2014 CFP: Women’s and Gender Studies

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The Adolescent Girl in Early 20th Century American Women’s Writing (Seminar)
This seminar will investigate the shifting figure of the adolescent girl in early 20th-century American women’s writing (1900-1960). How did women in the early 1900s write girl bodies compared to women in the 1930s? The 1950s? Did women writers reinforce cultural norms of adolescent girlhood in their works, or did they create new, resistant models of girlhood? Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief 150-word bio to Leslie Allison at leslie.allison@temple.edu.
Beyond the Bedside: Nursing Narratives of World War I and World War II
This transnational panel will examine nurses’ representations of WWI and WII, and is specifically concerned with nurses’ experiences as they entered the gendered hierarchy of the military and encountered the violence and carnage of war. It seeks papers on autobiographical narratives, including letters, diaries, autobiography, memoir, and oral histories. International texts are welcome. Papers are to be presented in English. Please send 300-word abstracts and CV to Ravenel Richardson at ravenelrichardson@gmail.com.
Changing Rape Culture through Literature (Roundtable)
Rape culture thrives on college campuses where the rate of rape holds steady at one in four women students. This roundtable discussion will address rape culture’s unquestioned acceptance and how literature classrooms can combat this lack of awareness. Send your 300-word proposals to Lisa Day, Eastern Kentucky University, lisa.day@eku.edu.
Cities of Protest, Cities of Collaboration
From the recent Occupy movement to demonstrations in support of women’s right to vote, the last hundred years have seen the city emerge as a pivotal site of resistance and community for a range of social, economic, and political movements around the globe. For the 2014 Women’s and Gender Caucus sponsored panel, we are interested in papers that address some facet of women, gender, masculinity, and/or sexuality in the city from World War I to the present. Send abstracts to Elizabeth O’Connor at wgsnemla@gmail.com.
Civil Rights Discourse in Post-Stonewall LGBTQ Texts
LGBTQ activist discourse often turns to the black civil rights movement as model and analogy. This panel explores post-Stonewall LGBTQ texts working both within and against civil rights discourse. What are the dangers and advantages in using ‘like race’ arguments in LGBTQ activism? How have the successes and failures of the black civil rights movement informed contemporary LGBTQ texts? Papers addressing texts from a variety of genres and media are welcome. Send 250 word abstracts and a brief CV to Laura Westengard, lwestengard@citytech.cuny.edu
Comically Queer
This panel approaches the intersection of the queer and the comic in order to pursue the contours of regimes of the normal, which determine what it means to be taken seriously (and which bodies are). We invite papers that draw on queer theory as well as other theories of the body to ask how laughter and the comic might work to disrupt or configure the category of what Judith Butler terms the ‘recognizably human.’ Please send 250-word abstracts to jamie.mulder@tufts.edu.
De-Naturalising Maternal Desire: Narratives of Abortion, Adoption and Surrogacy
This panel explores how issues of adoption, surrogacy, & abortion trouble the boundaries of reproduction and reveal cultural anxieties surrounding maternal identity. Papers that reflect on how bio-essentialized maternal desire is linked to commercial surrogacy; is used to demonize repeat abortion; & is deployed to deny the agency of birth mothers who choose adoption are welcome. The panel will also analyze the social and legal constructions of motherhood and the maternal instinct. 250-word abstracts <thompsmx@jmu.edu> <modhumita.roy@tufts.edu>
Death, Gender, and Genre: On Women and Elegy
The last thirty years of elegy studies have brought increasing critical attention to thinking about women and elegy, specifically by reconsidering the positions and practices of female elegists and feminist readers. All papers are welcome that consider the different ways the feminine elegiac reconstructs and challenges masculine elegiac conventions, tropes, modes, figurations, and poetics, thus moving beyond male-centered critical models. Submit proposals of 250-500 words to Clare Emily Clifford at ccliffor@bsc.edu
Engineering the Body in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Borrowing Walter Benjamin’s categorization of an age, this panel will explore contemporary representations of the engineered body. Late twentieth- and twenty-first century works expose the ways in which technology intervenes in the body to replicate, manipulate, and salvage life. The results are often the augmentation, fragmentation, and destruction of bodies. Please send 250-500 word abstracts on how contemporary literature, television, and film represent the relationship between technology and the body to Lisa Perdigao: lperdiga@fit.edu.
Fairy Tale in Contemporary Women’s Literature
This panel seeks papers that focus on contemporary female writers working in the tradition of fairy tale. Possible topics include fairy tale and the body; role of the fairy tale in memory and healing; authority and transgression; place of the fantastic in modernity; fairy tale as an alternative account of history; potential of the fantastic to disrupt, redefine, and subvert power structures; restructuring of language by the female storyteller. Please send 250-word abstracts and bios to Natalia Andrievskikh, nandrie1@binghamton.edu
Feminist Views of Masculinities
With the scientific advances of the twenty-first century, gender and sexuality are perhaps more fluid and dynamic than ever before. No longer must one be born a woman to become one, and even the academic field of women’s studies has increasingly been expanded to ‘women’s and gender studies’ or shortened to ‘gender studies’ as a way of acknowledging the need to include and analyze masculinity and queer genders. Abstracts to lisa.day@eku.edu.
Forces of Nature: Liberating Women in the Middle Ages
In 1361, Boccaccio began his collection of lives, On Famous Women, a book that is now read as both a mirror and a milestone within a period maligned for its misogyny. As early as the 12th century, however, debates over the nature of the female body call for a subtler notion of medieval womanhood, a topic to be engaged through writings by and about medieval European women. Did the 14th century mark the start of the querelle des femmes or the end of an unwritten chapter? 300-word abstracts to Christiana Purdy Moudarres cmoudarres@gmail.com.
Girls After the Apocalypse
This panel seeks papers exploring representations of girl heroines after apocalyptic events. Papers might consider how texts reconfigure or reify adolescent gender roles and/or gender identity; or explore whether/how the sex of the protagonist informs the texts’ socio-historical or ecological critical analyses. Considerations placing protagonists within intersections of race, class, sexuality, or religion are encouraged, as are feminist or ecofeminist approaches. Email 300-word abstract to Julie.Nerad@morgan.edu. Please provide a brief bio.
