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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Call for Papers— Legacy: Special issue, "Women Writing Disability"

 Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers is soliciting papers for a special issue devoted to the intersection of women, women writers, and disability. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson observes that many parallels exist between the "social meanings attributed to female bodies and those assigned to disabled bodies." To this extent it would be hard to imagine early twentieth-century psychoanalysis without "women's diseases" like hysteria or nervous disorders. Female sexuality and reproduction have, historically, been monitored by a male medical and psychoanalytic profession. Building design, fashion, and juridical definitions of identity have reinforced the idea that, as Iris Marion Young says, "women in sexist society are physically handicapped." Concepts of aesthetic perfection and beauty are often figured around idealized (often naked) female bodies for which marked or disabled bodies are considered aberrant. Much western literature is formed around the volatile bodies of the Medusa, the madwoman in the attic, and the consumptive heroine. Feminist and Queer theory have been at the forefront in recognizing the ways that gender and sexual difference have been articulated through the non-traditional, excessive, or abnormal body, making gender /sexuality visible by positing an idealized norm of physical and mental perfection.

This special issue of Legacy will feature scholarship on American women writers dealing with issues of embodiment, illness, cognitive disability, deafness, blindness, mobility, dependency, and other related issues. Our hope is to find essays that cover the full range of American cultural production, from the colonial period to WWII and across the Americas broadly defined. "Writing Disability" implies both the representation of disability by women writers as well as the role that disability plays in an author's writing. Topics might include intersections between women and disability through any of the following categories:

 *   The body of the aesthetic
 *   Women's work and workplace design
 *   Reproduction rights and disability
 *   Eugenics and reform
 *   Dependency work
 *   Women and d/Deaf education
 *   Manifest Destiny and mobility
 *   The Republican body
 *   Visibility, staring, stigma
 *   Immigration, race, and disease
 *   Communities of disability
 *   Slavery and structural violence
 *   Suffragism and disability
 *   Disability and the family

Deadline: Completed Papers must be submitted by 1 January 2012. Historical focus may cover all periods prior to 1940; Page limit, 10,000 words (including endnotes and list of works cited) using MLA format. Send hard-copy of papers to Michael Davidson, Literature Department 0410, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0410. Questions pertaining to the issue may be addressed to

Department of Literature, 0410
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0410

1 comment:

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