CFP: Science and Sentiment in U.S. Women's Writing (12/10/05; SSAWW, 11/8/06-11/11/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Lydia Fisher
contact email: 

We seek papers for a panel at the 2006 Society for the Study of American
Women Writers conference (in Philadelphia) that explore the relationship
between science and sentiment in women's writing. Taking as a starting
point scholarship on sentiment by critics such as Shirley Samuels, Glenn
Hendler, Julie Ellison, Marianne Noble, Dana Nelson, and Lauren Berlant, we
are interested in how women writers' use of and relationship to the
sentimental aesthetic developed as America's scientific world view evolved,
from the age of so-called sentimental "feminization" (in the 18th and 19th
centuries) into the present moment. The language of science-as seen in
scientific treatises, theories, and rhetoric-frequently relies on the
language of sentiment in making its appeal, and this language of sentiment
was disseminated by and associated with women's writing and culture. Thus,
proposals might address some of the following concerns: how does this dual
focus on sentiment and science enable a nuanced understanding of the
interaction between the scientific and the literary? What is the
relationship between science and sentiment in America, and how has that
relationship shaped women's writing practices? How did women's developing
claims to scientific authority (most notably as a result of their entrance
into the professions) affect the production of sentimental writing? How
have women deployed sentimentality to write about sciences that seek to
understand and explain the boundaries of identity (gender, sexual, racial,


Please send one-page proposals by December 10th to both:


Lydia Fisher

Winterthur Museum and Library




Julie Prebel

Occidental College

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Received on Sat Oct 29 2005 - 14:49:17 EDT