May 19-21, 2022
Baylor University | Waco, Texas

Keynote Speakers
Betty Joseph (Rice University) and Carolyn Day (Furman University)

Roundtable Plenary
“Widening the Borders of British Studies”

The organizers of the 2022 BWWC invite papers and panel proposals interpreting the theme of “Borders” in global British women’s writing across the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This year’s BWWC calls for papers that contextualize that history bearing in mind changes in the field itself, as it turns towards the global and the transatlantic. “Borders” may be broadly interpreted to include scholarship concerning borders within and among scholarly disciplines, borders within form and genre, political and geographical borders, socio-economic boundaries and borders, and borders among individuals or identities, especially between and within historically marginalized racial and ethnic communities.

The long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were disorienting periods in British history as the borders of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, geography, economics, and aesthetics were drawn and redrawn. This flux manifested itself in physical and ideological “border crossings” between the rural and the urban, the religious and the secular, the domestic and the professional, the private and the public, the metropole and the periphery, and so on. When, where, and how are these borders crossed and merged to create new categories and new tensions, redrawing and shifting traditional binary oppositions? How might contemporary scholars disrupt historical boundaries between literatures, people, cultures, and disciplines to uncover and make evident intersectionality? Which women writers have been included and excluded from the canon and how might the borders of this canon be widened? The 2022 BWWC invites contributors to articulate and speculate on crossing, transgressing, retreating from, and reinforcing such dividing lines.

In response to the 2021 BWWC “Reorientations,” panels and papers that address race, ethnicity, racism, and/or white privilege across the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are especially welcome. For example, interrogations of individual or group identities might examine the borders between white supremacists and BIPOC as well as the borders that exist within and amongst BIPOC communities. Or perhaps, speaking to the conference’s location in Texas, papers might consider how borders (literal and metaphorical) are constructed. How might conversations about borders in the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries influence the ways scholars think about borders in the world today? Who constructs these borders? How (and by whom) are these borders maintained?

Abstracts are due January 14, 2022, and may be submitted through the online form.

Papers and panels may interpret various topics, including:

Political Demarcations
Parliamentary Debates
National Borders
Acts of “Union”
Ports of Entry and Treaty Ports
Borders as Boundaries
Land Borders
Coastal Boundaries/Ocean/Seaside
Landscaping and Gardening Practices
The Metropole and the Periphery (Formal and Informal)
Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Religion
Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Diasporas
White Erasure/Construction of BIPOC Identities
BIPOC Voices and Self-Representations
Britishness, the Performance of Whiteness
Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Abolition
Oriental Tales and Orientalism
Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Identities
Disciplinary Borders
Form/Forms (Poetic, Generic, Ritual, Material)
National vs. Transnational Literatures
Expanding/Erasing the Borders of the Field
Borders Created by the Canon
Problems of Periodization
Undisciplining the Academy
Global Migrations: Elective and Forced
The Unbordered
Frontiers, Exploration v. Colonization
Travel Writing
Oceanic Writing
Transatlantic Crossings
Slave Narratives
Social Borders
Bodies: Marked, Viewed, Contained, Controlled, and Liberated
Sensorium Borders
Collective Bodies and the Census
Medical Access, Physical/Mental Wellbeing
Human/Nonhuman/More than Human Self/Other
Spheres of Power/Influence (Domestic, Industrial, etc.)
Socio-economic Divisions
Religious Influence and Engagement
Border Transgressions
Limits and Limitations
Apparitions and Spiritualism
Borderline Behavior
Aesthetic Borders
Architecture, Follies, and Artificial Ruins
Verbal/Visual/Audio Media
Historical and/or Temporal Collapse
Genre Transgressions
Fictional Borders