New Book: A Companion to The Works of Elizabeth Strout by Katherine Montwieler

Author: Katherine Montwieler

A Companion to The Works of Elizabeth Strout

Ohio University Press – Swallow Press, 2022

Including an exclusive interview with bestselling American novelist Elizabeth Strout, this groundbreaking study will engage literature scholars and general readers alike.

Written in accessible language, this book is the first to offer a sustained analysis of Elizabeth Strout’s work. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the O. Henry Award, among other accolades, Strout has achieved a vast popular following as well. Amy and Isabelle was made into a television movie; Olive Kitteridge, which sold more than one million copies, was adapted as a miniseries; The Burgess Boys has been optioned for HBO; and My Name Is Lucy Barton was reimagined for the stage in London and on Broadway. Oh William!, the sequel to My Name Is Lucy Barton, appeared in 2021, and Strout’s latest book, Lucy by the Sea, is slated for release in fall 2022.

At the height of her literary powers as a chronicler of American life and particularly the lives of American women, Strout is currently enjoying both commercial and critical success. Her sales and perennial presence on book club lists indicate a tremendous impact on the popular realm and the growing attention to her in academia charts her importance in American letters. This book will satisfy readers looking for a serious, in-depth introduction to Strout’s work, as well as those interested in women’s writing, contemporary fiction, ethics, and literature. It includes a new interview with Strout in which she discusses these issues.

Montwieler traces the evolution of Strout’s voice, themes, and characters, which uniquely address American twenty-first-century feminine perspectives and sensibilities. From classic domestic spats between a mother and daughter to hate crimes aimed at mosques, from sweeping forays into decades past to snapshots of contemporary life, Strout compassionately portrays humanity at its most brutal and its most intimate. Though her canvas is vast, her eye for detail is astute and her ear for nuance is keen. Looking across Strout’s work, Montwieler explores how she portrays the endurance of hope, the complexities of family, the effects of trauma on individuals and communities, the sustaining power of the natural world, and the effects of place on personal and collective character.

Strout’s creations cultivate empathy in her readers, teaching them to be attuned to the suffering of others and to the human need for connection. Across her work and in the new interview included within this book, Strout shows her readers that they are not alone in this impersonal, often violent world. The connection that acknowledges our limitations, our woundedness, our capability to do harm, our remorse, and our recognition of beauty and humor distinguishes Strout’s unique contribution to contemporary American letters.

Available for purchase: https://www.ohioswallow.com/book/A+Companion+to+the+Works+of+Elizabeth+Strout

CFP: NeMLA 2023: Women Writers of the Americas and Fearless Speech (Deadline: 9.30.2022)

CFP: NeMLA 2023, March 23-26, Niagara Falls, NY

Women Writers of the Americas and Fearless Speech

In a series of lectures delivered in fall 1983 at UC Berkeley, which were recorded and then published in 2001 as Fearless Speech, Michel Foucault explored the concept of parrhesia in early Greek literature and philosophy. The lectures consider such questions as: What do we mean by “truth?” Who is able to tell the truth? What are the ethical dimensions of truth telling? What are the consequences of telling the truth? What is the relationship between truth telling and power?

In this proposed session, Foucault’s questions will be the starting point for a roundtable discussion about the concept of “fearless speech” as it is exhibited in texts by women writers of the Americas across a range of periods. While women have historically been challenged when they try to speak, and even been depicted as incapable of telling the truth, many women have pushed back against these limitations in ways both overt and subversive. Finding ways to speak truth to power can take many forms, even today. In addition to Foucault’s questions, this roundtable will ask presenters and attendees to consider several others: What does truth telling or “fearless speech” by women look like in the texts being considered? What has been the response to that fearless speech? What have been the repercussions? What similarities and differences can be observed in the forms of truth telling across space and time? And, finally, what price do women continue to pay for engaging in fearless speech?

Submit an abstract and brief bio by Sept. 30 at https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/19927.

