2018 Nominees for SSAWW Officer Positions (Voting Ends: 12.21.2018)

SSAWW Announcement
Nominees for Officer Positions

Voting begins: December 1st, 2018

Voting ends: December 21st, 2018

As of 12/2/2018 the email with ballot link has gone out to all current SSAWW members. If you are a current SSAWW member and did not receive the link to vote, please email ssaww.nominations@gmail.com after checking you spam folder.

The SSAWW Nominations Committee is pleased to present the following nominees for the 2018 election of SSAWW Officers. To facilitate a transparent and democratic process, the vote is open to all current SSAWW members who will receive a link to the ballot via email and the nominees information on December 1st-2nd, 2018 when voting begins.

nominations for president


**Note: Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack emailed on 12/1/2018 and asked to have his name removed from the ballot conceding the presidency to Dr. Sandra Zagarell, His name has been removed from the ballot at his request**


Nominee: Sandra Zagarell

Biography: Sandra Zagarell, an original member of the Northeast American Women Writers Study Group, teaches American Literature and Book Studies at Oberlin College. Her professional activity includes presidency of the MLA’s American Literature Section and membership on the editorial boards of Legacy, ESQ, and Studies in American Fiction. Collaboration has been central to her work. For over twenty years she has been a senior editor of the Heath Anthology of American

Literature (she’s responsible for Volume C, 1865-1910). With Lawrence Buell, she edited Stoddard’s The Morgesons and Other Writing; she and Joanne Dobson co-authored “Women Writing in the Early Republic.” She recently co-edited Legacy’s special issue on Alice Dunbar-Nelson and, with Kate Adams, wrote “Recovering Alice Dunbar-Nelson for the 21st Century.” She has written or presented on narratives of community, on regionalism and on Dunbar-Nelson, Jewett, Wilkins Freeman, Stoddard, Sigourney, Kirkland, Chesnutt, James, and Melville. One current project focuses on Dunbar-Nelson, another on religious affect in writing by antebellum women. She’s retiring in June 2019 and could devote considerable time to the presidency of SSAWW.

Vision Statement: What American Women Writers mean to SSAWW as a legacy and a resource continues to deepen in our grim times. I envision a continued focus on recovering, re-reading, and resituating their work as individuals, with unflinching recognition of their diversity, differences and conflicts, and attention to the networks and forms of collaboration in which some participated. How writers characterized crises (such as genocide and slavery) and inequities (such as non- or unequal citizenship, educational availability, and forms of public access) and sought to affect them through writing, activism, or both is even more meaningful today than when SSAWW was formed. Nor can we overlook those who chose to ignore crises and inequities, or registered them obliquely, ambiguously, problematically or inadvertently.

As an organization, SSAWW should pursue expanded support of scholars and educators along the full continuum of education, employment, career, and age as we engage in scholarship, pedagogy, curricular design and collaboration. We should also encourage collaboration among members, as is being done by the workshop on the creation of local and regional study groups at the 2018 conference. Additionally, we should work more closely with other organizations to address current threats to education at both the secondary and “higher” levels, including employment insecurity. CLA, ALA, C19, and the MLA come immediately to mind. This will require ongoing conversations, input, participation, and productive disagreement among SSAWW members. If elected, I will do my best to make that happen.

nominations for Vice President, organizational matters

Nominee: María Carla Sánchez

Biography: I am currently an Associate Professor in the departments of English and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. At UNCG, I teach 19th C U.S. literatures, particularly women’s literatures, Latina/o/x literatures, and African American literatures. I’m the author of Reforming the World: Social Activism and the Problem in Fiction in 19th Century America (U Iowa, 2008), as well as essays on Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Fanny Fern, Catharine Sedgwick, and other 19th and early 20th C writers; as well as co-editor, with Linda Schlossberg, of Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Race, Religion, and Sexuality (NYU P 2000). More recently I’ve been at work on a study of discourses of slavery and social protest in 19th C U.S. and Mexican literatures (working title The Imagination of Slavery: Writing and Protest Across a Shifting Border, 1810 – 1870), as well as new work on Ruiz de Burton. I have the honor to serve as an Associate Editor for College Literature (https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/collegeLit/) and as Coordinator of Faculty Development for UNCG’s Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC) (https://hnac.uncg.edu), among other professional and university service commitments.

