Southern Humanities Conference, San Antonio, TX, January 26-29, 2023

Brett Bebber's picture
January 26, 2023 to January 29, 2023
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Humanities, Literature, World History / Studies

The Southern Humanities Conference, 2023

Call for Papers

Conference Theme: Myths and Mythmaking

San Antonio, Texas, January 26-29, 2023


The Southern Humanities Conference offers an opportunity for scholars, artists, writers, musicians,

performers, and humanists of all kinds to share their knowledge, research, work, and experiences in an

interdisciplinary, welcoming, and engaging intellectual space.


The modern world is redolent with myths, mythologies, and mythmakers in various guises. Myths are

often defined in contrast to truths or realities, giving them a nature that begs for breaking down or seeing

through the myth to what’s beyond. In his groundbreaking exploration of modern myths, Roland

Barthes wrote that “The starting point of my reflections was usually a feeling of impatience at the sight of

the “naturalness” with which newspapers, art and common sense constantly dress up a reality which,

even though it is the one we live in, is undoubtedly determined by history…Right from the start, the

notion of myth seemed to me to explain these examples of the falsely obvious.” As scholars, thinkers,

and writers, we also make myths in our storytelling, our artistry, and our argumentation. We take

immense satisfaction from exploring and interpreting the myths presented to us, including those

fashioned by ourselves. But we recognize that myths can also be unifying, and mythmakers participants

in the process of building community and weaving social and cultural bonds. American writer Terry

Tempest Williams said, “Mythmaking is the evolutionary enterprise of translating truths.” The interplay

of truth and myth, of myth and mythmaking, of mythologies and histories, gives us a field of exposition

in the humanities that is rich in its offerings.


The Southern Humanities Conference invites proposals for papers on any aspect of the theme “Myths

and Making,” broadly conceived. Our conference themes are meant to be inspiring and prompt

reflection, not limiting. The topic is interdisciplinary and invites proposals from all areas of study, as well

as creative pieces including but not limited to performance, music, art, and literature. Customary paper

and full panel proposals are invited, as are ones for creative presentation formats like roundtables,

workshops, and demonstrations. Moreover, the Southern Humanities Conference welcomes proposals

from teachers and professionals outside the academy, as well as from scholars in the early stages of their

academic careers. Please note that the name of our organization simply reflects its having been founded

in the U.S. South; no presenter is expected to present anything “southern,” though southern topics are

also welcomed. Conference attendees come from all over the United States, Canada, as well as overseas.



Please submit proposals of 300-500 words through our website at

(preferred), or by email sent to Brett Bebber at Proposals are due by

December 15, 2022, but are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

We are currently planning to meet for an in-person conference in San Antonio. However, SHC’s

Executive Board is monitoring the pandemic and will always promote the safety and well-being of its

members. Therefore, we will keep open the possibility of converting the conference to a digital format if

circumstances demand the change.


Conference registration fees for the 2023 Conference will be $125 for students and $195 for academic

faculty and other professionals.



Two awards of up to $300 are available to help mitigate the costs of travel to the conference. The

Kathryn M. Reynolds award is for first- or second-time presenters, and Bennie D. Ussery award is for the

best proposed paper from a graduate student. If you would like to be considered for one of these awards,

please indicate which award in your proposal. Those interested in being considered for either award

should submit their proposals by October 31, 2022.



Topics are not limited to but may address any of the following areas, and may integrate the theme in

trans-disciplinary or interdisciplinary ways. That is, the paper or creative presentation may address the

theme from particular perspectives OR may address the integration of two or more dimensions of the



Possible topics may include but are not limited to any aspect or combination of “Myths and

Mythmaking” and . . .

• Myths, Common Sense, and Truths

• Mythmaking in Art, Literature, and/or Community

• Mythology and History

• Literature and Literary Analysis

• Poetry and Creative Writing

• Art and Art History

• Sociology and Anthropology

• History and the Historical

• Memory and Forgetting

• Gender

• Race/Ethnicity

• Social Class

• Sex and Sexuality

• Religion and Spirituality

• Geography and Geographies

• Philosophy and Social Ethics

• Psychology, Community, and the Sense of Self

• New Media and Digital Humanities

• The Visible/Invisible

• Dis/Ability

• Theatre/Drama (theory and live performance)

• Dance (theory and live performance)

• Music (theory and live performance)

• Education and the Educative

• Cinema and Culture

• Cultural Difference

• Humanities and the Human

Contact Info: 

Brett Bebber

Associate Professor of History

Old Dominion University 

Executive Director, Southern Humanities Conference OR