CFP: Desire and Queer Genders in the Early Twentieth-Century (5/1/07; MSA, 11/1/07-11/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Chris Coffman
contact email: 

As recent work in transgender studies by scholars such as Judith
Halberstam (Female Masculinity and In a Queer Time and Place) and Jay
Prosser (Second Skins) has shown, the category of gender has become
especially productive for queer scholarship on early twentieth-century
literature. While Diana Fuss (Identification Papers) and others have
explored the way in which identification, understood in psychoanalytic
terms, confounds the project of staking claim to identities, there has
been little work in queer theory that has sought to understand the
difficulties that desire poses for that same project. Accustomed to
thinking of the subject in a Freudian manner—as formed by the history of
his or her identifications—we have come, in turn, to consider gender to be
the product of identification alone. What this occludes is the
possibility that desire--whether our own or that of our objects of
desire--might have as much of a pull as identification on our relationship
to gender, and, as such, be fraught with difficulties that urgently demand
our attention.

I seek one more panelist to join a panel that I am proposing for the
Modernist Studies Association's conference in Long Beach, CA (November
1-4, 2007). The proposal already features papers on Woolf's Orlando and
H.D.'s Paint It Today, and I am soliciting an additional paper that
considers early twentieth-century figurations of queer gender identities
in tandem with the concept of desire. What pull does desire have on
gender? Please send a 250-word abstract of your paper—not the paper
itself—to me by May 1 at

All scholars submitting abstracts will be notified by May 15 about whether
their papers have been included in my proposal.

Chris Coffman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Received on Fri Apr 13 2007 - 17:31:11 EDT