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Regional Study Groups: Southern California SSAWW Sessions at PAMLA

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
112th Annual Conference – Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 – Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sessions Sponsored by the Southern California Society for the Study of American Women Writers

www.pamla.org

Session 4: Friday 3:45-5:15pm

4-01 – A Discussion of Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House and SCSSAWW Annual Meeting

Friday, October 31, 2014 – 3:45pm to 5:15pm (Marriott Salon I)

Session Chair: Lina Geriguis, Chapman University

The Southern California Society for the Study of American Women Writers will offer a moderated discussion on Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868). We will discuss the use of this text in graduate and undergraduate courses. We welcome all who are interested. Many attendees will wish to read Keckley’s account (ideally the Penguin edition) in preparation for the discussion. A brief membership meeting will follow the discussion (approx. 15 minutes).

Session 9: Sunday 9:00-10:30am

9-19 – The Subversive in the American Sentimental Novel I (Southern California Society for the Study of American Women Writers)

Sunday, November 2, 2014 – 9:00am to 10:30am (location TBD)

Session Chair: Denise MacNeil, University of Redlands

  1. “Alas! My torn heart! … How shall I act?”: Disparities of Voice and Choice in Charlotte Temple

Amy Howard Green, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

My reading of Charlotte Temple examines the ways in which Charlotte’s actions and choices subvert the voiced submissiveness of her spoken words.  In juxtaposing the boundaries of acceptable, moral behavior against the reader’s vicarious pleasure of imagining acting on one’s desires, Charlotte Temple models a female protagonist who is able to start to develop a capacity for agency.

  1. Fictionality and Normativity in Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s A New-England Tale

Thomas Koenigs, Yale University

This paper uses Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s A New England Tale (1822) to explore the relationship between fictionality and normativity in the sentimental novel in the early nineteenth century.

  1. Resistant Femininity, Imperialism, and Hope Leslie

April Davidauskis, University of Southern California

Focusing on Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie, this paper problematizes resistant femininities written by mostly white authors, to show how subversive white femininities—what some may see as “feminist” characteristics—are often made out of the same material as the discourses of imperialism and settler colonialism.

Session 10: Sunday 10:45am-12:15pm

10-15 – The Subversive in the American Sentimental Novel II (Southern California Society for the Study of American Women Writers)

Sunday, November 2, 2014 – 10:45am to 12:15pm (location TBD)

Session Chair: Christine Danelski, California State University at Los Angeles

  1. Catastrophe and Democracy in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and Lydia Maria Child’s Philothea: A Grecian Romance

Matthew Duques, North Dakota State University

This paper compares Alexis de Tocqueville’s representation of catastrophe and democracy with Lydia Maria Child’s discussion of the same conjunction in her novel Philothea in order to help illuminate the American author’s radical political philosophy. 

  1. Self-Made Subversions in Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall

Jeffrey Gagnon, University of California, San Diego

 Ruth Hall exposes fundamental contradictions in social constructions of self-making in the antebellum era, even as it proclaims that economic self-sufficiency is central to women’s political power.

  1. Hybridity, Agency, and Movement in Mary Andrews Denison’s The Prisoner of La Vintresse

Cristina Lopez, University of Kentucky

In Mary Andrews Denison’s The Prisoner of La Vintresse, the Cuban heiress Minerva has a hybrid identity—half Spanish and half English. This hybridity gives her agency and allows her to destabilize the American ideologies of true womanhood and separate spheres that keep women confined within the domestic space of the home.

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