Emerson Society

2022 CFPs

ALA call for Proposals


The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society will sponsor two panels at the 33rd Annual Conference of the American Literature Association, to be held May 26–29, 2022, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.


“Emersonian Economies”


The Society welcomes proposals concerning Emerson’s thinking and writing on economic topics, such as work and labor, finance, industrialization, slavery, the “market revolution,” women and the market, to name just a few. Proposals might also want to explore Emerson’s take on antebellum economic and social reform (Fourierism, Brook Farm, Chartism, etc.), and his attitude towards the nineteenth-century literary marketplace. Also welcome are discussions of later appropriations of Emerson as a (neo-)liberal or anti-capitalist figurehead.


“Emerson and His Media(ted) Afterlives”

The Society seeks papers that explore new perspectives on Emerson as a published writer and a public lecturer; on Emerson and the newspaper; on the global print history of Emerson’s writings from the nineteenth century to the present (including scholarly editions as well as formats directed at a mass readership); on Emerson’s digital afterlives on Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere; on Emersonian tourism and memorialization; as well as on Emersonian relics in the archives and beyond. Proposal abstracts should indicate the research methods used (e.g., archival research, interviews, fieldwork, digital humanities methods, Python programming, etc.).

More details about the ALA may be found here:

ALA Annual Conference

Send 300-word abstracts by January 15, 2022 to Joseph Urbas ([email protected]) and Tim Sommer ([email protected]).

Membership in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society is required of presenters.


Thoreau Annual Gathering

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society will sponsor a panel at the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering in Concord, Mass. (July 6–10, 2022).

Following the conference theme of “The Global Thoreau,” the Emerson Society invites papers that encourage global readings of Emerson or Emerson and the international scene. The panel seeks papers that address Emerson’s interest in non-anglophone literature and culture as well as Emerson’s own travels and lectures outside of the United States. Additionally, papers could look at Emerson’s global influence as a transnational figure in fields as diverse as poetry, politics, and philosophy. Also welcome are proposals that reflect on the globe in the geophysical, cosmological, or theological sense: “the good globe is faithful” (“New England Reformers”).

More details about the Thoreau Annual Gathering can be found here: https://www.thoreausociety.org/event/annual-gathering-2021

Send 300-word abstracts by January 15, 2022 to Joseph Urbas ([email protected]) and Tim Sommer ([email protected]).

Membership in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society is required of presenters.


Graduate Student Paper Award

The award provides $750 of travel support to present a paper on an Emerson Society panel at the American Literature Association Annual Conference (May 2022) or the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering (July 2022). Submit a carefully crafted 1- or 2-page single-spaced conference paper proposal by February 15, 2022. Proposals should address the 2022 CFPs posted at emersonsociety.org.