More information about the conference can be found here: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla.html

CFP: Ghostbusters – A Companion, edited collection (Deadline: open until filled)

Ghostbusters – A Companion

Deadline for submissions: Open until filled

 

Simon Bacon, series editor; Cathleen Allyn Conway, collection editor; Peter Lang, Oxford

contact email: conwaycat@gmail.com

Call for Papers: Ghostbusters – A Companion

The release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the fourth installment coming almost 40 years after the original Ghostbusters film, prompts inquiry into this beloved and oftentimes fraught film franchise. While the original and (and its sequel) was a paean to academics becoming the working class heroes who act as the ghost janitors of New York City, the third and fourth films, reimagined with new casts, have become a battleground for who ‘owns’ nostalgia, and have acted as meta-commentaries on the question. As Charles Bramesco wrote in his Guardian review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, “Perhaps it’s appropriate and telling that the 2021 incarnation of an 80s artifact would be imbued with all the issues most endemic to the current studio release. Here, we can find a damning summary of modern Hollywood’s default mode – a nostalgia object, drained of personality and fitted into a dully palatable mold, custom-made for a fandom that worships everything and respects nothing.”

We are asking for essays of 2,500 words that frame a theoretical aspect of the cultural role Ghostbusters plays by centering on one text, whether literary or cinematic, to use as a lens to look at the wider topic. The essays themselves should be accessible but address the big ideas, placing Ghostbusters into cultural and historical context.

We are specifically interested in the intersections of gender, race, class, disability and LGBT+ concerns with the franchise, its tie-ins and extended universe. We are particularly interested in hearing from scholars from marginalised groups. We prioritise Own Voices and encourage you to self-identify in your bio for this purpose.

The proposed Companion will be divided into several sections. The topics in each section may include but are not limited to the following, with understanding there is room for crossover:

Films
Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Plus:
All soundtracks, trailers, deleted scenes, directors’ commentaries, and tie-in shorts related to the theatrical and home video release of all four films.

Extended Universe
Animated series
Comics and graphic novel adaptations and new series
Multimedia tie-ins
Gaming: board games, video games, handhelds, card games, role playing
Fan fiction: film, art, music

Fandom
Live meetups and regional fan groups
Cosplay, costume and prop makers
Model builders and automobile restoration enthusiasts
Small business tie-ins
Ghost hunters

Merchandising/licensing
Food tie-ins and merchandising
Vintage toy collectors
Licensing
Pin Trading
Ghostbusters cameos/callbacks/references in other media

Please send 300 word abstracts and a 50-word bio to editor Cathleen Allyn Conway (conwaycat@gmail.com) for consideration in the collection, which will be part of the Peter Lang, Oxford Genre, Literature and Film Companion Series. This call will remain open until filled.

CFP: New Directions in Indigenous Book History (virtual symposium) – Deadline (10.31.2022)

New Directions in Indigenous Book History

Call for papers for a one-day virtual symposium to be held on Friday, March 24, 2023

Deadline for abstracts: October 31, 2022

After the ten-year anniversary of Phillip Round’s Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663–1880 (2010) and at the twentieth anniversary of Louise Erdrich’s Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003), we invite analyses, reflections, and provocations on the material book’s historical and continuing relation to Indigenous peoples and communities. We also take the occasion to mark the flourishing—though still nascent—field of scholarship on the materialities of the Indigenous book and the productive interventions such scholarship has made into the traditionally settler-oriented fields of bibliography, scholarly editing, and book history.

Though a critical attention to Indigenous print culture has done well to document and examine a wide range of media and genres used by Indigenous writers across the centuries, here we narrow the focus to books specifically. How might we define the Indigenous book? Where does Indigenous book history engage with and depart from other histories of the book? How has the book moved within and across Indigenous communities, both local and global? In what sense can the book be claimed as Indigenous?

We invite proposals for conference-length papers and non-traditional presentations that consider the following topics and others:

  • Indigenous books and the literary marketplace
  • Editing Indigenous books
  • Indigenous books in libraries, archives, and special collections
  • Indigenous artist books
  • Booksellers and collectors of Indigenous books
  • Book awards and/or banned Indigenous books
  • Digitization of Indigenous books
  • Indigenous books in translation and/or in languages other than English
  • Approaches to teaching Indigenous book history
  • Reading lists, bibliographies, and access to Indigenous books
  • Indigenous book clubs and reading groups
  • Indigenous materialisms and the book
  • Innovative methods for the study of Indigenous book history

Sponsored in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School

Please send abstracts (250 words) and a brief cv or biography (100 words) to Amy Gore (amy.gore@ndsu.edu) and Dan Radus (daniel.radus@cortland.edu) by October 15, 2022. Participants will be notified of their inclusion in December 2022.

