Monthly Archives: October 2015

Reading the Present through the Past From Historical to Neo-Historical Fiction

Call for Papers

One-day symposium, 4 March 2016

The Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies University of Amsterdam


Ever since the turn of the twenty-first century, literary and cultural returns to earlier periods have become increasingly frequent and visible. Novels on past eras dominate the shortlists of literary prizes and the number of historical films and TV series has exploded. The popularity of Hilary Mantel’s books about Henry VIII’s court, the success of TV series like Sherlock and The Americans and of graphic novel series like Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are cases in point. Many of these works, however, seem to relate to the past in ways that are different from earlier historical novels and films. According to Elodie Rousselot, editor of the recent collection Exoticizing the Past in Neo-Historical Fiction (2014), literary contributions to this trend belong to a new subgenre of contemporary historical fiction, the ‘neo-historical novel’. Even though it is set in the past, ‘neo-historical’ fiction aims to discuss and mediate the concerns and occupations of our current age. In establishing overt connections to the present day, these works display an awareness of their own constructedness and open ways for a critical reflection on exoticizing approaches to the past. For this one-day symposium, we invite contributions that take up the challenge to think about the continuities and specificities of contemporary (neo)historical fiction and explore it as a literary and cultural phenomenon.

Keynote speakers:
Dr Elodie Rousselot (University of Portsmouth)
Prof Dr Elisabeth Wesseling (Maastricht University)

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:
• the neo-historical imagination as a literary movement and/or broader cultural phenomenon (literature, film, TV, art, adaptations, etc.)
• comparisons between (re)constructions of different historical periods (neoVictorian, neo-Gothic, neo-Tudor, neo-medieval, neo-Golden Age, neoWWI/WWII, alternate history, etc.)
• theoretical and conceptual approaches to neo-historical fiction (postmodernism and post-postmodernism, mashup, cultural memory, affect, postcolonialism, posthumanism, utopia/dystopia, etc.)
• connections within and across national and linguistic borders and communities; world literature and cosmopolitan memory

Please submit abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers in English, together with a short biography, to Daný van Dam at by 18 December 2015.

From Suffrage to Second Wave: Feminist Periodical Culture in Britain

From Suffrage to Second Wave: Feminist Periodical Culture in Britain

Edited by Victoria Bazin and Melanie Waters

This special issue of Women: A Cultural Review brings together scholarship on feminist print media from the first ‘wave’ of suffrage publications produced and consumed in the early twentieth century to the publications associated with the Women’s Liberation Movement. By doing so, the intention is to highlight the continuities and discontinuities between these social movements and to illustrate the role print culture played in constructing feminist identities and communities.

The editors come at this subject from two slightly different historical and critical perspectives. Victoria Bazin’s work on modernist periodical culture focuses on Marianne Moore’s editorial role at The Dial magazine. She has recently published work in the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies and is currently writing a monograph, Modernism Edited: Marianne Moore and The Dial Magazine. Dr Water’s recent monograph on Feminism and Popular Culture: Investigating the Postfeminist Mystique together with her research on women’s poetry, film and the suburban gothic make a significant contribution to our understanding of the relation between contemporary feminism and the media.

Women: A Cultural Review is a peer reviewed journal with an international reputation as one of the leading academic publications in women’s writing, culture and feminist theory. This special issue will showcase current work on feminist periodical culture, enhance and extend work already taking place in this vibrant research area and develop new methodologies for the study of the material history of the Women’s Liberation Movement.

We are looking for articles of between 4,000 and 5,000 words on any aspect of British feminist periodical culture in the twentieth century. Articles may focus on one particular periodical or may consider the dialogic relations between periodicals. Alternatively, we welcome more wide ranging discussions of the particular methodological challenges of research on feminist print culture as it relates to debates taking place across the disciplines of history, literature and media studies. Discussions of readers’ letters, of the role played by particular editors or authors, of the relation between writing and activism, of periodical networks, advertising, the relation between feminist print culture and the public or counter-public sphere would also be welcome.

For further details, please contact:

Victoria Bazin

The History of British Women’s Writing, 1970-Present: Volume 10

The University of Leicester bookshop is currently offering The History of British Women’s Writing, 1970-Present, ed. by Mary Eagleton and Emma Parker (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) at the hugely discounted price of £28 (RRP £55):

Detailed Description
Major changes in the social and political landscape of Britain since 1970 engendered the proliferation and diversification of literature by women, as well as resulting in a radical challenge to dominant conceptions of gender and national identity. This book maps the most active and vibrant period in the history of women’s writing and assesses the impact of women on literary culture. Essays by leading scholars in the field examine female authors’ engagement with fiction, poetry, drama, and journalism. They consider the relationship between women and literary tradition, and between gender and genre, in the context of feminism, postmodernism, and postcolonialism. Topics include publishing and prizes, Gothic fiction, fantasy and fairy tales, auto/biography, black and Asian writing, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish writing, postfeminism, post-millennial themes and concerns, and new technologies. Covering more than 250 authors, from grandes dames to graphic novelists, this volume offers an unprecedented insight into the richness and range of contemporary British women’s writing.

For further info about the book, see the Table of Contents here:

Dr Emma Parker
Reader in Post-War and Contemporary Literature
Co-editor, Contemporary Women’s Writing
University of Leicester
University Road
Tel: 0116 252 2630

The Brigid Brophy Anniversary Conference

The Brigid Brophy Anniversary Conference

9 – 10 October 2015

Avenue Campus, St. George’s Avenue, The University of Northampton

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the death of Brigid Antonia Brophy (1929-1995), and the fiftieth anniversary of her article ‘The Rights of Animals’, published in The Sunday Times on 10th October 1965, the School of The Arts at the University of Northampton is delighted to announce a two-day international conference to celebrate all aspects of Brophy’s literary career, as well as her leading contributions to animal rights, vegetarianism, anti-vivisectionism, humanism, feminism and her advocacy of the Public Lending Right.

Professor Philip Hensher (Bath Spa University)
Dr Richard Ryder (anti-speciesism campaigner)
Peter Parker (biographer and author)
Dr Carole Ann Sweeney (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Professor Michael Bronski (Harvard University, USA)
Professor Gary L. Francione (Rutgers University, USA)
Dr Robert McKay (University of Sheffield)
Kate Levey (daughter of Brigid Brophy).

For more information, please e-mail: To keep updated with this event and to book a place through the online store, visit ( )