CFP: Autism Texts (4/15/07; SAMLA, 11/9/07-11/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Mark Osteen
contact email: 

The explosion of interest in autism and its controversiesâ€"the roles of
vaccinations, genetics, environmental toxins, and the competing claims
by various clinical schoolsâ€"has brought a tide of new poetic, fictional,
nonfictional, and cinematic texts. This swelling library includes texts
by both autistic and neurotypical artists.

For two panels at the 2007 SAMLA convention in Atlanta, Nov. 9-11, I
seek two different sorts of papers: 1) critical analyses of novels,
films, autobiographies, memoirs or poetry written by or about autism, or
that use identifiably “autistic” forms or structures; 2) creative
nonfiction in which autism figures as a major element.

Questions addressed in critical essays may include the following: How do
autistic people or their family members represent autism from the
outside and inside? What are the differences between these perspectives?
Do autism autobiographies or novels circumvent or transform the recovery
or “emergence” prototypes? What specific challenges does autism pose to
representation and narrative? What tropes, styles, genres or forms do
autistic texts frequently assume? How do these texts perpetuate or
question the stereotypes of autistic people as “locked in” or
supernormal savants? How do autism autobiographies fit or challenge the
broader paradigms of disability narrative and autobiography? To what
degree do autism texts contest other prevailing models in disability
studies? Are there characteristically autistic styles of creative
expression? Are there literary structures, approaches or attitudes that
seem “autistic?”

Creative nonfiction pieces should be self-contained and address some
specific issue, event or circumstance unique to life with autism,
ideally with an emphasis on autistic agency, communication or creative

Please send 300-word critical abstracts or brief (1000-word) creative
nonfiction excerpts to Mark Osteen ( by April 15,

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Received on Sat Mar 03 2007 - 15:59:43 EST