Deadline for submissions: February 16, 2018
Full name/name of organization: Christopher Allen Varlack, Society for the Study of American Women Writers
Contact email:

CFP for the SSAWW 2018 Triennial Conference in Denver, Colorado
Conference Theme: “Resistance and Recovery across the Americas”
November 7-11, 2018 | The Westin Denver Downtown

From Anne Hutchinson to Phillis Wheatley to the Crunk Feminist Collective, American women writers have historically engaged in resistance in their creative/activist works, pushing against restrictive gender norms, a patriarchal culture that devalued women in political and economic spaces, the tradition of silence and silencing, and any number of other obstacles that limited women’s voices and their freedom to explore the full breadth of their unique identities. At the same time, from scholars like Frances Foster to the initiatives championed by the likes of Legacy and the Colored Conventions Project, scholars also work toward recovery, eager to rediscover the works of American women writers who were active in their resistance, insightful in their social and political critiques, and responsive to the dominant discourse on race, protest, social justice, as well as identity, etc. emerging during their lives. For the 2018 SSAWW Triennial Conference in Denver, CO, we invite proposals on the topic of “Resistance and Recovery across the Americas,” from early American literature to the literature of the present day. Proposals are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following topics:

Literary Studies

  • Writing the fight: social justice, resistance, and protest in poetry and prose
  • Confronting race, whiteness, invisibility, and labor
  • Social and political resistance in American women’s writing
  • Resistance to restrictive gender roles in women’s writing
  • The role of writing in emotional recovery from systemic oppression
  • Memoir as a genre of recovery and resistance
  • Periodicals, newspapers, and magazines: women and textual engagement
  • Recovering American women’s writing from the archives

Teaching and Pedagogy

  • Women scholars’ resistance and work to change academic institutions
  • Resisting the canonical syllabus by diversifying the field of women writers taught in the classroom
  • Teaching beyond traditions by transcending traditional theoretical lenses, engaging new approaches to student research/scholarly production, etc.
  • Encouraging thinking beyond traditional academic silos by engaging the intersection of art, music, literature, etc. for a more interdisciplinary approach

Public Humanities

  • Performance
  • Scholarship as social engagement
  • Teaching outside of the academic classroom
  • Creating partnerships for public humanities by bridging the university and the public sphere

Digital Humanities

  • Utilizing digital avenues to showcase research projects and student work
  • Pedagogical practices of digital tools, assignments, projects in the classroom
  • Labor and recovery in the digital age: new models of resistance, politics, and economies
  • Approaches to shepherding projects from initial idea stage to fully-formed digital works
  • The state of digital humanities
  • Access to grant funding and sustainability of long-term projects
  • Perceived disparities between projects focusing on male versus female authors
  • How digital publication platforms can both hurt and/or help recovery work
  • Discussion on the differences between digital and print texts, journals, etc.
  • Professional challenges within universities or the discipline (e.g. how to “count” digital work toward promotion and tenure, etc.)

The deadline for proposals of approximately 250 to 300 words is Friday, February 16, 2018, using the corresponding Google Form listed below. Session lengths are 1 hour and 15 minutes, and preference will be given to pre-formed panels as well as roundtables (pending review by our esteemed SSAWW reviewers), though high-quality individual submissions will be accepted and grouped into coherent panels when possible. Remember that panels typically consist of three, preferably four, presenters allotted approximately fifteen minutes each to present their work with time remaining for discussion. Roundtables typically consist of five to eight participants allotted approximately six to eight minutes to present their work with time remaining for discussion. In order to help facilitate the review process and the development of this exciting SSAWW program, we ask participants identify five key words for their proposals when submitting.

Submit individual paper proposals to:
Submit pre-formed panel proposals to:
Submit pre-formed roundtable proposals to:
Submit workshop and exhibition proposals to:
Submit special sessions (for SSAWW affiliate organizations) to:
For complete sessions, please ensure that notifications are sent to potential participants by early February at the latest to allow those whose proposals are not accepted for the panel or roundtable to submit individual paper proposals by the submission deadline of February 16, 2018. Chairs will be asked to provide an abstract for the panel as a whole (approximately 250 to 300 words) as well as the contact information and a brief biographical statement (no longer than 60 words) for each participant, each individual abstract, and any A/V requirements (please note that while we do recognize the need for support for some presentations, there are always high costs associated with securing this equipment that we would like to limit).

For help regarding any technical issues with the new electronic submission form, please contact the Program Director for the 2018 SSAWW Triennial Conference, Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, at; he is also the contact person for scheduling, A/V requests, etc. For questions regarding the conference, please contact the Vice President of Organizational Matters, Dr. Sabrina Starnaman at

Note that selected participants must be members of SSAWW no later than September 28, 2018 in order to secure their place on the conference program. We look forward to receiving proposals for the many thoughtful and informative sessions that our SSAWW members always produce and to seeing you in Denver for yet another powerful SSAWW Triennial Conference. The registration and hotel information will be posted to the SSAWW website, listserv, as well as social media accounts under separate cover.

For additional information about the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, please visit our website at