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>
>Call for Papers : Women and Evil
>
>The Womenís Studies Session of The South Atlantic Modern
>Language Association (SAMLA) invites proposals for paper
>presentations at the annual meeting of the South Atlantic Modern
>Language Association (SAMLA) to be held November 12-14, 2004,
>at the Hotel Roanoke and Convention Center in Roanoke, Virginia.
>
>Deadline for abstract submission: 3/31/04
>
>          If one subject has fascinated human beings since the
>beginning of timeóit is sex.  But if there are two such topics, evil is
>a close runner-up.  How people, the very same capable of
>experiencing love, loyalty, and beauty, can also rape, torture, and
>murder their fellow human beings has intrigued and troubled both
>the wise and naÔve.  Philosophers and theologians have debated
>evilóits definition and significanceófor millennia.  And yet today,
>even despite its prolific public appearance in political discourse
>after September 11th, we are no closer to understanding this
>grave topic.  If evil exists, if it is timeless, if it is important, then
>surely this conversation should not be left to right-wing ideologues
>who might use it as a code word to inspire morally questionable
>projects of their own.  Nor is it likely in our interest to get rid of the
>word altogether, relegating it to the discard pile of culturally-
>constructed conceptsówould this not leave us morally afloat,
>unable to make any significant pronouncements about our ethical
>universe?
>          This panel is interested in the problem of evil from the
>perspective of women and feminists: groups intimately affiliated
>with evilís material image, but equally historically silent on the
>topic.  From Eve, Lilith, Medea, Medusa, and countless fictional
>stepmothers, to Mata Hari, New England ìwitches,î femme fatales,
>the developing phenomena of female suicide bombers, and
>Aileen Wuornos (a rare example of female serial killers), ìevilî
>women have fascinated the world.  Women in general, and their
>bodies in particular, have also been aligned with evil and sin (and
>pollution, or in Kristevaís language, ìthe abjectî).
>           Proposals should address one or more of the following
>topics and questions:  What is (or isnít) feminist evil?  What
>contributions can feminist theory bring to preexisting arguments
>about evil (philosophical, theological, political, etc.)?  Can
>feminism explain why there isnít a female Hitler, for example?  Or
>is there?  What is the relationship between feminist icons and
>evilness?  Why might feminists have an interest (discursive,
>rhetorical, activist) in distinguishing evil from, say, wickedness or
>weakness?  By contrast, why might feminists want to dismantle/
>deconstruct the idea of good versus evil, as they have done with
>other binaries?  Why should feminism care about evil at all?  What
>historical/materialist circumstances have precluded (or prompted)
>evil from women?  How are discourses of evil and woman taken
>up in literature, film, popular media, politics, theology, and
>philosophy?  Can evil ever be good or politically radical or
>constructive, and if so, should feminism try to reclaim evil for its
>own revolutionary/productive aims?
>
>         Papers may (and are encouraged to) deal with specific texts
>and/or the question of women and evil in general, but they should
>also endeavor to offer a feminist definition of evil and/or
>specifically challenge this category of inquiry.
>Please email a 300-500 word abstract and a brief professional
>biography by midnight, March 31, 2004, to:
>
>Eugenie Brinkema, subject line ìSAMLA 2004î, at:
>[log in to unmask]; please also cc: Erin Sells at
>[log in to unmask]
>
>

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