CFP: [Gender Studies] Crazy Women: Healing Post-Trauma

full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Spear
contact email: 

Call for Papers:

40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Feb. 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency â€" Boston, Massachusetts

Crazy Women: Healing Post-Trauma

It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole... - Virginia

Sylvia Plath. Virginia Woolf. Anaïs Nin. These are few of our
literary ‘crazy’ ladies. Each had psychological traumas, traumas that
were detrimental to her health but traumas that unfolded as powerful
subjects for her prose/poetry. And with recent works such as Suzette A.
Henke’s book Shattered Subjects: Trauma and Testimony in Women’s Life-
Writing and Judith Harris’s Signifying Pain: Construction and Healing the
Self through Writing, trauma studies as a field is expanding its
discourse to offer links between writing and healing. Henke and Harris
both use psychoanalysis to explore testimony, confessional,
autobiographical genres as a means to discover/recover a ‘self’ that
was ‘lost’ due to their selected authors’ past pains.

The aim of this panel is to further examine the connections among gender
and writing and healingâ€"post-trauma. Proposals may address the authors’
form or content in regards to therapeutic writing and may take the
theoretical framework(s) best suited for your argument. Specifically,
papers should offer insight in order to better understand the
possibilities and limitations as well as affirmations and contradictions
of female authors transforming their traumatic experiences to text. This
panel welcomes (non/canonical) authors/narratives that
specifically ‘articulate the pain’ and explore the author’s use of
language, memories, metaphors, narrative breaks, storytelling features,
spirituality, and/or dependence on writing in a life post-trauma, in
attempts to heal past trauma.

Please send 250-500 word abstracts and one-page CV (as well as any
questions) to Rachel Spear at by Sept. 15, 2008, with
your subject line as “2009 NeMLA Abstract.” Submissions should include
the following information: name, affiliation, email, postal address,
telephone number, one-page CV, and A/V requirements (if any, note A/V has
$10 handling fee).

The complete Call for Papers for the 2009 Convention will be posted in
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA
panel; however, panelists can only present one paper. Convention
participants may present a paper at a panel or seminar and also present
at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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Received on Mon May 26 2008 - 11:23:33 EDT