Call for Papers

Strange Temporalities: Gender, Time, And The Novel (Winter 2023)

Keywords: gender and sexuality, feminist/queer/trans approaches, the novel, time and temporality, narrative theory

Studies in the Novel seeks submissions for a special issue guest-edited by Angela Du (University of Toronto) and Tara MacDonald (University of Idaho) to be published winter 2023.

Scholars such as Jack Halberstam and Sara Ahmed have questioned how “strange temporalities” structure social groups and enable us to construct alternative futures from the “now” (In a Queer Time and Place, What’s the Use?). These inquiries bear upon critical treatments of the novel as a genre. While historical and contemporary writers have attempted to disrupt linearity or conventional ideas of closure by resisting the novel in favor of fragmentary forms, many more return to this genre to consider its affordances. How do novelistic temporalities resist formations of time as a limited resource, as linear, or as a given? But also: how might such queries risk fetishizing the use of experimental novels over realist novels, contemporary novels over historical novels? What did strange temporalities look like in the past?

We are interested in papers that situate discussions of strange times in conversation with gender and embodiment. How can strange temporalities respond to the experience of time as precarious, fractured, or alienating for women or transgender people? Recalling Maxine Waters’s response (2017) to Steven Mnuchin’s evasiveness—“when you are on my time, I can reclaim it”—we also ask, more hopefully, how the novel might “reclaim time” for gendered and marginalized bodies, including those defined by racialized difference. We are interested in articles that explore novels from any perspective or historical time period. Papers may address: counterfactuals; extended timescales (time travel, historical revision, intergenerational time, futurity); temporalities of disengagement (resignation, complaint, refusal); or broad experiences of time (reproduction, repetition, stasis, delay, suspension, crisis, belatedness). We welcome innovative approaches to the intersection of the novel, gender, and strange times. Please email essays of 6000–9000 words to Angela Du (angela.du@mail.utoronto.ca) and Tara MacDonald (tmacdonald@uidaho.edu) by October 15, 2022.

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