. We believe that graduate students are best served when they
are on panels with senior scholars and assistant professors.


Some reminders:


The deadline for all proposals from
individuals and panels from author societies is January 30, 2012.


No-one may present more than one paper at an
conference.  It is possible to present a paper and chair
another panel or panels and also participate in a round-table discussion.


Please make sure to indicate any audio-visual
requests with your proposal.  Late a/v
requests may not be considered.


Please make sure to follow the instructions
above.  The use of electronic submissions
enables the

to maintain the lowest conference fee of any major organization.


Participating author societies are required
to advertise the national conference and are expected to post call for papers or
announce their plans on the



The conference director will attempt to
acknowledge the receipt of all emails within 3 business days and will try to
respond as quickly as possible to all proposals. 


Please note that the American Literature
Association maintains the lowest conference fees of any major scholarly
organization because it operates without a paid staff.  We cannot help you find a roommate or spend a
great deal of time answering personal phone calls.  If you have any questions that are not
answered by this announcement, please contact the conference director, Alfred
Bendixen, Executive Director of the