The Gothic Body: The Physical Depiction of the Female Gothic
This panel considers Ellen Moers’ understanding of the Female Gothic, yet seeks discussions of the genre through the lens of twenty-first century criticism. In considering the Gothic Body as a starting point for a conversation on the Female Gothic, this panel invites papers to consider the female appearance in Gothic literature, whether this presence is avoided, eliminated, or even tortured – all reminiscent of Moers’ depiction. Please send 300-500 word abstracts to Neena Cinquino, ncinquino@gmail.com.
Irish and Indian-Anglophone Writing in a Transnational Feminism
This panel explores Irish literature in conversation with various postcolonial and global literatures. More specifically, this panel is interested in considering the connections between Irish texts and Indian-Anglophone texts, but welcome papers that consider Irish writing in a more global context. With increased debates around globalization and claims that we are ‘beyond the nation,’ this panel welcomes papers that explore representations of the family, the community, and the nation-state. Please send your abstract to tara.harney@uconn.edu
Jewish Women Writers: Witnesses to Injustice
Maxine Kumin asserts, ‘I know feel that we poets have to serve as witnesses at least to the injustices around us.’ Like Kumin, many Jewish women writers memorialize in their writing iterations of discrimination and persecution throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This panel seeks to bring together scholars of Jewish women writers-as-witnesses and hopes to have an array of themes represented to theorize the ways in which Jewish women writers demonstrate sensitivity to the victimization of the Jewish people and others. Lois Rubin lxr5@psu.edu
The Maid of Orleans: Inspired Leader, Protofeminist, and Cultural Icon (Seminar)
Joan’s legacy has engendered admiration and/or consternation. This seminar will focus on the medieval contexts surrounding her rise and fall: from political to mystical to literary. Papers may examine Joan in her own time. Or, emphasis can be on Joan’s iconographic social status after her’ost’ trial transcripts re-emerged in the 19th century. Biographies, cultural studies, and literary texts that appeared are especially suitable. 250-word abstracts to ellen.dolgin@dc.edu or arocca@salemstate.edu
Monstrous Maternity: Mothering Monsters, and Monsters as Mothers
This panel will examine the correlation between motherhood and monstrosity, as represented and defined in both literature and film. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: mothers in Gothic literature, the absent mother in monster texts, monstrous mothers, mothering monsters, depictions of monstrous mothers in film, the question of blame and true crime, supernatural motherhood, and alternative maternity in literature and film. Please send proposals and brief biographical notes to A.L. Mishou, USNA, almishou@gmail.com.
Pro-Indigenous Feminisms, Communal Autobiography and Water
Senses of self are traditionally communal in indigenous cultures; community includes water. Risks to the Susquehanna River (named for Susquehannok Indians) reflect tensions between Indigenous and European constructions of water. This panel welcomes discussions of water in literature, film, & cultural productions including political discourse, at intersections of pro-indigenous feminism (along vectors such as race, class, & gender), and senses of self. Abstracts to menoukha.case@esc.edu & ssellers@gettysburg.edu
Sorceresses and Witches: Enchanting Women on and off the Renaissance Stage
This panel seeks papers that explore the intersection between theatric and non-theatric representations of the early modern witch. Exegeses of ‘witch-plays’; contemporary accounts of witch encounters; trials; pamphlets detailing witchlore; nontextual sources—all may be used in the exploration of staged and accused witches as victimizers and / or victims. Of particular interest is how theatre actuated an epistemological transformation in societal imagination and praxis. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts via email to: DawnSaliba@gmail.com
‘Wet Theory’: Creative Writing as Lever in Feminist and Queer Criticism (Roundtable)
We seek papers that explore how moments of creative writing in feminist and queer criticism – fictionalized dialogues, fannish effusions, speculative scenarios, multi-media/formal experiments, and personal narratives – function as methods for engaging affective experience in what might otherwise be dry academic prose. We are especially interested in papers that consider how creative writing in such criticism can enhance theoretical knowledge. Send 300-word abstract & CV to krusem@newschool.edu and amagnet@gmail.com
What’s Queer about Musical Theatre? (Seminar)
This seminar is meant to address the manifestations of queerness within contemporary Musical Theatre. Stemming from D.A. Miller’s ’Place for Us,’ papers will address the formal, aesthetic, or affective qualities when one creates a Musical rather than a ’straight’ play. In particular, recent developments in Queer Theory, centering on Affect Theory, give us a new set of methodology and tools by which to explain the affective import of embedding song into a narrative, and the queer potentiality within that gesture. Email <cmculp@buffalo.edu>
Women in Scandinavian Plays
This seminar is interested in mapping out the situation of Scandinavian women both in past and more recent dramatic works. How do plays with women protagonists describe female psychology and her social situation? In which ways do the historical plays reflect a later notion of’trong Nordic women’? And how does the form contribute to the dramatization of the problems? Comparative contributions relating Scandinavian plays to literary descriptions of/by women elsewhere are also welcome. Leena Eilitta: <leena.eilitta@helsinki.fi>
Women Writing War Trauma
We begin with the premise that gender has the power not only to influence the experience of trauma (the source of trauma, how it is inflicted, how it is internalized), but also the narration of that trauma (what forms it takes, what audiences are available, what socio-cultural obstacles stand in the way). This panel invites paper proposals that consider the impact of gender on narratives of war trauma composed by women. Please send 300-500 word abstracts and brief biographical statements to Jenny Kijowski, profkijowski@gmail.com.
Women’s Education and the Rhetoric of Sexual Reformation
The post-industrial period in Britain (ca. 1850-1950) was a time of increased access for women in areas such as education and employment, but of inversely proportional limitations on female sexual expression. British writers have documented the intersections of education, social reform, and women’s sexuality, and this panel will highlight the ways that writing from multiple genres is marked by cultural anxiety stemming from the public and governmental discourse that marginalized and at times criminalized women’s sexual agency. <aea13@psu.edu>

