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CFP: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society at ALA (Deadline: 12.31.2017)

The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society is seeking submissions to a panel at the annual ALA conference in San Francisco (May 24-27, 2018).

“Embodiment and Charlotte Perkins Gilman”

Despite a career-spanning insistence on the spiritual value of collective humanity, the writings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman often take a turn toward the exploration of individual embodiment. In her autobiography, Gilman attests to a “life-long interest in physical culture” and recounts many of her life’s events through somatic experience. In another instance, she recalls a doctor’s praise for having depicted so thoroughly the physical experience of nervous breakdown in “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” This session invites papers that explore Gilman’s fascination with the physical body and her simultaneous investment in and resistance to individualized embodiment. This panel’s selected papers should contribute to a better understanding of themes of embodiment and corporeality in Gilman’s writings. They may also illuminate Gilman’s and/or other writers’ enmeshment in scientific, medical and popular treatments of the body in late nineteenth and early twentieth century culture. Additionally, this panel encourages pedagogical approaches to embodiment and similar themes in the works of Gilman and other contemporary authors.

Submit 250 to 500-word abstracts and a CV, by December 31, 2017, to Hannah Huber, University of South Carolina,

For more information about the conference, please visit the ALA website at


CFP: Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society at ALA, (Deadline 1.15.2018)

Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

Call for Papers

American Literature Association Conference

San Francisco, CA May 24-27, 2018

SESSION 1: Roundtable: Sedgwick and American Enchantment

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society calls for 5-7 scholars to participate in a roundtable discussion of Michelle Sizemore’s recently published American Enchantment: Rituals of the People in the Post-Revolutionary World (Oxford UP, November 2017). Participants do not need to focus on the discussions of Sedgwick in the final chapter but instead can address Sizemore’s treatment of any of the central authors (such as Hawthorne, Irving, Brackenridge, and Brown); the significance of this scholarship on Sedgwick Studies; and/or key issues in Sizemore’s work, such as thinking of “the people” as a process rather than as a substance or understanding “enchantment” as a contingent state of embodied cognition.

A description of the book is as follows: The demise of the monarchy and the bodily absence of a King caused a representational crisis in the early republic, forcing the American people to reconstruct the social symbolic order in a new and unfamiliar way. Social historians have routinely understood the Revolution and the early republic as projects dedicated to and productive of reason, with “the people” as an orderly and sensible collective at odds with the volatile and unthinking crowd. American Enchantment rejects this traditionally held vision of a rational public sphere, arguing that early Americans dealt with the post-monarchical crisis by engaging in “civil mysticism,” not systematic discussion and debate. By evaluating a wide range of social and political rituals and literary and cultural discourses, Sizemore shows how “enchantment” becomes a vital mode of enacting the people after the demise of traditional monarchical forms. In works by Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Catharine Sedgwick, and Nathaniel Hawthorne–as well as in Delaware oral histories, accounts of George Washington’s inauguration, and Methodist conversion narratives–enchantment is an experience uniquely capable of producing new forms of popular power and social affiliation. Recognizing the role of enchantment in constituting the people overturns some of the most common-sense assumptions in the post-revolutionary world: above all, that the people are not simply a flesh-and-blood substance, but also a mystical force.

Please send a brief abstract (200 words) outlining your intended focus in the roundtable to Lisa West,, by January 15, 2018.



Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

Call for Papers

American Literature Association Conference

San Francisco, CA May 24-27, 2018

SESSION 2: Panel: Sedgwick (and others) Beyond Unitarianism

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society seeks papers that invite discussion of religion in Sedgwick’s life and writing. In particular, the society hopes to complicate an understanding of Sedgwick’s Unitarian beliefs; call attention to her use of a variety of religious affiliations and doctrines; consider the role of secularism in her work; and investigate connections between religion, education, morality, and fiction. Papers that address contemporaries of Sedgwick, particularly other women writers or religious theorists, will also be considered. Please send an abstract of 250 words to Lisa West,, by January 15, 2018.

CFP: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Sessions at ALA 2018 (Deadline: 1.15.2018)

CFP for the Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Sessions at ALA 2018

The Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society will sponsor two sessions at the American Literature Association Conference at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco (May 24-27, 2018). Please see the topics below and send 250-word abstracts and brief vitae to Program Chair Myrto Drizou ( by January 15, 2018.

