ACETA Conference 2021 FAQ

Here you’ll find answers to all the most frequently asked questions about this year’s first-ever virtual ACETA Conference on the Sympathetic Imagination. But this year presents new challenges to all of us, and the best action we can take to head off confusion is communication!.So don’t hesitate to reach out for any information you or your institution needs by emailing us at alcollegeenglish@gmail.com or call ACETA Executive Secretary Ashley Kitchens at 205-280-8217.

  1. What is this year’s conference fee? Continue reading

Registration for ACETA’s 73rd Annual Conference in February 2021 is underway!

Stately Warhawk Hall on the campus of Auburn University at Montgomery.

We are excited to offer this year’s Virtual Conference—if you’ve never able to attend a conference due to long-distance travel, this will be your year to check us out!

This year’s conference will feature a dedicated site for asynchronous visits to pre-recorded welcome speeches from our ACETA president, welcome speeches and host institutional presentations and performances, and panels from students and faculty at colleges around the state. Presentations will be viewable for the whole week of the conference.  

The conference week will culminate in a one-day LIVE virtual event with award winning paper presentations, keynote speeches from Dr. Robert Evans, our 2020 Eugene Current-Garcia award winner and a special NCTE speaker, and Q&A and trivia fun sessions before our annual ACETA business meeting. The live event will take place via Zoom. Asynchronous sessions open and run February 22-27, and the synchronous live day event will be Friday, February 26.

This year, due to the conference’s virtual nature, there is only the ACETA membership charge instead of a conference charge.  Your yearly membership supports our programs and outreach opportunities as well as putting together conferences like this one. 
Registration here:  https://jeffersonstatecc.libcal.com/calendar/ACETA2021/Live-Session.

Registration and payment deadline is February 22. Once you have registered and made payment (either virtually through Paypal listed on registration link or through mail via personal or institutional check), you will receive access codes for the conference site.

If you have questions, please contact Executive Secretary Ashley Kitchens at alcollegeenglish@gmail.com.

Auburn’s Gribbin receives Current-Garcia Award

ACETA is proud to announce its 2021 recipient of the Eugene Current-Garcia Award: Dr. Alan Gribben of the English Department at Auburn University at Montgomery. 

Image of Alan Gribben
Current-Garcia Award winner Alan Gribben

As originally conceived, the award “recognizes and rewards Alabamians who have distinguished themselves as men or women of letters, specifically in scholarly reflection and writing on literary topics.” It also demonstrates “the respect of the scholar’s peers in the academic community and signals to the citizenry at large the lasting importance of the pursuit of knowledge and the contribution of literature to the culture.”

The 2021 Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship is presented with its sister award, the Harper Lee Award for the 2021 Distinguished Alabama Writer, at the Monroeville Literary Festival held March 4-6, 2021 in Monroeville. The generosity of George Landegger, chairman of Parsons and Whittemore, makes both awards possible. Winners of the Eugene Current-Garcia award are the featured keynote speakers at the ACETA annual conference the year following their award. 

Monroeville Literary Festival’s Alisha Linam offered this announcement highlighting Dr. Gribben’s career here: Dr. Alan Gribben Selected as Eugene Current-Garcia Recipient (https://www.monroevilleliteraryfestival.com/post/dr-alan-gribben-selected-as-eugene-current-garcia-recipient)

ACETA looks forward to hearing from Dr. Gribben at our 2022 annual conference.

ACETA’s 2021 Conference on the Sympathetic Imagination welcomes papers and award nominations

Virtual Conference February 22–26
Live via Zoom February 26, 2021

The global pandemic has brought about a new age of compassion and connection, even as, ironically, we must avoid the physical interaction we once took for granted. But what better time to come together, even if virtually, to explore and celebrate compassion and creativity?

ACETA invites you to take part in our very first event to be held entirely virtually, the 2021 Conference on the Sympathetic Imagination: Literature, Film, and Writing of Sympathy and Empathy. (More information is to come regarding virtual synchronous and asynchronous sessions and award presentations. For planning purposes, sessions from accepted proposals will be requested as recordings.)

Below you will find information on paper proposals, scholarly awards, writing awards, and more. We look forward to seeing you!



Papers on the Sympathetic Imagination

In an 1817 letter to Benjamin Bailey, Keats writes, “The Setting Sun will always set me to rights, or if a Sparrow come before my Window, I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel.” What he describes is the sympathetic imagination, how we acquire knowledge of the inner lives of others by extending the imagination … [Read More]


Current-Garcia Scholar Award

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama solicits nominations for the 2021 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship. This award is made annually to a living, outstanding literary scholar who is from Alabama or has worked primarily in Alabama or has focused mainly on Alabama writers … [Read More]


McMillan Writing Award

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama solicits nominations for the 2021 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship. This award is made annually to a living, outstanding literary scholar who is from Alabama or has worked primarily in Alabama or has focused mainly on Alabama writers … [Read More]


Calvert and Woodall Awards

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama solicits nominations for the 2021 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship. This award is made annually to a living, outstanding literary scholar who is from Alabama or has worked primarily in Alabama or has focused mainly on Alabama writers … [Read More]

ACETA makes declaration in support of equity

July 1, 2020

Dear Friends of ACETA,

Like so many of you, we, the Steering Committee of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama, are shocked by the killing of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of the police.

