CFP: Loss and Foundlings: 19th C. North American Childhoods (9/14/05; NEMLA, 3/2/06-3/5/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Shirleen R. Robinson
contact email:

"Loss and Foundlings"

Northeast Modern Language Association Convention
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 2-5, 2006

This proposed NEMLA panel uses the categories=20
=91loss=92 and =91foundlings=92 as overlapping lenses=20
through which to investigate 19th century North=20
American childhoods that lie outside the main of=20
American Childhood Studies. We encourage=20
abstracts that employ interdisciplinary=20
methodologies to study the wealth of non-Anglo=20
American child narratives which circulate in=20
various 19th century print media and oral=20
traditions, such as legends and folklore, poetry,=20
short stories, spiritual manuals, short stories,=20
novels, adult newspapers and juvenile=20
literature. We seek proposals that engage the=20
historical, social and political forces that=20
refract current models of 19th century American=20
childhood into =93foundlings=94. How do such=20
societal forces as government child removal,=20
kidnapping, slave remanding and/or manumission,=20
missionary conversion, racial segregation,=20
illness, poverty, indentured or coerced child=20
labor alter and remap the developmental=20
trajectories that we attribute to the 19th=20
century North American child literary figure?

Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

    * Orphans, adoptees, foster children,=20
refugees, hospital or church asylum seekers,=20
public or private charity beneficiaries, street=20
urchins, chimney sweeps, or juvenile delinquents
    * The significance of foundling children in=20
the formation of working-class labor identities
    * The perverse or contradictory influence of=20
public or private charity on foundlings
    * National, local or subjective desires for=20
foundlings; or, conversely, the desire of=20
foundling for communal or national affiliations.
    * The subject=96formation or intersubjective relations of foundlings
    * The psychological role of loss, e.g., loss=20
of home, land, roots, or belonging, as such loss=20
inflects, frames or over-determines the development of foundlings
    * The spiritual, educational, disciplinary,=20
hygienic, or psychological discourses which=20
individuals or institutions deploy about=20
foundlings, and the objectives and repercussions of such discourses.
    * The loss and recovery of 19th century=20
narratives about foundling children in publishing=20
history; we encourage especially paper proposals=20
that consider 19th Century literary journals=20
other than Lydia Marie Child=92s Juvenile Miscellany
Please submit a 500 word abstract and short c.v.=20
to < <>>=20
and <<>>=20
no later than Wednesday, September 14.

All participants must be NEMLA members and=20
registered for the NEMLA convention by Nov. 15.

Shirleen Robinson and Hilary Emmett
Department of English
Cornell University

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Received on Sun Sep 04 2005 - 08:46:51 EDT

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