In anticipation of the Modern Language Association’s 2013 Convention and its theme, “Avenues of Access,” we would like to highlight some content of particular interest to conference attendees, as well as information about Signs’ presence at the conference.
First, we are offering open access to two recent articles. Ellen Samuels’s “Examining Millie and Christine McKoy: Where Enslavement and Enfreakment Meet,” winner of the 2011 Stimpson Prize, combines historical analysis, visual culture studies, feminist theory, and critical race theory to examine representations of Millie and Christine McKoy, African American conjoined twins born into slavery in North Carolina in 1851. Samuels advocates a more rigorous ethics of representation with regard to narratives and images of the McKoys, particularly in relation to distorted or exploitative images that continue to circulate up to the present day. Also open access is Michiko Suzuki’s article in our most recent issue, which explores The Husband’s Chastity, a 1930s Japanese novel by Yoshiya Nobuko that, Suzuki argues, offers a complex and critical engagement with issues of gender equality and difference, problematizing the notion that gender roles are natural and thus providing a crucial window into mid- to late 1930s Japanese society.
Also, be sure to stop by the University of Chicago Press’s table in the exhibition hall to peruse some sample issues of Signs and learn about the subscription discount being offered for MLA members. Copies of Signs’ Autumn 2011 issue, featuring a comparative perspectives symposium on Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s contributions to feminist theorizing around the globe, will be available at the booth, and the entire issue is currently open access on JSTOR. Our Summer 2012 issue will also be on display; it features the “Before Sex” symposium edited by Michael McKeon, which recasts the historiography of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Western Europe to show how the biologization of anatomical sexual difference is linked to the solidification of penile penetration as the definitive sexual practice.
MLAers will also want to be on the lookout for our forthcoming Spring 2013 issue, in which Suzanne Leonard’s fantastic article “The Americanization of Emma Bovary: From Feminist Icon to Desperate Housewife” will appear. This article will be open access immediately upon publication.
Finally, Signs manuscript editor and acquisitions coordinator Anne Keefe will be holding a chat session through the Council of Editors of Learned Journals on Saturday, January 5, at 10 a.m. to offer advice about preparing manuscripts for submission to Signs, as well as other tips and information about academic journal publishing.