MLA Boston 2013: Building Ethnic and National Identities through Life Writing
A panel of the Biography, Autobiography, and Life Writing division, 3-6 January 2013
Historically and today, autobiographies and biographies have often been deployed to help construct ("imagine" in Anderson's terms) an ethic, national, or other type of community in many places of the world. Please note that the submission must have to do with a how a life writing text has contributed to the building of a certain community.
Send 250-word abstracts and a 1-page cv to Irene Kacandes by Thursday 8 March. More information can be found here.
Writing Mothers\Daughters: 1780-2012
Newman University College, Birmingham, 28 June 2012
Women’s writing owes its current prominence to the major achievements of second-wave feminist scholars who sought to recover its past and shape its present. They articulated a ‘political need’ to establish a female literary history as well as a ‘continuing need’ for women to ‘claim cultural legitimacy through authorising themselves’ (Eagleton, 2005). This project placed particular emphasis on the Romantic period as an age of proto-feminist activity and established a literary line between these foremothers, their nineteenth-century daughters, and an emerging body of contemporary women writers. The legacy of this literary line can be seen in the tendency of writers and critics to privilege women who identify as daughters, thus examining post-war female subjectivity in terms of an often fraught relationship with the mother. Recent writing and criticism has begun to reverse this perspective by prioritising the mother’s point of view and the examination of maternal subjectivities.
This one day conference seeks to examine representations of mother\daughter relationships – past and present – and to show that by attending to these narratives we can more acutely assess the varied and shifting dynamics between mothers and daughters as they exist within a range of historical, cultural and spatial contexts. Abstracts of 250 words and a short biographical note should be emailed to both K.Myler@staff.newman.ac.uk and J.Banister@leedsmet.ac.uk before Friday 30 March. More information on the conference can be found here.
Hard Cash: Money, Property, Economics and the Marketplace in Victorian Popular Culture
Victorian Popular Fiction Association 4th Annual Conference, Institute for English Studies, University of London, 11 – 13 July 2012
The VPFA conference is now an established event on the annual conference timetable and offers a friendly and invigorating opportunity for established academics and postgraduate students to share their current research. The theme this year enables us to develop the interdisciplinary study of nineteenth-century popular culture, and to map changing attitudes to money and economics across the period. Papers relevant to the theme may be drawn from any aspect of Victorian popular culture and may address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.
VFPA is committed to the revival of interest in understudied female and male popular writers which is pivotal to the reputation this conference has established. Proposals are sought for 20 minute papers on any aspect of the above theme. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to either Jane Jordan or Greta Depledge by Monday 30 April 2012. More information about the conference can be found here.
Call for essays: Gender and the Law in Nineteenth-Century England
The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Special Issue (Summer 2012)
The nineteenth century was a period rife with watershed moments in the history of law and gender in England. It is also a period marked by contradictions: legislation that granted women greater rights under the law took place in fits and starts, and was never unaccompanied by cultural and social backlash. The period began, in 1801, with a national census that revealed women outnumbered men by 400,000, and ended with the repeal of the discriminatory Contagious Diseases Acts (1866) and the passage of the First Married Woman's Property Act (1870). Debates about the relationship between women and the law, and their attendant questions (e.g. Were women legal persons? Could they be?), permeated the legislation, court cases, newspapers, serials, and novels of the day. The roles, and legal power, of English men were also in flux during the period. The rise of industrialism, as well as the middle class, challenged the masculinity of the landed and leisured male aristocrat. Laws that granted women greater rights in marriage, divorce, and ownership of earnings and property served to challenge the centrality of the male patriarch in traditional family structures. In turn, masculinity became increasingly defined by both state-sponsored and independent imperial ventures in the colonies. And by the end of the nineteenth century, a new version of manhood came into being. The rise of the aesthetes, as represented by the publicity surrounding Oscar Wilde, and the criticism of the aesthetes, as symbolized by his rather public trial, serve as the most infamous example of events that brought to light growing anxieties about masculinity, sexuality, and the law.
Please send complete papers (of between 5,000 and 8,000 words) electronically for consideration to the guest editors of the special issue, Prof. Katherine Gilbert and Prof. Julia Chavez. The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2012.