CFP: Women's Realist Fiction of the Late 20th Century (2/15/07; MMLA, 11/8/07-11/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Jenkins, Andrea M.
contact email: 

The Women's Studies Caucus invites proposals for a session at the 2007 M/MLA convention in Cleveland. The session is entitled "Women's Realist Fiction of the Late 20th Century: The Politics of the Personal."


The expression "The personal is political" was originally popularized by the radical feminist group Redstockings in the late 1960s and emphasized that women's personal issues--like responsibility for housework and childrearing, sexual assault by husbands or male partners, and limited access to health care, to name a few--are inherently political matters. This panel seeks to explore ways in which women's realist fiction of the late 20th century has built on and/or challenged the ideas embedded in the phrase "The personal is political" and the influence of this genre in the political arena. How has women's realist fiction taken up this theme, and how has it influenced women's activism and/or political attention to women's issues?


We invite paper proposals on works of realism that consider the intersections between women's personal realities and feminist activism. Proposed papers might:

        discuss the ways in which women's realist fiction has or has not responded to the rallying cry "The personal is political."
        explore the influence of the Redstockings or other radical feminist groups on the production and/or recognition of women's realist fiction.
        analyze women's works of fiction in terms of feminist politics within the context of the stories themselves.
        analyze the effects of women's fiction (particular works or the genre in general) in the political arena.
        use various theoretical approaches to works of women's realist fiction to analyze the politics of women's lives.

Please understand this as a list of suggested ways to interpret the panel theme; other interpretations are certainly welcome.


Send proposals of no more than 200 words to Andrea Powell Jenkins at by 15 February 2007.

Participants must become members of the M/MLA and pay the convention registration fee by 1 June 2007 in order to present at the conference. Details about fees are available at

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Received on Fri Dec 15 2006 - 20:16:31 EST