Frontier and Borders in American Literature (ALA Symposium)

American Literature Association

Symposium on

Frontiers and Borders in American Literature

San Antonio, TX

February 25-27, 2016

Keynote Speakers:
Lee Clark Mitchell, Princeton University

Eric Carl Link, Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne

LocationSheraton Gunter Hotel
205 E. Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Hotel rate: $ 163 per night for single or double

Conference Director:
Steven Frye, California State University, Bakersfield.

Proposals are welcome on a range of topics related to varied conceptions of the frontier and American borderlands, including but not limited to nineteenth and twentieth-century narratives of the frontier, Western literature, the literature of nature and the environment, the literature of cultural contact, and science fiction. We welcome proposals for individual papers, complete panels, and roundtable discussions on any aspect of this important subject.

Send one page proposals or abstracts to Professor Steven Frye at
by October 1, 2015. [Deadline Extended to December 1, 2015]

Conference Details:  The American Literature Association will return to San Antonio for a symposium on Frontiers and Borders in American Literature, February 25-27, 2016. Please plan to stay in the conference hotel as this helps us meet our commitment to the hotel and keeps our rates low.  The Sheraton Gunter is an historic hotel only a block from the famous Riverwalk and close to the Alamo in this wonderful city.

Sessions run Friday and Saturday, February 26-27, 2016. There will be an opening event and welcoming reception on Thursday evening; details will be announced a bit later. In addition to the receptions Friday and Saturday evenings, a full lunch will be served Friday and Saturday. Our emphasis on the receptions and meals reflects a belief that some of the most productive scholarly conversations happen in congenial social settings.

Individuals may propose papers or panels by emailing the conference director, Professor Steven Frye ( no later than October 1, 2015. The proposal should include the title of the presentation or panel, an abstract that provides a clear idea of the material that will be covered, a brief vita or description of the presenter’s qualifications and email addresses for all participants. The proposal should be both pasted into an email and sent as an attachment (preferably in WORD). All emails will be acknowledged in a timely manner.

The conference director welcomes proposals for roundtables and panels that deal with the development of important genres, literary movements, themes, and issues related to the symposium topic.

Please note that no audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium.

Those proposing papers and/or panels will be informed of acceptances in mid-October.  Participants will be asked to make their hotel reservations immediately and to pre-register on-line.  A program will be placed on the ALA website prior to our meeting, and printed programs will be available at the symposium.

ALA Guidelines: The most common ALA format is a time slot of one hour and twenty minutes with three papers and a chair. This permits time for discussion and three papers of approximately 20 minutes (or nine typed double-spaced pages). Organizers of panels are free to use other formats provided they respect the time limits. Furthermore, the ALA encourages panel organizers to experiment with innovative formats including discussion groups and panels featuring more speakers and briefer papers. Chairs will make sure that the panels start and end on time and that no speaker goes beyond the allotted time limit.  We prefer that chairs not present papers on the panels that they are moderating, and no one may present more than one paper at an ALA symposium.

The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including two meals and two receptions. We encourage all of those who are on the program to pre-register. The conference fee is $150 for all participants.  We regret that we are unable to offer a lower rate for graduate students and independent scholars.

ALA Membership: Membership in the ALA is not required in order to propose or present a paper.  In fact, technically the members of the American Literature Association are the various author societies.  Individuals may keep informed about the activities of the ALA, including our symposia and conferences, by checking our website (

Please note that the American Literature Association maintains the lowest conference fees of any major scholarly organization because it operates without a paid staff. If you have any questions that are not answered by this announcement, please contact the conference director at or Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at

One thought on “Frontier and Borders in American Literature (ALA Symposium)”

  1. The deadline is extended until December 1, 2015 for proposals for papers or panels at the American Literature Association Symposium on Frontiers and Borders in American Literature, Feb 25-27, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Send abstracts to Steven Frye at

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