Special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 33.3, Autumn 2018


Lives Outside the Lines: Gender and Genre in the Americas


We invite proposals for a special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies clustered around issues of gender and genre with special attention given to trauma and illness studies, archival methodologies, and transnational themes in the Americas. Potential subjects include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Gender in migration, dislocation, displacement, transit;
  • Gender constructions on and across borders;
  • Transnational and decolonial practices of gender and embodiment;
  • Intersectional interrogations of gender and sexuality with race, class, body, health, and ability;
  • Fluidity of genders, sexualities, becoming bodies;
  • Bodes in extremis, bodies in pain, medicated bodies, permeable bodies;
  • Creativity and illness; living with life-threatening illness; living with death/dying;
  • End-of-life interview and (auto)pathographic genres;
  • Intimacies of health care biopower;
  • “Traumics” (comics of medical trauma, violence, abuse, and war);
  • Plasticity of life writing;
  • Hybrid forms and practices;
  • Multimedial and multimodal life writing;
  • Emerging genres (Instagram, selfie, I-doc, digital diary, etc.);
  • Secret as a genre, unpublished secrets;
  • Practices of testimony in multiple modes (oral, digital, photographic, film, documentary, writing);
  • Intersections of life writing and the life sciences;
  • Gendering and racializing the archives;
  • Sensorial and affective encounters in the archives;
  • Empathy, sympathy, and compassion;
  • Interdisciplinarity of archival work;
  • Methodological practices related to gender and genre; and,
  • Pedagogical intersections of gender and genre.

Send original articles of 6,000-8,000 words (including works cited and notes) to Eva C. Karpinski ( and Ricia Anne Chansky ( on or before October 31, 2017. Inquiries also 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 on our website:

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.