Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Women's Writing

For a Special Issue on

Women, Enslavement, and Race

Abstract deadline
05 January 2024

Manuscript deadline
01 May 2025

Cover image - Women's Writing

Special Issue Editor(s)

Stephanie Montesinos Volder, University of Oxford
[email protected]

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Women, Enslavement, and Race

This special issue will examine enslavement and the experience of being unfree through the lens of women’s writing. While scholarly attention has been paid to slavery as a form of social death, there is a growing recognition of the need to explore the particular experiences of women living in or writing about enslavement. Consequently, this special issue will explore the role of women, motherhood, sexual oppression, violence, and cultures of femininity/sensibility in writings about slavery and enslavement. The issue seeks to critically examine the intricate relationship between women, enslavement, and race as portrayed in women’s writing before 1900.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Cultures of femininity, sensibility, and abolitionist writing
  • Narrative strategies: How do literary texts represent the experiences of female enslavement – either as the particular experiences of women in slavery or women who have endured various forms of unfreedom? What narrative techniques do authors employ to convey the complexities of their lives?
  • Reclaiming agency: How do literary works highlight the agency and resilience of women? In what ways do women navigate oppressive systems and carve spaces for autonomy?
  • Motherhood and family: How does women’s writing portray the challenges and triumphs of women in their roles as mothers, daughters, and sisters? What insight do these portrayals offer into the preservation or breaking of familial bonds in the context of slavery?
  • Resistance and revolt: How does writing before 1900 depict cultures of resistance and rebellion among enslaved women or women who experiences other forms of being unfree?
  • Aphra Behn and women’s writing on slavery
  • Memory and legacy: How is the legacy of enslaved women remembered and memorialised in literary texts, journalism, diaries, letters, personal journals etc.?

Submission Instructions

We invite submissions of research articles that engage with the themes mentioned above or in other ways relate to the general theme of the special issue. Manuscripts should adhere to the journal’s style guide and citation standards, available on the journal’s website.

Please submit for consideration abstracts of around 250 words to Stephanie M. Volder, University of Oxford ([email protected]) by 5 January 2024. If accepted, articles of between 4,000 and 7,000 words must be received by 1 May 2024. After the peer review process, finished articles are expected by 15 November 2024.

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