Women Rewriting History: Critical Resistance through Literature, Film, and Art
Seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled: Women Rewriting History: Critical Resistance through Literature, Film, and Art
Editors: Lisa Bernstein and Tulin Ece Tosun
Deadline for Proposals: April 1, 2018
“I am all for putting new wine in old
bottles, especially if the pressure of the new one
makes the old bottles explode”
“Notes from the Front Line”
Rewriting historical and canonical texts has been a continuing tradition in literature, but takes on particular significance in women’s revisions of literature, legends, and myths created by men. Women writers across the world have revised male texts from different epochs, particularly focusing on the representation of women as historical, legendary, and mythic subjects. In The Disobedient Writer: Women and Narrative Tradition, Nancy Walker suggests that “the practice of appropriating existing stories in one’s own work – borrowing, revising, re-contextualizing –has a long and distinguished history” (1). Historically ignored and rejected from both public and literary domains, women writers and artists have for centuries endeavored to assert themselves within the dominant cultural tradition. As part of claiming their own history, women authors, artists, and filmmakers have vocalized the silenced, subdued, and distorted lives of women represented in traditional male texts.
In “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” Adrienne Rich asserts that “re-vision–the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction–is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival” (1982). Through the arts, women have aimed to transform the male-dominated cultural tradition and to help women to move from the private sphere to the public sphere in complex and nuanced ways.
This volume will include women writers, filmmakers, and artists from all centuries and diverse cultural backgrounds who have revisited classical texts, especially those that question or challenge the roles of women. We seek to include women from all national and cultural backgrounds and artistic and literary genres who rewrite and reconceive historical, legendary, and mythic figures. Some examples are:Anowa by Ama Ata Aidoo; In the Name of Salomé by Julia Alvarez; Circe/Mud Poems by Margaret Atwood; Gilgamesh by Zeynep Avci; The Scroll of Seduction (El Pergamino de la Seducción) by Giocanda Belli; Dictee by Hak Kyung Cha; I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (Moi, Tituba, Sorcière…Noire de Salem) by Maryse Condé; The Queen of Jhansi by Mahasweta Devi; The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy; Helen in Egypt by H.D.; Ophelia by Bryony Lavery; Green Snake by Lilian Lee; Medea and Cassandra by Christa Wolf; and visual art by Betye Saar, Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Cindy Sherman, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Within the framework presented above, this edited collection will bring together essays from a wide range of disciplines and cultural perspectives to explore the phenomena and archetypes of womanhood through re-writings of canonical texts, myths, and stories in films, novels, poems, plays, short stories, and art while taking a comparative approach to women’s literature and rewriting across national and cultural boundaries.
Proposals: 500-word description of the proposed paper, including a preliminary title. Also, please include a 50-word biography and your full contact information.
Deadline for Abstracts: April 1, 2018