"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


“It must be Nova Scotia”: Negotiating Place in the Writings of Elizabeth Bishop

June 9-12, 2011 in Halifax,

Nova Scotia, Canada

Call for papers

To mark the centenary of Elizabeth Bishop’s birth, and to celebrate her contribution to world literature, a special conference will be held 9-12 June 2011 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Working under the title, “It must be Nova Scotia:” Negotiating Place in the Writings of Elizabeth Bishop,” the conference will focus on Bishop’s examinations of place and placelessness, her fascination with borders and shifting cultural geographies, and her unique position as an artist who lived and wrote both for and against competing definitions of “home.”

We encourage proposals from scholars and creative artists who are engaged with Bishop’s work from a range of perspectives. Strong presentations might address, for example, the relationship between the local and the global in Bishop’s work, her sometimes contested status as a Canadian/ American/ Brazilian writer, or the importance of “questions of travel” and forced migration in her life and work. The conference will feature a keynote address by the celebrated Irish novelist and Bishop scholar, Colm Tóibín, and participants will have the opportunity to tour the Bulmer home in Great Village, Nova Scotia, a place where Bishop lived through some the most formative and traumatic experiences of her childhood and a site she often returned to in her most celebrated poetry and prose. As part of the Scotia Festival of Music, an array of world-class musical performances inspired by Bishop’s work will also be incorporated into the program. Selected essays from the conference will be collected and the editors of the volume will seek publication from a leading university press.

Interested scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract as well as a brief CV (two pages maximum) to the following address: bishopns@dal.ca. Electronic submissions only, please. Deadline for submission is 10 January 2011.

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