Call for Papers: Women Writers Conference

SSAWW Triennial Conference November 4-8, 2015

Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA

Call for Proposals

Due Date: Friday, February 13, 2015 for all proposals.

For the 2015 Triennial Conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, the

conference organizers welcome proposals on any topic related to the study of American

women writers, broadly conceived. The strength of the society is rooted in the dynamic ideas

and research accomplishments of its members, which the 2015 conference continues to facilitate

and honor. As in the past, however, we would also like to take the opportunity that the

conference affords to create discussions and conversations around a shared theme, which we

have designated as Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives.

The terms liminality and hybridity are most familiar in post-colonial contexts; however, they

suggest critical concepts that draw on multiple disciplines and privilege inclusion. Often

informed by notions of crossing, intersectionality, transition, and transformation, these terms

contest exclusionary practices involving class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sex, among

other variables. The word “limen,” from which liminality derives, designates threshold. The

threshold functions simultaneously as both an obstructive barrier and an enticing opening for the

entry into unknown, perhaps unknowable states that invite exploration. Both spatial and

temporal, the liminal is a site of in-betweenness enabling non-normative perspectives. It is a site

where difference becomes encounter as well as a location that resists assimilation while

simultaneously allowing for the dynamic possibilities of fusion that hybridity embraces and


With the theme of “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” the 2015 Triennial SSAWW Conference

aims to celebrate the multiplicity of American women’s writing across a longstanding literary

tradition that continues to be dynamic in contemporary times. The conference theme of liminality

and hybridity, and the wide range of implications and meanings that these expansive concepts

imply, will facilitate a process of encounters, engagements, and conversations within, between,

among, and across the rich polyphony that constitutes the creative acts of American women.

Thus, through a focus on liminality and hybridity, the 2015 SSAWW conference hopes to

present the varied ways in which women, as critics, dramatists, educators, essayists, journalists,

oral storytellers, poets, novelists, short story writers, and practitioners of both older and

emerging forms, invent and reinvent the American literary and cultural landscape.

Possible topics involving the conference themes may include but are not limited to such

keywords and ideas as:

Alienation and/or disillusionment as states of in-betweenness

Borders and peripheries

Boundaries between/within the built environment and/or the natural environment

Child, adult and blurring boundaries



Cross-species encounters: human and animal relationships

Horizontal and/or vertical paradigms of social constructs

The hyphen In between public and private or the semi-private, the semi-public In between resilience and vulnerability

Historical constructions of space, place, home

Liminal spaces in the home

Immigration and/or citizenship

Inside and outside—the academy, the canon, etc.

Leadership from, on, within the margins

The mainstream and/or the subversive

The margin and/or the center


Obscurity and celebrity



Pressures of normalization

Technology and the human





The conference organizers welcome and encourage complete session submissions as well as

individual paper abstract submissions. The cfp for complete panel submissions can be posted on

the SSAWW website in addition to other venues of your choice. For posting on the SSAWW

website, please send cfp to:

Please direct questions about the conference to:

Submissions are electronic:

Please see full submission guidelines and panel cfps on the SSAWW website:

We look to the 2015 conference to carry forward past achievements, and to create present and

future opportunities for the growth of the Society and all its members with the understanding that

inclusivity, in all its forms, intellectual rigor, and supportive outlooks are the responsibility of the

entire membership. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your submissions.

Conference Organizers:

Rita Bode (, VP of Organizational Matters and Conference Director

Dick Ellis (, President

Beth L. Lueck (, Associate Conference Director

Miranda Green-Barteet (, Conference Program Coordinator

Leslie Allison (, Conference Grad Assistant

Rickie-Ann Legleitner (, Conference Grad Assistant


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