Vision Statement: I served as Associate Conference Director for the 2012 SSAWW conference in Denver, and was a member of the Advisory Board from 2010 – 2014. Thus, I have experience in helping to run the organization and make its important events happen. My vision for SSAWW stems from interest in practical matters as well as longstanding emotional investment. Through the society’s conferences, meetings of the regional affiliates, and through the dedicated scholars who make up SSAWW, I have long felt support for my own scholarly voice and interests. Thus I would see my role as VP for organizational matters as helping to maintain what SSAWW currently does well, as well as to ask questions about where our future lies. I have been both heartened and impressed by how successive administrations of the society have embraced our roles as mentors.

We must continue to include to offer our resources to graduate students, contingent faculty, tenure-steam faculty, and administrators. I believe we must also ask how we can do more, especially between conferences. Similarly, we have regional affiliates that are thriving, and some are that not. This situation is not a new one, but it is one that I would like to tackle. Third, I would like to pursue more alliances with other professional organizations, such as the various author societies. In some cases those relationships are long-standing, cherished, and mutually beneficial. Forging new relationships along those lines can only make SSAWW stronger.


Nominee: Stephanie Peebles Tavera

Biography: Stephanie Peebles Tavera is a full-time Lecturer in the English Department, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Disability Studies Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her PhD in English with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her primary teaching and research interests include long nineteenth-century American literature, women’s and gender studies and feminist theory, medical humanities and medical fiction, and disability studies and disability theory. She has published articles in several interdisciplinary journals such as Utopian Studies and Science Fiction Studies on a range of subjects such as scientific sex education in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland and the cyborg corporation in utopian literary tradition from Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. She is currently working on a book manuscript that offers a feminist disability theory approach to women’s medical fiction during the Comstock Law Era circa 1874-1916.

Vision Statement: One of the things I love most about SSAWW is its support of community and collaboration, which I attribute to several features including organizational leadership, a sincere interest in knowledge and inquiry among members, and opportunities for support of graduate students and early career scholars. At our recent 2018 Triennial Conference, “Resistance and Recovery across the Americas,” I had the pleasure of not only meeting colleagues personally, but collaborating with them in various ways whether I was greeting attendees at the registration desk, meeting a senior scholar about publication opportunities, or simply comforting a graduate student in her recent struggle through comprehensive exams. To me, SSAWW means not just “networking” in the sense of business relationships, but genuine connection among like-minded scholars, teachers, and activists.

As VP of Organizational Matters, I hope to build upon our strengths as collaborators by reaching out to organizations such as C19: The Society for Nineteenth-Century Studies, the Society for Utopian Studies (SUS), and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) for panel representation at their conferences, and vice versa. I find opportunities for organizational partnership not only strengthens conversations and supports a flow of ideas among individuals, but also provides opportunities for new member recruitment. Indeed, it was through C19 that I ultimately joined SSAWW. I also hope to continue recent initiatives in graduate student and early career scholar support such as the job clinics, mentoring sessions, and yoga and meditation workshops offered at our recent conference. Given the recent challenges of–and to–academia and the humanities, I find providing spaces for reconnection with others and ourselves significant.

nominations for Vice President, publications

Nominee: Jordan L. Von Cannon

Biography: Jordan Von Cannon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Florida Gulf Coast University. She received her Ph.D. in English with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Louisiana State University. Her primary teaching and research interests include early and 19th-century American literature, U.S. women writers, gender and sexuality studies, and digital humanities. She has published on female development in Jane Austen and the intersection of female identity and primitivism in U.S. naturalist fiction. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Idle Women, which traces the relationship between American industriousness and non-normative narratives of female development. She is the Vice President of Publications for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) and the Vice President of Communications for the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society. As of January 2018, she also serves as the co-coordinator the Gender Studies minor at FGCU.

Vision Statement:  I served SSAWW as a graduate assistant and now as the VP of Publications since 2014. This society means a great deal to me not only for my own research but also for the community it brings together around the writers and texts we celebrate. Our conference theme, “Resistance and Recovery” remains particularly relevant to our current social and political climate, and I am proud to be part of an organization that actively seeks to increase diversity and visibility in our membership and our scholarship.

For our 2018 conference, I unveiled a new site design for the homepage and implemented a registration system adaptable for future conferences. In 2017, I partnered with President DoVeanna Fulton to transition the listserv from UCSD to UH-D. I’ve worked alongside my wonderful Advisory Board members to prepare for the conference by creating and maintaining the conference site, coordinating CFPs for panel calls, and working with Whova on an app that conference attendees can use for updates and networking.

I want to continue serving as the VP of Publications, especially as the society looks ahead to changes in academia and as we evolve in order to better accommodate our members and their needs. It would be wonderful to increase the frequency with which members use the listserv for queries, to further encourage engagement between conference years through Regional SSAWW Study Group showcases, website features that include research spotlights, and resources that support members’ research and pedagogical interests in the digital humanities.