Session 1: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Race

Though she is often labeled as a New England regionalist, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman is becoming increasingly recognized as an author who has engaged with a range of geographical contexts, generic conventions, and sociopolitical discourses. Scholars have widely discussed her challenging representations of gender, particularly in the context of turn-of-the-century ideas about marriage, economy, social class, and material culture. Although Freeman is radical in her representations of gender, she is often silent on issues of race. For instance, her historical romance The Heart’s Highway (1900), offers conventional, exoticizing descriptions of black subjects in a 17th-century Virginia plantation. This panel will include papers that explore the discussion of race (or lack thereof) in any aspect of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s work, including her children’s stories, Gothic fiction, novels, and plays. Comparative studies with her contemporary (or later) authors are welcome.

Session 2: Open Topic

This session invites proposals for presentations concerned with any aspect of Freeman’s life and oeuvre. Discussions (and examples) of teaching Freeman’s works are particularly welcome.


For more information about the conference, please consult the ALA website at

CFP: SSAWW at ALA three proposed panels (Deadline: 1.5.2018)

CFP: Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) Panels

at the American Literature Association Conference

May 24-27, 2018 | Hyatt Regency San Francisco

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) is pleased to invite proposals for the following panels to be held at the 2018 American Literature Association (ALA) Conference in San Francisco, CA. Each panel examines a different interpretation or representation of labor from early American literature to the literature of the twenty-first century.

Please send proposals of no more than five hundred words (for fifteen-minute papers) to the Vice President of Development, Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack ( no later than January 5, 2018 with an expected response no later than January 12, 2018. Note that presenters must be members of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers by January 29, 2018 in order to secure their place on the program. In addition, please indicate any AV equipment needs in your E-mail.


“There Are Few [Pieces] about Pregnancy and Childbirth”:

Explorations into the Labor of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood in American Women’s Writing

In 2000, Julie Tharp and Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb published This Giving Birth: Pregnancy and Childbirth in American Women’s Writing—an edited volume exploring the poetry and prose of writers from Anne Bradstreet to Toni Morrison who gave voice to the experiences and emotions of childbirth far too often silenced or ignored in a society that once saw childbirth as a woman’s central obligation. These essays therefore reflect growing interest in American maternity literature, especially as more and more women writers began to acknowledge the breadth of emotions they encountered, such as “the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness” (Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution). In stirring conversation regarding labor, it is thus vital to explore representations of pregnancy and childbirth in American women’s writing and the insights such authors reveal into the psycho-social experience of motherhood, from the mid- to late-1700s through the present day. In exploring this subject across genre and across time, this SSAWW panel asks participants to consider any related issues such as motherhood as gender role to the refusal to have children as an expression of identity or as a socio-political act. SSAWW welcomes papers that explore a wide range of texts and authors related to this overarching topic.



“She Was Becoming Herself and Daily Casting Aside that Fictitious Self”:

Critiques of Domesticity and Servitude in American Women’s Writing

Responding to the constraints of a patriarchal society, American women writers fought not only for a more expansive role in the social and political sectors of American life but also for a more nuanced representation in literature. As a result, texts of the nineteenth century and beyond often challenged the cult of domesticity with works such as Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” revealing the internal and external struggles of women to explore their social, political, economic, and sexual freedom outside of the home. Such texts ultimately emerged alongside works by women of color, including Harriet Wilson and Marvel Cooke, who sought to challenge the equally limited roles afforded marginalized communities in American society. By studying servitude from slavery to the Bronx slave market and beyond, these authors sought to challenge the racial and economic hierarchy at work while also exploring the many untapped possibilities for women once valued as contributors and leaders in American life. Seeking to examine domestic life, servitude, and the literature that interrogated/challenged these realities, this panel asks its participants to consider the ways in which American women writers probed the limitations of submissive gender roles as well as the journeys of women to hone their voices and forge identities of their own. SSAWW welcomes papers that explore a wide range of texts and authors related to this topic.



“Female Wage Labor [As] a Key Site of Ideological Contest”:

Agency, Enterprise, and the Labor Force in American Women’s Writing

Rebecca Harding Davis’ 1861 Life in the Iron Mills was ultimately a groundbreaking text of its time not only for its portrayal of “the bleak lives of industrial workers in the mills and factories of the nation” (Gray) but also for its insights into the lives of mill girls, who saw their jobs as vehicles for social, economic, and educational opportunity. Though there has since been a shift in socio-cultural thought, where the restrictive gender norms of the not-so-distant past began to ease and women began to seek new roles among the labor force of American society, women and labor has always been a contested subject in American culture and literature, even in the present day. Texts such as Lori Merish’s 2017 Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States are, then, important in stirring scholarship on these vital works (and not just those in the United States) by exploring the push for increased agency and visibility among American working women who move beyond notions of sentimental domesticity to forge a room of their own. This SSAWW panel therefore asks participants to consider texts (from feminist and activist literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the many progressive novels, poems, short stories, autobiographies, and plays produced across time) that examine the labor force as a contested but potentially freeing space for American women. SSAWW welcomes papers that explore a wide range of texts and authors related to this overarching topic.


