Call for Abstracts: Panel for NeMLA 2021: Imagining Queer Domesticity

Mary Wilson's picture
Call for Papers
March 11, 2021 to March 14, 2021
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, British History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Law and Legal History, Literature

Call for Abstracts: NeMLA 2021

Panel: Imagining Queer Domesticity

This panel, accepted for NeMLA 2021, will examine literary, cultural, and legal texts to investigate the space and the concept of home seen queerly.  I am seeking abstract submissions focusing primarily on an Anglo-American context, though papers from the broader Anglophone world will also be considered.  From the rise of the marriage equality movement until same-sex marriage rights were guaranteed in 2014 (in the UK except Northern Ireland) and in 2015 (in the United States), the legal struggle for LGBT rights has become coterminous in the popular imagination with the right to marry.  Groups supporting and opposing same-sex marriage rights speak in the language of domesticity, either insisting that queer families are "just the same" or insisting on threats posed by same-sex marriage to traditional ideas of domestic life.  Such an equation of gay marriage with queer domesticity, however, unproductively domesticates queerness.  This panel seeks to take a long view, exploring the intersections and divergences among the ways that contemporary literary, cultural, and legal discourses imagine queer domesticity in a post-Obergefell environment with earlier representations of queer domestic life.  What imaginative possibilities might we discover by looking back at texts produced before legal same-sex marriage could itself be imagined?  What continuities and deviations appear when we put an early 20th-century queer text alongsie one produced in the early 21st century?  How are defining historical traumas, such as the First World War and the AIDS crisis, understood and experienced through domestic life?  How might those enable us to imagine queer domesticity now?

Next year's NeMLA conference will take place in Philadelphia from March 11-14, 2021.  Please send this CFP to colleagues who may be interested in submitting an abstract.  NeMLA requests 300-word abstract submissions no later than September 30, 2020, to this portal:

Contact Info: 

Mary Wilson, Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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