A New Companion to Margaret Atwood: call for essays for a new book on Margaret Atwood’s work
Please send initial ideas and or abstracts to Gina Wisker by December 31, 2020 at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Happy to discuss any ideas in advance.)
For several decades Margaret Atwood has been and still remains a consistent, insightful, wry, concerned and utterly engaged voice for our varying times. Her work deals (among much else) with the everyday terrors of internalised, socially embedded fascistic gender oppression, the insidious dangers of fundamentalism and other politically and psychologically reinforced forms of life denying bullying (Lady Oracle, The Edible Woman, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments inc. notes but not biblio). She explores hidden histories and testimonies while questioning the trustworthiness of both received and silenced cultural and personal histories , revealing each to be versions of legitimated or unsanctioned fictions (Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace). An active voice for sustainability, ecological and human diversity, for feminism, creativity, and the worldviews of indigenous people she is rarely hectoring, always wise, wry, and well informed . She puts her extraordinary imagination to work through the Gothic (The Robber Bride ), dystopian science fiction (The Maddaddam trilogy) (though she denied the definition for a while), memoir (Moral Disorder), the comic and much else in long and short fiction and in poetry.
This new book is a Companion to Margaret Atwood’s work which does not intend to merely replicate the rich array of publications already available . Rather it aims to do two things: to lay down work which offers sound yet new and updated discussions on those fundamental concerns of her work, and on the major texts, and to explore relatively less visited, and /or now highly topical issues and texts , and/ or utterly new perspectives for 2021 and beyond.
Contributions could include but are not limited to work on Margaret Atwood’s work and:
Feminism, feminist and gendered perspectives
Fundamentalism, oppressive worldviews and social, political controls
Lifespans and legacies (consistent themes-following a slice through her work, influences on others with her work at the centre)
The Gothic imagination/Gothic readings and perspectives
interrogating dominant cultural narratives and myths eg romantic, adventure, heroism, sacrifice,
memoir and memory, testimony
TV and film adaptations and their topicality
Her roadshows, appearances, blog , interviews-social and social media presence
The Handmaid’s Tale
(or any other ‘set text’ from her work and what they have to say which is established and also topical– updated — this is so we have a range of readers )
How her fictions – her short stories, her novels and her poetry engage with any of these and any other themes and issues which you feel are central to our appreciation of her work and or have been overlooked, are now topical.
Essays of Approx. 3,000 words (inc. notes but not biblio)
Accompanying images are also welcomed (with permissions)
The Companion series books are both accessible and cover the big ideas, but are also provocative and deal with new or overlooked issues in takes on and concerns with the author’s work. Titles in the series so far cover The Gothic, Sci-fi, Horror, Cli-fi, Monsters with volumes on Transmedia Cultures, Shirley Jackson and Magic forthcoming. More information on the series can be found here: https://www.peterlang.com/abstract/serial/GFFC?rskey=il2E2U&result=2
Also it is important to bear in mind the TOC for the well established Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood, ed. Coral Ann Howells, the 2nd edn of which is due out 2021. I would envisage this new book complementing (rather than mirroring) that Companion and dealing with new takes, new areas . (TOC available upon request)
CWWA September Sessions
The CWWA September Sessions are topics and skills based talks and workshops aimed at PGRs and ECRs working in contemporary women’s writing. All sessions are free and will be delivered via Zoom.
SOLD OUT. Friday 11th September, 12-1pm. ‘Writing for blogs, websites and enyclopaedias’. Led by Prof Susan Watkins and Dr Kerry Myler.
Friday 18th September, 3-4.30pm. ‘‘The academic job market – 2020 and beyond’. Led by Dr Claire O’Callaghan and Prof Clare Hanson. Please click here to register.
Wednesday 23rd September, 6-7.30pm (TBC). ‘Literature Must Fall: Hosting an alternative literature festival’. Led by Kavita Bhanot and Aaisha Akhtar. Please click here to register.
Friday 25th September, 2pm-5pm. ‘Publishing in academic journals’. Led by Dr Kaye Mitchell and Olivia Heal. Please click here to register. (Capped at 30 participants)
Wednesday 30th September, 3-4pm. CWWA 2020 AGM. All members welcome.