CFP: [Gender Studies] Unsettling Borders, Healing in the Borderlands

full name / name of organization: 
Allison Hargreaves
contact email: 

The Association for Bibliotherapy and Applied Literature (ABAL), in
conjunction with the 2008 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences,
invites your participation in our annual conference.
June 2 - June 4, 2008
University of British Columbia

Unsettling Borders, Healing in the Borderlands

“Borders are set up to define places that are safe and unsafe, to
distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip
along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place
created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary.” (Anzaldúa,
Borderlands/ La Frontera 25)

Since the 1987 publication of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/ La Frontera,
theoretical conceptions of borders and borderlands have proven incredibly
influential and highly adaptable across a number of disciplinary
boundaries. While acknowledging the allure of border theory as a
conceptual paradigm, Joanne Tompkins has recently critiqued the “apparent
ease and gratuitous porosity” with which the border-crossing metaphor has
been mobilized, suggesting that “[a] thoroughly useful conceptualization
of the border would need to account for different borders with different
types of restrictions for different subjects” (Unsettling Space 130).

ABAL invites any submissions that engage literature or story as a way of
addressing, complicating, or troubling the notion of thinking “beyond
borders.” How has literature spoken to, from, or across borders (either
physical or conceptual) in ways that account for differently positioned
subjects, and how has literature posited healing or therapeutic responses
to unnatural boundaries? Moreover, how might the writer or storyteller
function as an agent of healing and transformation? Can stories “work
along the borders of our minds and alter what already exists" as Jeanette
Winterson suggests? ABAL welcomes any submissions, from across diverse
disciplinary boundaries, that frame story as a path toward healing in the

ABAL views its annual conference as a forum for the open discussion of
ideas. As such, we are calling for participants rather than papers.
This is to say that while we invite papers, we encourage presenters to
talk about their research and to involve their audience. We welcome
proposals to lead talks (20 minutes), panel discussions (45 minutes), and
workshops (45 minutes). We also invite creative writers to read from
their work to our group. ABAL is a multidisciplinary association and
appreciates contributions from many fields of expertise, including
English, Cultural Studies, Social Work, First Nations Studies, Education,
Women’s Studies, Psychology, Psychiatry, Library and Information
Services, etc.
Please send one copy of the proposal (up to 500 words) by January 15,
2008. Your submission should be accompanied by a cover page containing
the following information: name; full mailing address; e-mail, phone,
and fax numbers; the title of your paper; a 50-word biographical note; a
description of any audio-visual support you may require.
Please include an electronic copy of your bio and proposal in your
submission. To enable blind reviewing by assessors, your proposal should
not include your name, position, or institutional affiliation.

Send your submission to:
Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew
Associate Professor of English
First Nations University of Canada
1 First Nations Way
Regina, SK S4S 7K2

Please note that conference presenters must be paid members of ABAL.
Membership inquiries can be forwarded to Allison Hargreaves, Secretary,
ABAL, Department of English, University of Western Ontario London, ON,
N6A 3K7, or

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Mon Nov 19 2007 - 13:00:14 EST