CFP: Special Issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies on “Engaging Donna Haraway: Lives in the Natureculture Web”

Guest Editors: Cynthia Huff, Illinois State University, and Margaretta Jolly, University of Sussex

a/b: Auto/Biography Studies seeks original articles for a special issue on “Engaging Donna Haraway: Lives in the Natureculture Web” to be published as volume 34.3, Autumn 2019. A major theorist in such diverse areas as feminisms, Marxism, new materialism, science studies, posthumanism, animal studies, ecocriticism, and digital media, among others, Donna Haraway has only tangentially been considered as integral to life writing studies. This special issue seeks to redress that omission and show how Haraway’s decades-long career as a major theoretical voice and provocateur of thinking about new and complex connections across technology, species, and disciplines has not only impacted broad swatches of academic thought but has also been, continues to be, and will in the future be integral to life writing studies. With the focus squarely on the ways in which Haraway’s voice and thought have affected, and will continue to affect and effect life writing studies, we invite articles focused within any discipline in the humanities, social sciences, or sciences. We are, however, especially interested in those that break down disciplinary boundaries. Articles might examine, for example,

  • how Haraway positions herself as an autobiographer, biographer, letter, email or diary-writer or other practitioner of life narrative genre and their intersections and effects;
  • how her approaches to life narrative engage and transform life relationships and becomings between human and non-human animals, between human and non-human machines, and between non-human animals and machines;
  • how Haraway’s melding and questioning of traditional terminology, such as the distinction between nature and culture, might allow life writing scholars to forge a radically new approach to how we look at lived and narrated lives;
  • how life writing scholars globally have used Haraway, for example, in rethinking what it means to be a global citizen as this term applies not only to human animals but to all the beings who inhabit the globe;
  • how Haraway’s concept of a natureculture web postures toward the trend in life narrative to relate life stories across media boundaries and across disciplines;
  • how Haraway’s concept of becoming critiques otherness so that lives considered not worth living have now become the stuff of serious consideration by life writing practitioners and scholars;
  • how Haraway’s practice of genealogy might re-envision the way we look at the trajectory of a life
  • how Haraway’s evocation of first, the cyborg, and more recently, companion animals, as tropes have helped bring about interest in the machine and the animal as subjects and how this, in turn, has altered conceptions of subjectivity and subjecthood;
  • how Haraway’s natureculture web impacts highly influential and timely concepts of the biopolitical or the Chthulucene, for example, to help us re-envision how we tell a life in the twenty-first century; and,
  • how teaching the depth, breadth, and complexity of Haraway’s staggering contributions to a variety of fields presents pedagogical challenges, delights, and opportunities for innovative scenarios and curricula.

This special issue is meant to bring into conversation Donna Haraway’s myriad influences, specifically her impact on almost every imaginable academic field, to expand the theory and practices of life writing and life narrative. These fields include, but are not limited to, technology studies, digital studies, cognitive science, media studies, animal studies, new materialism, ecocriticism, gender studies, feminisms, posthumanism, postcolonialism, narrative studies, disability studies, trauma studies, and performance studies. We are especially interested in articles that transgress the traditional academic boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences, the social sciences and the sciences, and the humanities and the sciences.

Please send an abstract for an original article, along with a current CV and a 100-word biography describing your areas of research/practice, to Cynthia Huff <> and Margaretta Jolly <> by February 1, 2017.

Completed articles (first draft, 6000 words including works cited and notes) will be due on or before October 15, 2017. The guest editors welcome essays that include images and are able to print in color without author fees. a/b also publishes ancillary digital and multimedia texts on the journal’s Routledge website. Inquiries welcome.

All essays must follow the format of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th ed.) and the a/b Style Sheet, which can be found here. Essays submitted for the special issue, but not selected, may be considered general submissions and may be selected for publication. Authors are also requested to include a fifty-word abstract and two to four keywords with their submissions. In order to ensure a confidential peer review, remove any identifying information, including citations that refer to you as the author in the first person. Cite previous publications, etc. with your last name to preserve your anonymity in the reading process. Include your name, address, email, the title of your essay, and your affiliation in a cover letter or cover sheet for your essay. It is the author’s responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permissions and essays may not progress into the publication stage without written proof of right to reprint. Images with captions must be submitted in a separate file as 300 dpi (or higher) tiff files.

Cynthia Huff, an English Studies Professor at Illinois State University, has academically gone to the dogs by publishing on and thinking about animalographies, texts allegedly by and about non-human animals. Forays into this inquiry are the co-authored article with Joel Haefner, “His Master’s Voice: Animalographies, Life Writing, and the Posthuman” in Biography, “Framing Canine Memoirs” in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and ‘Forward!’: National Identity, Animalographies, and the Ethics of Representation in the Posthuman Imaginary,” in Auto/Biography across the Americas: Transnational Themes in Life Writing, Routledge, 2016. She has also published extensively on diaries, Victorian literature, and women’s life writing, including British Women’s Diaries, Women’s Life Writing and Imagined Communities, and Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women’s Diaries, co-edited with Suzanne Bunkers. She continues to explore these subjects as well as family life writing.

Margaretta Jolly is Reader in Cultural Studies in the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex and directs the University’s Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research. Her work has focused on auto/biography, letter writing and oral history, particularly in relation to women’s movements. She is the editor of The Encyclopedia of Life Writing (Routledge, 2001) and the author of In Love and Struggle: Letters in Contemporary Feminism (Columbia, 2008), for which she won the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK Book Prize. She is also Principal Investigator for Sisterhood and After: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project, partnered with The British Library at and oral history advisor to China Women’s University in Beijing.

Dr. Margaretta Jolly

School of Media, Film and Music, Silverstone Building, Room 130

University of Sussex, Falmer, BN1 9RG

Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Sisterhood and After: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project

Editorial board member for Women: A Cultural Review and Life Writing.

Latest publication: Voices in Movement: Feminist Family Stories in Oral History and Sound Art