Material Transgressions: Romantic Bodies, Affects, Genders

Abstract Deadline: October 31, 2016

Proposed Collection CFP from VICTORIA Listserv

Eds. Kate Singer, Mount Holyoke College; Suzanne L. Barnett, Francis Marion
University; Ashley J. Cross, Manhattan College

Current theoretical debates about subjects and objects, bodies and minds,
and genre and gender have explored in detail women’s status as objects and
done much to theorize their efforts to become speaking subjects. But these
discussions can be more transgressive in order to explore the ways in which
Romantic writers in particular challenged the foundational ideas of
materiality that they were given and on which we continue to rely when we
read them in the twenty-first century. For the proposed collection, *Material
Transgressions: Romantic Bodies, Affects, Genders*, we are soliciting
essays that think outside of Romantic ideologies of gender that reiterate
notions of sexed bodies, embodied subjectivity, or stable texts. Instead,
we are interested in essays that examine how Romantic writers rethink the
subject-object relationship not solely to become speaking subjects but also to
challenge the tenets of Enlightenment and Sensibility that defined women
and men at the mercy of biologically sexed bodies, discrete texts, or
mind/body binaries. The writers addressed by this collection engage with
major concerns of British Romanticism—including genres, nature, things,
texts, and performances—in order to challenge the ways representations
limited (literally and in terms of our own interpretations) their writing,
agency, knowledge, and even being.
We seek papers that together examine writers who explore the possibilities
of human embodiment, nonhuman thingness, and textual topographies. We are
interested not only in how writers of each sex wrote themselves out of
essentialist gender terms, but also whether women writers (as is often
assumed) are pushing against gender, sex and other materialities more
pervasively than writers of other genders and sexes. Essays might consider,
together or separately, dynamic understandings of genderqueer or nonbinary
sex and sexualities; versions of non-ableism; new materialist
understandings of vibrant matter; non-Newtonian materiality; new
dispositions of the physical world and its imbrication with discourse;
affect’s reconfiguration and permeation of minds, bodies, and things;
studies that envision texts and books as fluid, changeable, indiscrete
bodies; or new media’s reformulation of the channels and vehicles of
communication. The processes these texts enact—rereading, transformation,
motion, channeling—redefine restrictive generic, epistemological,
ontological, and even metaphysical structures in order to craft alternative
modes of being in the world. These materialist infidelities demand that we
reimagine how materiality can be understood both in the Romantic period and
now.

Please email a 500-word abstract and one-page cv as Word documents to the
editors at MaterialTransgressions@gmail.com by *October 31, 2016.* Accepted
abstracts will be included with our proposal to the press, with completed
manuscripts needed by *July 1, 2017*. Please feel free to email with any
questions, and we thank you for your interest.

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