UPDATE: Women in U. S. Race Riots (3/31/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Julie Cary Nerad

UPDATE: Call for Papers

Abstracts on women's roles in specific race riots (listed below) are
invited to complete a collection tentatively entitled "Rage, Resistance,
and Representation: Women in U. S. Race Riots."

Springfield, IL (1908); East St. Louis, IL (1917); Chicago, IL (1919);
Detroit, MI (1943)

This collection of essays will investigate the various active roles
women, and particularly minority women, played in nineteenth- and
twentieth-century race riots, paying specific attention to exposing the
cultural fallacy of women's passivity in the public realm of violence,
especially in relation to the construction of racial identity and
cultural race relations. At this point, the collection will include
essays from the disciplines of Literature, History, Law, African
American Studies, Native American Studies, and Theater. The essays focus
on a wide range of riots, from Boston in 1835, to Los Angeles in 1992.

I have included below additional information from the original CFP.
Please send 500 word abstracts by March 31 to Julie Cary Nerad at

More information from the original CFP: This project proceeds from the
assumption that our historical representations and interpretations of
race riots have constructed active resistance to or participation in
(usually white) mob violence as primarily masculine: whenever possible,
men fought to defend (reputedly or actually) their cultures,
communities, and families. Women's roles, in comparison, are remembered
as primarily passive on both sides of "the color line": women's bodies
were protected, defended, raped, beaten, mutilated, or ignored. These
dual constructions, while often accurate and productive for highlighting
the gendered and sexualized violence of race riots, leave a yawning void
in both our understanding of minority communities' resistance to
national, racialized forms of terrorism, and our cultural memory of
white women's role in the public domain and their engagement in "the
race question." This project will begin to fill those voids by
investigating how women participated more actively, through both
rhetoric and action, in race riots. While the essays in this collection
should not ignore the ways that women – or men – were victims to
(usually white) mob violence in race riots, they should primarily
highlight how women actively participated in those riots.

Essays should explore the theoretical and ideological constructs (such
as the lingering myth of separate spheres, perceived biological racial
and/or gender difference, or the "cult of true womanhood") that
proscribe and silence our cultural memory of women's participation in
violent public acts in relation to race. While the essays should note
the precipitating causes of the respective riots, the essays should more
importantly explore the underlying cultural issues such as the control
of property, the attempt to exercise various rights (such as freedom of
speech or the franchise), political power or definition of the nation,
etc. that ultimately fuel race riots. Essays may deal with the
historical archive itself, or they may deal with fictional
representations of riots in order to emphasize how women's roles have
been proscribed, lauded, condemned, etc. in the cultural imagination at
different historical moments by different voices. The essays should
focus on race riots rather than spectacle lynchings, as the
socio-cultural dynamics of the two types of events are significantly
different. Finished papers should be no longer than 10,000 words and
will be due tentatively August 31, 2004.

Julie Cary Nerad, Ph.D.
Morgan State University
Department of English and Language Arts
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251

         From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                       Full Information at
          or write Erika Lin: elin_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Wed Mar 10 2004 - 00:42:49 EST