SSSL Conference: The South in the North

Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference Boston, March 10‐12, 2016 The South in the North

full name / name of organization:
Society for the Study of Southern Literature
contact email:

SSSL’s meeting in Boston will be the first the organization has held in a location north of the Mason‐Dixon line. Ironically, in many ways this has never mattered less, as Southern literary studies’ formative focus on regional difference and distinctiveness has been retrained to take in a broader view of the South’s reciprocal material and imaginary relations with the US North, other regions, the nation, and transnational permutations of North/South dynamics. As scholars of a regional literature, we have been invigorated by innovative scholarship on the way the imagining of region figures in the imagining of nation, on the construction and consequences of Southern exceptionalism, on the continued expansion of analytical concepts of Southernness (and Northernness) in hemispheric, transatlantic, and global contexts. Now well‐established, the shift from east‐west to north‐south axes in cultural as well as economic, political, and other fields, invites continued exploration of its local, regional, national, hemispheric, and global manifestations.

Some broad issues with literary consequences the conference hopes to explore under the rubric of “The South in the North” include:
*regional fantasies and the national imaginary: the South as projection, the North as disavowal of region?
* climate change and Northern “tropicalization”
* alternatives to north/south dyads in conceptualizing region, area, hemisphere
* effect of native studies on north/south monoliths
* continental, Caribbean, hemispheric, transatlantic and global Norths and Souths
* circuits of production, consumption; foodways
* geography and periodization of the US civil rights movement
* Southern expatriation
* southern and post-southern imaginaries
Please see the full description of the conference topic and detailed cfp on our website:

We welcome proposals for individual papers and full panels. Pre‐arranged panels are also welcomed. We invite calls for papers for panels, and will post them on the SSSL Facebook and webpage. Feel free to contact us as early as you’d like about preliminary ideas and suggestions. Please direct all correspondence to John Matthews at

Deadline for proposals is November 15, 2015.