Call for Papers

Call for Papers, NASSR 2017 (General)

We invite submissions for NASSR 2017 in Ottawa. The theme of the conference is Romantic Life, understood in the broadest terms possible to include:

  • biography; autobiography; lives; anecdote; history; secret history; life-writing
  • Bildung; development; progress
  • portraiture; still life; visual art; visual culture; the sister arts
  • theatre and cultures of performance
  • the good life; the happy life; vita activa; political life
  • end of life; elegy; palliation; mourning; momento mori
  • the afterlife; afterlives; romantic cultures of posterity
  • institutional life; under-lives; secret societies; clubs; shadow-lives; undergrounds; exiles
  • slavery; traffic in human lives; forced migration; diaspora; indigeneity
  • mimesis; representation; media; mediation; virtual reality; second lives; avatars
  • book history; authorship; print culture; manuscript culture; book-life; book liveliness
  • measures of life: chronologies; scales; charts; census; population; statistics
  • the sciences of life; the human sciences
  • natures; environment; ecology
  • natural history; natural philosophy
  • “it” narratives; thing theory; object-oriented ontology; the new materialisms
  • disaster; catastrophe; ecological crisis; ecocriticism
  • organicism; vitalism; materialism
  • theories of emergence
  • Lamarckian evolution; devolution; hybrids; mutation
  • preformationism and epigenesis
  • biopolitics and biopolitical life
  • human and non-human life; the humanities; animal studies; planetary life; the anthropocene

Proposals for papers on these and related topics are particularly welcome, but we also look forward to considering proposals that represent the best work on any aspect of Romantic-era literature and culture.

Conference organizers are open to various forms of proposal:

  • Traditional proposals for 15-20-minute papers (300-word abstracts) submitted by individual NASSR members to the conference organizers.
  • Proposals for complete panels/special sessions/caucus sessions (with the roster of committed speakers and affiliations) for three 20-minute or four 15-minute papers (300-word abstracts for each paper accompanied by a cover letter describing the aims of the panel as a whole). All papers are subject to vetting by the organizing committee.

If you are interested in proposing a panel but are looking for participants, we encourage you to advertise your topic by sending an email to the NASSR listserv, copying the conference email in your message, so that we can keep a list of sessions looking for panelists. If you do not have access to NASSR-L but would like your call posted on it for you, please email the complete call – with the title and a brief description of the panel topic, plus your name, affiliation, and email address – to the conference organizers at We will forward it for you and also mount it on our conference website. NASSR members interested in participating will contact you directly.

  • Proposals for roundtables: please provide a description of the roundtable topic, including a title, with a list of committed panelists (with affiliations). Maximum number of roundtable members, including the chair: 6.

Deadline for all submissions (paper proposals, complete panels/special sessions/caucus sessions, and roundtables): January 17, 2017.

Please send all submissions, a one-page CV, and direct questions to the NASSR 2017 conference organizers, Julie Murray (Carleton University) and Lauren Gillingham (University of Ottawa) at All submissions must include your name, academic affiliation, and preferred email address.

NASSR Advisory Board Statement on Audio-Visual Presentations:
NASSR recognizes the value of audio-visual presentations to the work of its conferees, especially those engaged in multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and digitally oriented projects.  Such presentations, however, occasion significant logistical and financial challenges for conference organizers.  The NASSR Board therefore asks conferees to request audio-visual setups only when they are needed to communicate a substantive component of a project (e.g. displaying quotations would not meet this standard).  Conferees can expect organizers to (1) appoint a designated contact person to whom all AV requests should be made (as opposed, for example, to session chairs), and (2) present clear deadlines before which AV requests must be made and after which AV should not be expected.  Each presenter should be clear with conference organizers in advance of those deadlines about any particular technological requirements (e.g. laptop adapters, etc.) they may have.