15/06/2020 – call for papers Society of Early Americanists 2021

cfp SEA 2021

What, when & where

Call for papers for the SEA conference “The Many Pasts, Presents, & Futures of Early America”.

A time of uncertainty calls for our leadership, critical insights, and mindful collaboration in studying, discussing, and articulating what the early American past reveals about the challenges of the present and future. Thus, I invite you to participate in our March 3-7, 2021 Society of Early Americanists’ Biennial Conference in Atlanta, GA, and to propose a complete panel (by June 15, 2020) or individual paper (between August 1 and September 15, 2020). You may find further information and the submissions portal here.

Deadline & how to apply


The 2021 SEA Biennial Program Committee has extended the deadline for submitting complete panel proposals to June 15, 2020.

The SEA seeks submissions of complete panels for its twelfth biennial conference, which will take place March 3-7, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Emory Conference Center & Hotel and Emory University campus (panels/keynotes March 4-6; community service, workshops, and field trips March 3 and 7). For the first round of submissions, we invite proposals for complete panels, roundtables, and experimental/innovative formats. To submit your panel proposal, please follow the link below. (Updated: Individual paper proposals will be invited between August 1 and September 15, 2020.)

Other info, Links & conditions

Many of you are probably wondering about the logistics and feasibility of planning a conference for spring 2021, about your travel planning and funding, and the value and future shape of conferences. The evolving public health and policy situation notwithstanding, I would like to underscore the following:

1) To plan the conference and adequately gauge interest and participation, we rely on receiving your submissions and proposals. The process of formulating panel/paper ideas, reaching out to colleagues and building small networks, and pitching a proposal for the conference in itself drives forward the various conversations occurring in our field. So, let’s take this important step toward building our conference, while keeping in mind that individual and collective circumstances may change. Above all, I think the current moment will and should foster collegiality, kindness, and flexibility.

2) While submissions of panels and papers are coming in during the summer and early fall, the SEA’s Executive, Advisory, and Conference Program Committees will monitor the situation, invite and collect your feedback/questions/concerns, and study the variety of meeting options and approaches available. We all treasure and are committed to the social and intellectual energy that an in-person conference generates, but we will also consider options such as virtual and hybrid virtual conferencing, all in concert with our conference venue and in consideration of local, national, and international policies. We will provide an updated assessment of our plans soon after September 15th and before conference registration opens.

3) The challenges of the current situation may offer opportunities for innovation that can make our conference and scholarly society better. In particular, we will work hard to improve accessibility–especially for students, contingent faculty, junior scholars, minority attendees, international participants, and anyone impacted by the public health situation and their personal circumstances. We will try to bolster our travel and membership grants and will issue calls for applications soon after our proposal submission period ends, while also securing alternative ways to participate in our conference. As a scholarly community, let’s ensure that our efforts continue to be fruitful and that as many of us as possible can come together!

4) Finally, the Conference Program Committee has been working hard in planning and putting together an intellectually enriching and stimulating framework for the conference. Several committee members are coordinating dedicated panel streams in subjects including Native and Indigenous Studies, LatinX Studies, and African American Studies. We will be offering several keynote addresses, a plenary panel, and a plenary creative reading, all by leading scholars and authors in our field. Moreover, we are planning—in collaboration with partners at Atlanta University Center’s HBCUs and Emory University—the SEA’s first ever Common Reading Initiative. All details will be forthcoming early next week, so please stay tuned!


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