CFP: Theory and Practice of American Letters, 1620-1860 (11/1/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Gaul, Theresa
contact email: 

Correspondences: The Theory and Practice of American Letters, 1620-1860=20


Viewed by previous generations of scholars primarily as historical
documents valuable for revealing information about famous people,
letters today are increasingly accorded an independent literary status.
So malleable in form that they sometimes seem to defy generic
categorization, letters' flexibility renders them particularly adaptable
to writers' and readers' varying uses and interpretations; as
multi-authorial, intertextual documents that resist closure and address
multiple audiences, letters pose a sometimes daunting critical task.
Yet as the genre quite possibly read and practiced by the widest range
of Americans, letters are particularly well situated to broaden
understandings of the colonial, early republican, and antebellum


Essays taking a wide variety of approaches to letters are welcome,
including those examining the formal and material aspects of the genre;
the aesthetics of the letter; the social, political, and historical
contexts out of which letters emerge and within which they intervene;
the ways that letters negotiate and mediate race, class, and gender
relationships and national identities; challenges or opportunities
letters pose to theorists of autobiography or scholars working in the
fields of cultural, women's, or critical race studies; editorial,
composition, or revision practices; reception; subgenres of letters
(e.g. the familiar letter, letters to the editor, letters embedded in
other genres, etc.). Essays may focus on a particular writer's letters
or an exchange between multiple correspondents or may consider issues
across authors and eras. =20


Essays of 25 pages (maximum) are due by Nov. 1, 2006. Inquiries are
welcome. Send an email attachment and a hard copy to each editor:
Sharon M. Harris (Dept. of English, U of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
06269-4025; and Theresa Strouth Gaul (TCU Box
297270, Fort Worth, TX 76129; =20

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Received on Mon May 15 2006 - 12:35:16 EDT