C19 Podcast S01E02: “Modern Slavery?” How 19th Century Slavery Can Speak to 21st Century Trafficking

Please enjoy listening to the amazing work of Anna Mae Duane and her team.

Listen, review, and subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud. Inspired? I’ve attached our CFP if you’re interested in submitting a proposal. You do not need prior experience in podcasting! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you might have. Our next review cycle is coming up at the end of this semester.

Can 19th-century approaches to slavery provide a map for thinking about 21st century trafficking? In this episode, Anna Mae Duane (UConn)leads a dialogue about how we can–and can’t–bring the nineteenth century to bear on the current phenomenon largely referred to as “Modern Slavery”–a term that is itself deeply controversial. The conversation centers around the edited collection, Child Slavery Before and After Emancipation: An Argument for Child-Centered Slavery Studies (Cambridge UP, 2017). Editor Anna Mae Duane interviews three contributors to that project, Karen-Sánchez Eppler (Amherst), Micki McElya (UConn) and Sarah Winter (UConn). Together they think about what constitutes a usable past when thinking about modern forms of oppression, and about how focusing on children can help us to rethink questions of property, memory, and freedom.

The episode was produced by Ali Oshinskie with the support of WHUS studios. Post-production assistance by Doug Guerra

CFP: “Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work”

The CFP for the one-day conference “Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work” is below.  Funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council “CHASE” consortium of universities from the East of England (including the universities of Essex and East Anglia), this conference will be held at Université Paris Diderot on 28th June, 2018 and will be the first international conference on Nieriker: a nineteenth-century painter, prolific life-writer, and the younger sister of Louisa May Alcott. Abstracts should be submitted through the website
We are also petitioning for a memorial plaque to be installed at the site of Nieriker’s remains at the Montrouge Cemetery in Paris where she lived for the last decade of her life:
Many thanks,
Azelina Flint (Chairman)
School of American Studies, University of East Anglia.

CFP: Pauline Hopkins Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.8.2018)

Call for Papers

Pauline E. Hopkins Society

American Literature Association

29th Annual Conference

May 24-27, 2018

San Francisco, CA

The Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society will sponsor two sessions at the 29th Annual Conference of the American Literature Association.

Panel One: Pauline Hopkins and Genre

Pauline Hopkins’s work is notable for its experimentation with genres.  Like W.E.B. Du Bois’s use of multiple genres in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Hopkins’s writings in The Colored American Magazine encompass – and often blend – biographies, fiction, histories, and more in her attempt to combat the stereotypical depictions of blackness that were the norm in the mainstream press of the day.  Her novels engaged with a variety of literary genres in order to expose and subvert racism in the Jim Crow United States and to argue for a black history that is grounded in richness, depth, and beauty.  John Gruesser’s description of Of One Blood as a text that “combines elements from a number of popular genres” and thus “frustrates attempts to briefly summarize it” applies to many of her writings.  This panel welcomes papers on Hopkins’s use of genres in her novels and/or her other magazine work.  Comparative papers that analyze her use of genres in relation to other writers, such as Du Bois, are particularly welcome.

Questions to consider might include: What is the connection between Hopkins’s literary experimentation and her racial politics?  How does Hopkins align her work within genre conventions or subvert them?  How does her emphasis on genteel class politics intersect with her use of popular genres?  In what ways does her use of genre work to “frustrate” her readers?


Panel Two: Pauline Hopkins’s Activism in 2018

2018 will mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and the establishment of the first black studies department at San Francisco State.  It will also likely be a year that continues the conversations and activism around issues like mass incarceration and police violence against African Americans.  These instances of racial violence and the responses to that violence call attention to similar issues of the Jim Crow period – or, perhaps, it is more accurate to state that the racial violence and protests of the 21st century are themselves continuations of those of the late 19th century and early 20th century.  Where do Pauline Hopkins and her work – in her novels and in the magazines – fit into the current climate?  Papers that engage with Hopkins’s activism, particularly in relation to racial violence, are especially welcome.  Approaches to teaching Hopkins in the United States of 2018 are also welcome.

Instructions for proposal submission:

·        Abstracts for both panels should be no more than 300 words and accompanied by a brief CV.

·        Proposals for both panels should be sent to Eurie Dahn, Program Committee Chair, at by January 8, 2018.

·        The subject line of the email should be “Hopkins/ALA panel one (or two).”

·        AV needs should be included in the proposal.

·        Membership in the Pauline E. Hopkins Society is required of presenters.