Fluid Meaning in 19th Century Women’s Writing

deadline for submissions: 
January 22, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Philippa Chun and Susannah Sharpless / SSAWW
contact email: 

We propose a panel for the SSAWW Triennial Conference in Baltimore, November 4-7, 2021:

In “The Prospect of Oceanic Studies,” Hester Blum writes that the sea offers a “methodological model for nonlinear or nonplanar thought” which the scholar must address materially and metaphorically. She draws attention to how “the sea was simultaneously workplace, home, passage, penitentiary, and promise.” American women writers found in the ocean both connection to and separation from the wider world. This panel, chaired by Dr. Melissa Gniadek, considers how 19th century women writers use the slipperiness of the ocean, its promise and peril, to thwart seemingly stable boundaries, institutions, and ideologies such as race, gender, and class. We welcome papers on any genre of women’s writing in the long 19th century which engage with or make use of the sea as a destabilizing and fluid force. By January 22nd, please send your abstract (250-300 words), institutional affiliation, contact information, and a brief bio (no more than 50-60 words) to pac262@cornell.edu and/or sps258@cornell.edu