Call for Papers: Edited Volume on Sanora Babb, 1907-2005 Kansas/Oklahoma/Colorado/California Writer

Christine Smith's picture
Call for Papers
April 15, 2019
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, Labor History / Studies, Rural History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


We are currently inviting contributions for an edited volume critically assessing the writings and life of Sanora Babb (1907-2005). The University of Kansas Press has expressed an interest in a volume of essays on Babb.

The volume will explore Babb’s writing from many angles. It will assess aspects of Babb’s long life, from her western pioneer days as a child to her roles as poet, journalist, activist, adventurer, lover, Hollywood wife, feminist, novelist, left-wing activist, Dust Bowl chronicler, environmentalist, and mystic. Submissions from any and all disciplines are welcome, as are comparative and/or intertextual readings of Babb with other journalists and writers of her locales and interests.

Essays will be accepted on any of Babb’s writings, from the three novels and 50 short stories to her progressive journalism and many letters. Babb’s openhearted, colorblind, and inclusive attitude and work during the Depression, Dust Bowl aftermath, and McCarthy era are relevant today. She’s a progressive model for us in our parallel era of desperate refugees, capitalist greed, and environmental crisis.

For years, my research was mostly on Mary Hallock Foote (1848-1939), resulting in Social Class in the Writings of Mary Hallock Foote (U of Nevada P, 1999). But I’ve now turned my focus to Sanora Babb. I've been researching her archive at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, and am writing a chapter on Babb’s communist years. I’ll be returning to Austin in June, 2019 to continue my research. (In the meantime, I'm on sabbatical this winter, teaching English overseas at a Sri Lankan non-profit. This is why I'm using my personal and not college email address for contact.)

Important dates:

April 15, 2019: Proposal deadline. Please send 300 word proposals in a pdf or Word file to

August 15, 2019: Notice of acceptance of essay.

January 15, 2020: Manuscript deadline. Completed chapters should be between 7,000 and 8,000 words, including references. 

Contact Info: 

Dr. Christine Hill Smith

Professor, Communications and Humanities

Colorado Mountain College

Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601

Cell: 708 269-7147

Cell in Sri Lanka through April 4, 2019: 94 071 335-8186 (on sabbatical)

Contact Email: