NeMLA

CFP: Writers without Borders (NeMLA panel)

Rita Bode has circulated this call for papers for a conference panel called Writers without Borders: US and Canadian Women Authors, proposed for the next NeMLA conference in Baltimore, Maryland, to be held on 23–26 March 2017. Deadline for submissions is 30 September 2016.

In her study of L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942) in the “Extraordinary Canadians” series, Canadian author Jane Urquhart invokes comparisons of L.M. Montgomery’s life and work to that of her near-contemporary American peers, Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Willa Cather (1873-1947), and Mary Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930), among others.

While the transatlantic connection among women writers is receiving increasing critical attention, the literary relationships among American and Canadian women writers offer a relatively recent area for scholarly explorations of the influences and alignments crossing North America.

This panel seeks comparative studies of American and Canadian women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that address a range of topics such as the handling of young and/or older female protagonists, representations of nature, depictions of regions, and other relevant subjects. In addition to Montgomery and the authors mentioned above, other possible authors to consider might include Montgomery and other American regionalists, such as Sarah Orne Jewett; Cather and Margaret Laurence; Alcott and her Canadian counterparts.

Please submit 250-300 word abstracts and brief by bio September 30th through the NeMLA submission page: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16487.

Applicants are not required to be NeMLA members at the time of submission but accepted speakers will have to become members by December 1st, 2016.

For queries, please email Rita Bode at rbode@trentu.ca.

Four New Calls for Papers

I’m pleased to post four new calls for papers on L.M. Montgomery and her work. The first two were included in the program for the L.M. Montgomery and War conference, held this past weekend at the University of Prince Edward Island: a collection of essays entitled L.M. Montgomery and War, to be edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell, and a call for the 2016 conference, L.M. Montgomery and Gender, with Andrea McKenzie and Laura M. Robinson as conference co-chairs. The remaining two are for proposed panels for the NeMLA conference, to be held in Toronto in April 2015: L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World, to be chaired by Lesley D. Clement, and Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side, to be chaired by Laura M. Robinson.

UPDATE: The dates of the L.M. Montgomery and Gender conference have been confirmed: 23–26 June 2016! Deadline for submissions is 15 August 2015.

L.M. Montgomery and War (Collection of Essays)

Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell
Deadline for Papers: 15 August 2014

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. We invite submissions of papers for a collection of essays that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online
communities. McGill-Queen’s University Press has expressed interest in this collection.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This essay collection seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Papers should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship about both Montgomery and the discipline or field in which you work. (For information about current and past scholarship about Montgomery, please see the website for L.M. Montgomery Online at http://lmmonline.org). Submit a paper of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including references), a biographical statement of 70 words, and a CV by 15 August 2014 to both Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and Jane Ledwell (jandlwedll@gmail.com). Papers must be submitted in Word-compatible format and follow Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, superscript style, for references https://www.mqup.ca/style-guide-pages-99.php.

L.M. Montgomery and Gender (23–26 June 2016)

The L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Twelfth Biennial Conference
University of Prince Edward Island, 23–26 June 2016
Revised deadline: 31 August 2015

From Anne’s initial iconic and heartrending cry in Anne of Green Gables—“You don’t want me because I’m not a boy”—to the pressure on young men to join the war effort in Rilla of Ingleside, and from the houseful of supportive co-eds in Anne of the Island to the tyrannical grandmother in Jane of Lantern Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work highlights gender roles: how formative and deterministic they seem, and yet mutable they may be. Much Montgomery criticism of the past several decades has regarded her work from a feminist and gender studies perspective. Given that Canada is fast approaching the centenary of women’s suffrage in the province of Manitoba (1916) and nationally (1918), the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, which will take place 23–26 June 2016, invites proposals for papers that re-consider the role of gender in L.M. Montgomery’s work, broadly defined: her fiction, poetry, life writing, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the myriad adaptations and spinoffs in film, television, theatre, tourism, and social media. To what degree do Montgomery’s works, or works inspired by her, challenge or re-entrench normative gender roles? Do her works envision new possibilities for girls and women, boys and men? Or, is our contemporary fascination with her world, in part, nostalgia for what people imagine to be the more clearly-defined gender roles of a bygone era?

Engaging the rich scholarship of the past, possible topics might examine the intersection of gender with:

  • Sexual identity, queerness, bachelor- and spinsterhood, and/or heterosexual romance;
  • Friendship of all kinds; relationships with personal and professional acquaintances;
  • Geographic, cultural, linguistic, racial, or ethnic identities, such as Scottishness;
  • Voting and politics; careers and/or education for women (or men); domesticity;
  • Levels of ability and mobility;
  • Childhood, particularly orphanhood;
  • Mental and/or physical illness, addiction, and/or failing health.

Please submit a proposal of 250–300 words, a CV that includes education, position, publications, and presentations, and a list of A/V requirements by 31 August 2015 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Abstracts should not only clearly articulate a strong argument but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship. All proposals are blind reviewed. Any questions or requests for further information can be directed to the conference co-chairs: Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and/or Dr. Laura Robinson (Laura.Robinson@rmc.ca).

L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World (April 2015)

L.M. Montgomery lived in Ontario from 1911 to 1942, writing fiction that confirmed her place, established by the early Anne novels, in not just Canadian letters but world literature. This session will explore familial, cultural, historical, and geographical influences on her writings during the period that Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Norval, and Toronto and vacationed in Bala. Bookended by the First and Second World Wars, this period is characterized by changes such as redefined roles for women, increasing commercialization and commodification, and power struggles among those in the literary establishment to shape the canon. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Lesley Clement at lclement@lakeheadu.ca.

Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side (April 2015)

A proposed panel for NeMLA 2015 in Toronto

L.M. Montgomery’s last work, The Blythes Are Quoted, and how it came into being, remains largely untouched. This collection of stories and vignettes emphasizes disillusionment and “despair” alongside hope; it is an experiment in form, but a continuation of earlier works in content. This panel seeks to explore the darker threads of Montgomery’s earlier writings, from dark humor and wit to tragedy, examining earlier iterations and themes that better illuminate how her final work came into being. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Laura M. Robinson at laura.robinson@rmc.ca.