CFP: Narrating the Public Self: YouTube, Facebook, and Feminism, NeMLA,(April 7-10, 2011, New Brunswick, NJ

full name / name of organization: 
Rebecca Williams/The Graduate Center, CUNY
contact email: 

As twenty-first century modes of communication have altered, the narrating self has had to shift quite rapidly to accommodate the changes. This panel invites scholars to examine the ideological work currently being done by public feminist intellectuals (such as bell hooks, Hortense Spillers, Barbara Ehrenreich, Angela Davis, Wai-Chee Dimock, Cheryl Clarke, Louise Erdrich, Elizabeth Alexander, Jewell Gomez, among others) in the viral age of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and asks for a reconsideration of the idea of the "public" and the "social."

Have new social media configurations served to make the public intellectual practice of feminist advocacy more democratic? How are feminists writing the texts of their lives through their personae as negotiated through social networking sites? Do these sites demand a reconsideration of the nature of memoir or even the word "memoir?" What are the potentialities for future engagement by the next generations of feminist scholars? How are notions of audience and of familiarity altered by "friending?"

Topics and/or critical paradigms can include, but are certainly not limited to: feminism, memoir, politics, class issues, gender, critical race theory, reception theory, queer theory, literature, and poetry.

This panel is significant in that it seeks a fresh investigation of how feminism and feminist critical discourse can be more broadly democratized and globally advanced through widespread public engagement on social networking sites.

Send 1-page abstract and brief bio as Word attachment to Rebecca Williams,, with "NEMLA" in subject line.
Chair: Rebecca Williams