The Department of English and Philosophy at Arkansas State University opens a call for papers and presentations for the twenty-third annual Delta Symposium April 5-8, 2017. The Delta Symposium features scholarship on a wide variety of expressive forms that are resonant with Delta history and culture. Individual and panel presentations on topics relevant to the history and culture of the Arkansas and Mississippi Deltas are welcome.
Special consideration will be given to proposals that specifically address this year's theme of “Caring for Community.” Participants are invited to explore how culture and history are integral to life in various communities in the region. In the past, communities were often defined primarily as a shared sense of geographic location. Although these types of community studies have important historical connections, current ideas about the nature of community life may be more relevant to the Delta’s contemporary culture. How are new communities formed from networks of people who share common practices and cultural traditions, including their use of social media? What happens when “community” is defined less by regional location and more by common interests and social concerns? What is at stake when people work to maintain their communities in the face of change and dislocation? Along with these interests, the theme also will allow participants to address ideas about social responsibility and community life, including the work of care-givers and those engaged with caring as a basis for ethical practice in their trades and professions.
The Delta Symposium presents work from multidisciplinary approaches including literary criticism, cultural studies, history, anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, sociology, speech communication, and heritage studies. Although proposals that have direct connections to Arkansas and the Delta are especially welcome, more general proposals that also address the theme and southern history and culture will be considered.
The Delta Symposium features research in the humanities and social sciences. The 2017 event also features a number of unique partnerships. A-STATE’s College of Media and Communication is contributing to the event by hosting the Delta Flix Film and Media Festival within the symposium. Filmmakers, photographers, and multimedia artists are invited to submit entries for screening at this event. Those submitting entries for the Delta Flix Film and Media Festival should contact the festival coordinator, Dr. Michael Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org). The event will conclude on Saturday with the Arkansas Roots Music Festival through continued support from KASU FM 91.9.
The 2017 event also includes a day of featured papers devoted to scholarship on Bob Dylan. These presentations will be showcased during special sessions scheduled for Saturday, April 8. Research that connects scholarship to Bob Dylan and the Delta are encouraged, but entries that look at Dylan’s artistry and life history using any relevant approach are welcome. For further information, contact the Delta Symposium committee chair or visit the Symposium Web site: http://altweb.astate.edu/blues/. The deadline for entries is December 16, 2016. Each entry should consist of the following:
Presenter’s name and affiliation and a 150-word abstract of the presentation as well as a current Vita (2 pages max). Please include your address, phone number, e-mail address, and the technical needs for your presentation:
Delta Symposium Committee
c/o Dr. Gregory Hansen
Arkansas State University
Dept. of English and Philosophy
P.O. Box 1890
State University, AR 72467