"The record of bitter moments": Prison Writing as a Genre, NeMLA convention, April 7-10, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Kristina Lucenko, Stony Brook University

From John Milton to Aphra Behn to Oscar Wilde to Angela Y. Davis, a striking number of writers have experienced some sort of imprisonment. This panel seeks papers on the role of prisons in textual and literary creation. Some of the questions we wish to address include: What are the various prison experiences across time periods--the gaol, the bridewell, the convent, the workhouse-prison, the psychiatric hospital--and how does each serve as a site of cultural production? How does the prison intersect with issues of gender, class, and nation? How does prison writing fit with other generic forms? Which genres of writing emerged from imprisonment? How do writers figure their incarceration--as periods of dispossession, withdrawal, renewal, or triumph?

Comparative and interdisciplinary approaches are welcome.

The NeMLA conference, hosted by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, will take place on April 7-10, 2011.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and brief biographical statements to Kristina Lucenko, kristina.lucenko@stonybrook.edu. Deadline is September 30, 2010.