Margaret Atwood’s Borders and Intersections of Culture, Language and Peoples

Louisa  MacKay Demerjian's picture
Call for Papers
March 21, 2019 to March 24, 2019
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Canadian History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Literature, Popular Culture Studies

This panel discussion will be sponsored by the Margaret Atwood Society and will take place during the 2019 convetion of NeMLA (the Northeast Modern Language Association) in Washington, D. C. 

Margaret Atwood is a world renowned writer who has always identified as a specifically Canadian writer, even at a time when it was argued (even within Canada) that Canadian literature didn't exist.  Her identity as a Canadian is important to her but, over the course of her career, her novels have revealed a progression to a more global viewpoint.  Atwood's earlier work might invite analysis of internal borders (between Canadian provinces, between urban and natural spaces and in the psychic spaces of her characters) whereas her later work more clearly offers opportnuties to examine transnational spaces.

This panel will examine Atwood's use of borders, literal and figurative, and the intersections of peoples, cultures and languages that result from crossing those borders.  Atwood's most recognized works, especially recently, are The Handmaid's Tale and the Maddaddam trilogy.  Abstracts are welcome on any of her work but the goal would be to look at more than her most famous novels and to do some comparative analysis.  We might look at her fiction over the years but Atwood also writes non-fiction and poetry.  In fact, Atwood writes in many genres and the "borders" between genres are not always absolute.  This panel is open to considering borders of many types and looking at where intersections result or where cultures, languages and peoples remain separate and distinct.

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