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CFP: Reclaiming the Irish Girl’s Presence in New England Literature, Women of the Green Atlantic Conference (Deadline 10.27.2017)

“Where’s Nora?” Reclaiming the Irish Girl’s Presence in New England literature

A panel organized by Cécile Roudeau (Université Paris Diderot) and Stephanie Palmer (Nottingham Trent University) and sponsored by the Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society for submission to the Transatlantic Women 3: Women of the Green Atlantic Conference at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, Ireland, June 21-22, 2018.

Taking the title of one of Sarah Orne Jewett’s story as its tagline, this panel starts with a simple constatation: in nineteenth century New England literature, Nora, Bridget, Erin and other Irish girls were an ubiquitous presence. They popped in and out of New England sketches— from Louisa May Alcott’s “Work” (1873) to Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s “The Tenth of January” (1868) to Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A Little Captive Maid” (1893) or “Elleneen” (1901). And yet, ubiquitous as she is, the Irish girl is also conspicuously absent in major scholarly studies of New England literature. If “Bridget” or “Peggy” has received much-needed attention from historians and is central to discussions of diasporic identity in recent studies of Irish-American history and culture (Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States, 2006; The Irish Bridget, Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 2009, among others), she has remained a shadow in literary studies. Paradoxically so.

For more than two decades, following the pathbreaking work of Judith Fetterley, June Howard, Marjorie Pryse, Susan Gillman, Sandra Zagarell, and more recently Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Walsh, questions of gender, race, and empire have redesigned the approaches to American letters, and the corpus of New England women’s literature in particular. As a “problem,” the Irish girl sits at the center of questions of political and poetical representation, of transactions of gender, race and class. But where’s Nora in our readings of New England women writers? Nourishing nativist fears and religious anxieties while being also praised as “a valuable element in the new race” (Margaret Fuller, “The Irish Character,” 1845), the Irish girl, whose propensity to serve was both an asset and a liability to her becoming American, proved a challenge to the mystique of American democracy and a symptom of its colonialist penchants. Racialized, minoritized as an unfortunate victim of a belated feudalism, she was a foil to the “mistress”’s femininity, a threat to the household’s racial homogeneity, and a constant challenge to domestic government. She was also key to a forbidden imaginery, that of Catholicism, of the illicit realm of poetry (Harriet Prescott Spofford, The Servant Girl Question, 1881). It is high time to acknowledge her stubborn, disquieting, and terribly appealing, presence.

This panel argues that the Irish girl is part of the shadows that matter in American literature. Papers may inquire into:

– reading well-known or lesser known texts by New England women writers from the perspective of the Irish girl, however marginal a character she may seem to be. (Catharine Beecher, Lydia Sigourney, Louisa May Alcott, Louise Imogen Guiney, Rose Terry Cooke, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Sarah Orne Jewett….)

– Tracing the presence of the Irish girl as a problem, or a question, across genres (essays, poems, domestic manuals, political pamphlets, labor novels, diaries, travel narratives, but also vaudeville, plays, caricatures…); the Irish girl in New England periodicals (Boston Transcript, The Atlantic Monthly…).

– “Avenging Bridget”: contemporary subversive rewritings of the stereotype; giving back a voice, a gaze, to the absentee (Aife Murray, Maid as Muse: How Servants Changed Emily Dickinson’s Life and Language, 2010; Nuala O’Connor, Miss Emily, 2015; Maeve Brennan’s The Rose Garden, 2001…)

Leah Blatt Glasser (Mount Holyoke College) will chair the panel.

Please send 300-word abstracts for papers and a short bio to Cécile Roudeau and Stephanie Palmer at and by October 27. The conference abstract deadline is November 1, 2017.


