Woman Thinking: Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture

by Cynthia Patterson
Apologies for cross-posting.
Call for Proposals: Panel sponsored by the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP) and the Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS: UK)
As a follow-up to successful panels at the recent American Literature Association (ALA) conference in San Francisco on “Woman Thinking: Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture,” we welcome proposals on the topic “Woman Thinking Deuxième Partie : Border Crossing and Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture” for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) 2017 conference, to be held July 5-8, 2017 at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France.
In keeping with the conference theme of “border crossing(s),” we specifically invite papers that examine American women periodical writers involved in cross-cultural exchanges.

From the SSAWW 2017 conference CFP:
“The conference theme invites participants to explore the broad spectrum of possibilities generated by cross-cultural interactions, as well as the challenge consequently posed to literary canons. How has this experience affected women writers’ worldview and conception of language? To what extent do their modes of exploration differ from that of their male counterparts? How important were such contacts in allowing women writers to develop a consciousness of otherness and/or forge a community of feeling and experience transcending national and/or cultural barriers?”
The complete CFP can be found at:
https://ssawwnew.wordpress.com/conferences/ssaww-2017-universite-bordeaux-montaigne/

Historically, women have been excluded from the markers of intellectualism available to men, ranging from the academy to the church to the state. American periodical culture provided an alternative forum for women thinkers to participate in intellectual exchange and, in so doing, influence public opinion, critique societal practices, and advance human knowledge and freedom. While illuminating studies have linked women’s periodical work to their activism, less attention has been paid to the ways that women have engaged with periodical culture to establish themselves as intellectual authorities in the public mind. For this panel, we seek papers that explore the relationship between women’s periodical work and public intellectualism, particularly as they used their periodical work to forge cross-cultural exchange.
In “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson described the ideal citizen as “Man Thinking.” How did women use periodicals to assert themselves as citizen-thinkers in their own right? How did this work against or in conjunction with women’s societal roles (domestic or otherwise) and how might this relate to the expanding boundaries of the positions of women and intellectuals in American society? How wide a public does a woman need to address to be considered a public intellectual – local, regional, national, global? What types of literacy/writing may define women as intellectuals? What do we have to gain by examining women’s periodical work through a lens of public intellectualism and cross-cultural exchange?
Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief (2-page) research CV to Cynthia Patterson, cpatterson@usf.edu by June 24, 2016.
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