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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 9. Submitters will be notified of their selection before the Feb 16 deadline.