CFP: Legacy, Special Issue: “American Women’s Writing and the Genealogies of Queer Thought” (Deadline: 07.31.2018)

Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers

Special Issue: “American Women’s Writing and the Genealogies of Queer Thought”

Guest Editors: Travis M. Foster and Timothy M. Griffiths

This special issue of Legacy aims to address a key contradiction in the development of contemporary queer theory: on the one hand, queer intellectual history has clear though too frequently elided roots in feminism and women’s writing; and, on the other hand, many of queer theory’s most defining arguments draw inductively from astonishingly narrow archives that occlude women’s embodiment, history, desires, and experiences. We seek papers that engage this contradiction by bringing queer theoretical thought into dialogue with American women’s writing from the seventeenth century through the early-twentieth century. How does our understanding of queer theory and its history change when examined through a longer and more diverse archive than it is typically afforded? How does our understanding of women’s writing and its history change when examined as a conceptual participant in the genealogy of queer thought?

By addressing these questions, papers collected in this issue might aspire to suggest fields germane to queer theoretical study that otherwise go overlooked; clarify the overlaps and disconnects between the histories of feminist and queer literary studies; decenter gay-white-male iconicity in the study of queer-American culture; and/or expand notions of queer dissent emerging from archives that too often valorize masculinist, anti-relational alienation from “effeminizing,” “bourgeois” sociality. We list these conceptual ambitions as possibilities rather than prescriptions. On a more fundamental and open level, this issue acts as an occasion to circulate scholarship that generates new thinking on queerness and gender by highlighting a wide range of American women’s writing.

  • Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Sexual transgression and its theoretics in women’s writing
  • The relationship between queer thought and the sentimental and domestic traditions
  • Early African American writing, black queer studies, and women-of-color feminism
  • Ecofeminism, environmentalism, and queer ecology
  • Sex and gender in Native American writing
  • The linkages between sexual identity, gender performance, and theories of sovereignty
  • Anti-imperialism and nationalism as they relate to sex and gender in women’s writing
  • Women and queerness beyond lesbian recovery paradigms
  • Heterosexuality as an ideology in women’s writing
  • The queer ethics of caretaking and sympathy
  • Women-authored poetry and its erotic imagination
  • Forms of dissent, subversion, and sexual identity in women’s writing
  • American religion, religious ecstasy, and sexual identity
  • Gender and sexuality in the study of whiteness
  • Women’s writing and critiques of antinormativity
  • Queerness and anti-queerness in abolitionist literature
  • Women and queerness beyond “romantic friendship” paradigms

Submissions of 8000–10,000 words (including endnotes and works cited) in MLA format are due by July 31, 2018. Accepted submissions will appear in Legacy 37.1 (Summer 2020). Please send electronic submissions and any inquiries to the guest editors: Timothy M. Griffiths ( and Travis M. Foster (

CFP: Arizona Quarterly Special Issue: Medical Women in 19th-Century American Literature (Deadline: 12.15.2018)

Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory

Special Issue: Medical Women in 19th-Century American Literature

This special issue of Arizona Quarterly seeks essays that engage with literature containing medical women or women in the sciences in 19th-century America. In the midst of a controversy between William Lloyd Garrison and the Gynecological Society of Boston, the Society referred to women physicians, or “skirted practitioners,” as a “third sex,” as inhabiting a space somehow between or outside the male/female gender binary. Despite the Gynecological Society’s intent at harm, their claim can be reinterpreted as a description of the way 19th-century women in the sciences transgress gender binaries by inhabiting a queer, third, liminal space—a space that resists restrictive categorizations.

These are women who transgress the boundary between the private and the public, between the female space and the male dominated one. Perhaps a way to reinterpret the Gynecological Society’s negative othering is to suggest that these 19th-century American women physicians represent a queer, transgressive, and liminal space between the physical and ideological female-inhabited domestic space and the male-dominated professional space.

How, then, do texts with medical women grapple with transgressed categories on both the formal and the thematic level? How does 19th-century American literature register the “third” space women in the sciences inhabit? What do we learn from reading literature with medical women as characters or authors?

