Whether living through the British Civil War in the seventeenth century or the American Civil War in the nineteenth century or today’s conflicts in the Middle East, women writers have historically chronicled their responses to war in ways that merge politics and domesticity. Despite vast differences in time and place, works like Jane Cavendish’s manuscript writing (ca. 1640) shares with Hanan al-Shaykh’s more recent evocations of war-torn Beirut a sense that women’s acts of everyday resistance—making bread even when food supplies have been raided, for example—impact the way war works, on metaphoric, physical, political, and ideological levels.
For this proposed collection, I am soliciting essays that address the ways in which women confront the everyday realities of war in various mediums and from a range of historical and cultural perspectives. Studies that take into account graphic arts like Persepolis and other visual media as well as extra-literary text forms like receipt books, account books, women’s magazines, and performing arts are welcome, as are studies that look at more traditional or canonical literary modes.
Essays should contextualize the works examined in order to provide a clear sense of what material and cultural details informed the output of the women analyzed. A primary goal of the collection is to suggest how women negotiate national and political debates (obliquely and directly) through representations of household order and disorder. Essays might approach this question by exploring female education, cross-cultural exchange, publication/other forms of entry into the marketplace, and generic experimentation, although other avenues of critical inquiry are encouraged as well.
Please direct all queries to: Emily Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstracts must be received by November 1, 2006. Early proposals are welcome. Accepted essays should be completed by April 1, 2007. Completed essays should be prepared according to the Chicago manual of style, and should not exceed 35 double-spaced pages including notes.
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