Society for the Study of American Women Writers at American Literature Association May 2023

Ellen Gruber Garvey's picture

Your network editor has reposted this from H-Announce. The byline reflects the original authorship.

Call for Papers
January 10, 2023
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Composition & Rhetoric, Cultural History / Studies, Human Rights, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers welcomes proposals on topics related to either of these two themes: Activist Women Writers and Women Writers and Reproductive Justice for SSAWW's two panels at ALA.

Activist Women Writers and Their Works:

Women writers have been activists in many movements. We welcome papers that discuss their activism both within and outside their writing, and that find connections between their writing and their activism. “Writing” may be construed broadly to consider their nonliterary political activist writing such as pamphlets, leaflets, blogs, and tweets. Activism might include work for (or against) political causes or candidates, and for racial, ethnic, and sexual communities. Papers might consider what other activists their writing allied them with, activist publications, what written forms their activism has taken, and recovery work through an activist lens. How have they put their activism into action beyond print?

Women Writers and Reproductive Justice:

The Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision undermining the right to abortion has brought new attention to writers who have taken up what we might now call reproductive justice issues. Such reproductive justice issues as abortion, control of one’s fertility, and both access to sterilization and battles against forced sterilization have made their way into fiction, essays, plays, poems,  memoir, and other written forms. Individual writers and women’s collectives have gathered and published personal narratives to bring attention to these issues, and to positions inflected by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and class and other identities in relationship to them. We welcome papers that draw attention to forgotten texts, and offer new ways to read older texts.

Even if your topic could fit into either panel, please choose one, and do not submit the same proposal to both panels.

According to ALA rules, no one may present more than one paper at the ALA conference. Individuals may, however, present a paper on one panel, and chair other panels, and/or also present on other roundtable discussions.

The ALA conference will be held in person. The conference organizers do not expect to offer zoom attendance options, so please plan accordingly should your proposal be accepted.

Proposals should include a title, your name and affiliation, e-mail address, and an abstract of no more than 250 words for a 15-20 minute presentation. Please note if you will have AV requirements. Membership with SSAWW is not required in order to submit a proposal, though all presenters must be current members by May 1, 2023. Proposals should be submitted no later than January 10, 2023 to Ellen Gruber Garvey, Vice President for Development, Society for the Study of American Women Writers,

 Please use “SSAWW ALA Panel 2023 submission” for the subject line.

The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place May 25-28, 2023 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). For further information or specific questions, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield at or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen at

Contact Info: 

Ellen Gruber Garvey, Vice President for Development, Society for the Study of American Women Writers,