CFP: Committee on the Status of Women at MLA 2019, Chicago, IL (Deadline: 3.2.2018)

CFP: Committee on the Status of Women at MLA 2019, Chicago, IL
Committee on the Status of Women’s guaranteed session at the 2019 MLA in Chicago, IL. The official call is below. MLA limits CFPs to 35 words, but please email me off list if you have any questions about the panel. We encourage anyone at any rank, including graduate students, to apply for our panel.
Participants will offer and discuss best practices supporting academic freedom, particularly for precarious faculty, for departments, institutions, and professional organizations. 200 word abstract & CV. by 2 March 2018;

CFP: Uncovering Recovery: The Therapeutic as Resistance in American Women’s Writing at SSAWW 2018, (Deadline: 2.9.2018)

CFP: Uncovering Recovery: The Therapeutic as Resistance in American Women’s Writing at SSAWW 2018

In the over twenty years since Judith Herman published Trauma and Recovery (1997), many have argued effectively that the very writing of memoirs and telling of pain through fiction creates a sense of agency and serve as an act of resistance. However, literary studies’ emphasis on narrative’s relationship to processing trauma has led to the neglect of other therapeutic methods suggested by the content of the narratives themselves. Studying women’s narratives as primarily stories of therapeutic methods, not testimonies of trauma, does not negate the damage of trauma nor the role of narratology or memory in recovery; rather, it allows for a more complete understanding of how we might continue confronting, resisting, and processing the traumas of the past and today. This panel aims to highlight overlooked therapeutic methods of recovery within larger stories of trauma and seeks to more fully understand and appreciate survival practices, which provide us with insight to the human drive to create meaning and connection even in the most chaotic and abusive settings.

How can work in the archives serve as an act of resistance? What does American women’s writing tell us about survival practices and obtaining agency? How does recovery (in the sense of surviving and processing trauma) serve as a form of resistance? In what ways do women’s writing suggest a privileging of certain acts of recovery or resistance over others? How have evolving conceptions of trauma and therapy changed our understanding of women’s writing? How can teaching women’s stories of trauma in the classroom serve as an act of resistance?

Please send abstracts of 150-250 words, along with a brief bio, to Paula Rawlins at by Friday, February 9th.

CFP: Fleshly Resistance: Women Writing the Body in the Contemporary American Memoir at SSAWW Triennial Conference (Deadline 2.9.2018)

CFP: Fleshly Resistance: Women Writing the Body in the Contemporary American Memoir at SSAWW Triennial Conference

The memoir has enjoyed immense popularity in recent years, continually reaching the tops of bestseller lists. In particular, women writers have pushed the genre in provocative, sometimes painful, ways, especially when it comes to articulating experiences of the lived body. Memoirs such as Roxane Gay’s Hunger, Susan Gubar’s Memoir of a Debulked Woman, Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, and Cory Taylor’s Dying have resisted ideologies about what women’s bodies are supposed to be, do, and feel, and have harnessed the genre of memoir in interesting, unexpected ways. As such, they have much to contribute to literary scholars’ inquiries regarding language and the body.
This panel seeks papers that examine contemporary American women’s memoirs and their relationship to the body, trauma, and loss. Contemporary memoirs (memoirs written in the past 20 years) that address topics such as motherhood, assault, pregnancy, gender dysphoria, fatness/thinness, race and the lived body, or illness are particularly welcome. Questions to consider include the following: in what ways does the memoir facilitate an articulation of the body that other genres do not? How do contemporary memoirs respond to and/or resist earlier memoirs of the body? What are the key claims about the body and the contemporary moment that these memoirs make?
Please submit a 250 word abstract to Leslie Allison at by Friday, February 9. Submitters will be notified of their selection before the Feb 16 deadline.

New Books: Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements by Abigail G. H. Manzella

Abigail G. H. Manzella

Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements

The Ohio State University Press, 2018.

The book is available in hardback, paper, and digital editions:

Migrating Fictions analyzes the role of race, gender, and citizenship in the major internal displacements of the twentieth century in history and in narrative. Surveying the particular tactics employed by the United States during the Great Migration, the Dust Bowl, the Japanese American incarceration, and the migrant labor of the Southwest, Abigail G. H. Manzella reveals how the country’s past is imbued with governmentally (en)forced movements that diminished access to full citizenship rights for the laboring class, people of color, and women.

This work is the first book-length study to examine all of these movements together along with their literature, including Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Sanora Babb’s Whose Names Are Unknown, Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine, Helena María Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, and Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. Manzella shows how the United States’ history of spatial colonization within its own borders extends beyond isolated incidents into a pattern based on ideology about nation-building, citizenship, and labor. This book seeks to theorize a Thirdspace, an alternate location for social justice that acknowledges the precarity of the internally displaced person.

CFP: Women’s Friendships in 20th- and 21st-century Literature and Culture at SSAWW (Deadline 2.5.2018)

CFP: Women’s Friendships in 20th– and 21st-century Literature and Culture

We are seeking one additional paper for a proposed panel on cultural portrayals of women’s friendship for the SSAWW Conference in Denver, CO November 7-11, 2018.

