Conference: Sowell Family Collection

Created through the generous support of former Texas Tech University Regent James Sowell, the Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World houses the personal papers of the United States’ most prominent writers on the natural world. Writing with a profound respect for the grandeur and fierceness of the land, these writers are deeply engaged with questions of land use and the nature of community; the conjunction of scientific and spiritual values; and the fragility of wilderness. In addition to published books, materials available for research purposes include correspondence; drafts of manuscripts; research notebooks; diaries and calendars; and photographs, computer files, and film. With this collection of natural history writers, The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University is rapidly becoming one of the finest repositories of natural history materials in the world.

Writers of the Sowell Collection include Rick Bass, Max F. Crawford, David James Duncan, Gretel Ehrlich, Edward Hoagland, Clyde Jones, William Kittredge, John Lane, Barry Lopez, Walter McDonald, Bill McKibben, Susan Brind Morrow, Gary Paul Nabhan, Howard Norman, Doug Peacock, David Quammen, Pattiann Rogers, Sandra Scofield, Annick Smith, and Ro Wauer.

To celebrate this extraordinary group, the Sowell Collection is hosting a conference in Lubbock, TX, from Thursday, April 26th to Saturday, April 28th, 2012. David Quammen, Barry Lopez, and Gary Paul Nabhan will be in attendance. We invite proposals for individual presentations and panels that engage with the work(s) of any of the writers whose work the collection holds. Submissions from the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences are welcome.

For individual submissions, please include a 250-word abstract, your full name, affiliation, contact information, and A/V requests. Proposals for panels (three presenters) must include an abstract and all the above information for all presenters. No more than one presentation per conference please. The deadline for all submissions is January 16, 2012.

Submit abstracts to Diane Warner ( or Andrew Husband (

Andrew Husband
Doctoral Student / Graduate Part-Time Instructor
Department of English / Literature, Social Justice, and Environment (LSJE)
Texas Tech University / Lubbock, TX

South Plains Environmental blog:

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