Job Posting: TT-position in African American Literature, Trinity University (11.18.2022)

The English Department at Trinity University seeks to hire a tenure-track Assistant Professor with
expertise in African American literature to teach upper-division seminars and conduct scholarly
research in that field. Other teaching responsibilities will include surveys of U.S. literature,
introductions to literary study, First-Year Experience courses, and other courses in Pathways,
Trinity University’s interdisciplinary general education program. We invite applicants who
specialize in any historical period, and we especially welcome African Americanists with
subspecialities in the Black Atlantic; Black bibliography; poetry; children’s literature; environmental
literature; and/or speculative fiction. Candidates should have a demonstrated record of teaching
excellence, a passion for mentoring undergraduates, and an active research agenda. In addition,
candidates should have a PhD in hand or plan to complete their program’s PhD degree
requirements by August, 2023.

Trinity University is a highly-selective, nationally ranked liberal arts institution that received over 11,000 applications to fill approximately 650 first-year seats in the Class of 2026. Our campus is located in the heart of San Antonio, a vibrant and diverse city that affords students the opportunity to learn from and
participate in a multicultural urban environment. On-campus centers and resources include the
Humanities Collective, which supports and promotes students’ and faculty members’ humanistic
research; the Collaborative for Learning and Teaching, which provides pedagogical programming
and professional development opportunities for faculty members in all disciplines; and the Student
Success Center, which offers academic advising and tutoring services to Trinity undergraduates.
The Department of English is housed in Dicke Hall, a brand-new, environmentally conscious
building that anchors Trinity’s humanities complex and represents the institution’s commitment to
humanistic study. The Departments of English, Classical Studies, History, Philosophy, and Religion
are located in close proximity to one another, thus facilitating a culture of collaboration.

Trinity University is an equal-opportunity employer, one that provides opportunities for
employment and advancement without regard to applicants’ race, color, religion, sex, age, national
origin, disability, military/veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or
any status protected by Federal, State, or Local Laws. 

Please submit a letter of application,curriculum vitae, three confidential letters of reference, a
dissertation or book abstract, and a writing sample (article- or chapter-length). Because Trinity
University is committed to the value of intentional inclusion and building inclusive communities,
we also request that you provide a brief statement (250-500 words) describing your past efforts as
well as your future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in your teaching, your research,
and/or your other professional activities. We request that these materials be sent via Interfolio no
later than November 18, 2022.

CFP: Resilience through Genre Meshing and Remixing, NeMLA (Deadline: 9.30.2022)

CFP: Resilience through Genre Meshing and Remixing, NeMLA Convention, March 23-26, 2023

Resilience through Genre Remixing and Meshing in Post-1945 Literature and Film

Co-chairs: Liliana Naydan (Pennsylvania State University) and Melissa Strong (Community College of Philadelphia)

54th NeMLA Annual Convention

March 23-26, 2023, Niagara Falls, NY

In Contemporary Drift (2017), Theodore Martin suggests that genres “explain how aesthetic and cultural categories become recognizable as well as reproducible in a given moment, and they demonstrate how the conventions and expectations that make up those categories are sedimented over time” (6). But how might genres develop resilience through flexibility as opposed to sedimentation of the kind that Martin describes? How do authors challenge the notion of genre as fixed by putting different genres into dynamic conversation with historical moments? Moreover, how might the resilience of genres emerge out of rethinking their limits, as Eduardo Navas does in Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling (2012)? Emerging out of Navas’s argument that artistic practices of appropriation in the first half of the twentieth century were “assimilated to then be recycled as part of the postmodern condition in the second half,” this session invites presentations that explore the politics of remixing and meshing genres in post-1945 literature and film (133). Proposals might consider the ways in which remix has become a form of discourse, as Navas argues it has. They likewise might examine remix’s potential for creating the new out of the old and what possibilities emerge for reworking, reimagining, and reinvigorating genre. Please submit proposals to Melissa Strong and Liliana Naydan.

Abstracts due September 30.  Submit proposals here: https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/19894

19th-century American Women Writers Study Group at Amherst College (RSVP by 9.23.2022)

The Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers Study Group will meet October 7-8, 2022, at Amherst College to visit the remarkable collections of the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection and discuss selected works by Indigenous women: a Native American slave narrative by T’tc~tsa/Lucy Young, a Wailaki (California) woman legally captured and sold over and over again in the early 1860s who recounted her narrative under the Federal Writers Project during the late 1930s; poems and stories by E. Pauline Johnson/Tekahionwake (1861-1913), Mohawk author who performed her works across Canada, the northeastern U.S., and England; and book illustrations by Angel de Cora (1871-1919), Ho-Chunk artist, Indigenous art advocate, and teacher at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The organizers—Karen Sanchez-Eppler, site host, and Jeannie Pfaelzer and Laura Mielke, discussion leaders—are excited to extend a welcome to all who wish to attend. They also want to thank Amherst faculty Lisa Brooks and Kiara Vigil for their guidance in planning this gathering.

