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Margaret Atwood’s Borders and Intersections of Culture, Language and Peoples

deadline for submissions:
September 30, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Louisa MacKay Demerjian/NeMLA

contact email:

This panel session is sponsored by the Margaret Atwood Society and will take place during the 2019 NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association) convention in Washington D.C.

Margaret Atwood is a world renowned writer who has always identified herself specifically as a Canadian writer, even at a time when it was argued (even within Canada) that Canadian Literature didn’t exist. Her identity as a Canadian is important to her but, over the course of her career, her novels have revealed a progression to a more global viewpoint. Atwood’s earlier work might invite analysis of internal borders (between Canadian provinces, between urban and natural spaces and in the psychic spaces of her characters) whereas her later work more clearly offers opportunities to examine transnational spaces.

This panel would examine Atwood’s use of borders, literal and figurative, and the intersections of culture, language and peoples that result from crossing those borders. Atwood’s most recognized works, especially recently, are The Handmaid’s Tale and her Maddaddam trilogy. Abstracts are welcome on any of her work but the goal of the panel would be to look at more than her most famous novels and to do some comparative analysis. We might look at her fiction over the years but Atwood also writes poetry and non-fiction. In fact, Atwood writes in many genres and her “borders” between the genres are not always absolute. This panel would be open to considering borders of many types and looking at where intersections result or where cultures, languages and peoples remain separate and distinct.

Please go to and create a username account (free) to submit your abstract. The deadline for submitting an abstract is September 30, 2018.