Monthly Archives: March 2017

Invitation to the CWWA AGM – Friday 7 July 2017

Dear CWWA members
I am delighted to confirm that our 2017 AGM will take place at 3.30pm on Friday 7 July at theShared Futures conference in Newcastle, UK (venue TBC).
Our annual AGM is a valuable opportunity for CWWA members to meet together to share aspirations and ambitions and plan for the future.  I know that many of our UK-based members are attending Shared Futures, whether as presenters or delegates, and I do hope that you will join us for the AGM.  If you are unable to attend in person and would like to contribute in advance (by email) we will be very happy to hear from you.
The agenda and minutes will be circulated nearer to the date.
In the meantime, please find below details of workshops and panels sponsored by the CWWA  and convened by some of our members.  If any of you are convening or contributing to other panels please do get in touch and we will circulate details to all members.
I look forward to seeing you in July if not before!
Best wishes
Reader in English, Teesside University
Chair of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association
School of Design, Culture and the Arts
Teesside University
01642 384029
The CWWA will be hosting a number of panels at the Shared Futures conference in Newcastle upon Tyne in July:
Generations of Feminism: Contemporary Women’s Writing Professional Development Workshops
Building on the successful AHRC-funded Contemporary Women’s Writing Skills Development Workshops which took place in 2013-14, these three workshops willencourage postgraduate research students and early-career researchers who work in the field of contemporary women’s writing to develop an entrepreneurial approach to their research and its dissemination. 
Creative Work and Critical Practice: A Roundtable.
How might we shape critical-creative – or creative-critical – practice? What exactly is it? How might we use creative practice to expand our critical horizons, and vice versa? What are the opportunities and the pitfalls? This roundtable aims to explore these questions, thereby treating creative work and critical practice as conjoined disciplines which, indeed, have a shared future in Higher Education.
In addition to the Workshops and Roundtable there will be two CWWA themed panels:
Contemporary Women’s Writing: Apocalyptic Narratives
The contemporary moment, it seems, lends itself to apocalyptic narratives. Environmental damage and extreme weather events; the shifting of the political mainstream to the far reaches of left and right; the financial crash and the exposed vulnerabilities of a globalised economy; the migrant crisis and mass displacement of populations: real world events repeatedly contribute to a pervasive sense of anxiety and crisis that is productively explored in contemporary women’s writing. From the commodification of the biosciences in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, to the falling birth rate and falling temperatures of Maggie Gee’s The Ice People, contemporary women writers engaged in speculative fictions repeatedly utilise images of crisis and threat to explore political and cultural anxieties.
This panel brings together scholars interested in representations of apocalypse and apocalyptic scenarios in contemporary women’s writing.
Contemporary Women’s Writing: Archiving for the Future
How is contemporary women’s writing being remembered now and how will it be remembered in the future?  This panel will address current work on archival materials regarding contemporary women writers, addressing issues such as access to and availability of materials, copyright negotiations and archival absences.  What are the gender politics of archival work in contemporary literary studies, what is the role of the archive in canon formation and how does the technology of archives in an online environment shape our understanding of the past?

2017 Contemporary Women’s Writing Essay Prize Announced


We are delighted to confirm that the 2017 Contemporary Women’s Writing Essay Prize has been awarded to Elisa Serna-Martinez for her essay “‘She scrape she knee’: The Affective Politics of Scars as Agents of Female Caribbean Resistance in Opal Palmer Adisa’s Work.”


Two further essays were Highly Commended by the Prize Panel:
Amber West, “Through the Funhouse, Towards the Dead World: An Argument for a Puppet-Based Production of Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro”
Stacey Amo, “Tasting Otherness, Othering Tastiness: Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth”


Thank you to everyone who submitted work and congratulations to Elisa, Amber and Stacey!

