UPDATE: Critical Essays on Meena Alexander (1/15/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Leenerts
contact email: 

Edited Collection

Contributions are invited for a collection of critical essays on any
aspect of Meena Alexander's work as poet, memoirist, novelist, literary
theorist, and thinker. The publication of the tenth anniversary edition
of Fault Lines as well as two recent volumes of poetry, Illiterate Heart
(winner of PEN Open Book Award 2002) and Raw Silk (2004), provides a
watershed moment to examine and evaluate Alexander's creative oeuvre in
the context of contemporary transnational, multi-ethnic, and feminist
theory and aesthetics. Although Alexander has been widely anthologized
and acclaimed as a contemporary South Asian American poet and thinker,
no major collection of critical commentaries on her work has yet
appeared, a void that this collection hopes to address. How does
Alexander's work intervene in the coruscating issues of the present
moment and map the circuitous routes of violence from religious
fundamentalisms in India, her country of birth, to the devastation and
trauma of post-9/11 New York City, her current home? How does
Alexander's work reassert the power of poetry and passionately advocate
for the preservation of the aesthetic in a time of violence and strife?
Critical essays examining Alexander's creative work using the
methodologies of transnational feminism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis,
postcolonial theory, queer studies, narrative theory, cultural studies,
and genre studies are welcome. We welcome essays examining
interconnections between Alexander's poetic practice and thought with
grassroots or pedagogic activism, as well as others that contextualize
her contribution to the field of postcolonial and Asian American

Given below is a suggestive but not an exhaustive list of possible

the lyric in a time of violence;

transnational feminist poetics;

rethinking Indian nationalism;

trauma and language;

migration, exile, and home;

US race relations and multicultural pedagogy;

postcoloniality, history and the personal essay;

the body and memory;

memoir as a genre;

autobiographical fiction.

Send abstracts of 500 words (or completed papers) by 15 January 2006
to: Lopamudra Basu of University of Wisconsin-Stout at basul_at_uwstout.edu
AND to Cynthia Leenerts of East Stroudsburg University at srcyn_at_aol.com.

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Received on Fri Dec 09 2005 - 15:18:16 EST