Readings

NOTE: Digital access to readings will be sent to those who RSVP for the meeting. In the meantime, we will share bibliographic information and links below.

Primary texts

  1. Narrative of T’tc~tsa/Lucy Young, as found in “Out of the Past,” California Historical Society Quarterly, volume 20, number 4 (December 1941), pp. 349-364. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25160964.
  2. E. Pauline Johnson/Tekahionwake, “A Red Girl’s Reasoning,” “Catherine of the Crow’s Nest,” “Ojistoh,” “A Cry from an Indian Wife,” “The Song My Paddle Sings,” and “This Majesty, the West Wind” [available in Tekahionwake: E. Pauline Johnson’s Writings on Native North America, edited by Margery Fee and Dory Nason (Broadview Press, 2015) and other collections of Johnson’s work; books by Johnson digitized here]
  3. Angel de Cora, Illustrations in Zitkala-Ša’s Old Indian Legends and Francis LaFlesche’s The Middle Five.

Secondary texts

  1. Jean Pfaelzer, “’That’s history. That’s truth. I Seen It Myself’: A Native American Slave Narrative” in Susan Bernardin’s Routledge Companion to Gender and the American West (2022)
  2. Beth Piatote, Domestic Subjects (2013), chapter 2
  3. Kelly Wisecup, Assembled for Use (2021), pp. 95-98
  4. Caroline Wigginton, Indigenuity (forthcoming 2022), chapter 5 

Schedule and Locations

We will convene Friday, October 7, from 1 to 4pm, on Frost Library A level. During that session, participants will examine items from the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection that represent a wealth of materials showing the diversity of writing and book making by Native women in the long nineteenth century–and beyond. We will connect as well to works by authors read for previous meetings of this group, namely Zitkala-Ša and Sarah Winnemucca.

We encourage all attendees to take time prior to the meeting to explore the collection’s website, including works available digitally. NOTE: If you see an item in the Collection that you would be interested in seeing during our session, please let Karen Sanchez-Eppler know through the RSVP form (link below).

On Saturday, October 8, from 10am to 4pm, we will convene at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry “Think Tank” on the second floor of Frost Library to discuss the readings. In addition, we will ask that those who are able to attend on Friday to come prepared to share with the group their experience with one of the items in the collection. Lunch will be provided by Amherst College. Arrangements for a group dinner forthcoming.

Travel 

  • The nearest airport is Bradley International Airport (Hartford/Springfield)
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines, in partnership with Greyhound, has regular service to Amherst. Call (800) 237-8747.
  • Megabus has daily bus service between Amherst and New York City (through Hartford) 
  • Amtrak  now runs a few trains a day to nearby Northampton (The Vermonter running between Washington DC and Vermont now stops in Amherst)

Lodging

Many of the accommodations listed in our original announcement do not have availability. Some Airbnb accommodations are available, and we are working on providing transpiration from hotels in the surrounding area. 

If you plan to attend, please complete this RSVP by September 23, 2022. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions. We are so excited to bring this group back together, in person, to learn together about these incredible works!

— Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Jeannie Pfaelzer, and Laura Mielke

CFP: Dissident Feminisms – Inaugural bell hooks center Symposium (Deadline: 9.15.2022)

Dissident Feminisms CFP

Sponsored by the bell hooks center and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Berea College

June 16th-18th, 2023 Berea College Berea, KY

bell hooks’s life and works engage in feminist thought and action that disrupts hegemonic systems of domination, including the cultural norms that hold these systems in place. She calls this dissident feminism a “talking back,” a “moving from silence into speech,” a “stand[ing] and struggl[ing] side by side [as] a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life and new growth possible” (Talking Back 9). Her writings envision feminist theory and praxis as transformational politic and movement–one that demands the provocation and audacity that hooks also represented in her person. Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes the oppositional voice of bell hooks as “loud and unrelenting” in her keynote address for the bell hooks center launch in September 2021. Indeed, hooks’s radical thought and action reimagine feminism as a sociopolitical movement that is “fundamentally anti-racist,” which “has no gender,” and which “is for everybody.”

