CEA and Conference FAQs
Advancing the English Scholar-Teacher since 1938
The College English Association (CEA) is a vibrant, growing professional organization whose members represent a range of interests traditionally gathered under English studies.
The CEA seeks to connect all scholars and teachers of English from all concentrations and within any professional or academic environment who consider teaching undergraduate and graduate students the proper focus of their profession, including all literary fields and genres, cultural studies, English education, film studies, and all fields of writing studies, such as rhetoric and composition, technical and professional writing, and creative writing.
Our members are part of an over 80-year tradition of advancing English studies and pedagogy around the world.
You are Welcome
CEA as a national academic organization encourages participation and inclusion of faculty from diverse backgrounds and life experiences without regard for race, ethnicity, religion, age, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, physical ability, or other areas that may be seen as exclusionary or divisive. Both in our CEA publications and in our national and regional conferences we promote inclusion and equitable freedom of expression of ideas through academic research that explores a diversity of perspectives. To this end, we seek to advance our knowledge and invite discussion. By so doing we hope to cultivate our academic communities and inspire our members to treat with respect and responsibility the many diverse concerns of those with whom we interact.
This goal is exemplified among our purposes, as stated in our constitution, whereby we aim to promote fruitful interrelationships among English and other disciplines as well as to interpret the relationships of the study and teaching of English to society at large. It is through the welcome and equitable inclusion of a variety of ideas and perspectives on issues connected within separate disciplines that we are best able to advance understanding and encouragement to our colleagues, our students, and our broader communities.
What can I expect at a CEA Conference?
Many experiences at a CEA Conference will feel familiar: formal panels of three or four presenters addressing different perspectives on the same topic or more informal roundtable discussions addressing teaching or issues in higher education, for example.
The conference also offers a number of special events during the conference. These events include
- Plenary Speaker: This event features a renowned scholar-teacher. Previous speakers have included game studies scholar Samantha Blackmon, filmmaker Ian Dixon, scholar of Creole culture Dana Kress, poet Patricia Spears Jones, Trinidadian American novelist Elizabeth Nunez, and former Poet Laureate Rita Dove.
- President’s Reception: Get to know CEA members in an informal atmosphere, reconnect with old friends, and eat some great food, too! Although this event is free, you should register for it when you register for the conference.
- Women’s Connection Reception: A highlight of our Women’s Connection, Women’s Literature, and WGST topic area, this event features a speaker addressing issues in women’s and gender studies. The speaker often addresses a subject related to the region hosting the conference. You can sign up for this event when you register for the conference.
- Coffee at the Commons: This event offers contingent faculty members the opportunity to make connections with peers at other institutions and features a speaker. You can sign up for this event when you register for the conference.
- Diversity Reception: This event features a speaker addressing issues in diversity. The speaker often addresses a subject related to the region hosting the conference. You can sign up for this event when you register for the conference.
- Graduate Student Reception: This event offers graduate students the opportunity to make connections with peers at other institutions and to meet CEA officers and members. You can sign up for this event when you register for the conference.
- Open Mic Night: CEA members share their fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. No registration is necessary.
- Book Draw: On the final day of the conference, participate in a fun giveaway and get a free book or two from the Book Exhibit. Make sure to add your name to the bowl sometime during the conference if you want to win!
- All-Conference Luncheon: Hear a fantastic speaker and learn the names of conference award winners. You can sign up for this event when you register for the conference.
You can find out more about the 2020 special events on the Conference Events page.
Who are members of the CEA?
Currently, the over 800 members of the CEA hail from every type of institution and at all levels of teaching and research: graduate students, contingent faculty, and tenured/tenure-track faculty. We also have an active international membership from places such as Australia, Singapore, and many islands in the Caribbean.
The diversity of the conference’s yearly offerings represents the diversity of the teaching and research completed by its members. It’s not unusual to find presentations on ableism in video games alongside studies of Beowulf.
Where are CEA conferences held?
We hold CEA conferences across the United States. Some locations in the past have included New Orleans, Denver, San Antonio, Richmond, Indianapolis, and Savannah.
The 2020 conference will take place in Hilton Head, SC, and the 2021 conference will take place in Birmingham, AL.
When are CEA conferences held?
Typically, CEA conferences are held during the last week in March or the first week in April, though this schedule sometimes changes.
Why should I attend CEA instead of another professional conference?
Our focus on collegiality and the development of the scholar-teacher acts as one characteristic that sets us apart from many other conferences. If you are a graduate student or early-career scholar-teacher, you can easily make connections and become involved in our welcoming atmosphere.
How can I become involved with CEA?
You can get involved with the CEA in a number of ways, such as a reviewer of conference submissions, as a conference volunteer, or as a member of a committee. If you are interested, you can email the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.