CANCELED: International Symposium: The American Short Story: Old and New, October 15-17, 2020

Organized by the Department of American Studies, University of Innsbruck, Austria and  the Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS) 

CANCELED because of COVID-19

The American Short Story: Old and New
October 15-17, 2020

Photo: Robin Peer

Gudrun M. Grabher
University of Innsbruck / Austria

James Nagel
University of Georgia / USA

The Department of American Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and the Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS) invite proposals for papers and presentations at an international symposium to be held in Innsbruck, Austria, October 15-17, 2020. The venue is the Humanities Building of the University of Innsbruck at Innrain 52. Various hotels in Innsbruck within walking distance from the conference venue will offer special conference rates at around € 125,-- for double rooms. Breakfast is included in the price. The conference fee is € 160, and it includes two lunches and two receptions. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2020. All attendees must register for the conference by August 1, 2020. Please register online.


In this symposium, we look forward to discussing the American short story from various perspectives and in a variety of contexts. A central focus will be the reconsideration of the history of the genre through the inclusion of new writers from all racial and ethnic groups, the development of innovative types of stories (flash fiction, micro-fiction, and other forms), and the recovery of fiction published in languages other than English. Close readings of stories by any American author are always appropriate as are broad discussions of historical periods and movements. Audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium.


The symposium is sponsored by the Department of American Studies at the University of Innsbruck and the Society for the Study of the American Short Story. The directors are Gudrun M. Grabher, Chair of the American Studies Department, and James Nagel, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Georgia.


In addition to traditional panels, with three 20-minute papers, the symposium will also hold discussion forums, seminar conversations, and roundtable sessions. Fully-formed panels or discussion groups are especially welcome as are sessions organized by author societies. Creative writers are also invited to present work in progress or to discuss the genre of the short story.

Proposals need be only a single page with one paragraph that describes the subject of the paper and another that gives the credentials of the speaker.

Deadline for submissions is June 15, 2020.

For submissions, please go to the conference website and follow the instructions:


Proposals from North and South America:

Individual papers
Full panels
Roundtable discussions
Creative writing

Proposals from the rest of the world:

Individual papers
Full panels
Roundtable discussions
Creative writing


Link to registration form (will be available by January 2020)  


Please note that Innsbruck is a very popular destination in October and hotels get fully booked quickly - we therefore suggest you book your room as soon as possible!

You must book your hotel room directly with the hotel and mention the reservation code, which is SSASS2020. We have arranged for special rates for conference participants with the following four hotels:

Hotel Goldener Adler

Hotel Mondschein                                                                                                                    

Basic Hotel Innsbruck

Hotel Innsbruck

Further suggestions of hotels located nearby (no special arrangements with the conference organizers) are:

Hotel Engl
Gartenhotel Pension Garni
Hotel Neue Post

Individuellhotel Nala

For more information about hotels and Innsbruck in general, please visit:


Innsbruck has an airport. If you are traveling from the US, you may either want to fly to Frankfurt and from there to Innsbruck, or you may fly to Munich and arrange for a shuttle service that takes you directly from Munich airport to your hotel in Innsbruck (and back). Please make arrangements with Four Seasons Travel Munich - Innsbruck. From Innsbruck airport it is best to take a taxi to your hotel. The taxi ride will take about 10 minutes and will be approx. € 10.


The American Short Story: Old and New
Department of American Studies
University of Innsbruck
Innrain 52
6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Tel: +43 (0)512 507 4175 (Gudrun. M. Grabher)

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