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1 - 4 February 2024
Savannah, GA

Proposals are due by December 15, 2023, but are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 

We live in a crucial moment when the health of our planet, and of our own bodies are endangered.  Climate change is an increasingly dangerous and unsurmountable problem; erratic weather patterns, flooding, drought, failed agriculture, unstable wildlife habitat, hurricanes and snowstorms, heat surges, and wildfires destroy millions acres of land, devastate crops, kill, injure, and force millions of people from their homes each year, leading to record climate migration. Simultaneously, a global pandemic has reduced the life expectancy in the US and globally.  


We also live in and embody various social, spatial, and physical environments within our shared global home.  Our research can trace the contours and push the boundaries of these environments, and discuss the ways in which they shape, transform, and limit our bodies and our embodiment.  And yet, advanced technology allows us—in fact encourages us—to work, shop, entertain ourselves, wage war,  and interact with each other “remotely,” distancing ourselves from our own bodies, each other, and the environments we live in.  Academia itself is often critiqued for its tendency to disembody those within it, for its disregard of the body over the mind, and for creating artificial or exclusive environments removed from the material world. How can we engage in critical thinking while remaining embodied? How can we best discuss issues of environmental sustainability and human interconnectivity? How do our disciplines and daily activities affect our bodies as well as the planet we live in?  As humanities scholars, what can we offer to discussions of bodies, embodiment, and environment?

The Southern Humanities Conference invites proposals for papers on any aspect of the theme "(Em)Body/Environment,” broadly conceived. Our conference themes are meant to be inspiring and prompt reflection, not limiting.  The topic is interdisciplinary and invites proposals from all areas of study, as well as creative pieces including but not limited to performance, music, art, and literature. Customary paper and full panel proposals are invited, as are ones for creative presentation formats like roundtables, workshops, and demonstrations.  Moreover, the Southern Humanities Conference welcomes proposals from teachers and professionals outside the academy, as well as from scholars in the early stages of their academic careers including graduate students.  Please note that the name of our organization simply reflects its having been founded in the U.S. South; no presenter is expected to present anything “southern” or be from the South, though southern topics are also welcomed. Conference attendees come from all over the United States, Canada, as well as overseas.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to any aspect or combination of Em(Body)/Environment and . . .

  • Witnessing, Remembering and Forgetting

  • Community and Community-building

  • Hospitality and “Withness”

  • Literature and Literary Analysis

  • Poetry and Creative Writing

  • Art and Art History

  • Sociology and Anthropology

  • History and the Historical

  • Memory and Forgetting

  • Gender

  • Race/Ethnicity

  • Social Class

  • Sex and Sexuality

  • Religion and Spirituality

  • Geography and Geographies

  • Philosophy and Social Ethics

  • Psychology, Community, and the Sense of Self

  • New Media and Digital Humanities

  • The Visible/Invisible 

  • Dis/Ability

  • Theatre/Drama (theory and live performance)

  • Dance (theory and live performance)

  • Music (theory and live performance)

  • Education and the Educative

  • Cinema and Culture

  • Cultural Difference

  • Humanities and the Human

Please submit proposals of 300-500 words below. Proposals are due by December 15, 2023, but are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 


Two awards of up to $300 are available to help mitigate the costs of travel to the conference, one for first- or second-time presenters, and one for graduate students. If you would like to be considered for one of these awards, please indicate which award in your proposal.  Please see the website for more details.

Topics are not limited to but may address any of the following areas, and may integrate the theme in trans-disciplinary or interdisciplinary ways.  That is, the paper or creative presentation may address the theme from particular perspectives OR may address the integration of two or more dimensions of the theme

Please indicate in your abstract if you would like to be considered for either the Reynolds or Ussery Awards. The deadline for these awards is November 1, 2023. Awardees will be notified no later than two months before the conference. The award will be presented at the Open Mic night of the conference.

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