The Southern Studies Forum Conference

Marianne Kongerslev's picture
Call for Papers
April 3, 2019 to April 5, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Race Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, American History / Studies

Call for Papers

The Southern Studies Forum Conference

Theme: Southern Disruptions

Venue: Center for American Studies,

Department for the Study of Culture

University of Southern Denmark, Odense


April 3-5, 2019

Far from being what Josephine Humphries calls a “disappearing subject” (1988), the US South is a place of change and renewal, a region that often signifies multiply and ambiguously. Variously the scapegoat for the nation’s worst features and a romanticized agrarian place, the South has seen, orchestrated, or suffered a series of disruptions that relate to almost all aspects of southern experiences: early Jamestown settlers viewed the South as a “death trap” due to its deadly climate; slavery—the South’s defining feature—is the ultimate disruption of human rights; the Civil War is the defining disruption of the nation; the Southern Renaissance was a literary disruption as is the Southern Gothic; the Civil Rights movement served as a social and cultural disruption; and finally, there is a long history of constructing the South as different, aberrant, Other.

These renewals and disruptions are mirrored in research about the region, and in recent years, new perspectives and aspects of the South have gained more traction. With new approaches such as gender studies, ecocriticism, ethnic studies, and transnational approaches, to name a few, we are interested in exploring the ways in which the South disrupts and is disrupted by larger national, inter- and transnational concerns, as well as by art, social movements, and technology.

Some of the questions we are interested in discussing at the 2019 SSF conference are: How do southern texts and artifacts represent, react to, or challenge contemporary forms of disruptions to southern life? Which ecological and natural challenges are southern states faced with in the present? How do POC disrupt dominant (historical) narratives in and of the South? Which absences and silences are made present and disruptive? Which contemporary political disruptions characterize the US South and how do they disrupt historical political developments?

We invite submissions that respond to these and many other questions relating to Southern Disruptions. We also plan an art exhibit with works by scholars, professionals, amateurs, participants, and others, so contributions to this conference aspect are welcome as well. Both abstracts and art works might address, but are not limited to, the topics below: 

  • Racial disruptions
  • Disruptive texts
  • Geographical/natural upheavals
  • War and disruption
  • Radical movements
  • Gendered disruptions
  • Campus violence
  • Disrupting literary canons
  • Historical revisions
  • Art and disruption
  • Political disruptions
  • Affect, emotional disruptions, mental disruptions
  • Unexpected presences and absences
  • Comedic disruptions and southern humor
  • Music and disruptions
  • Disrupted spaces and places
  • Stereotypes and disruptions
  • Disruptive sexualities
  • Regionalism disrupted
  • Class disruptions
  • The Native/Indigenous South


Please send abstracts (max. 300 words) to the organizers Clara Juncker, Thomas Ærvold Bjerre, and Marianne Kongerslev at no later than November 1, 2018.


Organizing committee:

Clara Juncker (University of Southern Denmark)

Thomas Ærvold Bjerre (University of Southern Denmark)

Marianne Kongerslev (Aalborg University)

Contact Info: 

Organizers: Clara Juncker, Thomas Ærvold Bjerre, and Marianne Kongerslev 

Contact Email: