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Southern Studies Forum 2022

Southern Studies Forum 2022 - The Spirit(s) of the South



27-28 May 2022, Kraków, Poland

Jagiellonian University


The South has its spirits which have incessantly stimulated and intoxicated academics who wish to engage its paradoxes, and to solve the "intellectual Rubik’s Cube" (Thomson 2013) of the region. The ever-changing mosaic of approaches to the South calls for regular conferences which offer a much needed forum for a discussion about the shape of Southern Studies. For many years, the biennial Southern Studies Forum conferences have offered precisely such a space – a forum for both disruption and reconciliation in thinking about the South. After a long hiatus caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, conferences are gradually returning to the world of academia. Thus, it will possible for the next SSF conference to take place not in an online format but rather a much anticipated in-person meeting.

Given this long break from conferencing, the 2022 SSF will offer a unique opportunity to reflect on the directions of thinking about the South in the post-pandemic world, and to observe on how COVID-19 and all its repercussions have impacted research on the region. Is it the case that after the prolonged isolation and exclusion, after the fear and doubt caused by the virus, the eponymous “spirits” of the South may be approached in a different manner? Has the pandemic opened up new perspectives for Southern Studies?

For the SSF 2022 Conference: The Spirit(s) of the South, we are particularly interested in voices that engage the South as a “multiplicity of communities” (Gray 2002: xxiii) in a multiplicity of contexts, spanning race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity; the role of narrativity in Southern Studies; the figurative imaginations of “the South” and the regional paradoxes. We also want to open up the conference to the various transnational routes of Southern Studies. Finally, we wish to explore the methodological spirits of the region in the post-pandemic world. Topics for paper proposals may include (although need not be restricted to) the following:

Southern literature and history

the South and global pandemics

the South and health issues

the haunted South

rural/urban South

ethnic Souths

Southern foodways and alcohol studies

Southern music

race, class, and gender in the South

the queer South

Digital Humanities and Southern studies

southern representations in cinema and computer games

Southern myths

eco-criticism and environmental issues in the South

the posthuman and transhuman South

Southern expats

religion and spirituality in the South

the South and European contexts

Paper proposals of up 300 words with a short biographical note should be submitted by January 10th 2022 to

Confirmation of participation will be sent by January 24th 2022.

The SSF 2022 conference fee is 400 PLN (85 euro / 100 USD).


Conference Organizer

Michał Choiński

Jagiellonian University Institute of English Studies Collegium Paderevianum al. Mickiewicza 9A, 31-120 Kraków