McCarthy and Mexico:: the Society's Seventh International Conference CFP

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  • 28 Jan 2018 at 11:53 am #10114

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Call for Papers

    The Cormac McCarthy Society’s seventh international conference will be held in Monterrey, Mexico on October 18-21, 2018 on the campus of Monterrey Technological University. The conference is being co-sponsored by the university and by the International American Studies Association. At long last, we will be meeting in the heart of the region where McCarthy has set some of his most important and memorable work.

    The special area of concern for this conference will be, as the title suggests, Mexico and the border regions of Mexico and the American southwest as represented in Cormac McCarthy’s novels and screenplays, as well as films of his work. Discussions of the current political issues occasioned by the Trump administration’s revision of the US-Mexican relationship and the issue of the “border wall” are invited as long as some organic connection with literary issues is maintained. We also invite papers on all other areas of McCarthy’s work.

    For those of you who are submitting conference proposals for the first time, please check the existing critical literature to be sure that you are breaking new ground or, at least, looking at the existing criticism in some new or novel way.

    Please submit formal precis for papers with an approximately 20-minute reading time, or for three to four paper complete panel proposals, by no later than September 4th, 2018 (the day following the Labor Day weekend in the US). Proposals should be submitted to Rick Wallach, conference co-director, at info@cormacmccarthy.com. Please also direct any questions you have about the conference to the same email.

    Our plenary speakers (so far) will be Peter Josyph, author of Cormac McCarthy’s House: Reading McCarthy Without Walls, and Allen Josephs, author of On Cormac McCarthy and Ritual and Sacrifice in the Corrida.

    Lodging

    Thanks to the sponsorship of Monterrey Technologico, we have reserved a block of 65 rooms at the four and a half star rated Hotel Fiesta Inn Technologico right on campus with meeting rooms in the hotel and other meeting facilities within a short walk. Our nightly rate will be a terrific US$88.00, single or double. We will be posting instructions for reserving your room in late February or very early March, and should have worked out the registration fee by the same time.

    Please note that we expect this, our first Latin American conference, to be very well attended so please act expeditiously to reserve your rooms at the Fiesta as soon as we put up the reservations link.

    Also, on a personal note: I expect that this will be the last Society conference I organize and direct, not that I feel any older or less lucid (I had to be bat shit crazy to run these things from Day One anyway) but I have a full bucket list of writing (and fishing) I want to get done before the grim reaper shows up to point at the salmon mousse, and that’ll be time consuming. It has been a richly rewarding experience and I want to be sure to thank everybody who has made the last 25 years of work with the Society such a great, off-the-rails binge of a time.

    Thanks, everybody.


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    29 Jan 2018 at 9:47 am #10120

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Wow. It sounds amazing.

    And your 25 year leadership and modeling has been a joy. Meeting you and Marty literally changed my life. Stumbling into this forum in the 90’s was just mind-blowing. I can not imagine life without having read the many books you and others recommended or the crazy assed discussions we have had here.

    Here is to 25 more ….even if you aren’t organizing the conference events….I can NOT wait to continue following your writing and fishing antics.


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    29 Jan 2018 at 3:01 pm #10123

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Of course, all the “retirement” bets are off if a solid opportunity for a conference in Japan, Korea or China comes up….(-:


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    02 Feb 2018 at 11:49 pm #10141

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    We just got our discounted booking codes from the Fiesta Inn Tecnologico in Monterrey, and I’ll be explaining how to go about reserving rooms for yourselves in a newsletter and posting here and on our homepage later this month. I’ll be meeting our co-organizers, Manuel Broncano from TAMIU and President of the International American Studies Association, and Maria de Alva Levy of Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Monterrey in less than two weeks to go over meal and refreshment services, audiovisual and seating requirements and what have you. When I get home I should be able to work out the registration fees for the conference, whereupon I’ll put up a full-blown conference site here that’ll give you all the information you need.

    We already have a couple of proposals in the tank. This is going to be a terrific conference, folks. Set aside October 17-21 now.


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    15 Feb 2018 at 10:21 pm #10183

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Quick note: I’m here in Monterrey. Just arrived about an hour ago and am very impressed with the hotel. It’s flat out beautiful and the room is modern, spacious and comfortable. For the $88 per night price it’s a steal

    Tomorrow, I hook up with Manuel Broncano to meet with the catering and audiovisual folks, and then go over to the university to work out the details of their sponsorship. By the time I get home on Sunday afternoon we should have all the numbers we need to promulgate the registration fee.

    More later.


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    17 Feb 2018 at 10:18 am #10188

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    This is partly an update of my adventures in Mexico and partly a sales job for the October conference here.

    So. I mentioned day ‘fore yesterday the hotel is gorgeous. Additional details: it is located on the edge of the campus of Tecnologico de Monterrey, where some of our film and audiovisual sessions and one of our plenary meals will be held. Students of the university doing American studies and literature will be joining us for the film and audiovisual sessions. I expect several will also join us for the paper sessions, so it’ll be a great and long overdue opportunity for us to touch antennae with our Mexican and other Latin American colleagues who are working on McCarthy and the literature of the border region. It’s a beautiful campus with the classroom and office buildings set in what amounts to a nature park. The imposing Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Mountain) with its “Night on Bald Mountain” devil’s horns rises above the campus. Flannery O’Connor fans, there are peacocks all over the place.

    Most of the paper sessions will be held at the hotel itself.

    Your registration fee – once I calculate it after I get home – will include the breakfast bar on the 2nd floor, which is a monster spread of Mexican and American offerings with an omelette chef and local specialties like nopal cactus and apple juice (great stuff) and a huge, crusty roll of white or wheat bread with a light sugar glaze, great coffee and fruit selection. It will also include both plenary meals, one a dinner and one a luncheon, for which you’ll have three options: vegetarian, fish or poultry, or meat. Of course we’ll also have the regulation between-sessions refreshment breaks featuring coffee, tea, fruit and pastries between the AM sessions and coffe, tea, bottled water, fruit, finger sandwiches and soda between the PM sessions. One of the PM refreshment sessions, however, will be a batido (Mexican milkshake) bar.

    Lunch and dinner aside from the plenary sessions will be at leisure, which will be an embarrassment of opportunities because the hotel is adjacent to a multi-story mall with a dozen or so restaurants of all sorts within a two minute walk. If you’re feeling lazy the hotel restaurant is excellent, too – for lunch and dinner it features a construct-your-own-dip cart where you can choose among roasted onions, roasted tomatoes, roasted tomatillas, fire-roasted peppers of assorted ferocities, fresh garlic and herbs – they dice what you want and hand-grind it in a stone metate at your table. Good stuff.

    I’m working on group transportation to and from the airport today. If you prefer there are credit card operated kiosks in the terminal where you can prepay a ticket for a licensed taxi to the hotel (purchase a ticket to Zone 4 and ask for “Fiesta Inn Tecnologico” or better, show the driver your booking which you will have had the perspicacity to print out at home and bring with you).

    I’ll have more information for you, plus an “official” CFP and registration newsletter / web page, by next week. If the above sounds like a lot of features, it is – but the cost of all this is amazingly low by US standards. As usual we’ll have regular, student / retiree / servicepersons and spousal registration rates.

    FYI the current exchange rate is roughly 17 pesos to the dollar. If you punch $150 worth of pesos out of the airport teller machines (which have much better exchange rate equity than the currency agents you can also find in the terminal) you should have more than enough Mexican money to see you through the conference.

    So save your shekels. This is going to be an extraordinary gathering – and we’ve still got some surprises in the works.


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