Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Women Writing Space: Representations of Gender and Space in post-1850 British Women's Writing


Saturday 7th March 2009, University of Warwick

Conference poster (Word Document)  Programme(Word Document)   Abstracts(Word Document)  Biographies(Word Document)

In the second half of the 20th century space has become a reference point of cultural debates. Feminist critics have been particularly receptive to the new findings in this field, and set out to explore the specificity of the relationship between gendered subjects and the spaces they inhabit.

This one-day conference will explore spatial perspectives on women’s writing from a range of disciplines, reflecting the scope of contemporary feminist interest in spatial configurations. The conference will address the issue of “how British women writers represent space”, considering questions such as, how do women writers construct literary space? What types of spaces/places are represented in works by women? How are received notions of space/place interpreted, accepted, or contested? How do we theorise the textual spaces in women’s writing?

Papers will discuss British women’s writing over a period ranging from the mid-19th century to the present. This choice conveys our intuition that the contemporary interest in space may be traced back to the Victorian age, when industrialization, and the rapid changes in landscape and workplace it involved, considerably developed the writers’ spatial awareness. Without losing sense of the specificity of the historical periods involved, this conference will therefore provide the site for a productive comparative perspective.

Guest speakers:

  • Lynne Walker (University of London)
  • Rosa Ainley (freelance writer and artist)

The Conference is sponsored through the award of a Humanities Reseach Centre Doctoral Fellowship, and jointly organised by myself and Arina Lungu.