Abstracts on women’s roles in Native American/white race riots are invited to complete a collection tentatively entitled “Rage, Resistance, and Representation: Women in U. S. Race Riots.” This collection of essays will investigate the various active roles women, and particularly minority women, played in nineteenth- and twentieth-century race riots, paying specific attention to exposing the cultural fallacy of women’s passivity in the public realm of violence, especially in relation to the construction of racial identity and cultural race relations.
Essays should explore the theoretical and ideological constructs (such as the lingering myth of separate spheres, perceived biological racial and/or gender difference, or the “cult of true womanhood”) that proscribe and silence our cultural memory of women’s participation in violent public acts in relation to race. While the essays should note the precipitating causes of the respective riots, the essays should more importantly explore the underlying cultural issues such as the control of property, the attempt to exercise various rights (such as freedom of speech or the franchise), political power or definition of the nation, etc. that ultimately fuel race riots. Essays may deal with the historical archive itself, or they may deal with fictional representations of riots in order to emphasize how women’s roles have been proscribed, lauded, condemned, etc. in the cultural imagination at different historical moments by different voices. The essays should focus on race riots rather than spectacle lynchings, as the socio-cultural dynamics of the two types of events are significantly different. Finished papers should be no longer than 10,000 words and will be due tentatively August 31, 2004.
At this point, the collection includes essays from the disciplines of Literature, History, Law, African American Studies, Native American Studies, and Theater. The essays focus on a wide range of riots, from Boston in 1835, to Los Angeles in 1992. The majority of abstracts submitted in response to the original CFP investigate women’s roles in Black/white race riots. Currently the only accepted paper focusing on Native American women engages the 1973 Custer, South Dakota riot, involving Sarah Bad Heart Bull and two hundred members of the American Indian Movement (the incident inspired the 1994 film Lakota Woman). I would very much like to include at least two more essays on women in Native American/white riots.
Please send 500 word abstracts by March 31 to Dr. Julie Cary Nerad via email.
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