Death, Gender, and Genre: On Women and Elegy (9/30/2013; NeMLA 4/3-6/2014, Harrisburg, PA)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Clare Emily Clifford / Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

Death, Gender, and Genre: On Women and Elegy
45th Annual Conference, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, PA

Death, Gender, and Genre: On Women and Elegy

The last thirty years of elegy studies have brought increasing critical attention to thinking about women and elegy, specifically by reconsidering the positions and practices of female elegists and feminist readers. While much feminist criticism has challenged the Freudian model of mourning we also find women elegists reconfiguring the masculine elegiac conventions, tropes, modes, figurations, and poetics. This panel seeks papers which consider the different ways in which the feminine elegiac reconstruct and challenge the genre and offer new ways of thinking about women's elegy beyond male-centered critical models. How do women elegists conceive of and construct the elegiac task? In what ways do they reconfigure or dispose of traditional elegiac practices? What specific conventions do they complicate, erase, or reinvent, and in what ways do they do this? How are formal elements of women's elegiac writing transformed—whether in the poetic lyric or in narrative prose? How do women elegists reconsider the bodies of the dead, the rites and sites of burial, and decompose the genre? What does this show us about women's mourning, or the work of poetic or textual closure? All related topics are welcome which attend to new theoretical approaches for thinking about women and elegy, and which give close attention to literary texts.

Please submit 250-500 word abstracts via email to Dr. Clare Emily Clifford at ccliffor[at]bsc[dot]edu by September 30, 2013. Details and the complete CFP for the 2014 NeMLA Convention available at:

Dr. Clare Emily Clifford
Department of English
Birmingham-Southern College