Seeing Jeffers with 2020 Vision
Robinson Jeffers Association Annual Conference
February 21-23, 2020
Carmel Woman’s Club, Carmel, CA
The annual RJA conference welcomes contributions to Jeffers scholarship, often in response to a specific conference theme. This year the program committee invites papers on any aspect of Jeffers studies, especially those that challenge accepted perspectives, extend or problematize existing scholarship, cast new light on the standard Jeffers corpus, or bring forgotten work out of the shadows.
Jeffers spent much of his childhood in Europe and his adolescence on the shores of the Pacific. Among his intellectual and aesthetic influences were foundational texts of Western civilization—classical Greece, the Bible, Beowulf, ancient Britain, the Volsungs—as well as British and German romanticism. In his own era, he both rejected and competed with the major modernists, including Pound, Eliot, and Yeats. Jeffers, in turn, has influenced a broad spectrum of American writers: Millay, Steinbeck, Snyder, Everson, Kesey, Edward Abbey, Mark Jarman, Diane Wakoski, Eric Barker, Camille Dungy. The linkages for Jeffers in American literature are diverse, from predecessors to peers to heirs, and from admirers to critics; these linkages call for renewed and sustained examination.
Like his contemporaries O’Neill, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, Jeffers came to the literary foreground in a fraught time of American history: the end of a value-wrecking war, the flowering of American xenophobia, the beginning of a new, more frenetic gilded age. Papers on Jeffers’s engagement with his time, his critiques of its social constructions and political dynamics, his commitment to nature as understood through modern science and his efforts to reimagine the sacred in that context, and other topics and approaches are all welcome.
We invite you to bring your own 2020 vision to Carmel and join us in exploring and celebrating the work of a significant American poet. The program committee solicits papers of twenty minutes in length treating all aspects of Jeffers and his work, including but not limited to:
- Jeffers as writer of the first half of the twentieth century, especially the 1920s
- Discussions of Jeffers and other poets with similar interests and commitments
- Jeffers as influencer, adversary, and exemplar
- The role of the senses in Jeffers’s work, and their relationship to consciousness
- Cross-cultural themes in Jeffers’s work (place and identity, race and history)
Travel grants may be available for students, junior faculty, and independent scholars. See “RJA Travel Grants.”
Paper proposals of 200-250 words, along with an abbreviated CV, should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: November 22, 2019