We're plotting our evil, feminist agenda: Women's Documentaries

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42nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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Call for Papers

We're plotting our evil, feminist agenda: Women's Documentaries

42nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

April 7-10, 2011

New Brunswick, NJ – Hyatt New Brunswick

Host Institution: Rutgers University

Over a year ago I took a course on Women's Modernist Documentaries with Prof. Jane Marcus at the CUNY Graduate Center. This panel is an extension/continuation of the work I began with Prof. Marcus, and my interest in Gellhorn's war journalism and Welty's photography.

In the 1959 introduction to The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn admits that even though she wrote her war articles quickly "they are true; they tell what [she] saw" (6). The juxtaposition of the objectivity and subjectivity of this statement, reveals Gellhorn's positionality as a spectator and a woman, and also a war reporter, but also raises questions regarding authenticity, witnessing, and the bias of genre and gender. How do women's documentaries, i.e. scrapbooks, correspondences, cookbooks, travelogues, diaries, re-present or re-envision history? And how do women negotiate their position as documentarians rather than subjects of documentaries, without objectifying those they depict/portray in their work? The objective of this panel is to engage with these questions in regards to women's documentaries in an effort to reconsider the boundaries of documentary genre and ethics of representation.

This panel will examine women's documentaries, which often push the boundaries of reporting truth or capturing reality, as these works are often unconventional and hybrid in form and content. Topics for the panel include, but are not limited to: travelogues (ex. Rebecca West), photo essays (ex. Dorothea Lange, Doris Ulmann), scrapbooks, cookbooks, war journalism (ex. Martha Gellhorn, Virginia Cowles, Josephine Herbst, Virginia Woolf, etc.), photography (ex. Gerda Taro, Lee Miller, Dore Maar), letters/correspondence, anthologies (ex. Nancy Cunard), graphic novels, memoirs, autobiography, pseudo-autobiography, films, performances (ex. Eve Ensler), mixed media projects, performance art (ex. Marina Abramovic)etc.

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and brief biographical statements Magdalena Bogacka at mbogacka@gc.cuny.edu

Deadline: September 30, 2010

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation

Email address

Postal address

Telephone number

A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 42nd Annual Convention will feature approximately 360 sessions, as well as pre-conference workshops, dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2011 Convention will be posted in June: www.nemla.org.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Do not accept a slot if you may cancel to present on another session.

Magdalena Bogacka
Doctoral Student
Department of English
The Graduate Center/CUNY
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
The 42nd convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association will be held in New Brunswick, New Jersey April 7-10, 2011. Our host institution this year is Rutgers University, and the convention will be held at the Hyatt New Brunswick.Share