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Women in World(-)Literature

Hybrid conference to be held on Teams and in the Oculus Building on Wednesday 22nd - 23rd June 2022.

This conference is made possible by the generous support of the Connecting Cultures GRP (Transnational and Global Humanities); the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS); the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender (CSWG); and the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA).

BCLA logo

Please note that this is a trans-inclusive event.

Download the full programme hereLink opens in a new window

“A single but radically uneven world-system; a singular modernity, combined and uneven; and a literature that variously registers this combined unevenness in both its form and its content to reveal itself as, properly speaking, world-literature…”

Warwick Research Collective (WReC), Combined and Uneven Development (2015)


In 2015 Warwick Research Collective (WReC) published Combined and Uneven Development: A New Theory of World-Literature. It broke new ground in its invocation of Wallerstein’s world-systems theory alongside the Trotskyist formulation of “combined and uneven development”; and in its thinking through of the cultural and aesthetic implications of a literature of the capitalist world-system. This, they dubbed “world-literature”.


Our question is this: in “a singular modernity, combined and uneven”, what is specific about women’s experiences; and how are these specificities registered in world(-)literature?


This ‘Women in World(-)Literature’ conference held at the University of Warwick, the home of the WReC, is inspired by and in conversation with their work alongside continuing and emergent research in the field of world literary studies. We invite you to join us in thinking about the gendered dynamics of power in the patriarchal capitalist world-system.


If world(-)literature is a way of thinking about a singular but unequal modernity – a system of cores and peripheries on multiple scales, from the family to the geopolitical stage – then what are the gendered consequences of this, for art and/or analysis? How are women situated in and accounted for within such a system? How do women’s material conditions and experiences – increasingly global in scope – shape their literary and cultural production on the levels of form, narrative, and genre? And what are the (re)generative possibilities of such study for us as we look towards the future?


Following the collaborative approach to research and knowledge production modelled by WReC, we invite proposals for panels, roundtables, and workshops, as well as individual 20-minute papers. Possible topics or critical intersections for papers and panels include (but are not limited to):


  • World-literature and feminism(s)
  • Race relations, women, and world-literature (e.g. racial capitalism)
  • Women in translation
  • Women and work (e.g. reproductive labour, affective care and emotional labour, “migrantisation” and “feminisation” of the domestic labour force, precarity, domestic and the everyday)
  • Class and gender
  • Social reproduction theory and world-literature
  • Environmental humanities and gender (e.g. women and world-ecology, “women, nature, and colonies”, climate crisis, extractive industries, commodity frontiers, food systems, ecologies, geographies, maps, settler colonialism)
  • Gender, genre and world-literature
  • Women between cores and peripheries
  • Migration and diaspora
  • Disability and accessibility
  • Women in world-literary study (precarity, academia, interdisciplinarity)
  • World-literature outside of the academy
  • Gendering the world-literary marketplace


We hope to welcome participants from all over the world and to make space for critical conversations across the world; therefore this will be a hybrid event taking place across online and in-person platforms.

We aim to invite participants to contribute to a journal special issue or edited volume based on conference proceedings.

We are committed to making the event as widely accessible as possible. We welcome submissions from participants at any and all stages of their academic career. If you would like to discuss a potential paper or panel with us ahead of submission, please feel free to get in touch.

This CfP is now closed, please check back soon for registration details. We look forward to welcoming you in June!

Conference organisers Dr Roxanne DouglasLink opens in a new window and Dr Fiona FarnsworthLink opens in a new window