The Adolescent Girl in Early 20th Century American Women’s Writing
This seminar will investigate the shifting figure of the adolescent girl in early 20th century American women’s writing. From 1900-1960, the adolescent girl, as an identity category, underwent huge cultural changes. In the early 1900s, adolescent girlhood was barely acknowledged as a developmental stage, whereas by 1945 the teenage girl had emerged, as one newsreel put it, “an American institution in her own right.” With the legalization of birth control in 1960, the adolescent girl was poised to challenge American anxieties about body politics, economic consumption, and national identity, and she continues to do so today.
Call For Papers: African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture
Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture
University of Wisconsin, Madison
September 19-21, 2014
Recent scholarship has brought attention to the possibilities of disciplinary intersections of print and digital culture with African American studies. For example, Leon Jackson has suggested numerous “advantages to be gained from an alliance between book historians and scholars of African American cultures of print” (Book History 13, 2010). Recent edited collections like Cohen & Stein’s 2012 Early African American Print Culture and Hutchinson & Young’s 2013 Publishing Blackness are strong evidence in support of Jackson’s claim and the richness of the work to be done in this field.
By not framing itself within a particular period or form of expression, the conference seeks to further this conversation through a capacious exploration of African American print and digital cultures. We hope the conference will highlight work from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives and will explore diverse objects of study in African American media. Continue reading
DEA2: CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR VOLUME 3 (2014)
Emily Dickinson’s Reading Culture
“For Poets-I have Keats-and Mr and Mrs Browning. For Prose – Mr Ruskin – Sir Thomas Browne – and the Revelations.”
—Letter to T. W. Higginson, 25 April 1862
Why should we care what Emily Dickinson really read or about her relationship to reading, books, and authors? In Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s Atlantic article for “young contributors”—the article that prompted Dickinson’s account of her reading, oft-cited, and her subsequent correspondence with Higginson—he noted: “For purposes of illustration and elucidation, and even for amplitude of vocabulary, wealth of accumulated materials is essential; and whether this wealth be won by reading or by experience makes no great difference.” For Dickinson, separated by location, situation, and temperament from the “wealth of… experience” that presumably characterized the lives of many professional writers, this counsel must have seemed pure balm. If she could write from the “wealth… won by reading,” then, as a dedicated reader, she would be on firm ground. Emily Dickinson’s reading provided a vital foundation for her writing. Continue reading
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers will be sponsoring a panel at the upcoming American Women Writers of Color Conference.
Panel topic: “The Racialized Private Text”
In Legacy 27.1, Lois Brown wrote the following in “Death Defying Testimony: Women’s Private Lives and the Politics of Public Documents”:
What constitutes the racialized private text, history, or experience? . . . Literature and history can be disciplined, instructed, directed, and sometimes undone by private writing that seems always already politicized in the public spheres where it is done and disseminated. As scholars and teachers of African American and women’s lives, it is up to us to create models of inquiry and critical expectation that can generate new finds, acquisitions, and historical evidence of lives lived with intention and lives that quite literally do speak volumes.
Legacy solicits proposals for papers that meet Brown’s challenge to examine how the “racialized private text” can support, revise, or upend received narratives of American literature and history. For the purposes of this panel, “texts” may be broadly conceived as comprising written or as other forms of cultural production. Subjects should fall within the span of Legacy’s historical coverage, which encompasses the colonial period through around 1930. Papers may treat the following questions or others: Continue reading
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