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Ana Manzanas & Jesús Benito, Occupying Space in American Literature and Culture


Manzanas Benito


REN: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos




Número 16 - 2012




Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke (2013). Ed. by Francisco Collado.




Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

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

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4) "The Phenomenology of Fear and Resilience in Women's Poetry: The Role of Poetic Creativity and the Artistic Process"
Panel Chair: Isabel Castelao-Gómez, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
E-mail: icastelao@flog.uned.es  


This panel wants to echo Adrienne Rich's poem title "the Phenomenology of Anger" and draw from Affect Studies and scientific research on emotion in order to define fear as a basic human emotion derived from a real or imaginary stimulus considered dangerous, harmful and threatening that triggers physical and psychological mechanisms of defense and protection such as aggression, evasion, control or surrender.

The interest of this panel centers on the hypothesis that throughout the history of the United States (and Western society) women as a social group and individuals have had a particular experience (pervasive, lasting, invisible and visible, quotidian) of fear due to their exposure to situations and cultural discourses that threaten and endanger their internal and physical integrity. We will focus on the historical period of the twentieth and twenty-first century, when a feminist consciousness has gathered strength and other threatening events developed: two world-wars, technology development, alienation by consumerism, control by mass media, globalization, terrorism, environmental and bio threats.

The panel would like to present examples of how US women poets face these multifaceted threats towards their integrity and agency through their poetic art. We welcome proposals theoretically based on Affect Studies and gender that study their poetic strategies in order to resist, reflect on, feel, control and resolve fear, as well as its derivative emotions (anger, anxiety, despair, vulnerability, grief and pain, evasion, negation, acceptance, etc.), as a way to build resilience or as a creative process towards change and transformation.

A varied array of topics through the perspective of gender may include: historical periods of collective threat in the US, countercultural movements of resistance, real and imaginary fear, physical gender violence, invisible psychological violence, fear of fear and madness, the ethics of care and danger, the experience and expression of proxemics (closeness and distance from others and things in space), communal support and individual isolation, nature regarding fear or safety, places as threat or protection, others or men as sources of fear or safety, sex and intimacy as danger or protection.

It would be particularly interesting to explore how women writers revise and use the two recurrent poetic approaches to language and self in relation to emotion derived from romantic and modernist tenets: the expression of emotion as an authentic reflection of the inner self's feelings and experiences; and the objectification of self and emotion through subjective distance and the material experimentation with poetic language.



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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