MLA 2019: Precarious Kinship: Representations of Family in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Emily Hipchen and Marina Fedosik
contact email: 

We seek paper proposals for a special session “Precarious Kinship: Representations of Family in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” at the MLA Annual Convention in Chicago, IL January 3-6, 2019.



We invite submissions that explore narratives and/or other representations (any mode and genre) of adoption, non-normative family creation, and child displacement/emplacement in the cultural and historical context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are especially interested in papers that examine representations of various forms of child precarity produced by the conflict: family destruction and separation, displacement, migration, trafficking, emergency kinning, adoption, fostering, surrogacy, and other forms of un- and re-familying. We welcome emerging and established directions in refugee and forced migration studies in the context of family making and unmaking, reproduction and kinship studies, and other comparative and cross-cultural approaches that intersect with adoption studies’ disciplinary focus on literary and other forms of representation.


Please, send your 300-word proposals to Marina Fedosik and Emily Hipchen at by March 1. Subject line “Precarious Kinship”




About the conveners:


Marina Fedosik is a lecturer at Princeton University. Her publications on representations of kinship in American literature, film, and culture include “Genealogical Ambiguity and Racial Identity: Adoption and Passing in Kate Chopin’s ‘Desiree’s Baby’ and Jessie Redmon Fauset’s ‘The Sleeper Wakes’” in America and the Black Body: Identity Politics in Print and Visual Culture (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2009) and “Grafted Belongings: Identification in Autobiographical Narratives of African American Transracial Adoptees” in Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism (U of Wisconsin P, 2016).


Emily Hipchen is the editor of Adoption & Culture and coeditor, with John McLeod, of the Ohio State University Press book series, Formations: Adoption, Kinship, and Culture. She is an editor of a/b: Autobiography Studies as well as of Inhabiting La Patria: Identity, Agency, and Antojo in the Works of Julia Alvarez (SUNY P, 2013) and of The Routledge Auto|Biography Studies Reader (2015) and was a guest editor of four special issues. She is also the author of a memoir, Coming Apart Together: Fragments from an Adoption (Literate Chigger, 2005). She is a professor at the University of West Georgia.