CFP: Unreasonable, Speculative, Fantastic: Women’s Parapolitical Creativity During the English Civil Wars (5/20/16; 3/30-4/1/17)
by Jessica C. Murphy
Call for Papers for RSA Chicago 2017 (March 30 – April 1)
Unreasonable, Speculative, Fantastic:
Women’s Parapolitical Creativity During the English Civil Wars
Panel Organizers: Jantina Ellens (McMaster University) and Chantelle Thauvette (Siena College)
This panel proposes to explore English Civil War writing outside of its traditionally historical and male-focused frames. Research by Diane Purkiss, Mihoko Suzuki, and Susan Wiseman draws attention to gendered ways of understanding history and politics in the literatures of the Civil Wars, but there remain many more “areas of excess and gaps and silences where unreason flourishes” (Purkiss 4) that have yet to be explored.
This panel invites abstracts that attend to this flourishing in gendered works that encompass the imaginative, speculative, and fantasy-based aspects of parapolitical cultural productions. Just as Patricia Demers’s work considers the way eschatological discourses harmonize with the political, this panel also asks how do the “circumambient conditions” of the Civil War infuse women’s writing from this period and “what connections exist between private and public, domestic and political realities in [women’s] work” (161)?
We hope to explore literatures of the mid-seventeenth century which extend beyond the boundaries of the immediate conflicts and find in the Wars opportunities to re-imagine the scope of the real and the possible, involving re-thinkings of gender, class, race, religion, etc. Interests include, but are not limited to the literature of the 1630-1660 period and might focus on:
– women’s cultural production
– apocalyptic or predictive literature
– closet dramas of the Civil Wars
– pamphlet culture
– re-imaginings of the Civil War periods after the fact
– or other speculative Civil Wars figures, phenomenon, or texts which fall into the gaps of our reasoned historical and political analyses of the period.