In Philip Roth’s 1990 novel Deception, the author (or someone like him) is hauled into the dock, put on trial for “sexism, misogyny, woman abuse, slander of women, denigration of women, defamation of women, and ruthless seduction, crimes all carrying the most severe penalties.” If twenty years later, the subject of Roth’s treatment of women in his fiction is no longer handled quite so bluntly, it is still rarely given the serious consideration it deserves. Critical attention to the subject of women in Roth rarely rises above vague broadsides and one-liners, knee-jerk name-calling and knee-jerk denials. Roth’s career now stretches over fifty years; it’s high time for some new life to be breathed into this broad and intriguing subject.
For this spring 2012 special issue, Philip Roth Studies seeks articles between 4,000 and 8,000 words in length, and shorter note-length pieces not exceeding 2,500 words, on the topic “Roth and Women.” This special issue will attempt to be a jumping-off point for a new depth of serious criticism on this subject.
Possible areas for investigation could include, but are not limited to:
· Roth’s representation of female fictional characters;
· feminist criticism of Roth’s fiction;
· female ‘types’ in Roth’s oeuvre;
· sexual politics in Roth’s fiction;
· gender theory in relation to Roth’s fiction;
· Roth’s alleged misogyny;
· the representation of actual women in Roth’s life (e.g. Bess Roth, Margaret Martinson, Janet Hobhouse, Claire Bloom) in his writing
Articles that deal with parts of Roth’s career that have been neglected in recent years are particularly encouraged.
Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2011.
Manuscripts must be prepared according to MLA Style and should contain endnotes rather than footnotes. Address electronic submissions via email (as attached Word files) to:
David Gooblar, Guest Editor
RothAndWomen [at] gmail.com