The Simms Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the William Gilmore Simms Society, invites submissions for an upcoming issue on the topic of “Simms’s Circle.” Most recognized for his prolific output as a writer and editor, Simms also corresponded and otherwise interacted with many of the most influential American belletrists and of his day, as well as his south Carolina family and political associates. Simms operated in this “circle” as, variously, a friend, peer, fellow pundit, reviewer, rival, mentor, or collaborator.
This special topic issue proposes to investigate Simms in these multiple contexts of the social, professional, and cultural interactions that informed his circle. Our purpose is less to focus narrowly on Simms than to examine how the author illuminates the broader patterns of interaction in antebellum America. In this way, we seek to continue the pioneering work of scholars such as John Caldwell Guilds, Jon Wakelyn, Miriam Shillingsburg, Michael O’Brien, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Papers that investigate any aspect of Simms and the networks shaping the world in which he lived and wrote are welcome.
Topics could include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:
· Simms and his interactions with the publishing industries of New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston
· Simms and his northern friends (Evert Duyckinck, James Lawson, etc.)
· Simms and the Young America movement
· Simms’s literary friendships (Poe, Bryant, Timrod, Cooper, etc.)
· Simms as a reviewer (Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Thoreau, etc.)
· Simms’s acquaintances in the political arena (Hammond, Perry, Ruffin, etc.)
· Simms as a family man
· Life at Woodlands plantation
· Simms as a literary mentor (Paul Hamilton Hayne, John Esten Cooke, etc.)
· Simms’s place in literary or cultural movements of his day
· The dedicatees of Simms’s many novels
· Biographical considerations of Simms’s fiction
· Simms as an inheritor or progenitor of literary tradition
· Modern notions of Simms’s Circle contrasted to earlier assumptions (most notably in volume 1 of his Letters)
· Simms as a periodical editor
Essays of 2,500-7,500 words should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 15, 2014 for full consideration. Please also feel free to contact the editor, Todd Hagstette, at any time if you would like to discuss a proposed topic or ask any questions about the journal or the special issue. For reference, complete issues of the past issues of The Simms Review are now available on the Simms Initiatives website at simms.library.sc.edu. Thank you.