Female Captivity and the Autobiographical Impulse

full name / name of organization: 
Emily Hipchen and Rebecca Harrison, University of West Georgia

Early American captivity narratives by women were, from the beginning, a form of life writing that engaged and authorized subjective female experiences in the wake of New World colonization. These accounts—the spiritual, secular, propagandistic, and purely fictional—are, arguably, "the first American literary form dominated by women's experiences as captives, storytellers, writers, and readers" (Stodola xi). This genre (and its paradigmatic form) remains popular with women writers engaged in self-construction, especially as they explore and define their own identities as confined by both male-dominated economies and cultural anxieties concerning female authorship. Captivity and its intersection with auto/biography remains, thus, a potently transgressive cultural and generic force.

The editors invite submissions for a critical collection focused squarely on the intersections of American female captivity narratives and auto/biography broadly, across periods and genres. This edition is particularly interested in, but not limited to, scholarly approaches to

• Auto/biographical treatments of captivity.
• Non-white responses to captivity narratives and/or non-white captivities (e.g., BIA-sanctioned Native American child removal practices, Japanese internment during WWII, etc.).
• Modern and contemporary adaptations of and/or responses to early American captivity life writing.
• Extra-literary, multimedia, or multidisciplinary accounts of captivity.
• Innovations in critical theories of life writing and captivity.
• Captivity and auto/fiction (auto/biographical fiction).
• Captivity paradigms, auto/biography, and trauma theory.
• Abduction and adoption/assisted reproduction as captivity in life writing.
• Female captivity as the ur-form of American life writing.

Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2013.

Please submit complete essays (8,000 to 10,000 words) following MLA 7th edition by email to harrisonhipchen@gmail.com.