ACTC’s 29th Annual Conference – April 11-14, 2024 – Sheraton Downtown Memphis

Place Matters

Place matters in core texts and courses. In every tradition, one finds texts that explore our place in nature, our place outside of nature, our rootedness and our deracination, our national identity and our cosmopolitanism, our desire for home, for escape, and for utopias. Are we products of our environments that must be considered in our efforts toward self-knowledge, or are we best understood according to placeless and transcendent things? How do we create and effect the places in our lives, and what is our responsibility to those places? Why read and teach texts that emerged from one’s own places, however we define them? Why read and teach texts that come from places foreign to our experience and personal history or that of our students?

We invite proposals for papers and panels that consider the ways core texts convey, consider, and contest views about our place in the oikos and the cosmos, creation, our mindfulness of home, the homeless mind, etc.

ACTC papers should not take more than 15 minutes to present, and about twenty percent of each paper should engage directly with a primary text. ACTC panels should include three to five presenters and a chair, who may also be one of the presenters. It will be up to the chair to determine whether panel papers will be shared before the conference, but it is not conventional to require papers to be submitted before they are presented. We will invite all presenters to submit a longer version of their paper for consideration in a peer reviewed volume of selected essays.  We encourage papers and panels on our conference theme, but we will consider proposals that don’t speak directly to the theme. The proposal deadline is December 29, 2023.

Keynote Speaker: Marjorie Garber



Described by The New York Times as “one of the most powerful women in the academic world,” Marjorie Garber is a leading Shakespearean scholar and cultural critic. The William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard, Garber is the author of widely admired books on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare After All, which received the Christian Gauss Book Award from Phi Beta Kappa. Newsweek chose the volume as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2004, calling it “an indispensable introduction to an indispensable writer . . . Garber’s is the most exhilarating seminar room you’ll ever enter.” Described by women’s studies pioneer Catharine Stimpson as “the liveliest, wittiest, and most scintillating of writers about our culture,” Garber has addressed a wide range of issues: from cross-dressing and cultural anxiety to bisexuality and the eroticism of everyday life, from our love of pets to our national obsession with the word “genius.” 


Professor Garber’s talk is co-sponsored by Pearce Shakespeare Endowment and the Project for the Study of Liberal Democracy, Rhodes College