College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance

Call for Papers


Naturally Emerson: Creative Reading, Self-Reliance and Cultural Agency

I was simmering, simmering, simmering; Emerson brought me to a boil. --Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES), April 16-18, 2015

What role is left for the artist, the scholar, the self-reliant individual?

ULICES Research Group 3 on American Studies, "Interfacing Cultures and Identities," wishes to reassess and update critically the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), seeking out new ways of responding to his call. His critique of convention, whether literary, religious or social, are an enduring legacy for the engaged citizen and the troubled artist and/or scholar alike, providing ample ground for reflection and discussion in this day and age. Emerson, "voice oracular," father of American letters, may help us question and act upon today’s conundrums of moral relativism, ecological incertitude, inordinate individualism and societal indifference, as we search for readings and inscriptions of our human nature in its (un)sustainable interaction with the environment.

We invite up to 300-word abstracts for our conference panels and roundtables on the following (but not restricted to) topics:

  • Autobiography and Agency
  • Transcendentalism, Idealism and Experience
  • Poetry and the Arts
  • Creative Readings, Creative Writing and Language
  • Environmentalism, Ecocriticism and Sustainability
  • Activism and the Body Politic
  • American Renaissance: a Work-in-Progress?
  • Landscape and soundscape

When sending and abstract or poster proposal, please provide:

  • full title of paper, or panel
  • full name of author(s);
  • institutional affilitation;
  • individual e-mail address;
  • brief bio (max. 5 lines);
  • audiovisual requirements.

Submission Deadline: January 31st, 2015 (confirmation of acceptance February 20th, 2015)

Working languages: English and Portuguese

Conference fee: 80 euros (early bird, up to March 9th, 2015 / late enrollments 100 euros)

Reduced rate for students: 40 euros

Abstracts for paper presentations or panel proposals, as well as other queries, should be submitted to

Department of English, PO Box 645020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5020, 509-335-2581. Contact ESQ