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Call for Papers

Figuring Vulnerabilities and Creative Resistance: Femininities and Masculinities in North American and Polish Life Writing, Film and Comics Oct. 12, 2018, (Fri.) Center for Gender Studies- University of Wroclaw, at the Institute of English Studies, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, ul. Kuźnicza 22, Wroclaw, Submissions- September 15, 2018.

The conference Figuring Vulnerabilities and Creative Resistance, to be held at the University of Wrocław on October 12, 2018 (Fri.), sums up five years of international collaboration between the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Wrocław, Poland, and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University, Canada, and prof. Eva C. Karpinski, the author of Borrowed Tongues: Life Writing, Migration, and Translation, will deliver a key-note lecture.

“Of course, there are many reasons not to like vulnerability,” Judith Butler admits before focusing on our precarious agency in Vulnerability and Resistance (2016). We also encourage scholars of contemporary North American or Polish life writing and visual culture to reflect on creative resistance to the cultures of misogynist, homophobic, racist, toxic, masculinity, frequently victimized, yet agentic, oppositional instead of complicit femininities and to explore other meanings ascribed to gendered subjectivities in narratives associated with sexual assault, illness, disability, or migration.

Contemporary life writing, independent film, and literary non-superhero comics offer particularly interesting and complex research material. When the challenging, commonly avoided, experiences of sexual trauma, illness, disability, or migration are articulated in these genres, they modify dominant models of masculinity and femininity, as well as stereotypical images of race, class, and age. Recent narratives also deal with such issues as the place of women and girls in Hollywood and the international impact of the #MeToo movement.

In her most recent study Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere (2017) Hillary Chute draws attention to the strong affective and intellectual impact of the personal narrative rendered in the comics medium. Now, half a century after the countercultural revolution, autobiographical comics on, what is sometimes called “difficult knowledge,” often created by women and authors form other marginalized groups, are winning awards as well as popular acclaim.

We hope that Figuring Vulnerabilities and Creative Resistance will help the participants to explore the changing representations of masculinity and femininity, renegotiations of existing gender contracts, as well as the resistant, “wounded storytellers” in American, Canadian, or Polish visual/verbal cultures.

Confirmed key-note speaker: Prof. Eva C. Karpinski from York University, the author of Borrowed Tongues: Life Writing, Migration, and Translation.

Please send your proposal up to 300 words and a short biographical note specifying your title, affiliation, research topics e-mail and home address to the following mail:

Deadline for submission of titles and abstracts: September 15, 2018.

*There is no conference fee.

**Wroclaw University can provide accommodation at a university hotel a day before and during the conference.

*** Drawing from comics about #Metoo published in Pismo by the Polish artist and activist, Marta Frej.

The Conference will be held in English.

Important dates

  • Proposal deadline for submission of abstracts and short CVs- September, 15, 2018
  • Acceptance notification will be send: September 17, 2018
  • Please notify the organizer if you need a university accommodation for

Oct. 11, 2018 and/or Oct.12, 2018 by September15, 2018.

Details about your submission:

Please send your proposal up to 300 words and a short biographical note specifying

  1. the title of your presentation and abstract by September 15, 2018

2. your name,

3. affiliation

4. research topics and notable publications

5.e-mail address

6. your home address

7.  Please notify the organizer if you need a university accommodation for

a) 11, 2018

b) 12, 2018

c) 11, 2018 and Oct.12, 2018 by September 15, 2018

8. Please let us know if you have special food preference to the following e-mail:

The information about the conference will be available on the English website of  the University of Wroclaw and as the event on the

Facebook page of the Center for Gender Studies – University of Wroclaw and as the event – CFP- Figuring Vulnerabilities and Creative Resistance Conference

Conference Organizer: dr Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak

Assistant Professor and Director of Center for Gender Studies- University of Wroclaw, American Literature and Culture Program,

Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Kuźnicza 22, 50-138 Wroclaw, Poland.


Published by: Małgorzata Jurkiewicz

4 Sep 2018

last modification: 6 Aug 2019