The 14th International Willa Cather Seminar
Willa Cather: Canyon, Rock, & Mesa Country
Hosted by Northern Arizona University and the Willa Cather Foundation
June 16-22, 2013
Call for Papers
The Willa Cather Foundation and the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at Northern Arizona University invite proposals for the 14th International Willa Cather Seminar, to be held June 16-22, 2013, in Flagstaff, Arizona. Set in the locale of Willa Cather’s pivotal 1912 visit to the Southwest, the seminar will highlight the places that inspired Cather, like her protagonist Thea Kronborg in The Song of the Lark, to develop a new understanding and expression of her art. Suggested topics may include exploration of the effect of Cather’s 1912 Southwestern trip on her life and art; discussions of the significance of canyons, rocks, and mesas in Cather’s work; studies of music, art, architecture, ritual, and religion in Cather’s work; gender and racial issues, especially as related to Cather’s Southwestern works; and approaches to teaching Cather. Please email abstracts of 250-300 words to all three seminar directors by February 15, 2013:
Texas A&M University-Commerce
John J. Murphy
Brigham Young University
St. Lawrence University
The seminar includes excursions to Walnut Canyon (Panther Canyon in The Song of the Lark), the Little Painted Desert (over which Cather rode with her Mexican guide Julio), Winslow (where Cather stayed in 1912 with her brother Douglass and H. L. Tooker, the prototype for Ray Kennedy in The Song of the Lark), a luncheon at the “Fred Harvey” La Posada Hotel, and a visit to the Museum of Northern Arizona’s extensive Sinagua and Anasazi pottery collection.
Christian E. Downum, Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, Walnut Canyon specialist, and author of Hisat’ sinom: Ancient Peoples in a Land without Water (2012), is the keynote speaker and will accompany the group to Walnut Canyon.
The plenary presenters include editors of the University of Nebraska Press Willa Cather Scholarly Edition and the editors of the forthcoming Knopf edition of Willa Cather’s letters.
An evening recital of arias and lieder featured in The Song of the Lark will be performed by Sarah Bach, soprano, and Emily Murphy, pianist, and introduced with a plenary by David Porter, Cather scholar and musicologist.
For complete information and online registration, please visit: