CFP for Reproductive Justice and Literature Handbook (Abstract Deadline: 3.15.2020)

We seek contributing authors for a handbook on Reproductive Justice and Literature to be edited by Laura Lazzari and Beth Widmaier Capo and published by Palgrave Macmillan. This handbook will include essays of 8,000-10,000 words each that analyze reproductive justice issues as they play out across and through literature. Essays may consider any period, genre, or cultural context in literature, but must situate the works in the specific reproductive justice framework (i.e. if discussing surrogacy within contemporary American novels, the relevant legal and social framework should be clearly explained).

This text is meant to be a resource to scholars, teachers, and students in a wide range of fields, including literature and social justice, literature and reproduction, cultural studies, women’s and gender studies, literature and law, reproductive rights and gender justice, literature and gender, literature and human rights, and motherhood studies. We invite abstracts for proposed chapters on literature and topics such as (but not limited to):

Reproductive control/managing fertility
-Health care: general, prenatal, postnatal
-Access to healthcare, birth control and access to reproductive technologies
-Miscarriage and perinatal death
-Reproductive technologies
-Birth control and sterilization
-Abortion and selective abortion
-Childbirth: medicalization of childbirth; obstetric violence; birth trauma
-Maternal mortality
-Breastfeeding


Right to parent
-Infertility: who has the right to become a parent?
-Parenting, childcare
-Adoption, international adoption, and foster care
-Surrogacy and International Surrogacy
-Single mothers
-Same sex couples
-Teenage mothers
-Welfare families
-LatinX and women of color
-Rights of the children


Other possible chapters
-Reproductive Justice and ethics
-Neoliberalism and reproductive justice
-Reproductive justice in dystopian, utopian, and sci-fiction literature
-Reproductive justice in children’s and YA literature

Please send a 500 word abstract, 3-5 keywords, and a short biography by March 15, 2020 to bcapo@ic.edu and lazzari@cua.edu. We are happy to answer any questions.

CFP: Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society Symposium June 2020 (Deadline: 2.17.2020)

Revolutionary Legacies: The Ninth Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society Symposium

June 24-27, 2020

Union College, Schenectady, New York

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society invites submissions for its ninth symposium, titled Revolutionary Legacies. The Symposium will take place June 24-27 on the beautiful campus of Union College in Schenectady, New York, and will honor both the Sedgwick family’s ties to the Albany and Hudson River regions and the area’s role in America’s many revolutions.

Although Catharine Sedgwick is strongly associated with the Berkshires region of Massachusetts, the Albany region was important to her family as well. Her father, Theodore Sedgwick, had strong ties to Philip Schuyler, who served as a General in the Revolutionary War and whose grand mansion looms over the Hudson River, and to Alexander Hamilton, one of Schuyler’s sons-in-law. Catharine’s brother Theodore practiced law in Albany and her sister Frances lived there with her husband. Catharine herself briefly attended school in the city and as an adult visited frequently, including passing through on her way to Saratoga Springs and points west and north. Sedgwick often portrayed the Albany and Hudson River Valley region in her fiction: characters in RedwoodClarence, and The Travellers reside in or travel through it. Most significantly, in her Revolutionary War novel The Linwoods, Sedgwick locates key events in the Hudson River Valley. 

The organizers of the Sedgwick Symposium invite papers that address any aspect of Sedgwick’s life and works, including but not limited to Catharine’s or her family’s ties to Albany and the Hudson River Valley. We also welcome proposals on other topics connected to the area or to the conference theme. Potential topics might include:

  • Literary engagements with the American Revolution by Sedgwick or other authors—including non-US authors
  • Women’s participation in the American Revolution, including nonwhite women’s experiences of war
  • Travel and tourism in New York and Canada in the era of the “fashionable tour”
  • Immigration, settlement, and native displacement in upstate New York
  • Abolitionism, women’s rights, and other reforms (2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment, with its roots in nearby Seneca Falls)
  • Religious revolutions of the Second Great Awakening, including those in New York’s “burnt-over district”
  • Dutch colonial legacies in early U.S. literature
  • Slavery and its aftermath in the state of New York
  • Women’s education in the early republic and antebellum America
  • Arts and culture of the Hudson Valley region, from the Hudson River School to today
  • The American Revolution in recent popular culture: HamiltonTurnTabooSleepy HollowPoldark, etc.
  • Strategies for teaching the works of Sedgwick and her contemporaries
  • Early American literature in the digital age

Send proposals of no more than 250 words to Ashley Reed (akreed@vt.edu) by February 17, 2020.

Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group – Spring 2020 meeting (Saturday, Feb 29)

The Spring 2020 meeting of the Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group is coming up soon: Saturday February 29 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, hosted by Sarah Salter. The common reading will be Leonor Villegas de Magnón’s The Rebel, an autobiography originally written in Spanish in the 1920s but unpublished until Arte Publico’s editions in 1994/2004. Available here: https://artepublicopress.com/product/the-rebel/

Please RSVP to Sarah by February 1 at: sarah.salter@tamucc.edu and please indicate whether you will attend the dinner.

More details regarding the schedule, location, lodging, etc. are available at our website: http://txssaww.wordpress.com/

This year, our meeting coincides with a wonderful local event: During the February meeting, TAMU-CC and Del Mar Community College will be hosting the South Texas People’s Poetry Fest (Feb. 27-29). This festival, now in its fifth year, collects writers of poetry from faculty, student, and professional communities across the region.

The Study Group is an informal gathering of professors, graduate students, and independent scholars who share an interest in American women’s writing. We share a lunch (provided by the host campus), spend the afternoon discussing the common reading, and have dinner at a local restaurant (paid individually). We welcome new participants to join the conversation, which is always rich and stimulating, and often touches on larger professional concerns (teaching, publishing, mentoring, etc.).
Please help us spread the word by circulating this announcement to your colleagues and graduate students.

Dr. Desirée Henderson

Associate Professor, Dept. of English

University of Texas Arlington

CFP: Louisa May Alcott Society at ALA (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.27.2020)

CFP: Louisa May Alcott Society
American Literature Association Conference, San Diego, CA, May 21-24, 2020 Deadline extended to Monday, January 27th, 2020


Alcott and Adaptation

For over a century, Louisa May Alcott’s writings have been adapted in many ways—for stage, radio, television, and film. As scholars such as Beverly Lyon Clark, Elizabeth Keyser, Elise Hooper, and others have documented, Alcott’s work remains timely and continues to inspire adaptations and spinoffs for diverse audiences. The best known, of course, are the numerous film adaptations of Little Women. Each new production of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel both represents and reinterprets the lives of the four March sisters for a new audience.

We invite proposals for a panel on film adaptations of Alcott’s works, including but not limited to Little Women. The many adaptations of Little Women include the 1933 RKO Pictures production directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, the 1949 MGM feature directed by Mervyn Leroy and starring June Allyson, the 1994 Columbia Pictures production directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Winona Ryder, and the newest adaptation of Little Women, premiering in December 2019, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan. Other adaptations of Little Women include the 2018 Clare Niederpruem film and the BBC/Masterpiece miniseries as well as the transmedia series, The March Family Letters. Little Men and The Inheritance have also been adapted for the screen.

These are just several examples among the many artistic interpretations of Alcott’s works that could be discussed in papers exploring the ways film adaptations transform and reinvent Alcott’s stories and characters.

Potential topics may include: 

– gender equality and feminism(s) 
– representation and diversity
– sexuality and class
– textual fidelity and nostalgia
– (a)politics of Alcott 
– labor and work
– adaptive challenges of the text (for instance, casting different actors as Amy at different ages)
– adaptations in conversation with each other

Please send 300-word abstracts by email to Sandra Harbert Petrulionis <shp2@psu.edu> and Mark Gallagher <markgallagher@ucla.edu>. The extended deadline for proposals is Monday, January 27, 2020.

CFP: Special Issue of ESQ “Lydia Sigourney and Her Contemporaries” (Deadline: 3.15.2020)

Call for papers for a special issue of ESQ to explore the work of Lydia Sigourney and Her Contemporaries. This issue will be devoted to essays addressing the question of Sigourney within the context of her contemporaries. We welcome new essays discussing her work in the context of other major authors or exploring her role in the historical context from a variety of critical approaches including formalist, theoretical, historical and pedagogical. Proposals requested by March 15, 2020.

A non-exclusive list of sample topics:

*The relationship between Sigourney and members of the Concord Circle

* Sigourney and Romantic Poetics

* Sigourney in the Age of Jackson

* Sigourney and trans-Atlantic Romantic and Victorian poetics

* Sigourney and question of race.

* Sigourney and her contemporaries in the literary marketplace

* Teaching Sigourney — Reconfiguring the 19th-century canon

* Sigourney, Fuller and the American Woman’s Memoir

* Ecocritical readings of Sigourney and her contemporaries

* Feminist readings of Sigourney and her contemporaries

* Sigourney and the invention of a pedagogy for America

* Sigourney as editor and mentor

* Sigourney, Whitman, Longfellow, and the American epic or long poem.

* Sigourney and the work of Black women authors.

Proposals of 250-300 words requested by March 15, 2020. Final drafts of +/-7,000 expected by October 1, 2020. Please send inquiries or proposals for papers to Elizabeth Petrino (epetrino@fairfield.edu) and Mary Louise Kete (mkete@uvm.edu).

CFP: Pauline E. Hopkins Society (Deadline: 1.25.2020)

Call for Papers

Pauline E. Hopkins Society

American Literature Association 31th Annual Conference

May 21-24, 2020 San Diego, CA

Pauline E. Hopkins and Social Justice

In an historic vote on December 19, 2018, the US Senate unanimously passed the Justice for Lynching Act (jointly proposed by Democratic Senators Cory Booker, NJ, and Kamala Harris, CA), which now awaits discussion in the House of Representatives. A dozen years earlier in 2005, Congress officially apologized for failing ever to pass a federal anti-lynching law, even though over 200 such bills were presented before the House or Senate from the early 1880s through the mid-1930s. The most famous of such proposals was the Dyer Bill, first introduced in 1918, but one of the earliest anti-lynching measures was the 1894 Blair Bill, which called upon the federal government “to investigate, ascertain, and report” the facts and circumstances concerning alleged acts of rape and racially-motivated mob violence from the previous decade. Noted African American writers and activists supported the Blair Bill, including Thomas Fortune, the influential editor of The New York Age, and Ida B. Wells, who championed the bill in the concluding chapter of her second anti-lynching pamphlet, A Red Record (1894).

Joining Fortune, Wells, and a host of other African American writers at the turn of twentieth century, Pauline Hopkins wrote her first published novel, Contending Forces (1899), expressly to contest “mob violence,” “lynch law,” “mob-law”—terms she repeatedly deployed in the novel’s short preface.  Hopkins, moreover, defined fiction in her preface “as a preserver of manners and customs—religious, political, and social,” thus providing the novelist a means of intervening in political debates and cultural practices to argue for social justice.  Yet Hopkins’s participation in anti-lynching activism is just one example among many of her engagement in the politics of race and justice.  Indeed, all of her fiction—along with much of the journalism she published in The Colored American—takes up issues of social justice, broadly defined, or specifically articulated in cases like that of lynching, as Hazel Carby, Thomas Cassidy, William Moddelmog, Lois Brown, and other scholars have shown. 

The Pauline Hopkins Society welcomes proposals for papers on any aspect of Hopkins and social justice for presentation at the American Literature Association’s 31th annual conference in San Diego, CA, in May 2020.  In addition to proposals that examine Hopkins’ work in relation to social and political movements of her own day, we are especially interested in papers that reconsider Hopkins in light of movements for social justice today, such as the Equal Justice Initiative and its sponsorship of a new legacy museum in Montgomery, Alabama, commemorating America’s tragic history of slavery and lynching, which in part inspired the Justice for Lynching Act currently in Congress. 

John Gruesser, Senior Research Scholar at Sam Houston State University and co-editor of the forthcoming Broadview edition of Hopkins’s Hagar’s Daughter, will serve as the panel’s Respondent.

Instructions for proposal submission:

·         Proposals should be no more than 300 words and accompanied by a brief CV.

·         Proposals should be sent to John Barton, Program Committee Chair, at bartonjc@umkc.edu by January 25, 2020.

·         The subject line of the email should be “Hopkins/ALA panel.”

·         AV needs should be included in the proposal.

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

The American Literature Association’s 31st annual conference will meet at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, CA, May 21-25, 2020 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).  The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2020. For further information, please consult the ALA website at http://www.americanliteratureassociation.orgor contact the conference director, Professor Leslie Petty, at pettyL@rhodes.edu or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University, at ab23@princeton.edu with specific questions.

CFP: Catharine Sedgwick Society at ALA (Deadline EXTENDED: 1.23.2020)

Panel: Nonhuman Life in Early America


The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society invites papers on the subject of nonhuman life in early America. 
This panel will consider forms of nonhuman life in early America as they appear in the work of Sedgwick and her contemporaries. Papers might address (but are not limited to):• nonhuman animals, whether domestic or wild• vegetative life• superhuman or supernatural life (angels, ghosts, gods, sprites)• exclusions from the human (the subhuman, the semihuman, the animalistic)• early America in/and the anthropocene


Please send abstracts of 250 words to Ashley Reed, akreed@vt.edu, by January 23, 2020. 


The 2020 American Literature Association Conference will take place May 21-24 in San Diego, CA.