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ACETA Conference

Conference on the Sympathetic Imagination

In an 1817 letter to Benjamin Bailey, Keats writes, “The Setting Sun will always set me to rights, or if a Sparrow come before my Window, I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel.” What he describes is the sympathetic imagination, how we acquire knowledge of the inner lives of others by extending the imagination. The term “sympathetic imagination” comes to us from Adam Smith: “As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did and never can carry beyond our persons, and it is by the imagination we place ourselves in his situation.” Sponsored by ACETA (The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama) and a partnering two-year or four-year collegiate institution, this conference broadly considers literature, film, and writing on the importance of sympathy and empathy. More broadly, papers might address phenomenology, the intersection of philosophies and literature, transhumanism, performativity, trauma theory, literary sensation and sensationalism, the nonhuman experience in literature, and other topics related to the conference theme. Sessions in pedagogy and composition and rhetoric are also among conference discussion.

Conference News

  • The 2023 ACETA Conference will be held at Jefferson State Community College Chilton - Clanton Campus on February 23 and 24, 2023.
  • Stay tuned for more information.

Call for Proposals

Sponsored by ACETA (The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama) and Jefferson State Community College, this conference broadly considers literature, film, and writing on the importance of sympathy and empathy. More broadly, papers might address phenomenology, the intersection of philosophies and literature, transhumanism, performativity, trauma theory, literary sensation and sensationalism, the nonhuman experience in literature, and other topics related to the conference theme. Submissions in pedagogy and composition and rhetoric are also welcome. Proposals for the following recurring strands are encouraged:

  • Creative Writing or Performance
  • Diversity Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Multi-/Inter- Disciplinary Studies
  • Pedagogical Discourse
  • Pop Culture
  •  Social or Environmental Climate.

Deadline: November 18, 2022

Requirements:

  • Proposals should be no more than 500 words.
  • Presenters should indicate in the header of the proposal if they wish to be considered for a specific conference strand (listed above).
  • When proposing a panel, please indicate the names, affiliations, and positions of all members of the panel along with the title of the presentation and abstract of the content.
  • Each presenter should limit himself/herself to a 15-20-minute talk and be prepared for questions.

Call for 2023 William J. Calvert Award Papers

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama (ACETA) issues a call for papers for the 2023 William J. Calvert Award for a paper on any scholarly or theoretical topic in English studies. The award winner will receive $150 from ACETA. Condensed versions of the winning paper will be presented at the annual meeting of ACETA held in the spring of 2023. A panel appointed by the ACETA president will judge the papers. More information will be forthcoming about conference sessions and award presentations.

Deadline: November 18, 2022

Requirements:

  • College English teachers and graduate students may submit a paper for the William J. Calvert Award.
  • The writer's name, along with the title of the essay and writer's institutional affiliation, should appear on a cover sheet but not on the paper itself.
  • Papers may not have been previously read or published.

Call for 2023 James Woodall Award

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama (ACETA) issues a call for papers for the 2023 James Woodall Award for a paper on any pedagogical topic in English studies. The award winner will receive $150 from ACETA. Condensed versions of the winning paper will be presented at the annual meeting of ACETA held in the spring of 2023. A panel appointed by the ACETA president will judge the papers. More information will be forthcoming about conference sessions and award presentations.

Deadline: November 18, 2022

Requirements:

  • College English teachers and graduate students may submit a paper for the James Woodall Award.
  • The writer's name, along with the title of the essay and writer's institutional affiliation, should appear on a cover sheet but not on the paper itself.
  • Papers may not have been previously read or published.

Call for 2023 Mary Evelyn McMillan Undergraduate Writing Award Papers

The McMillan Award is presented annually to the undergraduate student at an Alabama college or university whose informal essay is judged most outstanding by a panel of judges chosen by ACETA. The winner will receive a cash award of $150 and will read the paper at ACETA’s annual conference the spring of 2023. More information will be forthcoming about the conference sessions and award presentations.

Deadline: November 18, 2022

Requirements:

  • The essay must have been written for a class taken during the current or previous academic year.
  • It may be descriptive, reflective, or analytical, but it may not be a formal research paper.
  • It must not exceed 2000 words.
  • It must not have been published previously except possibly in campus publications such as college newspapers or literary magazines.
  • The English instructor for whose class the essay was written should submit the essay.  An instructor may submit only one essay in each year’s competition.
  • A cover sheet should be attached to the entry stating the title of the essay, the author’s name, the name of the college or university, and the name and title of the nominator, with address, telephone number, and email address.  No name should appear on the essay.

Call for Nominations: Eugene Current-Garcia Distinguished Scholar Award

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama solicits nominations for the 2023 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship. This award is made annually to a living, outstanding literary scholar who is from Alabama or has worked primarily in Alabama or has focused mainly on Alabama writers. This year will mark ACETA’s 25th annual conference of this prestigious award.

Deadline: November 18, 2022

As originally conceived, the award “recognizes and rewards Alabamians who have distinguished themselves as men or women of letters, specifically in scholarly reflection and writing on literary topics.” It also demonstrates “the respect of the scholar’s peers in the academic community and signals to the citizenry at large the lasting importance of the pursuit of knowledge and the contribution of literature to the culture.” The award includes a $2,500 honorarium and an ACETA recognition plaque.

Winners of the Eugene Current-Garcia award are the featured keynote speakers at the ACETA annual conference the year following their award.

A nomination must include:

  • a curriculum vita reflecting the course of the nominee’s scholarly career
  • a detailed bibliography of the nominee’s scholarly productions
  • a cover letter clarifying and supporting the nominee’s qualifications for the award.

Nominations may contain other letters of support from recognized scholars in the nominee’s field; they should not contain copies of actual publications.

The award is named for the late Dr. Eugene Current-Garcia, who, in a distinguished academic career spanning five decades, mostly at Auburn University, published six books and dozens of articles and reviews on the short story genre and Old Southwest humor, and founded and co-edited the Southern Humanities Review.

Previous winners of the Eugene Current-Garcia Award include Claudia Durst Johnson (1998), Philip Beidler (1999), Don Noble (2000), Bert Hitchcock (2001), Trudier Harris (2002), William Hutchings (2003), Benjamin B. Williams (2004), Robert W. Halli, Jr. (2005), Nancy Grisham Anderson (2006), Elaine W. Hughes (2007), Norman McMillan (2008), John H. Hafner (2009), Ralph Voss (2010), David Sauer (2011), Bill Ulmer (2012), Sue Walker (2013), Wayne Flynt (2014), Eric Sterling (2015), Frye Gaillard (2016), Kirk Curnutt (2017), David Cowart (2018), Chris Metress (2019), Robert Evans (2020), Alan Gribben (2021), and Heather White (2022).