Louisa May Alcott Society – Call for Papers
American Literature Association Conference, 26-29 May 2016, San FranciscoRepresentations of Teaching and Learning in Alcott

As attested to by her essay, ‘Recollections of my Childhood’, Alcott’s ideas of education were always caught between the innovative techniques but formal structure of ‘my father’s school’ and the more liberal approach of ‘my wise mother’ who ‘let me run wild, learning of nature what no books can teach’. This panel seeks to examine education in all its guises as constructed through Alcott’s works, whether that education takes place in the schoolroom or in the wider world, via a teacher or through the lessons of nature or religion, and encompassing both children and adults in the lifelong process of learning that characterizes many of Alcott’s texts.

Possible topics might include:

Books within books: influential texts within Alcott’s works
The gender divide
Home schooling
A religious education
The class divide
‘Learning of nature what no books can teach’
A Transcendental education
Bronson Alcott’s conversations with children
Pupil and teacher
Keeping journals: an educational tool
What is a teacher?
‘Moral pap for the young’
A European education: learning through travel
The school-room
Marriage: a sentimental education
‘My beloved Master’: learning from Emerson

Please send 250-word abstracts to Krissie West at K.J.West@pgr.reading.ac.uk by 20 January 2016