Calls for Papers

American Literature Association Conference — Washington, D.C., May 23-26, 2024

The James Fenimore Cooper Society will host two panels at the 35th Annual Conference of the American Literature Association, to be held at The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, May 23-26, 2024. For additional information, see

Panel 1: The Pilot, A Bicentennial Celebration: James Fenimore Cooper and the Maritime World

To celebrate the bicentennial of The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea’s (1824) publication, the James Fenimore Cooper society invites proposals for topics that explore Cooper’s invention of the sea novel and its dynamic intersections between maritime history, national experience, and narrative innovations. We invite papers that not only engage diverse perspectives on The Pilot but also across Cooper’s prolific maritime focused works ranging across ten sea novels, naval biographies, and The History of the Navy of the U.S.A.

Panel chair: TBA

Panel 2: James Fenimore Cooper: Open Topic

The James Fenimore Cooper Society invites proposals for papers that explore the works of James Fenimore Cooper from a variety of perspectives. In addition, to commemorate and celebrate the life and scholarly contributions of noted Cooper Scholar John McWilliams, we invite papers on the influence of McWilliam’s work and their continued relevance to Cooper studies and beyond.

Panel Chair: TBA

General Instructions

Papers should be a maximum of 6-8 pages (15-20 minutes) in length. Brief discussion will follow the presentations. Please note that per ALA guidelines, no one may present more than one paper at the conference. Presenters need not be members of the James Fenimore Cooper Society, though we certainly hope they will choose to join. For a membership application, see

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief CV (2-3 pages) to Luis A. Iglesias ( by January 19, 2024. Please indicate whether the paper may be published in the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal. Also in your proposal indicate any audio-visual requirements or needs. All proposals should be both pasted into the text of the email and included as attachments (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred).

Papers presented at the conference will, with their authors’ permission, be published in the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal and made available online at the Cooper Society website. Papers may be mildly revised later for publication.

Cooper resources and visual archives are available at this site.


Luis A. Iglesias

Associate Professor, English

Vice President, James Fenimore Cooper Society

University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive, #5037

Hattiesburg, MS 39406