Women and Early America
Guest Editor: Tamara Harvey
In many ways, the study of women and the early Americas has never been more robust. Work on women throughout the Americas, including European, African, and native women, both free and enslaved, has profited from decades of ground-breaking scholarly attention not only to those whose names appeared on the title pages of books, but to women whose texts were hidden in the works of others, stagnating in untapped manuscript archives, or awaiting interpretive methodologies that could address oral and material texts. And yet in the metaphors of maps and routes that frequently dominate the emerging fields of Atlantic, transnational, and hemispheric studies, women can seem to be pushed to the margins, left to lounge in the cartouches of mappae mundi or to stand duty as figureheads on the bows of ships. That is to say, while their presence is acknowledged, the way that presence might require these studies to be revised, rethought, and retheorized remains to be fully engaged.
In their introduction to Women, Religion, and the Atlantic World (1600-1800), Daniella Kostroun and Lisa Vollendorf suggest that attention to women and gender may fruitfully "expand[ ] the rubric of the Atlantic community into a more global community" (6). "Expanding the rubrics" of transatlantic and hemispheric studies, of feminism and the study of American women writers, of attentions to slavery, racism, and uneven cross-cultural exchanges is the aim of this special issue of Legacy focusing on women and early America. Of particular interest are articles that explore how we conceive of the connections and dissonances among various approaches to early American women and other fields, including transatlantic, hemispheric, and economic studies, recent discussions of women and the archives, and approaches to American women writers and feminism more broadly conceived, while expanding and bringing nuance to our understanding of early American women in ways that attend to a range of differences and power disparities. In short, how does attention to women and gender revise and sharpen the shifting paradigms shaping our understanding of the Americas before 1820?
Topics might include discussions of women and gender with respect to the following, any of which may be explored with respect to Native Indian, African, and European women, both free and enslaved:
* Colonization and empire
* Economic paradigms and activities
* Commercial and preservation relationships to nature and land
* Politics and practices of the archives
* Interdisciplinary and comparative studies
* Formulations of feminism
* Approaches to encounter, syncretism, and other ways of conceiving transcultural dynamics
* Travel, immigration, and diaspora
* Oral and non-textual discursive practices
* Considerations of ethics and social justice
Deadline: Completed papers, formatted using MLA style, should be submitted by June 21, 2010. Submissions should focus substantially on periods before 1820 and may be no longer than 10,000 words, including documentation. Send inquires and submissions to Tamara Harvey, Dept. of English, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., MS 3E4, Fairfax, VA 22030 or