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CFP: British Women Writers Conference “Borders” (1/14/2022 Deadline)

British Women Writers Conference “Borders”

Thursday May 19-Saturday May 21, 2022

Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Deadline: 14 January, 2022

Keynote Speakers:

Betty Joseph (Rice University) and Carolyn Day (Furman University)

Roundtable Plenary:

“Widening the Borders of British Studies”

The organizers of the 2022 BWWC invite papers and panel proposals interpreting the theme of “Borders” in global British women’s writing across the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This year’s BWWC calls for papers that contextualize that history bearing in mind changes in the field itself, as it turns towards the global and the transatlantic. “Borders” may be broadly interpreted to include scholarship concerning borders within and among scholarly disciplines, borders within form and genre, political and geographical borders, socio-economic boundaries and borders, and borders among individuals or identities, especially between and within historically marginalized racial and ethnic communities.

The long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were disorienting periods in British history as the borders of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, geography, economics, and aesthetics were drawn and redrawn. This flux manifested itself in physical and ideological “border crossings” between the rural and the urban, the religious and the secular, the domestic and the professional, the private and the public, the metropole and the periphery, and so on. When, where, and how are these borders crossed and merged to create new categories and new tensions, redrawing and shifting traditional binary oppositions? How might contemporary scholars disrupt historical boundaries between literatures, people, cultures, and disciplines to uncover and make evident intersectionality? Which women writers have been included and excluded from the canon and how might the borders of this canon be widened? The 2022 BWWC invites contributors to articulate and speculate on crossing, transgressing, retreating from, and reinforcing such dividing lines.

In response to the 2021 BWWC “Reorientations,” panels and papers that address race, ethnicity, racism, and/or white privilege across the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are especially welcome. For example, interrogations of individual or group identities might examine the borders between white supremacists and BIPOC as well as the borders that exist within and amongst BIPOC communities. Or perhaps, speaking to the conference’s location in Texas, papers might consider how borders (literal and metaphorical) are constructed. How might conversations about borders in the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries influence the ways scholars think about borders in the world today? Who constructs these borders? How (and by whom) are these borders maintained?

Papers and panels may interpret various topics, including:

Political Demarcations

  • Refugees
  • Parliamentary Debates
  • National Borders
  • Acts of “Union”
  • Ports of Entry and Treaty Ports
  • Borders as Boundaries           

Land Borders

  • Enclosure/Demarcation/Preservation
  • Coastal Boundaries/Ocean/Seaside
  • City/Suburb/Estate/Country
  • Landscaping and Gardening Practices
  • The Metropole and the Periphery (Formal and Informal)

Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Religion

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Diasporas
  • White Erasure/Construction of BIPOC Identities
  • BIPOC Voices and Self-Representations
  • Britishness, the Performance of Whiteness
  • Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Abolition
  • Oriental Tales and Orientalism
  • Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Identities      

Disciplinary Borders

  • Form/Forms (Poetic, Generic, Ritual, Material)
  • National vs. Transnational Literatures
  • Expanding/Erasing the Borders of the Field
  • Borders Created by the Canon
  • Problems of Periodization
  • Undisciplining the Academy

Global Migrations: Elective and Forced

  • The Unbordered
  • Frontiers, Exploration v. Colonization
  • Travel WritingOceanic Writing
  • Transatlantic Crossings
  • Slave Narratives        

Social Borders

  • Bodies: Marked, Viewed, Contained, Controlled, and Liberated
  • Sensorium Borders
  • Collective Bodies and the Census
  • Medical Access, Physical/Mental Wellbeing
  • Human/Nonhuman/More than Human Self/Other
  • Spheres of Power/Influence (Domestic, Industrial, etc.)
  • Socio-economic Divisions
  • Religious Influence and Engagement

Border Transgressions

  • Limits and Limitations
  • Trespassing
  • Restraints/Constraints
  • Apparitions and Spiritualism
  • Borderline Behavior  

Aesthetic Borders

  • Art/Science
  • Architecture, Follies, and Artificial Ruins
  • Verbal/Visual/Audio Media
  • Historical and/or Temporal Collapse
  • Genre Transgressions
  • Fictional Borders

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