Dissident Feminisms CFP

hooks’s naming of “imperialist white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy,” which she later, in conversation with Laverne Cox, revised as “imperialist white supremacist capitalist cis-hetero patriarchy,” pointedly critiques the politics of domination that govern this world. hooks’s ordinary upbringing as a young Black girl in Appalachia, specifically, in the “Kentucky backwoods,” grounds her critique in space and place. It animates her radical interventions and deep commitment to liberatory world-making. While maintaining the connection between a love ethic and critical consciousness, hooks calls on us to cultivate visionary spaces, beloved communities, outlaw cultures, and radical undercommons in which oppositional worldviews are rooted in the experiential.

In honor and celebration of her life, works, and legacy, the Inaugural bell hooks Symposium at the bell hooks center at Berea College holds collective space for continued engagement with dissident feminisms. This symposium encourages theory, praxis, poetics, and aesthetics that move hooks’s interventions into the present moment while challenging the co-optation and de-politicization of her work.

Please see the PDF for additional information and how to submit proposals:

Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society – Call for nominations

Call for Nominees: Upcoming Elections – Nominations due by Friday, 11 Nov. 2022 

We will be holding elections this November for all Executive Board member positions, and we strongly encourage self-nominations. Participation on the Sedgwick Society board is not only personally rewarding, but also an excellent way to expand your service to the profession at the national level and to develop contacts and build relationships with other scholars and educators in the field. For this election cycle, Ellen Foster has agreed to serve as the Sedgwick Society election coordinator. People who are interested in serving as officers must send their candidate statements to Ellen via email—foster.ellen@gmail.com—by Friday, 11 Nov. 2022. Candidate statements will be distributed with a link to a ballot. Once the link is distributed, voting will remain open until Friday, 9 Dec. 2022. 

All officers are elected to three-year terms by simple majority of the members who vote via the official ballot. If you have questions or would like more information about a particular position, or about serving on the Executive Board more generally, we encourage you to contact any of the current executive board members (cmsedgwicksociety.org/executive-board/). The officer team consists of the following positions, and you can view descriptions on our website:

President 

First Vice-President, Programs

Second Vice-President, Programs

Vice-President, Communications and Newsletter

Vice-President, Membership and Finance

Vice-President, Digital Resources

Membership Updates

If you’re not sure whether your CMS Society membership is up to date, then please see this linked spreadsheet, which lists our 2022-2023 members. Remember that you can renew or join anytime at the Sedgwick Society membership page.

Thank you, everyone, and wishing you the best from the CMSS Officer Team!

Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group – Saturday, October 1st, 2022

Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend! 

The Fall 2022 meeting of the Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group will be on Saturday October 1, 2022 at the University of Texas Dallas, hosted by Dr. Ashley Barnes. Our common reading will be Texas: The Great Theft, by Carmen Boullosa, a highly acclaimed contemporary Mexican writer. We will be reading the 2014 English translation of this novel, translated by Samantha Schnee and published by Dallas-based independent publisher, Deep Vellum Press, which is offering a discount code for purchase of the book. Ms. Schnee will be a special guest participant. 

Please RSVP to Ashley Barnes ashley.barnes@utdallas.edu by September 15 and please indicate whether you plan to stay for dinner. 

About the novel: Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft is about the 1859 Mexican invasion of what had recently become US territory, a work of contemporary historical fiction that promises to be of interest to scholars/teachers of American literature, as a complement or rebuttal to other accounts of nineteenth-century expansionism. It will also be of interest to scholars/teachers of Latino/a/x literature, offering a global lens on a pivotal moment of geo-political change and cultural formation. Samantha Schnee’s translation of Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft was shortlisted for the PEN America Translation Prize. 

More details regarding the schedule, location, dining, etc. will be available on our website: http://txssaww.wordpress.com/  

 The Study Group is an informal gathering of professors, graduate students, and independent scholars who share an interest in American women’s writing. We share a lunch (provided by the host campus), spend the afternoon discussing the common reading, and have dinner at a local restaurant (paid individually). We welcome new participants to join the conversation, which is always rich and stimulating, and often touches on larger professional concerns (teaching, publishing, mentoring, etc.). 

Dr. Desirée Henderson 

Professor 

Department of English 

University of Texas Arlington