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:
CALL FOR CHAPTERS FOR EDITED VOLUME
Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power
Edited by Lauren O’ Hagan, Cardiff University
This volume will explore ‘ordinary writing’ – that is, ‘writing that is typically unseen or ignored and is primarily defined by its status as discardable’ – as an important new way in which to approach the power and identity of marginalised groups in Edwardian Britain (1901-1914). The Edwardian era is often described as a period of intense social conflict and upheaval marked by a heightened awareness of class consciousness, inequality and poverty. Vast social, political and economic changes led to an increasing mobilisation of the lower classes and women, while also bringing about a rise in the number of anarchists and revolutionaries. Many of these changes, in turn, created an increasing distrust of and hostility towards the ‘other’: foreigners, Catholics, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the poor were all the target of widespread discrimination. Despite their internal differences, all of these groups had one thing in common: they used writing in a bid to voice resistance and obtain symbolic forms of power.
The editor invites chapter proposals involving high quality research drawing on diverse methodologies that advance the study of ordinary writing as a rebellious act of power in Edwardian Britain. In particular, research related to any of the following groups or inscriptive acts are welcomed:
- The working classes; Irish nationalists; suffragettes; children; prisoners; socialists/communists; workhouse poor; Catholics; Jews; foreigners, particularly Germans and Eastern Europeans; gypsies; homosexuals; black people
- Postcards; coins; schoolbooks; graffiti; marching banners; political posters; diaries; autograph books; calling cards; visitors’ books; scrapbooks; embroidery