While much scholarship on women’s literature has addressed motherhood and sexual relationships, less has focused on women’s friendships. Friendship itself has been under-theorized and narratives of women’s friendships often repeat static tropes. They are romanticized as sources of always-available support, minimized as precursors to the ultimate fulfillment of heterosexual marriage, and demonized as facades masking envy and competition. Systemic patriarchal structures impede and restrict women’s friendships. The panel will explore cultural portrayals of women’s friendship in fiction, memoir, women’s life writing, nonfiction, and poetry and seeks to address the complexities of how 20th and 21st century cultural texts construe women’s friendships.

We seek papers that disrupt or write in opposition to patriarchal heteronormative tropes of women’s friendships extant in contemporary American literature and culture. Such tropes include the Marriage plot, Boston marriages, and black women’s salons during the Harlem Renaissance. We pose the following question: What does women’s friendship look like beyond the gaze and imagination of this patriarchal heterosexist metanarrative?

·         Possible topics include but are not limited to

·         Friendships across differences of race, class, age, or politics

·         Power dynamics in women’s friendships

·         Friendship and adolescent identity formation

·         Adult women’s friendships

·         Envy and competition in women’s friendships

·         Friendships at work

·         Friendships formed through political activism

·         The role of friendship in coming-of-age stories

·         Friendship as acts of resistance

·         Friendships arising out of shared political commitment

·         The failure of the racial ally as a model of female friendship

·         How women interpret and relate to each other’s bodies

Send 250-300-word abstracts for 15-minute papers and a brief biographical statement (fewer than 60 words) to or by February 5, 2018.

CFP: Troubling Hospitality in 19th-Century American Women’s Writing at SSAWW (Deadline 2.10.2018)

CFP: Troubling Hospitality in Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Writing
Proposed panel for the SSAWW 2018 Triennial Conference. November 7-11, 2018 in Denver, CO.
In the famous “The Quaker Settlement” chapter of Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Halliday family extends hospitality to George, Eliza, and Harry Harris. Through the simple act of serving breakfast, the Hallidays engage in civil disobedience by failing to follow the Fugitive Slave Act. Yet Simeon Halliday complicates his generous reception of enslaved people by stating that he would extend similar hospitality to a slaveholder. Where in nineteenth-century American women’s writing do we find examples of hospitality? What are the politics of gracious welcomes? What does it mean to welcome the other? What conventions of hospitality apply when? How do authors portray hospitality to associates versus to strangers? Do writers differentiate between neighborliness and congeniality? Can we both “trouble” representations of hospitality and find some representations “troubling”?
Please send a 250-word abstract and brief biographical statement to Debby Rosenthal ( by February 10, 2018.

CFP: Syllabus/Assignment Exchange for Social Justice Pedagogy at SSAWW (Deadline 2.9.2018)

CFP: Syllabus/Assignment Exchange for Social Justice Pedagogy at SSAWW

Organized by the Lydia Maria Child Society

The Society for the Study of American Women Writer’s 2018 Triennial Conference: “Resistance and Recovery”

November 7-11, The Westin Denver Downtown, Denver, CO

The Lydia Maria Child Society seeks participants for a roundtable exchange on pedagogy, social justice, and American women writers. Considering contemporary social justice concerns ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy to persistent gender inequities and the xenophobia made all too apparent by the 2016 presidential election and the resulting anti-woman and anti-immigrant policies, the Child Society feels strongly that many of the issues for which Child fought so passionately remain deeply relevant today. To honor her lifelong commitment to both education and writing as ways to attain social change, we ask that our selected panelists share a syllabus, assignment, or lesson plan that addresses the above issues and/or others within the literature classroom. We are especially interested in materials that engage the following concerns regarding teaching and pedagogy as articulated by the SSAWW:

·      Women scholars’ resistance and work to change academic institutions

·      Resisting the canonical syllabus by diversifying the field of women writers taught in the classroom

·      Teaching beyond traditions by transcending traditional theoretical lenses, engaging new approaches to student research/scholarly production, etc.

·      Encouraging thinking beyond traditional academic silos by engaging the intersection of art, music, literature, etc. for a more interdisciplinary approach

We welcome both syllabi/assignments/lesson plans that have already been taught and those that are being planned or drafted for future use. We will ask our selected panelists to bring copies of these materials to share at the roundtable exchange, before engaging in what we hope will be a fruitful and wide-ranging discussion on social justice pedagogies and American women’s literature, recovery, and resistance.

Please send 200-word abstracts of your proposed contribution, as Word documents, to by February 9, 2018. Please describe the materials you wish to share as well as a brief explanation of how those materials fit the theme of social justice pedagogy, resistance, and/or recovery. Note that while we, of course, welcome proposals that engage with Child’s work, Child need not be included for your proposal to be considered.

LMC Society
Sarah Olivier, President
Sandy Burr: VP of Programs
Tracey-Lynn Clough: VP of Comm. & Digital Dev.
Lucy Sirianni: VP of Inclusive Excellence and Social Action