To address this issue of formal and thematic transgression, authors might pursue issues such as the following, though they should not feel limited by them:

  • How novels with women physicians or scientists transgress generic or formal boundaries
  • Approaches that queer medical women in literature; analyses of queering and medical women
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to 19th-century characterizations of women and medicine
  • How literature with medical women works to disrupt social and literary forms
  • 19th-century works that explore the intersections between gender, sex, and medicine
  • Genre analyses of novels of sentimentalism, realism, or regionalism with medical or scientific women characters
  • Spatial or visual representations of 19th-century medical women or women in science
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching 19th-century texts with medical women

Topics other than those listed above are enthusiastically encouraged, and articles on a broad range of issues and topics that fall within the broad project of women in medicine or science and literature will be considered.

Please send 500 word abstracts and a brief bio to Margaret Jay Jessee by December 15. Completed essays will be due in March 2018 for review.

C19 Podcast – Accepting Proposals and Latest Episode

Call for Proposals: C19 Podcast Episodes

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists is pleased to announce the launch of an official C19 podcast. The podcast will be a stage for public scholarship on American literature, history, and culture that can engage an audience of C19 members, students, alt-ac professionals, researchers, teachers, librarians, enthusiasts, and the public at large. We invite proposals for individual podcast episodes. Submissions are open and will be considered on a rolling basis to accommodate for applicants’ work schedules and to allow for episode proposals in response to current or developing events. The committee will meet to evaluate the submissions three times a year. (See below for submission details)

S01E02: Interview with the New Editors of J19
Listen, review, and subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud
J19: The Journal of Nineteenth Century Americanists was launched in 2013. Published twice annually, the official publication of the C19 organization is dedicated to innovative research on, and analysis of, the long nineteenth century. In this episode members of the C19 Podcast team bring you an exclusive interview with the new co-editors of the journal, Elizabeth “Betsy” Duquette (Gettysburg College) and Stacey Margolis (University of Utah). We are excited to bring you this sneak peek into the workings of a leading academic journal and Betsy and Stacey’s vision for the next 5 years of J19. Written and produced by Christine “Xine” Yao (UBC), Mark Sussman (Hunter College), and Matthew Teutsch (Auburn).

No previous experience podcasting required. Resources and guides will be provided by the C19 Podcast Subcommittee.

We seek proposals on any topic relating to long nineteenth-century American literature, culture, and history. Episode topics might include

– Archival discoveries;

– Discussions of new books in the field, new scholarly trends, or new J19 issues;

– Appearances by granting agency officers or editors of journals or presses;

– Previews of upcoming conferences or symposia;

– Resources and/or workshops on conference proposals, writing a dissertation, or applying to a conference, or starting a new book project;

– Reports on academic activism, pedagogy, and inclusion, past and present;

– Considerations of current political, cultural, and social developments in the context of the nineteenth century;

– Discussions of pedagogical approaches

– Tips and resources for undergraduates, graduates, and/or NTT and junior faculty on navigating the academic or alt-ac landscape.

Possible formats may include narrative exposition, interviews, readings and analyses of underrepresented texts, and panel discussions. While individuals may produce episodes, we also encourage collaborative work. We invite submissions from all ranks including graduate students and non-tenure track faculty as well as collaborations between senior and junior scholars. Although the C19 Podcast Subcommittee will assign producers to help guide the technical development of episodes, applicants will be expected to produce their own audio files; any requirements for significant production assistance from the Subcommittee should be noted in the application.

Applications should include both a proposal and an appendix.

Proposals (max 300 words) should address the following:

● topic of the episode and its relevance; specific details strongly encouraged

o archival discoveries, discussions of new books, issues etc. should clearly frame their importance in relation to scholarly and cultural contexts

● the plan for adapting the topic to the podcast medium (30 min max episode) ● episode format (interview, narrative etc.) and an overview of the structure ● relevant scholarly and technical qualifications related to the subject.

Appendix (no longer than 1 page)

● list sample questions for interviews

● additional participants (if any)

● logistics in terms of access to resources, equipment, technical help

Please email applications and a CV (2 pages max) to Please place C19podcast along with the title of the proposal in the subject line of the email.

