ALA 2022 Fall Symposium: The Historical Imagination in American Literature Oct. 27–29, 2022

The Historical Imagination in American Literature

October 27-29, 2022

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe

828 Paseo de Peralta

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Conference Director:

Olivia Carr Edenfield, Georgia Southern University

Keynote Speaker:

Deborah Clarke, Arizona State University

Conference Fee: $175

For our 2022 Fall Symposium, the American Literature Association will return to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The Drury Plaza Hotel offers excellent rates and is perfectly located near the central plaza. Single and double rooms will be available for $135 a night plus taxes. This rate includes not only a free breakfast and wireless access, but also a “kickback” every evening at 5:30, featuring hot food and cold drinks.  Valet parking will be $10 per night. 

The Historical Imagination in American Literature:  What does it mean to envision and embody history in American writing?  How does a “usable past” shape our fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction? What philosophical, psychological, and political factors shape how writers look at a moment of time?  How do regional differences shape our historical perspectives? How do race, class, and gender influence the perception and presentation of historical realities? How important is the historical novel to our culture? How do the alternate histories of speculative fiction transform our understanding of time?  These and other related questions should provide for a lively weekend of literary exploration and good conversation. We welcome proposals for individual papers, complete panels, and roundtable discussions on any aspect of this important subject.

Please send all proposals to the Conference Director at

as soon as possible and no later than September 15, 2022.

Conference Details:  Sessions run Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, 2022. There will be an opening event and welcoming reception on Thursday evening, October 27. The Conference Fee of $175 includes a luncheon as well as receptions.

Individuals may propose papers, panels, or roundtables by emailing the Conference Director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield ( no later than September 15, 2022, and preferably earlier. 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 the 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.

Those proposing papers and/or panels will be informed of acceptances by September 20, and hotel reservations will need to be made before September 25.  Participants will be asked to make their hotel reservations immediately and to pay the conference fee by pre-registering on-line by October 15.  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.

AV:  Please note that we are not able to provide AV at this symposium. 

Conference Registration: The conference fee of $175 covers the costs of the conference. We require all of those who are on the program to pre-register by October 15, 2022. Please see the website for the on-line registration link. If you wish to pay by check, you may find the mail-in registration form on our website. The conference fee is $175 for all participants.  We regret that we are unable to offer a lower rate for graduate students and independent scholars. If you have a question or concern regarding registration, please contact Olivia Carr Edenfield, Director of the ALA, at

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, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield, Director of the ALA, at

Thank you for your interest and your support of the American Literature Association.