Memsahibs as Imagined and Imaged by Male Writers (Deadline: September 30, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Susmita Roye, Delaware State University
contact email: 


45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

Session Description:
The memsahib is perhaps the most maligned figure among the Raj women. This panel invites scholarly articles on how male writers represent the memsahib in their writings, and how they depict her impact on and/or relationship with British India.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:
• Critical analysis of literature on memsahibs
• Letters, memoirs, fiction and non-fiction about memsahibs (not by memsahibs)
• Memsahib's relationship with and contribution to British India
• The Raj machinery and the role of the memsahib
• Home-building and Empire-building
• Memsahib's role in the success and/or failure of colonization
• Memsahib and the trauma of the Indian Mutiny
• Memsahib and racism
• Memsahib and the 'myth of the destructive female'
• Colonized and colonizer women
• Memsahibs as 'maternal imperialists'
• Unconventional memsahibs; what makes them unconventional?
• Study of gender and imperialism
• Intra-racial tensions, if any, in the gaze of memsahibs
• Life at Home and out in the Colony
• Sense of exile and pain of alienation
• Femininity and/or feminism in memsahib's female gaze

Please feel free to share your ideas for papers even if they are about literary depiction of white women in other British colonies.

Email: Dr Susmita Roye ( with a 300-word abstract.

Deadline: September 30, 2013

Please include with your abstract:
• Name and Affiliation
• Email address
• Postal address
• Telephone number
• A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as "the best book you'll read this year." The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.