CFP for Michele Roberts conference

An International Conference

Reading Michèle Roberts

organised by

Department of British Literature and Culture, University of Lodz, Poland

7-8 September 2017


Call for Papers

Michèle Roberts is an author who escapes easy classifications, her books being as rich and complex as her personal history and the sources of her inspiration. Born in an Anglo-French family and raised in a repressive Catholic background, she has blossomed into a writer who draws inspiration from this complex heritage without being inhibited by its limitations. In consequence, her oeuvre—which includes novels, short stories, poems, essays and theatrical plays—offers a seemingly effortless marriage of oppositions. Like no other contemporary writer, Roberts combines spirituality with sensuality, engages literary tradition in the service of radical experiment and employs religious motifs and images to express progressive feminist ideas. Provocative and witty, her work ranges far beyond the trio of “food, sex and God” that she jokingly named as her principal thematic concerns.

The conference offers a rare opportunity to reflect on Michèle Roberts’s achievement by bringing together scholars interested in her writings. Papers are invited on all aspects of the author’s work. They may concentrate on particular texts or address recurrent themes, motifs and formal strategies. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

·       spirituality and religion

·       feminist theology

·       sensuality, desire and sexuality

·       literary representation of sensory experience

·       (maternal) body

·       male/female dynamics

·       family dynamics

·       female space(s)

·       feminine experience and identity

·       history, memory and the past

·       intertextuality: tradition and the practice of “writing back”

·       historical, literary and biblical inspirations

·       narrative technique and formal experiments

·       metafictionality

·       representations of London / representations of small-town France

·       language, symbolism, recurrent images and metaphors

·       society, ideology and politics

We take pleasure in announcing that Michèle Roberts has kindly accepted our invitation to be a special guest speaker during the conference. Her presence will give the participants a unique opportunity to discuss their research ideas with the author.


Proposed presentations should be 20 minutes long. Please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, including the title of your presentation and a brief academic CV to The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2017  and the participants will be notified by 15 June 2017.


For further details, see conference site: :    

 call for papers reading Michele Roberts updated

English: Shared Futures, 5-7 July 2017, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

English: Shared Futures, 5-7 July 2017, Newcastle-upon-Tyne


What is English: Shared Futures?

·         ‘English: Shared Futures’ (E:SF) is a the first time that all the branches of English – literature, language and creative writing – have come together to talk about and celebrate their subject, and to explore its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world. 

·         Writers, critics, academics, teachers, and linguists will unite in a festival event, part celebration, part conversation, part cultural fringe.

·         E:SF is being held in Newcastle and will show-case the excellent literary culture of the region, its writers, and  publishers (e.g. Bloodaxe). We’ll also be joining in with the 50th anniversary commemorations of Newcastle University’s awarding Dr Martin Luther King an honorary degree in 1967.



·         Alongside over 150 panels, readings, and workshops, we have:

o   Talks on literary biography from Hermione Lee, Kathryn Hughes, Andrew Hadfield;

o   Deborah Cameron on ‘Language and the problem of female authority’;

o   Lemn Sissay reading and answering questions.

·         We are pioneering a series of ‘literary salons’ with Marina Warner, Elleke Boehmer, Bernadine Evaristo, John Mullan, and Dinah Birch, who will talk about their lives in literature and the literature in their lives (in R4 terms, not ‘the life scientific’ but ‘the literary life’).

·         The conversations at the event will discuss the most up-to –date ideas on great writers of the past and present, how we use language, and how we teach people to write – and think – creatively. (We’d be delighted to help the media access the best of these speakers).

·         Our cultural fringe will feature readings around the city from local, national, and international writers and groups, and include a leading writer in conversation with Jackie Kay (details tbc).



·         English, the liveliest and largest school and university arts subject, is participating in some of the most pressing issues of the day, such as migration, identity, the uses we make of the past, and the place of higher education in our society.

·         We are also, along with the colleagues in the rest of arts and humanities community, addressing the urgent need to maintain access to the arts and culture for everyone.

·         We think it’s important that the humane voice of English, and what literature teaches, is heard, especially at the moment, to help build our shared future.


Bob Eaglestone  

Gail Marshall