CFP-MLA 2019

Textual Trans Actions: Queering Kinship 

We seek paper proposals for a special session at the MLA Annual Convention in Chicago, IL January 3-6, 2019.

We invite submissions that explore trans actions/transactions in kinning narratives and/or other representations in any mode (including the visual) or genre. These include queering or trans modes of adoption and other ways of kinship/affiliation creation that challenge social, genealogical, and affective structures based on heteronormativity. We are especially interested in papers that examine representations of non-traditional kinning and reproductive technologies, the marriage movement and its critiques, alternative homes, chosen families, homodomesticity, queer and trans geographies of kinship, pinkwashing and homonationalism as related to kinship making. We welcome emerging and established directions in adoption studies, queer and trans studies, and other comparative and cross-cultural approaches that intersect with adoption studies’ disciplinary focus on literary and other forms of representation.

Please, send your 300-word proposals to Lucy Curzon, Marina Fedosik and Emily Hipchen at by March 1. Subject line: “Queering Kinship.”


About the conveners: 

Lucy Curzon received her PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester and is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama.  She has previously published on LGBTQ+ portraiture and intersections between anthropology, national identity, and visual culture.  One of her current research focuses is contemporary visual representation of LGBTQ+ families.

Marina Fedosik is a lecturer at Princeton University. Her publications on representations of kinship in American literature, film, and culture include “Genealogical Ambiguity and Racial Identity: Adoption and Passing in Kate Chopin’s ‘Desiree’s Baby’ and Jessie Redmon Fauset’s ‘The Sleeper Wakes’” in America and the Black Body: Identity Politics in Print and Visual Culture (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2009) and “Grafted Belongings: Identification in Autobiographical Narratives of African American Transracial Adoptees” in Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism (U of Wisconsin P, 2016).

Emily Hipchen is the editor of Adoption & Culture and coeditor, with John McLeod, of the Ohio State University Press book series, Formations: Adoption, Kinship, and Culture. She is an editor of a/b: Autobiography Studies as well as of Inhabiting La Patria: Identity, Agency, and Antojo in the Works of Julia Alvarez (SUNY P, 2013) and of The Routledge Auto|Biography Studies Reader (2015) and was a guest editor of four special issues. She is also the author of a memoir, Coming Apart Together: Fragments from an Adoption (Literate Chigger, 2005). She is a professor at the University of West Georgia.