3-4 June, 2019. St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
Convenors: Sasha Rasmussen (St Hilda’s), Rhiannon Easterbrook (Women in the Humanities Post-doctoral Writing Fellow) and Mara Gold (St Hilda’s).
Even as women asserted their presence in universities and the new department stores that proliferated to cater to their desires, at the turn of the century many still imagined feminine space in traditional archetypes: the tranquillity of the home, or the exoticism of the harem. To speak of women’s spaces during the Belle Epoque, then, calls forth a host of simultaneous possibilities, ranging from the archaic to the shockingly modern, from the sensual to the cerebral. In public or in private, this conference seeks to examine the relationships between women, space, pleasure, and desire. We invite submissions that explore how different forms of women’s space competed and co-existed around the world at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, and how these represented, structured or suppressed women’s experiences of desire and pleasure.
Topics could include, but are naturally not limited to: