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 Paula.Rawlins25@uga.edu by Friday, February 9th.

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