Two Calls for Papers:

1. Specters of Feminism in the Work of Joyce Carol Oates

International Conference at Aix-Marseille Université

Short proposals of approximately 300 words should be submitted by June 30, 2023.

Call for Papers  PDF_icon


… Oates’s critics, as well as the author herself, have often been tempted to use the word “feminism,” but they have failed to address its multifarious meanings and its gradual construction within Oates’s work. The conference to be held in Aix- en-Provence will seek to explore this by reconsidering Oates’s long writing career in relation to the various waves of feminisms and her very singular way of responding to feminisms in and through her work. We would like to invite participants in this event to build upon and update this established framework by looking into the notion of specters of feminism. The question is no longer simply whether Oates’s work exhibits feminist characteristics and treats feminist themes, but rather to examine whether or not notions related to feminism are present in perhaps less obvious ways and how her current outspokenness about these issues reflects back upon some, if not all, of her fictional texts. We invite paper proposals on any aspect of specters of feminism in Joyce Carol Oates’s work, including, but not limited to, those listed below:

  • How is Joyce Carol Oates’s work haunted by feminist ideas, in which she is well-versed, though she does not want her fiction to be read as militant or serving the cause? (Wild Nights!; The Falls; Mudwoman; Black Dahlia & White Rose)

  • How are feminist discourses passed on through her work, in intended as well as perhaps unintended ways? (Rape: A Love Story; The Gravedigger’s Daughter; Middle Age: A Romance)

  • Are any of her characters constructed on ideas on feminism, or in reaction to ideas on feminism? (Blonde; Black Water; My Sister, My Love; Faithless: Tales of Transgression)

  • Do her transgressive norm-breaking female characters do any disservice to the advancement of feminism? (The Female of the Species, Mudwoman, The Tattooed Girl)

  • Is there something inherently feminine/feminist about Oates’s style? Particularly the elliptical, repetitive style of some of her mature work? (Beasts, I Am No One You Know, Little Bird of Heaven)

  • Does Oates’s non-fiction writing shore up a particularly feminist vision of her artistic aesthetic? (essays on fellow woman writers; essays such as “(Woman) Writer: Theory and Practice” and “Pseudonymous Selves”)

  • It might also be interesting to discuss whether the feminist qualities of Oates’s work mentioned above have remained stable throughout her career, or whether there have been additional evolutions of note.


2. The Short Stories of Joyce Carol Oates

Special Issue of Journal of the Short Story in English (JSSE 84)

Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 June 2024.

Call for Papers


… In putting together this special issue, the guest editor would like to focus attention on Joyce Carol Oates’s extensive short story production for consideration in its own right, not simply as an inferior form produced in the interim between nobler novels. Contributors to this special issue are invited to submit articles on any aspect of Joyce Carol Oates’s short fiction, including, but not limited to, those listed below.

  • lexical, thematic and structural characteristics, and their uses

  • relationship between formal patterns and characterization

  • experimental formal techniques

  • formal, thematic and stylistic evolution throughout Oates’s career

  • themes of predilection: tragedy, evil, consequences of violence, dealing with trauma

  • an Oatesian poetics of the short story?

  • sudden or micro fiction

  • short story cycles

  • intertextuality

  • inspiration and models

  • parody

  • narrative voice and narrative strategies

  • repeated motifs, images, settings, characters, situations, etc.

  • lyricism

  • feminism

  • mysteries of life


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