American Short Story Cycle and Gender: Collection of Essays on Craft and Critique
Call for Papers Date:
The editors are seeking essays for an upcoming collection that analyze gender within the content and/or craft of the short story cycle. As a genre, the short story cycle—-also called the composite novel, the novel-in-stories, and the short story sequence—-has appealed for over 100 years to a wide range of American authors, including Sherman Alexie, Sherwood Anderson, Djuna Barnes, Raymond Carver, Louise Erdrich, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Amy Hempel, Henry James, Gloria Naylor, Sarah Orne Jewett, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Connor, Jean Toomer, and Eudora Welty, among others.
The major characteristic of this genre is a collection of stories that are both interrelated and self-sufficient—what Madison Smartt Bell calls a “mosaic” quality that contributes to a holistic, yet fragmented “modular design.” The common thread of the stories may be setting, tone, or a limited group of characters, and while critical attention to this genre has focused mostly on matters of either form or content, scholars have not usually considered the form's effect on the text's content, particularly related to gender identity and formation.
To date, other scholarship on the short story cycle has dealt with female authors or with specific types of the genre, but no complete edition has tackled genre and gender or discussed form and content. This collection might explore the following questions:
• How do the short story cycle’s multiple perspectives, constructions, and revisionings illustrate gender performativity and fluidity?
• Even though the genre’s many names might seem interchangeable, can a genre (or a gender, for that matter) be both cyclical and composite?
• Is there such a phenomenon as ecriture feminine, ecriture masculine, or ecriture queer within the genre?
• How does the craft of the genre evolve? Does the gender of the author affect the construction of the text?
• How have specific authors shaped the genre?
• How does the genre fare in the classroom? Do female and male students respond to the genre differently?
• How does the continuum of narratology affect character development/narrative reliability/focalization as it relates to gender?
• Does the cyclical structure enable uniquely "gendered" forms of tension and resolution?
Submissions may address any of the above questions or explore other aspects of the short story cycle and gender. We welcome article-length literary analyses or essays that concern the craft and style of the cycle from the writerly perspective. All articles should be scholarly and theoretically informed.
Interested authors are invited to submit abstracts/chapter proposals (approx. 300 words) and a biographical sketch. By December 30, 2011, please send analytical submissions to Lisa Day-Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org and craft-based submissions to Julie Hensley at Julie.email@example.com. If accepted, final submissions of no more than 6,500 words (including notes and references) must be submitted by mid-June 2012.
Women & Gender Studies
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-2913 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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