Questions? Contact Xine Yao, Subcommittee Chair (


CFP: Digital Poster Session Editorship as Collaboration at the American Antiquarian Society (Deadline 10.02.2017)

CFP: Digital Poster Session
Editorship as Collaboration: Patterns of Practice in Multi-Ethnic Periodicals
April 27-28, 2018 at the American Antiquarian Society
Worcester, MA


While scholars increasingly recognize the impact of periodicals on social, political, and aesthetic histories, few have explored the range of editorial and collaborative practices that animate their creation and circulation. Invoking editorship as a conceptual model and an area of inquiry, this symposium will support critical conversations about method, affiliation, and the historical arcs of diverse communities as they are developed and addressed through a range of periodical forms. An emphasis on multi-ethnic perspectives responds to important recent work on immigrant, Latin@, and African American print cultures that intersect in their attention to periodicals. Beginning with theories of archival attention, such as Eric Gardner’s “unexpected places,” Rodrigo Lazo’s “migrant archives,” and Kirsten Silva-Gruesz’s “ambassadorship,” invited panelists will participate in larger discussions structured around what Sianne Ngai has defined as “vernacular aesthetics,” those that, like the rhythms of editorship, “operate across much longer spans of time and across much larger swaths of culture” (Aesthetic Categories, 16). We anticipate that a focus on vernacular aesthetics and cultural producers beyond the author will generate alternative theories of editorial practice and historical forms.


We seek proposals for nineteenth-century newspaper and periodical-based digitization projects to be displayed at the American Antiquarian Society’s Spring Symposium 2018. In the digital poster session, we aim to support scholars from early stages of their careers or lower-resourced institutions. Participants will have the opportunity to select small runs of or selections from important serials in the AAS collections to digitize. Scholars will exhibit these materials at a digital poster session, exploring the promises and challenges of digitizing serial  texts into appropriate electronic forms. This session will enable participants to share work around these questions with one another, thus encouraging direct, concrete cross-pollination of expertise and scholarly experience.  


To be considered, please submit a short proposal (300-500 words) identifying a serial publication from the American Antiquarian Society collection for digitization. The scope of the digitized materials may be chosen in concert with symposium organizers and AAS staff. Any serial publication held by the American Antiquarian Society is eligible. The presence of your publication in another digital database will not exclude it from consideration. All materials digitized by AAS will be available in their digital asset management system GIGI (, and available for use as stipulated on their website under  “Freely Available Images Online”:


Proposals should include:
  1. The title, print run (or selection) and a permanent link to the serial from the AAS Catalog.
  2. A brief summary of the publication’s relevance to our focus on multiethnic editorship and collaboration. Proposals might address questions like: How are processes of collaboration illustrated or dramatized in this example? How does this publication focus on external or internal communities, and how does the paper, and its editors, understand the exchanges between such communities? What historical or archival contexts/difficulties/conditions structure your example?
  3. A brief description of the purpose of this publication in this context. Why this publication? Why now? What makes this a productive example for a range of users from introductory students to archivists and scholars?


Follow this link to access the AAS digital catalogue:
This link will tell you more about AAS serials collections:

Please send your submission to Jim Casey ( and Sarah Salter ( as a Word document along with a short CV. Submissions should be received by Monday, Oct 2. Selected participants will be notified via email by the end of October. Final acceptance will be conditional on membership in the Research Society for American Periodicals.  

CFP: Catherine O’Flaherty Chopin’s Irish Eyes co-sponsored by Kate Chopin International Society, Transatlantic Women 3 (Deadline 10.06.2017)

Call for Papers: Catherine O’Flaherty Chopin’s Irish Eyes Panel co-sponsored by the Kate Chopin International Society, Transatlantic Women 3 Conference: Women of the Green Atlantic Dublin, Ireland Royal Irish Academy 21-22 June 2018

Before we knew her as Kate Chopin, the author of The Awakening was christened Catherine O’Flaherty by her parents, Eliza Faris and Thomas O’Flaherty, the latter of whom emigrated to America from County Galway, Ireland. Given that O’Flaherty died when Chopin was very young, that Chopin was raised by maternal relatives of French descent, that she grew up in a city originally part of the Louisiana territory and named after a French Catholic saint, and that she married into a French family, much of Chopin scholarship has focused on French and French- American influences in her life and fiction. However, around the time Chopin was born in 1850, nearly 10,000 Irish emigrated to St. Louis in yet a second wave of nineteenth-century Irish immigration to America. The neighborhood of Kerry Patch developed to the city’s north, and parish churches such as St. Patrick’s, St. Bridget of Erin, and St. Lawrence O’Toole served a growing Irish population. When she died in 1904, Chopin lived on a street with an Irish surname: McPherson Avenue.

