Rethinking Home: Representations of Male Domesticity (NeMLA, Montreal, Quebec, April 7-11, 2010)

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Northeast Modern Language Association
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Rethinking Home: Representations of Male Domesticity

41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec - Hilton Bonaventure

From traditional residences to temporarily domesticated spaces away from home, representations of male domesticity appear throughout American literature of the long nineteenth century. Taking an expansive definition of domesticity, this panel seeks to spur new thinking about the nature of home-making and home-makers. What is the essence of home for men beyond the confines of "civilization," whether floating a raft down the Mississippi, charting new territory, or managing an imperial outpost? In this interior/exterior dynamic, what values does male domesticity seek to uphold within and what dangers loom without? By uncoupling the domestic realm from its usual identification as feminine, this session will both build upon the rich body of research on the significance of home-making practices and open fresh lines of inquiry.

As efforts to assure bodily comfort are intrinsic to domesticity, panelists will likely speak to historical shifts in gender formation. For instance, as physical strength and endurance become increasingly important markers of masculinity, what level of comfort is considered acceptable within particular texts and what registers as excessive, perhaps feminine? Does attending to the domestic rituals encompassed within putatively masculine pursuits such as hunting, driving cattle, or military service alter our readings of the characters who undertake them? Please send 500-word abstracts (Word or PDF attachment) to Caroline Nichols:

Deadline: September 30, 2009

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)

The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention are posted at

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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