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SSAWW 2015 Panel: On the Boundary between Public and Private: Rethinking Willa Cather’s Letters (DEADLINE EXTENDED January 15, 2015)

On the Boundary between Public and Private: Rethinking Willa Cather’s Letters (DEADLINE EXTENDED January 15, 2015)

The Cather Foundation solicits proposals on topics related to Cather’s letters for a panel at the Society for the Studies of American Women Writers conference in Philadelphia November 4-8, 2015. For many years, biographers and critics who consulted Willa Cather’s letters could refer to their contents only in paraphrase because of restrictions in Cather’s will. Cather’s insistence that her letters not be published or quoted from and stories about the burning of her letters also became a key component of many interpretations of Cather’s life and works. With the lifting of the ban on publication and quotation, the appearance of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather in 2013, a complete digital edition of the letters underway, and the regular discovery of previously-unknown letters, the time is ripe to rethink Cather’s letters and their place in scholarship.

What can Cather’s letters tell us about her works and her life? What can’t they tell us? Now that scholars can quote from her letters, what can we say about Cather’s voice in her letters and her engagement with the letter as genre? Considering the survival of over 3,000 letters in libraries, was Cather as obsessed with privacy as some previously claimed based in part on stories about the destruction of letters? What public function did Cather’s letters have when she wrote them, and what public function to they have now?

Proposals on these and other topics concerning Cather’s letters are solicited. Depending on the number of proposals, more than one panel or a roundtable of shorter presentations may be constructed. Please e-mail a 250-300 word abstract and a 1-page c.v. to Melissa J. Homestead at mhomestead2@unl.edu by January 15, 2015.

CFP: Lydia Maria Child at ALA (1.1.15)

The Lydia Maria Child Society is in the early stages of development. If you would like to be involved, join our listserv at https://listserv.du.edu/mailman/listinfo/lmchild-society.

Call for Papers:

The Lydia Maria Child Society invites proposals for the annual ALA Conference to be held May 21-24, 2015 in Boston, MA.

“Lydia Maria Child and Her Contemporaries”

Given the multi-faceted impact on American culture that she had during her lifetime, many connections can be drawn between Child and her contemporaries. Her pioneering work in children’s literature and domestic advice books made her a familiar household name—as did her widely read journalistic sketches “Letters from New York.” In her contributions to the abolitionist cause, she forged networks with editors, writers, and activists. She participated in the national conversation on Native American rights and removal policies, which she worked into her fiction, thereby helping to establish the form of the American historical novel. Her mutually influential relationship with the transcendentalists is evident throughout her career. This panel seeks papers that explore the links between Child and her contemporaries in ways that illuminate her lasting impact on American culture and society.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts and a 1-page CV to Sarah.Olivier@du.edu by January 1, 2015. Indicate if you will need any A/V equipment.

CFP for SSAWW 2015: Texas Regional Study Group: “Written By Herself”: Dialogue in African American Women’s Self-Writing (January 20, 2015)

“Written By Herself”: Dialogue in African American Women’s Self-Writing

 CFP: Texas Regional SSAWW group at SSAWW Conference, November 4-8, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA

Deadline: January 20, 2015

The Texas Regional SSAWW group invited scholars to submit abstracts for its panel at the SSAWW Conference. We welcome abstracts about doing scholarly work on the self-writing of black American women. This panel examines autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries of black American women writers and dialogue that develops between the scholars who work on them and the original author and text. 

Over the past two hundred and fifty years African American women writers and literary scholars have collaborated to create and represent the lives and voices of black women: from Frances Smith Foster’s Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892 in 1979 to Akasha Gloria Hull’s discovery and publication of Give Us Each Day: The Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson in 1986; from Audre Lorde’s own memoir The Cancer Journals published in 1980 to Joycelyn Moody’s Sentimental Confessions: Spiritual Narratives of Nineteenth- Century African American Women in 2003 and Rhondda Robinson Thomas’ A Nickel and A Prayer: The Autobiography of Jane Edna Hunter in 2011. (more…)

CFP for SSAWW 2015 Panel: 20th-Century Women Writers and the Natural World (1.12.15)

20th-Century Women Writers and the Natural World

Call for papers for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers 2015 Conference
November 4-8, 2015, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the latter part of the twentieth-century, ecofeminists posited the parallel between the subjugation of women and the commodification and exploitation of the natural world.  In a similar vein, and addressing the SSAWW’s conference theme of “Liminal Spaces/Hybrid Lives,” this panel seeks a broad range of papers exploring how 20th-Century American women writers represent their complex relation to natural spaces, landscape, or nonhuman nature.  What does the female subject’s relation to the natural world look like? In what ways do women writers attempt to account for alienation from it? And how do they challenge the oppressive structures that engender this sense of loss? In what ways might they strategically (re)invent relationships with the natural world to advocate for greater connectivity, community-building, and egalitarianism?  Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biography to Robert Fillman at rff212@lehigh.edu by January 12th, 2015.

CFP for SSAWW 2015 Panel: Women of the Harlem Renaissance (1.15.15)

Traditionally, women writers of the Harlem Renaissance era from Nella Larsen to Jessie Redmon Fauset to Marita Bonner, among others, have been under-represented in criticism both past and present. The concept of the New Negro, after all, was gendered male, excluding the value role that women writers would play in not only challenging the pervasive color line but in calling increased attention to the depths of African-American experience that, as Zora Neale Hurston posits, white publishers would not print. Reflecting on the conference theme, “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” this panel asks how African-American women writers of the Harlem Renaissance negotiated their dual status as women and black in text. How did authors such as Larsen, Fauset, Hurston, and beyond challenge the limited roles of black women to overcome what many now recognize as a culturally subservient and second-class hybrid status? And how do these works provide new insight into the New Negro woman whose various forms of art and expression helped to resurrect the African-American voice too long silent or silenced?


From Koritha Mitchell: SSAWW call for nominations (President, VP for Publications; Deadline 1.31.15)

Originally posted on SSAWW:

Dear SSAWW colleagues:

 The time has come to begin the process for replacing officers whose terms are up at the end of 2015/start of 2016. Holding elections now will provide an opportunity for incoming officers to shadow their outgoing predecessors during 2015.

Two posts will become vacant, both vital to the success of SSAWW: the Vice President of Publications and the President.

The VP of Publications manages the website and organizes the online newsletter and its publication. The website is, of course, critical to the success of SSAWW. The current VP of Publications, Donna Campbell, has made a brilliant success of this job and has therefore helped SSAWW advance by leaps and bounds! The person elected holds the position for three years and, by mutual agreement, for a further three years. The VP of Publications enjoys the support of a graduate student, currently Jordan L. Von Cannon of Louisiana…

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Roundtable: Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring (Deadline: January 15, 2015)

Roundtable: Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring (DeadlineJanuary 15, 2015)

Call for Papers for SSAWW Conference November 4-8, 2015, Philadelphia

This roundtable, Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring, explores how teen or YA literature by American women writers occupies liminal spaces and blurs boundaries. Like the teen, YA literature exists in a state of flux. It is often relegated to a space between “lowbrow” and “highbrow” literature, it has a multi-aged readership though designated for teens, and it is considered a relatively new genre despite actually existing for centuries.

Panelists are invited to explore these and any other related topics:

 crossover writers – authors who blur the boundary between academic/popular and adult/teen, such as Joyce Carol Oates (more…)


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