Call for Reviewers: SSAWW Panels at the American Literature Association

Call for Reviewers: SSAWW Panels at the American Literature Association


The Society for the Study of American Women Writers will be presenting two panels at the 2017 American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA. The theme for our panels this year will be activism and resistance in American women’s writing from early America to the present day. In preparation for this always exciting conference—another great opportunity to promote and advance the study of American women writers—we are asking for volunteers to serve as reviewers for the proposals that we receive. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 15, 2017, so reviewers can expect to receive proposals for evaluation no later than January 17 with a turnaround no later than January 27 in order to allot sufficient time to form our panels, contact participants, and submit materials to the ALA conference organizers.


Please contact Christopher Allen Varlack directly at if you are willing to help with this important process, providing 1) your areas of expertise, 2) your academic rank/institution (independent scholars and advanced graduate students are most welcome to participate), and 3) your contact information. We would like to thank you for your consideration and valuable service to SSAWW. Selected reviewers will receive a letter of appreciation in response and can include their service as part of their CVs.



The SSAWW Executive Committee


CFP: Movement and Mobility, Graduate Symposium, due January 27


Movement and Mobility: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

April 27th-28th, 2017

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday, January 27th


In a world of rapid global expansion and technological transformation, it can seem as though we are constantly in motion. In response, scholars in the humanities have taken a growing interest in the various ways movement and mobility continually reshape our world. Transnational migrations, human trafficking, and the development of global diasporas, past and present, have re-ordered geographic and cultural boundaries. New methods of travel, from trains and ships to automobiles and airplanes, have had a dramatic impact on the ways we move from one place to another and have forced us to consider the ecological and social consequences of this movement. And in the present, new technologies—from GPS and drones to mobile gaming and virtual reality—have transformed the ways we think about what it means for people to move through physical and virtual space. Historians of politics, literature, and society have studied how activist and artistic “movements” alike have taken shape, while scholars of disability have asked what assumptions about physical capability underlie our conversations about mobility. By seeking to make connections between environment, geography, technology, embodiment, history, and cultural forms, humanities scholars have developed new approaches to understanding what it means to be “on the move.”


We invite submissions on any humanistic approach to movement and/or mobility from graduate scholars working in the fields of literature, history, theater and dance, women, gender and sexuality studies, environmental humanities, oceanic studies, digital humanities, and American studies. Abstracts from both undergraduate researchers and creative writers are also welcome. Papers that adopt interdisciplinary perspectives and examine movements or mobility from diverse theoretical vantage points are encouraged. Presentations should be limited to 15 minutes. The symposium will be open to the public.


Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

– Strategies of movement and migration. What histories and theories of migration have had important impacts on the aesthetic and political cultures they engage? What social, aesthetic, or cultural practices have people used to cope with or justify their movements or migrations?


– Technologies of motion and mobility. How have these contributed to the movement of persons, commodities, and ideas? How have transportation technologies shaped labor, nationalism, communities, or social perceptions of gender, race, or ethnicity? How have technologies that allow us to move through spaces virtually (including computing and gaming) changed the relationship between person and place?


– Environmental movement. What has been the effect or response to movements and migrations on environmental factors and ideas about the environment? How have the movements of technological advancement shaped environments and ideas about them? What elements of our geographical/environmental experiences are “on the move” in ways good or bad?

Movement and gender. How do gendered bodies move through space and

time? What kind of bodily and imaginative mobility are available for those who seek alternative forms of gender or sexual expression? How have discourses of movement, mobility, and change shaped perceptions of gender and sexuality?

– Mobility and the body. How do concepts of ability and disability shape notions of “mobility”? What sorts of activities, contexts, or abilities enable or impede the movement of individual bodies? How do dancing or performing bodies make meaning through movement?


– Movements through time. How does a movement through time shape or affect bodies? Which ones? How can bodies change over time, and how is that change explored in literature, media, or other objects of culture? What theories of history help to shape discussions of migration or its practices? How do migrants, activists, or artists imagine temporality/movement through time?


– Formal Movements. How have social movements or groups used media forms to convey their messages/manifestos/positions? What strategies of formal innovation or “mobility” have social or activist movements used, and why? How do movements tap into the public’s emotions? What does it mean to create a “moving” work of literature, art, or propaganda?



What to Submit:

A 500-word abstract describing the paper’s argument, critical context, and significance. Please include your name, contact information, and paper title with the abstract.

An up-to-date CV.

A brief biography (200-300 words)

Where to Submit:

Abstracts, CVs, and bios should be submitted via email to:

Any questions may also be directed to this address.

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday, January 27th, 2016

Acceptances will be sent out in February





Dr. Hester Blum, Associate Professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University

“Writ Upon Ice”

SSAWW Panels for ALA: due January 15, 2016

CFP: SSAWW Panels at the American Literature Association (ALA), May 2017

The West Copley Place Hotel in Boston, MA


Contact: Christopher Allen Varlack, SSAWW VP of Development

Contact E-mail:


The Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) is proud to announce its two panels for the upcoming American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA, from May 25 to 28, 2017. These two panels intend to present the varied ways in which women—as authors and activists, storytellers and social critics—have engaged and continue to engage in activism in response to the many social, cultural, and political issues that shape American life. But as Annelise Orleck notes in her 2015 Rethinking American Women’s Activism, far too many have envisioned “women’s activism and advances in women’s rights as having come in two major waves,” the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries—a view that inaccurately suggests “women had little to do with American politics or social change at any other times” (xi). In their attempt to promote a more expansive vision, this year’s SSAWW panels seek to engage the theme of activism and resistance in American women’s writing from early America to the present day:


Panel I: Activism in Early American to Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Writing

Panel II: Activism in Twentieth-Century to Twenty-First Century American Women’s Writing


Because of its influence in shaping public discourse and the socio-political conversation, American women’s writing across time and across genre has played an important role in shaping the vision for social change. These panels will therefore ask participants to consider women writers and political activism.  Presenters might explore the need for renewed attention to  women writers for their efforts at activism and resistance in a largely patriarchal society that too often relegates women to second class status at best. What are the social, cultural, racial, and political challenges that they seek to overcome? How do they envision, in their writing, a less restrictive America—one where the notion of equality extends across the racial, gender, and religious lines that arguably still divide the United States? How do their works resist not only the social norms but also the culture of marginalization that seeks to limit the involvement of women and minority peoples in traditional political roles? Interested participants are encouraged to think not just of the speeches, articles, and essays traditionally associated with political discourse but also of the novels, short stories, poems, and plays, etc. that necessarily challenge America’s social ills and promotes socio-political change.


The deadline for proposals this year is January 15, 2017. Please submit a 250 to 500-word abstract and a brief CV (no more than two pages) that includes rank/status (e.g. ABD, Associate Professor, etc.), institutional affiliation (independent scholars are encouraged to submit proposals as well), and past conference presentations. Proposals should be submitted to Christopher Allen Varlack at and note either “ALA Panel 1 Submission” or “ALA Panel 2 Submission” in the E-mail subject line. All proposals should be included as an attachment, preferably as a single PDF document. Confirmation of receipt will be sent within two business days of submission.


While interested participants do not need to be a member of SSAWW to submit a proposal for the aforementioned panels, all presenters must be members with SSAWW before ALA in order to participate in a SSAWW-sponsored panel.