SSAWW – Nominees for the 2021 Election

Thank you for your nominations for the three officer positions. You’ll find a description of the positions below along with short bios and vision statements from each nominee.

In accordance with the SSAWW constitution we are posting the nominees to the website two weeks prior to the conference.  The vote is open to all members in good standing, not just those in attendance at the conference. Members will vote online (via a link sent by email).  Voting will begin at the time of the conference and will stay open until December 2nd.

Please contact Jennifer Putzi (Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee) if you have questions.

Jennifer Putzi, and

Chair, SSAWW Nominations and Elections Committee

The President shall be elected by a majority of the members and shall serve a three-year term. The President shall preside at meetings of the Society and of the Advisory Board.  It shall be the President’s duty to formulate policies and projects for presentation to the Board and to fulfill the chartered obligations and purposes of the Society.  In filling this and any other Association responsibility, the President may call upon other officers, members of the Executive Council, and such ad hoc committees as the President may wish to appoint, for assistance.

NOMINEE: María Carla Sánchez

Candidate for President

Vision Statement:

I’m running for SSAWW President for three reasons: commitment, experience, and desire. I currently serve as Vice-President for Organizational Matters; previously I served as Associate Conference Director in 2012; and I’ve served on the Advisory Board. As a scholar, SSAWW represents the organization to which I’m mostly deeply committed: for more than a decade, it’s been the group that inspired me, and made me feel valued and unquestionably welcome. That connection inspired me to get involved in the group’s leadership. I’ve enjoyed learning to run a scholarly organization, and can bring a wealth of experience to this role.

SSAWW faces several challenges in coming years. I don’t want our society merely to meet them; my desire is for us to thrive. Funding throughout the humanities is disappearing? Let’s continue creating webinars like the “Reclaim Her Name” project and “Networking, 19th-C Style,” and offer programming members can access at little or no cost. In that vein, I’ll pursue a yearly joint program with an unaffiliated organization, as a means of diversifying and making new connections. Many regional SSAWW groups are currently inactive, with time and resources being significant obstacles. If elected I’ll meet with past organizers and interested newcomers, to reimagine and restart them. By using resources the pandemic introduced, like Zoom, we can nourish our intellectual needs between the conferences. We can’t completely fix academia, but we can insist on space for what inspires us. I’d be honored to help make SSAWW that space.


María Carla Sánchez is Associate Professor of English and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is author of Reforming the World: Social Activism and the Problem of Fiction in Nineteenth-Century America (Iowa UP, 2008); co-editor, along with Linda Schlossberg, of Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion (NYU P, 2001); has published articles on 19th- C literature, Latino/a/x issues, and pedagogy, and has forthcoming articles on 19th-C lit and the pandemic, 19th-C lit and reproductive justice, and Instapoetry. Her book-in-progress, Imagining el Otro Lado, examines 19th-C U.S. and Mexican genres of protest. She is an Associate Editor for College Literature and is on the editorial board for Legacy.

The Vice President of Organizational Matters shall be elected by a majority of the voting members and shall be elected for a three-year term. The Vice President of Organizational Matters shall assist the President at meetings of the Society and of the Advisory Board and in formulating policies and projects for presentation to the Board and to fulfill the chartered obligations of the Society.

NOMINEE: Patrick S. Allen

Candidate for Vice President of Organizational Matters

Vision Statement:

SSAWW is a special organization. Its feminist approaches to inclusivity, accessibility, and mentorship make it stand out from its peer societies. I joined the Advisory Board in 2018, as a graduate student, and I was welcomed warmly and invited to become involved in the organization right away. Most of my involvement thus far has been in the form of membership on the 2021 Conference Planning Committee—a challenging and rewarding position that has allowed me to see SSAWW’s leadership’s commitment to the community of scholars who find intellectual inspiration and pleasure in American women writers.

It is an honor to have my commitment to SSAWW recognized in this nomination to run for the Vice President of Organizational Matters and would love to serve in this leadership role. As a VP, I would look forward to working with the President, other VPs, and the entire Advisory Board to push us even further in our commitment to scholars of all ranks and to re-envision what our work might look like as more PhD’s in English move outside of academia. Reading groups, innovative presentation formats, and alt-ac roundtables might be some modes of making SSAWW a space that more fully welcomes and engages those who love American women writers but who may not make a living reading and teaching them. I would be eager to work with the society’s leadership to update our constitution so that it might reflect all that we have learned and accomplished while planning the 2021 Conference in such uncertain times—thus making future society work even more efficient as hybrid and virtual events become the norm.


Patrick S. Allen has served on the SSAWW Advisory Board since 2018 and is a member of the 2021 Conference Planning Committee. He is an assistant professor of English at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO, where he teaches courses on Toni Morrison, Multicultural Literature, Graphic Medicine, and the Harlem Renaissance. Patrick’s research attends to questions of race, health, and medicine, especially in Black print culture. It looks particularly to the place of the Black medical professional in the US and in American literature and the modes by which both doctors and lay writers portray health and medicine in the post-bellum, pre-Harlem era. His work on the “practice of print” performed by nineteenth-century Black US “doctresses” Rebecca Crumpler and Rebecca Cole appears in Arizona Quarterly, and he has a forthcoming article on Toni Morrison’s Home, forced sterilizations, and the COVID-19 moment in MELUS (winter 2021).

The Vice President of Publications shall be elected by a majority of the voting members and shall be elected for a three-year term.  The Vice President of Publications shall assist the president at meetings of the Society and of the Advisory Board and shall maintain the Society website, the Facebook account, and the Twitter account.  They shall also manage the SSAWW listserv and other communication between the Society and its members.  With the advice of the Officers and Advisory Board, they shall also oversee any publications projects that the Society undertakes. 

NOMINEE: Jordan Von Cannon

Candidate for Vice President of Publications

Vision Statement

I deeply value my time serving as the VP of Publications for SSAWW. This society continues to mean a great deal to me not only for my own research but also for the community it draws together around American women’s writing. Our conference theme, “Ecologies,” reminds us of the networks in which we participate, and in my position overseeing the society’s business as it relates to communication, I appreciate the interactions I get to have in these virtual spaces.

For our 2021 conference, I’ve worked with the conference planning committee over the last year-and-a-half to prepare for the conference by creating and maintaining the conference site, coordinating CFPs for panel calls, and working with others on the Whova app for conference attendees.

I seek another service term as the VP of Publications because I hope to implement a better system for archiving societal materials as it relates to past communications, conference plans, and calls for nominations and awards. By preserving the institutional knowledge and history of SSAWW, the organization will be well-equipped to welcome in new members and affiliate societies. As we have all become more well-versed in virtual communities, it is important that SSAWW continues to support these interactions and engage our members through online gatherings and other collaborative spaces. It would be wonderful to increase the frequency with which members gather for webinars, research presentations, and conversations about our teaching between conference years.


Jordan L. 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 Catharine Sedgwick’s transatlantic trip abroad 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 Digital Resources for the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society.