Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA

Call for Papers:

Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA 2017, Boston, MA, 25 – 28 May 2017

The Lydia Maria Child Society welcomes proposals for a roundtable and for an open-topic panel to be held at the annual American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA, between 25 and 28 May 2017 at The Westin Copley Place (URL:

The Lydia Maria Child Society seeks participants for a roundtable on pedagogy, social justice, and nineteenth-century American literature.  Considering contemporary social justice concerns ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy to the persistent gender inequities made all too apparent in the 2016 presidential election, the Child Society feels strongly that many of the issues for which Child fought so passionately remain deeply relevant today.  To honor her lifelong commitment to both education and writing as ways to attain social change, we will ask that our selected panelists prepare brief presentations on how they address the above issues and/or others within the literature classroom, before engaging in what we hope will be a fruitful and wide-ranging open discussion on social justice pedagogies and nineteenth-century American literature.  What nineteenth-century texts and social issues have proved particularly pertinent to your students’ lived experiences of activism, marginalization, etc.? How do you productively draw parallels between the concerns of the nineteenth century and those we are facing today? What specific lesson plans, textual pairings/groupings, and/or other pedagogical approaches might you recommend to colleagues striving to make their syllabi and classrooms more socially conscious and engaged?

Please send 200-word abstracts of your proposed presentation, as Word documents, to by January 10, 2017.  Note that while we of course welcome proposals that engage with Child’s work, Child need not be included for your proposal to be considered.

The Lydia Maria Child Society values sharing ideas about Lydia Maria Child and her work, particularly the work that has spoken the most to you as a reader, a writer, a student, an instructor, a parent, and/or an individual.  We therefore welcome proposals for our open-topic panel that engage with any aspect of Child’s work.  What aspects of Child’s life and writing have motivated you to self-reflect?  To explore specific genres of reading and/or writing?  To change the way(s) you perceive social responsibility?  To engage actively in social reform at home, at work, in the classroom, or in the community?  To create and/or overhaul a course?  To share in other personal and/or professional contexts the specific elements or traits that make you passionate about Child’s work?  Please share your ideas with us!

Please send 250-word abstracts and a brief CV, as Word documents, to by January 10, 2017.