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"'Fear Narratives' and their Role/Use in the United States"

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14)"'What Kind of Times Are These': As Adrienne Rich Writes It"
Panel Chair: Aleksandra Nikcevic-Batricevic, University of Montenegro
E-mail: alexmontenegro@t-com.me


The aim of this panel is to explore, through analysis of Adrienne Rich's poetry and her essayistic works, the way in which she encountered inequalities of various kinds in the United States of America. More than that, she delves deeper into history, tracing the very beginning of marginalizations that have mostly affected female lives and female creativity in the literary context, but also the marginalizations of different ethnic groups. It is the mapping of the political and social situation in the chronological context of the 20th century that remains important for interpreting her work, with a focus on Rich's activism and her political expressions, evident in her poetry that, after her first published poetry collection, became "anything but private," referring to and scrutinizing issues, such as racism, terrorism, women's rights, poverty, war, power, fear, rape, identity, etc.

Perceived within the wider context, Rich is also considered in this panel as belonging to the group of poets/activists (June Jordan, Alice Walker, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Maya Angelou, and many others) who actively participated in the turbulent events that took place during the second half of the 20th century in the United States, producing literary works that serve as an unofficial testimony, the zeitgeist of the turbulent history of America.

What we also propose in this panel is an analysis that focuses on her essays (What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, 1993; Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979–1985, 1986; On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966–1978, 1979; and Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, 1976) and the public potential of her literary works circulating within societal frameworks that have often betrayed the basic postulates of human rights. The approach taken in this panel also concentrates on her own evolution, which is especially enhanced in the context of essays that map the effects of different conflicts, as well as the possibilities of searching for modes of expression that fall outside the traditional literary corpus. We also propose a discussion about American women poets in the postmillennial period who are following the path that Adrienne Rich initiated with her work.


Abstracts of Proposals are to be e-mailed directly to the chair of the selected panel using this form. The deadline for submitting abstracts is October 15, 2020. Panel chairs are expected to accept/reject proposals and have panels set up by November 15.


Non-members of SAAS (of all nationalities) are welcome to participate in the conference, but will be required to pay membership dues for one year as well as the conference registration fee. Members of ASA (American Studies Association), AISNA (Associazione Italiana di Studi Nor-Americani), APEAA (Portuguese Association for Anglo-American Studies) and HELAAS (Hellenic Association for American Studies) need only pay the conference registration fee.

Further guideliness for participants can be found here.

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