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CFP: Stowe Society Panel at SSAWW 2015

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Society invites participants for its upcoming panel at the SSAWW 2015 Conference:

Between Feeling Unsettled and Feeling Right:  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Targeted Liminality

CFP for Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Philadelphia, PA, November 4-8, 2015

Sponsored by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Society

In The American Porch:  An Informal History of an Informal Place, Michael Dolan asserts that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin served its purpose, namely to heighten certain contradictions inherent in American life.”   He points out that many of the novel’s key scenes of emotional potency take place outside of the domestic confines of a home and on a porch, “positioning that ordinary liminal space as a site of enormous transformation.” Thus, Stowe’s novel can be seen as one that self-consciously worked to disrupt the binaries that defined antebellum America.  Under Stowe’s scrutiny, binaries such as race, politics, gender, and even public and private space were used to pique and incite a nineteenth-century audience’s oft conflicted emotions so as to help them to “feel right.”

Keeping with the SSAWW 2015 theme, “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” the Harriet Beecher Stowe Society invites papers that explore Stowe’s self-conscious application of liminality throughout her writing career.  Possible topics include:

  • Stowe’s treatment of mixed-race characters and/or passing
  • Protestantism versus Catholicism
  • sentiment versus rationality
  • constructions of public and private space
  • constructions of public and private life
  • constructions of gender
  • transatlanticism and/or transcontinentalism

Please send abstracts (250-500 words) and a brief bio to LuElla D’Amico (ldamico@whitworth.edu) by January 5, 2015.  While you do not need to be a SSAWW member to apply for a panel, presenters must be or become SSAWW members to participate in the conference, in addition to being members of the Stowe Society.

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