Calls for Papers

Calls for Papers

Special Issue of Mississippi Quarterly

Hurricane Katrina at 20: Rethinking the Literary and Cultural Legacies of the Storm 

Guest editors, Courtney George and Judith Livingston (Columbus State University)

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast with catastrophic results for the surrounding communities, who are still recovering today. Almost immediately, journalists, artists, and scholars began producing significant work about Katrina in nearly every discipline and medium—work that has continued, especially as we begin to view the disaster and its circumstances in the context of our current social justice and climate-related struggles. 

With a wealth of new texts emerging about Hurricane Katrina and its effects, as well as a robust repository of creative representations and critical scholarship, this special issue of Mississippi Quarterly aims for a timely consideration of how we might re-think one of the country’s worst natural disasters in the twenty-first century.

Just within the past five years, works like Sarah M. Broom’s memoir The Yellow House, Apple+’s dramatic televisual adaptation of Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial, Edward Buckles, Jr.’s HBO documentary Katrina Babies, the music documentaries Take Me to the River & Jazz Fest, and Andy Horowitz’s Katrina: a History, 1915-2015 have all encouraged new approaches to viewing and re-viewing the historic storm that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005.  

In addition to these more recent works, there exists a robust repository of creative representations and critical scholarship, in nearly every discipline and medium, ripe for re-visitation in the twenty-first century. For instance, there are representations by well-established writers like Dave Eggers, Kiese Laymon, Natasha Trethewey, and Jesmyn Ward; by acclaimed filmmakers Sharon Linezo Hong, Spike Lee, Tia Lessen & Carl Deal, and Ben Zeitlin; the critical works of The Katrina Bookshelf series (and hosts of other books and articles); and research collections and oral histories at various universities and museums across the nation. 

As an inexhaustive starting place, writers and scholars might analyze the creative and critical work that has emerged from Hurricane Katrina and its consequences in the context of  

  • literature, music, and/or popular culture (including comparative readings of texts)
  • the Anthropocene and/or the environment 
  • social justice movements for racial equity and equality
  • class, gender, and/or sexuality
  • violence (racial, domestic, “slow”) 
  • connections to other global disasters and pandemics
  • technology, science, and medicine
  • disaster capitalism and/or neoliberal exploitation  
  • teaching Hurricane Katrina in any context or educational environment

Please send 300–500-word abstracts, along with brief 100–150-word biographies, to Courtney George & Judith Livingston at before January 15, 2024. If your proposal is accepted, full manuscripts are due in September of 2024. As of now, the issue is set for publication in Fall 2025.

Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2024

“Faulknerian Anniversaries”

July 21–25, 2024 — University of Mississippi

     2024 is an anniversary year in Faulkner Studies for two reasons: it marks both the 100th anniversary of The Marble Faun, the author’s first book to see print publication, and the 50th anniversary of the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference, the longest continuously running academic event devoted to the work of an American writer. The dual milestones invite reflection not only about Faulkner’s career (including the role of his understudied narrative poem in launching it) but about the career of Faulkner Studies itself over the past half-century, at this gathering and elsewhere across the profession. We will pursue both goals over five days of keynote lectures and readings, academic panels, teaching sessions, exhibits, tours, and other activities.

      The topic of the conference is open. The program committee welcomes submissions exploring any aspect of Faulkner’s life and writings, or offering re/assessments of significant figures, paradigms, approaches, trends, and opportunities in the study of Faulkner’s work. Comparative approaches to Faulkner’s work are welcome. We especially encourage full panel proposals for 60-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by 400-500-word abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted 400-500-word abstracts for 15-20-minute panel papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible expansion and inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi.

     Submit session proposals and panel paper abstracts by January 31, 2024. Direct all correspondence to Jay Watson, Decisions will be made by March 15, 2024.