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SSAWW 2015 Conference

Thank you to all submitters for the November conference in Philadelphia. We have a wonderful, rich range of submissions and have begun the process of reviewing them. The author society, regional and study group submissions have confirmed spots, and are already indicative of a stimulating and varied program for SSAWW 2015. We will be in touch in mid-to-late spring with decisions for all others.

Thank you again and best springtime wishes,

Rita, Dick, Beth, Miranda, Leslie, Rickie-Ann

Rita Bode (Trent University), VP of Organizational Matters and Conference Director
Dick Ellis (University of Birmingham), President
Beth L. Lueck (University of Wisconsin – Whitewater), Associate Conference Director
Miranda Green-Barteet (Western University), Conference Program Coordinator
Leslie Allison (Temple University), Conference Grad Assistant
Rickie-Ann Legleitner (Black Hills State University), Conference Grad Assistant

SSAWW 2015: Workshop Proposal for the SSAWW Conference Nov. 4-8, 2015

Workshop Proposal for the SSAWW Conference Nov. 4-8, 2015

When Species Meet in Women’s Writing (Panel)

“Silence is perhaps / the sound of spiders breathing” (Lisel Mueller)

We are looking for papers that explore cross-species encounters in
women’s writing. We understand species as a broad category, including
humans and other animals, but also gods, monsters, bacteria, and
cyborgs for example. Papers might explore interspecies communication,
human and animal relationships, women and animals, the “Other”
inhabiting the human, forms of symbiotic relationships, and instances
of transcending the species boundary. Papers on theoretical
approaches, such as Donna Haraway’s et al. are also welcome.

Please submit your proposal (250-300 words), brief biography (60 word
limit), and affiliation to Susanne Opfermann
(opfermann@em.uni-frankfurt.de) and Birgit Spengler
(b.spengler@em.uni-frankfurt.de) by February 11. We will notify you of
the status of your proposal before the general submission deadline
runs out.

SSAWW 2015 Panel: On the Boundary between Public and Private: Rethinking Willa Cather’s Letters (DEADLINE EXTENDED January 15, 2015)

On the Boundary between Public and Private: Rethinking Willa Cather’s Letters (DEADLINE EXTENDED January 15, 2015)

The Cather Foundation solicits proposals on topics related to Cather’s letters for a panel at the Society for the Studies of American Women Writers conference in Philadelphia November 4-8, 2015. For many years, biographers and critics who consulted Willa Cather’s letters could refer to their contents only in paraphrase because of restrictions in Cather’s will. Cather’s insistence that her letters not be published or quoted from and stories about the burning of her letters also became a key component of many interpretations of Cather’s life and works. With the lifting of the ban on publication and quotation, the appearance of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather in 2013, a complete digital edition of the letters underway, and the regular discovery of previously-unknown letters, the time is ripe to rethink Cather’s letters and their place in scholarship.

What can Cather’s letters tell us about her works and her life? What can’t they tell us? Now that scholars can quote from her letters, what can we say about Cather’s voice in her letters and her engagement with the letter as genre? Considering the survival of over 3,000 letters in libraries, was Cather as obsessed with privacy as some previously claimed based in part on stories about the destruction of letters? What public function did Cather’s letters have when she wrote them, and what public function to they have now?

Proposals on these and other topics concerning Cather’s letters are solicited. Depending on the number of proposals, more than one panel or a roundtable of shorter presentations may be constructed. Please e-mail a 250-300 word abstract and a 1-page c.v. to Melissa J. Homestead at mhomestead2@unl.edu by January 15, 2015.

CFP for SSAWW 2015: Texas Regional Study Group: “Written By Herself”: Dialogue in African American Women’s Self-Writing (January 20, 2015)

“Written By Herself”: Dialogue in African American Women’s Self-Writing

 CFP: Texas Regional SSAWW group at SSAWW Conference, November 4-8, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA

Deadline: January 20, 2015

The Texas Regional SSAWW group invited scholars to submit abstracts for its panel at the SSAWW Conference. We welcome abstracts about doing scholarly work on the self-writing of black American women. This panel examines autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries of black American women writers and dialogue that develops between the scholars who work on them and the original author and text. 

Over the past two hundred and fifty years African American women writers and literary scholars have collaborated to create and represent the lives and voices of black women: from Frances Smith Foster’s Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892 in 1979 to Akasha Gloria Hull’s discovery and publication of Give Us Each Day: The Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson in 1986; from Audre Lorde’s own memoir The Cancer Journals published in 1980 to Joycelyn Moody’s Sentimental Confessions: Spiritual Narratives of Nineteenth- Century African American Women in 2003 and Rhondda Robinson Thomas’ A Nickel and A Prayer: The Autobiography of Jane Edna Hunter in 2011. (more…)

CFP for SSAWW 2015 Panel: 20th-Century Women Writers and the Natural World (1.12.15)

20th-Century Women Writers and the Natural World

Call for papers for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers 2015 Conference
November 4-8, 2015, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the latter part of the twentieth-century, ecofeminists posited the parallel between the subjugation of women and the commodification and exploitation of the natural world.  In a similar vein, and addressing the SSAWW’s conference theme of “Liminal Spaces/Hybrid Lives,” this panel seeks a broad range of papers exploring how 20th-Century American women writers represent their complex relation to natural spaces, landscape, or nonhuman nature.  What does the female subject’s relation to the natural world look like? In what ways do women writers attempt to account for alienation from it? And how do they challenge the oppressive structures that engender this sense of loss? In what ways might they strategically (re)invent relationships with the natural world to advocate for greater connectivity, community-building, and egalitarianism?  Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biography to Robert Fillman at rff212@lehigh.edu by January 12th, 2015.

CFP for SSAWW 2015 Panel: Women of the Harlem Renaissance (1.15.15)

Traditionally, women writers of the Harlem Renaissance era from Nella Larsen to Jessie Redmon Fauset to Marita Bonner, among others, have been under-represented in criticism both past and present. The concept of the New Negro, after all, was gendered male, excluding the value role that women writers would play in not only challenging the pervasive color line but in calling increased attention to the depths of African-American experience that, as Zora Neale Hurston posits, white publishers would not print. Reflecting on the conference theme, “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” this panel asks how African-American women writers of the Harlem Renaissance negotiated their dual status as women and black in text. How did authors such as Larsen, Fauset, Hurston, and beyond challenge the limited roles of black women to overcome what many now recognize as a culturally subservient and second-class hybrid status? And how do these works provide new insight into the New Negro woman whose various forms of art and expression helped to resurrect the African-American voice too long silent or silenced?

(more…)

Roundtable: Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring (Deadline: January 15, 2015)

Roundtable: Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring (DeadlineJanuary 15, 2015)

Call for Papers for SSAWW Conference November 4-8, 2015, Philadelphia

This roundtable, Young Adult Women’s Literature and Boundary Blurring, explores how teen or YA literature by American women writers occupies liminal spaces and blurs boundaries. Like the teen, YA literature exists in a state of flux. It is often relegated to a space between “lowbrow” and “highbrow” literature, it has a multi-aged readership though designated for teens, and it is considered a relatively new genre despite actually existing for centuries.

Panelists are invited to explore these and any other related topics:

 crossover writers – authors who blur the boundary between academic/popular and adult/teen, such as Joyce Carol Oates (more…)

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