[UPDATE] Special Topics Session: "Productive Silences" (Annual RMMLA Conference October 6-8, 2011)
Special Topics Panel: Productive Silences
History and the history-making process, while seeking to remember, often call attention to singularity of perspective, which results in silencing the memories of survivors. Literature then steps in to fill the gaps or the lacuna of silence. In this imaginative, fictional realm, silence and those silenced by historians, dictators, and forgetfulness find agency. Understood as a form of resistance, silence becomes a literary ruse: a voice or a perspective that once lacked agency now finds a place on the page.
Narratives that use ruses of hidden or lost documents (such as letters, journals, and oral testimonies) are particularly interesting.
Consider the trope of silence in the following literary works:
* Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (the silences within, Shelley's novel before Percy's revisions…)
* Louise Erdrich's Tracks or The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
*Nicole Krauss's The History of Love
* Relationships between novels and refiguring silenced characters (Jane Eyre and Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea; Robinson Crusoe and Tournier's Friday; and others)
* The stories of survivors
* Literature that emerges inspite of/ out of dictatorships
I am particularly interested in papers that examine extended metaphors for and various tropes of silence in twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, plays, and poetry.
Please submit your abstract of 350 words to:
Pamela J. Rader, Ph.D.
Abstracts due February 28, 2011
Presenters will need to be/become RMMLA members by April 1, 2011
For membership and other information: