Women in Literature MMLA 2017—“Literatures from the Lockdown”

deadline for submissions: 
April 5, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association, "Women in Literature" Permanent Session

Women in Literature MMLA 2017—“Literatures from the Lockdown”


Thinking about this year’s MMLA theme, “Art and Activism,” led us to consider the ways in which women’s art and women’s activism have been “locked down.” Sometimes women’s art and women’s activism locks itself down; after all, Audre Lorde once proclaimed at an MLA conference, “What does it mean when the tools of a racist patriarchy are used to examine the fruits of that same patriarchy? It means that only the most narrow perimeters of change are possible and allowable.” How, then, do we escape the lockdown? How do we empower even as we resist?


We seek papers interrogating the ways in which women’s art or women’s activism have been controlled, repressed, defeated, policed, confined, rendered, recast, oppressed, reinvigorated, secured, or disturbed.


Relevant topics include (but are not restricted to):


-    Art as protest, protest as art

-     Protest fatigue

-        Intersectional, community-specific perspectives of violence

-        Pedagogical approaches to activism/ art

-        Visible and invisible activism

-     Protest/ art and the risk of speaking for others

-        Homophobic violence and queer citizenship

-        Translations and transnational activism(s)/ art

-        Female activists and different media, including social media

-        Historical perspectives on activism & social change

-        Emancipation and the postcolonial

-        Success and failure “escape” narratives

-        Queer bodies and/ or women in political arenas

-        Ecocriticism and posthumanism as art/ activism

-        Activism/ art in children’s literature (particularly the political)

-        Art/ activism in relation to “the war on terror” or trauma

-        “Policing” as activism/ art

-        Women’s reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood, and the “vagina” question

-        Resistance and empowerment: The Black Lives Matter Movement

-        Protest songs or poetry; particularly those from around the globe

-        Protest and empowerment in religion and religious spaces

-        Activism and the art of storytelling

-        Mass mobilization and the collapse/ construction of authority

-        The body as a site of protest and/or resistance

-        Temporality and resistance

-        Social justice and the ethics of care


Please send paper proposals of 300 to 350 words to Tharini Viswanath and Krista E. Roberts at womeninliteratureatmmla@gmail.comby April 5th, 2017. The MMLA Convention will take place in Cincinnati on November 9-12.  Click here for more details:  http://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention