Gendered Madness: Literary Representations of Othered Gender Expressions--NeMLA 2016--abstracts due September 30, 2015

full name / name of organization: 
Nicole Lowman, SUNY University at Buffalo
contact email: 

Panel Description
Each culture has its own conception of gender, and those conceptions are often intertwined with ideas about appropriate sexuality. Whenever there are norms, there are always already opportunities for both exclusion and subversion. Those who have been othered and, by extension, excluded may either be perceived as mad because they lack normative gendered traits or can experience psychic trauma, which can drive them to madness. In either case, gender non-conformists are often viewed as crazy. Conversely, subversion can be a powerful force for those who have been deemed other to exert their agency and the validity of their othered identities. Though gender ideology evolves over time and across cultures, there are always those that fall outside what is considered normal. Some embrace those othered identities while some cannot cope with their own uniqueness.

Papers in this panel explore the normative gender constructs of their respective texts and the characters whose traits lie outside said norms. By exploring the perceived or actual madness of characters who express othered gender traits, these papers describe the ways in which literature, across nations and across periods, critiques ideologies of normative gender.

Submission Guidelines
This panel will be a part of the 47th Annual NeMLA Convention, March 17 to 20, 2016, in Hartford, CT.

Interested authors should submit abstracts of no more than 250 words through the CFP list on NeMLA's website ( Submissions must also include the author's full name, email address and institutional affiliation.

Submissions must be received by September 30, 2015.

Accepted panelists must be members of NeMLA by December 1, 2015, and register for the conference by the same date in order to present. Participants may only deliver one paper at the conference.

Please direct inquires to Nicole Lowman,