SSAWW Panels at ALA 2012 (May 24-27, San Francisco, CA) 3 Jan Deadline

full name / name of organization: 
Society for the Study of American Women Writers

Call for Papers: Society for the Study of American Women Writers (ALA 2012, San Francisco, CA, May 24-27)

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers will host two panels at the American Literature Association Conference (May 24-27, San Francisco, CA). The panel themes anticipate our fall 2012 conference in Denver, "Citizenship and Belonging." Historically speaking, these themes have been concerns of American women authors from their earliest writings, published and unpublished, and they remain concerns today. Both panels are open to scholarship focused on American women writers from any time period and writing in any genre.

Panel 1: American Women Writers and Citizenship
Citizenship--how to claim it, how best to exercise it, and where its boundaries lie--is at the heart of much American women's writing. Citizenship can be constructed in many ways, both legally and culturally, and can be explored in terms of race, class, ethnicity, family sexuality, economics, religion, place, and region--in short, from multiple perspectives and through multiple lenses. It can also be investigated as a question of form and genre: what kinds of writing "belong," and to what realms or entities do they claim entry?

Panel 2: American Women Writers and Belonging
Long before the 1848 Declarations of Sentiments, women writers raised questions about how they could participate in the leadership of new American communities; similarly, contemporary women respond to the day's political events and social trends in many forms of the written word. Just as women of all backgrounds considered the parameters of "Americanness"--its inherence or its acquisition, its stability or fluidity, its necessity or its superfluity--their contemporary counterparts are using both old-fashioned forms and cutting-edge technologies to reimagine the United States and its people for the 21st century. Whether one thinks of Harriet Jacobs pondering her own "sale" in 19th-century New York, Jhumpa Lahiri imagining connections across seas and generations in her short fiction, or young writers seizing the potential of the internet and social media to create their own publishing worlds, women writers have always, and perhaps always will, wrestle with what it means to belong.

Please submit to Kristin Jacobson ( by Jan. 3, 2012, a 250-500 word abstract (note which panel your proposal best fits) and a brief CV (no more than 2-pages) that includes rank/status (e.g. ABD or Associate Professor, etc.), institutional affiliation (independent scholars are welcome to submit proposals), publications, and conference presentations. Confirmation of receipt of your proposal will be sent to you within two business days.

All proposals should be both pasted into the text of the email and included as attachments (preferably as a single PDF document). While you do not need to be a SSAWW member to apply for the panel, presenters must be or become SSAWW members to participate in a SSAWW sponsored panel.

Kristin J. Jacobson
Associate Professor of American Literature and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Stockton College

Vice President, Development
Society for the Study of American Women Writers