Deadline Approaching: Gender & the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West

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    Carrie Johnston

    Dear Colleagues,

    The Sept. 1 deadline for the Studies in the Novel special issue, “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupation of the American West” is approaching. Full CFP and submission guidelines below.

    Call for Papers: Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West

    Studies in the Novel is currently seeking submissions for a special issue on “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West,” guest edited by Sigrid Anderson Cordell (University of Michigan) and Carrie Johnston (Bucknell University), which will be published in fall 2017.

    This special issue examines the novel as a tool of political engagement through which women writers have challenged prevalent notions of the American West as masculine, antimodern, and untouched. Even thirty years after Annette Kolodny’s foundational study The Land Before Her, recent work by Nina Baym and Krista Comer has shown there is considerable work to be done to account for women writers’ engagement with the West as an imaginative and political space. Likewise, new directions in gender studies, border theory, settler colonialism, and critical regionalism have made new conversations about the Western as a literary genre increasingly urgent.

    We invite contributions that examine the ways that women novelists have located themselves in the West—both imaginatively and geographically—asking how these narratives have engaged cultural “preoccupations” with the West as an extension of the predominantly white, masculine public sphere. Examining these narratives, contributors will also evaluate gendered representations of the longstanding contested nature of the “occupation” of western territories and, more recently, US borders.

    Possible topics include:

    • Women’s writing and borderlands
    • Gender and settler colonialism
    • Intersections of post-feminism, the post-western, and the post-racial
    • Novels about the West as spaces for debate
    • New readings of canonical western women writers like Willa Cather and Mary Austin
    • Ways that the critical landscape shifts by paying attention to neglected texts
    • New readings of under-read women writers
    • Women writers and the post-West or post-regionalism
    • Globalization and the novel
    • Visualities in women’s novels about the West
    • The Western novel as a gendered genre
    • The gendering of anthropology in narratives about the West

    Submissions should be sent in MS Word, devoid of personal identifying information. Manuscripts should be 8,000-10,000 words in length, inclusive of endnotes and Works Cited, have standard formatting (1” margins, double-spaced throughout, etc.), and conform to the latest edition of the MLA Style Manual. Endnotes should be as brief and as limited in number as possible. Illustrations may accompany articles; high-resolution digital files (JPEGs preferred) must be provided upon article acceptance. All copyright permissions must be obtained by the author prior to publication.

    Questions and submissions should be sent to

    The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2016

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