CFP: “A Self in Relation”: 20th Century American Women Writers Imagine and Write Female “Family” Relations Panel Description:
In her groundbreaking text The Reproduction of Mothering (1978) feminist psychoanalytic theorist Nancy Chodorow explores how women “come into being as a self […] in relation to our primary others.” In Chodorow’s schema, the “primary other” for females is the mother, and it is through girls’ and women’s imagined and real relationship to the mother that we “experience a self in relation,” a self that is both like and unlike the female other/mother. Feminist scholars such as Jessica Benjamin and Ann DuCille trouble the waters of Chodorow’s theory of the “primary other,” interrogate what they and others regard as a race and class solipsism, and insist on a consideration also of the mother’s/daughter’s materiality. Addressing the conference theme of “Liminal Spaces/Hybrid Lives,” this panel considers how twentieth-century American women writers imagine and write materialist as well as psycho-emotional difference between girls and women who function as family. Current papers for this panel address mother-daughter conflict in the work of Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Fannie Hurst, and Toni Morrison. Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a brief bio to Cheryl R. Hopson at email@example.com no later than December 15, 2014.