In keeping with the Transatlantic Women 3 conference theme, this panel invites papers that consider “Irish/American crosscurrents of the long nineteenth century” that might have influenced Chopin’s view of the world. How might we theorize the degree to which Ireland’s legacy—both in Europe and America—influenced the fiction Chopin bequeathed to us? Papers may address any topic related to Chopin as part of “the Irish-American nexus,” including but not limited to: Irish history in St. Louis; Chopin’s Irish relatives, friends, and contacts; or Irish characters in her fiction.

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Bonnie Shaker,, on or before 6 October 2017. Conference details may be found in the Transatlantic Women 3 link, above.

CFP: SSAWW at College Language Association Convention, April 2018 (Deadline 09.29.2017)

CFP: SSAWW Panel at the College Language Association Convention, April 2018

Hosted by DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois

“Rewrit[ing] the American Literary Landscape”: American Women Writers across the Diaspora and Tales of Black Metropolitan Life


In the introduction to her 2002 text, Rereading the Harlem Renaissance, Sharon Lynette Jones, Professor of English at Wright State University, calls attention to the influx of immigrants into the Black metropolis with “blacks from Africa, the Caribbean, and other regions of the United States migrat[ing] to Harlem in search of the American Dream of economic prosperity and equality, often to find that the dream was elusive” (2). Despite being faced with a tense racial climate that limited the social, economic, and political opportunities afforded ethnic minorities, however, the nation’s arriving immigrants fundamentally transformed cities nationwide into epicenters of unprecedented artistic and cultural growth that forever shaped not only the literary landscape but the very notion of what constitutes the American identity. Eager to explore these critical issues in the works of a diverse range of American women writers, the Society for the Study of American Women Writers is pleased to invite proposals for a SSAWW-sponsored panel to be held at the College Language Association Convention in Chicago from April 4 to 7, 2018.

Topics for Consideration

Because of their role in expanding the ethnic diversity of the United States and contributing to the urban artistic revival nationwide, immigrant American women writers across the African diaspora have played a particularly vital role in the American literary and cultural traditions. This panel will therefore ask participants to consider the unique experience of such immigrant women or writers in the city. Presenters, for instance, might explore social, cultural, racial, and political challenges that such women had to overcome in order to survive in a society where women “sometimes faced the triple jeopardy of race, class, and gender oppression” (Jones 2). How did these women not only help “rewrite the American literary landscape” (2) but also paint a fundamentally new picture of American life—one that recognizes the multicultural mosaic emerging in the city, as they share their traditions and cultural backgrounds with the world? Presenters are asked to consider the works of authors including Paule Marshall, Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, and NoViolet Bulawayo to name a few, as they develop proposals for what is sure to be an intellectually-stimulating panel at the 2018 CLA Convention. Panelists could also potentially explore African-American authors such as Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen, and others who explore the diverse experiences of women migrating to the city in search of that elusive American Dream.

The deadline for proposals this year will be September 29, 2017. Please submit a 250- to 500-word abstract and a brief CV that includes rank/status (e.g. ABD, Associate Professor, etc.), institutional affiliation (independent scholars are encouraged to submit proposals as well), and past conference presentations. Proposals should be submitted to the SSAWW Vice President of Development, Christopher Allen Varlack, at and note “SSAWW at CLA Proposal” in the E-mail subject line. All proposals should be included as an attachment, preferably as a single PDF document. Confirmation of receipt will be sent within two business days of submission.

While interested participants do not need to be members of SSAWW to submit a proposal for the aforementioned panel, all presenters must be members of SSAWW and the College Language Association by February 1, 2018 in order to participate in this panel. For more information about SSAWW or CLA, please visit or respectively.