For the third consecutive year, the Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture is returning to Ottawa University. According to a university press release, registration is now open for the annual conference, which is slated for April 6. Conference sign-ups are at: www.ottawa.edu/baseball-conference/home

The one-day event will feature two nationally recognized keynote speakers, in addition to new panel presentations from authors and academics from across the country.

Acclaimed essayist, author and editor Dr. Gerald Early is slated as the morning session keynote speaker. Early has served as a commentator for NPR and as a consultant for several documentaries with Ken Burns, including his hit film Baseball. He is currently the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and a professor of English and of African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Early writes on a diverse array of topics including baseball, jazz, Motown, Muhammad Ali, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Former Major League outfielder and ESPN analyst Doug Glanville is scheduled to give the afternoon keynote address. During his eight-year career in Major League Baseball, he spent time with the Chicago Cubs (1996-1997, 2003), Philadelphia Phillies (1998-2002, 2004) and Texas Rangers (2003). Glanville has written articles for the New York Times and ESPN.com and is currently a consultant with Baseball Factory, a high school player development program. In 2010, he authored the book “The Game From Where I Stand”, which talks about how players prepare for games, deal with race and family issues, cope with streaks and slumps, and more.

Organizers of the conference are currently soliciting 1-2 page proposals for presentations to be given at the conference, the release said. Presenters will have 15 minutes in panels comprised of three or four participants and proposals should summarize the talk as clearly as possible. The conference theme defines “culture” loosely – in addition to baseball literature, topics could include but are not limited to: aspects of baseball history, baseball memoirs and biographies, baseball in foreign or non-US cultures, baseball in painting, music, film, or the other arts; baseball material culture (e.g., players’ equipment, fans’ scorecards, features of baseball stadiums, pine tar, chewing tobacco); and readings of creative works (fiction, non-fiction essays, poems, or plays).

“All proposals should make clear how baseball relates to some aspect of local, ethnic, regional, national or international culture,” the release said. “Proposals by graduate students are welcomed; statistical analyses of teams and players are not wanted.”

Those interested in submitting a proposal can send them to Dr. Andy Hazucha, professor of English at Ottawa University, at andy.hazucha@ottawa.edu Include on the proposal name, address, phone number, school affiliation (if applicable), and e-mail address.