Mr. Floyd’s death has led to renewed protests against police brutality and against the systemic racism that affects so many; it is important that organizations like ours take this moment to declare publicly a commitment to justice and equity for all even when it threatens or goes against the very ideals we are accustomed.

This letter is our declaration.

Equity is not about handouts or a handout. Equity is not even about assisting the helpful or negating the helpless. Equity is making sure that everyone has the same opportunity of living a life and pursuing happiness.

Consider this visual: Three little boys attempt to see over a high fence. Obviously, they all have height challenges as the fence is too tall. But they are also of varying heights. Equality would be giving them a block of the same height, width, and number. Equity would require the addition of the little boys’ heights to be factored in; one boy might require 1 additional block, another 2 additional blocks, and the third an additional 3 blocks so that they all are able to see over the fence.

At the beginning of June, our parent organization, The National Council of Teachers of English, published a statement denouncing “all forms of racial violence and brutality.” The letter goes on to encourage members to be the makers of change in their own classrooms by promoting equity in the classroom. We encourage you to read this letter in full here.

Alabama is no stranger to protests agitating for racial equality … Continue reading

Recap of ACETA’s 72nd Annual Conference

Nearly four dozen undergraduates, graduate students, and part-time and full-time faculty from both two- and four-year colleges in Alabama convened for the University of North Alabama for ACETA’s 72nd annual Conference on the Sympathetic Imagination February 28-29. The conference began with a welcome from UNA Interim Dean Jeffrey Bibbee and award presentations for the William J. Calvert theoretical paper, James Woodall pedagogical paper, and Mary Evelyn McMillan Undergraduate analytical paper. The conference continued with seven varied panel sessions, including nineteen presentations to choose from, and three keynote speakers.

Jeffrey Bibbee welcomes ACETA attendees.

Jeffrey Bibbee welcoming ACETA attendees.

Friday evening’s dinner keynote speaker, Paula Greathouse, from Tennessee Technical University came to the conference through a speaking circuit with our parent organization NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), and she discussed the ins and outs of inclusionary reading choices and the importance and advocacy of diversity in literary texts. Saturday’s panel keynote speaker was Chris Mettress from Samford University; Mettress was the 2019 Eugene Current-Garcia winner.

As originally conceived, the Eugene Current-Garcia award “recognizes and rewards Alabamians who have distinguished themselves as men or women of letters, specifically in scholarly reflection and writing on literary topics.” It also demonstrates “the respect of the scholar’s peers in the academic community and signals to the citizenry at large the lasting importance of the pursuit of knowledge and the contribution of literature to the culture.”

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Chris Mettress delivering his Eugene Current-Garcia keynote address.

The award includes a $5,000 stipend and an original Frank Fleming bronze of the clock tower on the old Monroe County Courthouse. Mettress’ presentation titled “From Mockingbird to Watchman: Maycomb and the Sympathetic Imagination” was given to a room full of eager listeners. Jason McCall, instructor from UNA, rounded out the conference with a keynote presentation at lunch on Saturday titled “What Disneyfication Can Teach Us About Our Students.”
The business meeting following lunch was a great way to recap the year for ACETA and look forward to another year of partnerships and planning for the 2021 conference. Attendees voted on the upcoming year’s ACETA steering committee, and ACETA saw two additional people come on board in open positions. For a list of the current steering committee members, please click on the “ACETA Officers” tab on our web site.

In the coming month, ACETA will publish a special issue of the newsletter designed to highlight award papers and panel presentations from the conference. Be on the lookout in April for this publication. ACETA thanks all the members, presenters, and volunteers that make this conference successful, and we all look forward to the year ahead! For more photos, please visit ACETA’s Association of College Teachers of Alabama page on Facebook.

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Attendees of ACETA’s 72nd Annual Conference received swag bags full of academic goodness.

 

 

AUM professor receives Current-Garcia award

The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama Steering Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Eugene Current-Garcia Award winner, Dr. Robert C. Evans, Professor of English at Auburn University- Montgomery.

Author of eight books and hundreds of articles, Dr. Evans’s prolific literary scholarship has advanced the field of Renaissance Studies.  Over the years, Dr. Evans has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships and has served as an editor for several journals and more than forty books.  Continue reading