Literary Representations of the Murdering Woman Proposals due March 12, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Juli Parker/UMass Dartmouth
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Literary Representations of the Murdering Woman
Publisher: The Edwin Mellon Press

From Lizzie Borden to Aileen Wuornos, women have invoked celebrity status as murderers. In this edited anthology, literary representations of women who murder will be examined. Explorations of literature, plays, poetry, and film featuring women who murder will be the focus of this edited anthology. Centering on the fascination with women who murder in literature, the book will examine infanticide, serial murderers, women who murder their husbands, self defense, accidental murders, and first degree murder. Questions raised from this inquiry include:
What is unique about the murdering woman in literature?
Is she represented differently from the murdering man?
Is she represented as diverse in terms of her race? Why or why not?
How do gender stereotypes play into her representation?
Women who are convicted of murder actual serve longer prison sentences on average than men. Is there gender bias toward women who murder?
Do women authors treat women who murder differently than male authors?
How can studies of women who murder teach us more about, not only the role of women in society, but also the expectations of women?
What can we learn about patriarchy and sexism by examining these representations?
Scholars of Women's Studies, Theatre, English and Criminal Justice are potential contributors to this interdisciplinary anthology. A tentative list of chapters/sections is listed here:
Women Who Kill their Children
Murderers on Stage
The Poetic Murderer
Representations of Female Serial Killers
Killing for Love
Based on a True Story
Papers are invited that focus on the aforementioned issues. To propose an essay, please send a 500 word abstract of your chapter via email to Dr. Juli Parker, Affiliate Faculty, Women's Studies, at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, at by March 12th, 2010.