CFP: Compelling Confessions: The Politics of Personal Disclosure (3/31/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Suzanne Diamond
contact email: 

Collection -
Compelling Confessions: The Politics of Personal Disclosure

(abstracts by 3/31/06; accepted manuscripts by 5/19/06)

Personal testimony seems ubiquitous in contemporary culture, raising
fundamental questions: is the authentic personal disclosure we
apparently prize—whether in classrooms, on television, in clinical or
legal settings, or elsewhere—productive, advisable, or even possible,
from a psychoanalytic or other theoretical perspective? Manifestations
of a confessional impulse are widely available not only in in fiction,
poetry, autobiography, and memoirs but also in ethnography, within
therapeutic or legal frameworks, in popular, so-called "reality"
television, in "expressivist" writing theories and, increasingly, in a
testimonial strain observable in pedagogical scholarship. Less available
to general readers and viewers, however, are the strategies for
assessing modes of personal disclosure in literature, the classroom and
popular media.

Which theories, concepts, and terms equip interested observers with a
critical understanding of confessional strategies and effects?
Compelling Confessions aims to make available to general readers a range
of essays (2500-5000 words) that visibly interact with relevant theory
by way of making clear the promise, pressures, procedures and/or
pitfalls connected with "telling one's story." In other words, this
compilation aims to provide a critical vocabulary with which its readers
might more systematically assess the confessional rhetoric they
encounter. Essays that interrogate unexamined assumptions within the
discourse about personal disclosure are welcome; the crucial point is
that they make what is at stake in their interrogations clear and
meaningful to a general readership. Compelling Confessions differs from
collections such as Modern Confessional Writing: New Critical Essays
(Routledge) in its inclusion of popular media, non-literary
communication, and contemporary pedagogy within the confessional
paradigm and in its purposive aim at a non-scholarly audience.

Please direct all inquiries/abstracts to and use
"Compelling Confessions" as the subject line to ensure a prompt
response. Abstracts should be pasted into e-messages (not posted as
attachments) accepted manuscripts should be snail-mailed (along with
authors' contact information) to S. Diamond, Department of English,
Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555.
Deadline for abstracts: March 31, 2006. Deadline for accepted
manuscripts: May 19, 2006.

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Received on Thu Feb 02 2006 - 15:18:20 EST