Preface, Spring 2023, Vol. 42, No. 1

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Jennifer L. Airey, University of Tulsa
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring 2023), 5-8

From the Editor

In our last issue, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature had the honor of publishing on the special topic of “Contemporary Black British Women’s Writing,” guest edited by Elisabeth Bekers, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, and Helen Cousins. The issue focuses on literary innovations and experimental forms of writing by British women of African and African Caribbean descent since the 1990s. Through five articles and interviews with four contemporary authors, the guest editors craft an issue that “raises critical questions about the extent to which precedence has been given to the politics over the aesthetics of their writing.”1

The issue recognizes Black women’s writing as a driving force of contemporary literary innovation in Britain. It was a pleasure to work with the guest editors on the issue and to publish this important work.

With this special issue, we had three new members join our editorial board:  Robin Hackett, Cynthia Richards, and Mary Youssef. Since I was not able to announce them in our last issue, their introductions appear below along with the editorial board members joining with this issue: Gabeba Baderoon, Kimberly Anne Coles, and Laura E. Tanner. While I am looking forward to working with all these exemplary scholars, I am always sad to bid farewell to those rotating off the board. With great appreciation, I say goodbye to Anupama Arora, Mary Jean Corbett, Marilyn Francus, Hala Halim, Jean Mills, and Carrie J. Preston.

Robin Hackett is Associate Professor of English at University of New Hampshire, where she specializes in feminist theory, queer theory, British literature after 1800, and modernisms. She is the author of Sapphic Primitivism: Productions of Race, Class, and Sexuality in Key Works of Modern Fiction (2004) and coeditor of Affective Materialities: Reorienting the Body in Modernist Literature (2019) and At Home and Abroad in the Empire: British Women Write the Thirties (2009). She has contributed to several collections including Communal Modernisms: Teaching Twentieth-Century Literary and Cultural Texts in the College Classroom (2013), At Home and Abroad in the Empire, and Interrogating Lesbian Modernism: Histories, Forms, Genres (forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press) and published articles in venues including Woolf Studies Annual, Virginia Woolf Miscellany, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature.

Cynthia Richards is Professor of English and Richard P. Veler Endowed Chair in English at Wittenberg University, where she directs the Center for Teaching and Innovation, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Writing Across the Curriculum Program. She is the editor of The Wrongs of Woman; or Maria and Memoirs of the Author of “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (2003) and coeditor of Approaches to Teaching Behn’s “Oroonoko” (2013), Early Modern Trauma: Europe and the Atlantic World (2021), and Quotidian Fevers in the Enlightenment: Patient Narratives of the Eighteenth Century (in progress). She is also currently completing a monograph, The Body, Trauma, and War, 1667-1798 (forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press), which focuses on re- thinking the representation of the body and domestic space in eighteenth- century canonical works using the perspective of disability studies and trauma theory. Richard has also published numerous articles in venues including Literature Compass, English Language Notes, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, analyzing the works of Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Mary Wollstonecraft, and other women writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She is a Contributing Behn Editor at The Scriblerian and a Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassador.

Mary Youssef is Associate Professor of Arabic in the Department of Middle Eastern and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, with a courtesy appointment in the Translation and Research Instruction Program at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Her book, Minorities in the Contemporary Egyptian Novel (2018), critically examines discourses surrounding race, religion, class, gender, sexuality, and language within the Egyptian literary and socio-cultural arenas through case studies of the novels of Idris ᶜAli, Bahaᵓ Ṭahir, ᶜAlaᵓ al-Aswani, Yusuf Zaydan, Muᶜtazz Futayha, Ashraf al-Khumaysi, and Miral al-Tahawi. She has published in journals including Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, Journal of African Literature Association (JALA), and International Journal of Islamic Architecture, and has contributed to Islamic Ecumene: Comparing Muslim Societies (forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press). She is also the recipient of numerous research awards, including the Andrew Mellon Foundation Award for the Central New York Humanities Corridor Working Group, “Inclusion and Exclusion in the Middle East,” in collaboration with researchers from Syracuse University, Cornell University, and Binghamton University.

Gabeba Baderoon is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality  Studies, African Studies, and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, where she codirects the African Feminist Initiative. A  member of the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund, she is the author of The History of Intimacy (2021), Poetry for Beginners (2017), Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post- Apartheid (2014), A hundred silences (2006), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005), and The Dream in the Next Body (2005). With Desiree Lewis, Baderoon is coeditor of the ground-breaking essay collection Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa (2021). She is the recipient of the Daimler award for South African Poetry, the Elisabeth Eybers Poetry Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing, and three best book awards from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Kimberly Anne Coles is Professor of English at University of Maryland, where she specializes in Renaissance and early modern literature, women’s writing and feminist theory, gender and sexuality studies, and premodern critical race studies. She is the author of Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England (2022), Religion, Reform and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England (2008), and coeditor of Cultural History of Race in the Renaissance and Early Modern Age (1350-1550) (2021), The Routledge Companion to Women, Sex, and Gender in the Early British Colonial World (2018), and The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900 (2015). She has contributed to several collections including The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Race (forthcoming May 2023), Edmund Spenser in Context (2017), Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality (2016), The Blackwell Companion to Tudor Literature (2010), and The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Studies (2007). She has also published articles on the topics of race, women’s writing, gender, sexuality, and religious ideology in venues such as Shakespeare Studies, Criticism, Renaissance QuarterlyEnglish Literary Renaissance, and Modern Philology. She was an editorial board member of Renaissance Quarterly from 2018 to 2022.

Laura E. Tanner is Professor of English at Boston College where she specializes in American literature of the last century, especially modernist narrative, African American fiction, and contemporary women’s writing. She is the author of The Elusive Everyday in the Fiction of Marilynne Robinson (2021), Lost Bodies: Inhabiting the Borders of Life and Death (2006), and Intimate Violence: Reading Rape and Torture in Twentieth-Century Fiction (1994). Her publications also include “Aesthetic Affairs: Art, Architecture and the Illusion of Detachment,” forthcoming in New Literary History, as well as numerous essays and articles published in journals such as Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Contemporary Women’s Writing, PMLA, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Contemporary Literature, American Literary History, Genre, Mosaic, Studies in American Fiction, Boundary, American Literature, and Black American Literature Forum.

Since my last preface, the office said goodbye to Jacob Crystal, who served as our Subscriptions Manager, and welcomed Yuhyeoi Kim to the position. While Jacob will be missed, we are excited to have Yuhyeoi join the team and look forward to working with her. On a more sorrowful note, we also say goodbye to Susan Stanford Friedman, who passed away on 26 February 2023. Longtime member of our editorial and advisory boards and frequent contributor, she will be missed not only by the journal but by the wider field of literary studies, where she has left a lasting impact on modernist, narrative, gender, and diaspora studies (among others) and on a generation of feminist scholars. We mourn the loss of such a deeply influential voice.

Jennifer L. Airey
University of Tulsa

1 Elisabeth Bekers and Helen Cousins, “Contemporary Black British Women’s Writing: Experiments in Literary Form,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 41, No. 2 (2022), 211.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]