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CFP: ICVWW “Reassessing Women’s Writing of the 1880s and 1890s” (3/31/16; 7/25-26/2016)

icvwwInternational Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW)
From Brontë to Bloomsbury Third International Conference:
Reassessing Women’s Writing of the 1880s and 1890s
25-26 July 2016
Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Ann Heilmann (University of Cardiff) and Dr Catherine Pope (Victorian Secrets)

The ICVWW’s five-year project “From Brontë to Bloomsbury: Realism, Sensation and the New in Women’s Writing from the 1840s to the 1930s” aims to trace and reassess, decade by decade, how women’s writing develops in the cultural context of the 1840s to the 1930s: a transformative period in women’s private, public and literary lives. Including the work of canonical authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, the project is also significantly concerned with rediscovering and repositioning the lives and work of neglected female authors.

Now in its third year, the project aims to build on the success of conferences in 2014 and 2015 on women’s writing from the 1840s to the 1870s. This CFP therefore seeks proposals for papers that explore the range and vitality of British women’s writing from 1880-1899. Particularly welcome are papers which encourage new perspectives on literary genre, the critical reception of women writers, or canon formation. The 1880s and 1890s marked a shift in women’s writing with the death of George Eliot in 1880 and the emergence of politically engaged New Woman writers such as Sarah Grand and Mona Caird as well as bestselling popular authors such as Marie Corelli. These decades brought a new generation into conflict with more conservative writers including Ouida and Eliza Lynn Linton, both of whom had made their name in the 1860s. With the collapse of the three decker in the last years of the century, women writers were able to refashion the traditional form of fiction for their own uses.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The New Woman and her opponents
  • Succès de scandale e.g. Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins
  • Female aesthetes
  • The short story as a feminine mode
  • Journalism and periodical writing
  • Letters, diaries and memoirs
  • Children’s literature
  • Women and scientific literature
  • Lesser known women writers such as Annie E. Holdsworth and Netta Syrett
  • The last best-sellers of the century e.g. Mary Cholmondeley’s Red Pottage, Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler’s A Double Thread

300 word abstracts and a 100-150 word biographical note should be sent to the organising committee at ICVWW@canterbury.ac.uk by 31 March 2016.

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