Subversive Homes: Domestic Spaces in English Women’s Writing 1640-1740 (NeMLA Pittsburgh, April 12-15, 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association

Women have traditionally been associated with domestic spaces. This panel will examine the complexity of these places as a locus of intersection between various economic, religious, and social spaces. As Nicole Pohl points out in Women, Space and Utopia 1600-1800, “the house and home—seems in itself subdivided into areas that display social division or solidarity: ‘The household is a ‘sociogramm’ of a family but [also] of something much more.” This panel will investigate the “something much more” that is taking place in the domestic landscape of early modern women’s writing. Women writers used representations of domestic spaces and of the movements through, across, and within these spaces to intervene in the social issues that affected their lives, thus blurring the boundaries between domestic and social spaces. For example, in fiction, as well as in the life writing that was so prevalent in early modern England, women employed representations of their interactions with spouses, parents, servants, and even their God in these domestic spaces to comment on larger concerns such as questions of social power. By investigating the ways in which women represent domestic spaces, this panel will address essential questions such as: How do representations of the home, family, or other domestic spheres work to challenge and change the traditional authoritative and often oppressive spaces in women’s worlds and lives? How are the depictions of the household used to comment on social spaces, expose underlying threats in these spaces, and negotiate or resist limitations placed on women by the physical, emotional, economical, or religious boundaries erected by these spaces? This panel welcomes papers that address the representations of domestic space in the fiction and non-fiction of the period. Please send 300 word abstracts and a one page CV to Andrea Fabrizio and Ruth Garcia at:

Deadline for Submissions: September 30th, 2017

Abstract submission guidelines:

Convention information:

Questions about the panel: Andrea Fabrizio and Ruth Garcia at and