See also under:

American: “Capturing the Immigrant Experience: Latina/o Identity in Flux”; “The Con in Convention: Vexing Gender in 19th-Century American Women’s Writing”; “Ecofeminist Readings of 19th-Century American Women’s Fiction”; “Embodying the Educational Experience”; “Ethnicity and Affect in American Literatures”; “Literature as Pulpit: The Bible and Nineteenth-Century Women Writers”; “Maternal Absence in Modern American Southern Fiction”; “Race, Sex, Class, and Bawdy-House Life in 19th Century America”; “Redefining American History and Identity through the Novels of Toni Morrison”; “Relocating Andrea Lee”; “Scenes of Violence from WWII to the present

Anglophone (Transnational & Other): “Bachelors, Bastards, and Bad Boys in the Transatlantic World, 1600-1865”; “A Celebration of Janet Frame, New Zealand Writer”; “Contemporary Irish Poets and the Poetics of Space

British: “Fresh Perspectives on Mary Russell Mitford”; “Memsahibs as Imagined and Imaged by Male Writers”; “Pride and Prejudice at 200”; “Staging the New Woman: Shaw, Suffrage and Theatre as Activism”; “Transforming Places and Transcending Spaces in English Women’s Writing 1640-1740”; “Victorian Saints and Sinners

Comparative Languages & Theory: “Critical Feelings: Redefining Cultural Agency in Affect Theory”; “Representing Rape in Medieval Literature

Composition and Rhetoric: “Pen and Press: Civic Literacy and Social Action in American Women’s Journalism

Creative Writing: “Writers & Critics: Gender Studies Forum

Cultural Studies and Film: “Female Film Directors: Aesthetics and Politics”; “Opening Queer Inclusion and Representation in Television”; “Women and Iranian Cinema

French and Francophone: “Feminisms in Action in Literature and the Visual Arts”; “The Writing Body: Oralité, Ecriture, and Corporeal Language

Italian: “Ethics and Aesthetics in Anna Maria Ortese’s Works”; “Homosexual Women in Italian Literature, Cinema and Other Media”; “(Re/De) Constructing the Body: Masculinity and Femininity in the Italian Arts

Professional: “Interdisciplinarity and the Job Market

Russian/Eastern European: “From Pussy Riot to Femen: Performance as Social Protest in Russia and Ukraine

Spanish/Portuguese: “Españolas protagonistas de la transición a la democracia”; “Gender Trouble and Bodily Transformation in Spanish Literature and Film”; “Interpretations of Alternatively-abled Women in the Spanish-speaking World”; “La presencia femenina en el seno del espacio teatral latinoamericano”; “Passion and Love in Latin American Poetry and Prose”; “Pre-Civil War (1936) Images of Iberian Masculinity(ies)”; “Queer Belongings: Circuits of Intimacy and Kinship in Latin American Fiction”; “Split Subjects and Textual Embodiment in Hispanic and Lusophone Literature”; “Water Imagery in the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora”; “Women, Gender and Sexuality in Lusophone Literatures