Writing MothersDaughters: 1780-2012 Back

Writing MothersDaughters: 1780-2012

A one day conference at Newman University College
Thurs 28th June 2012


Keynote Speaker: Sonya Andermahr, University of Northampton

Women’s writing owes its current prominence to the major achievements of second-wave feminist scholars who sought to recover its past and shape its present. They articulated a ‘political need’ to establish a female literary history as well as a ‘continuing need’ for women to ‘claim cultural legitimacy through authorising themselves’ (Eagleton, 2005). This project placed particular emphasis on the Romantic period as an age of proto-feminist activity and established a literary line between these foremothers, their nineteenth-century daughters, and an emerging body of contemporary women writers. The legacy of this literary line can be seen in the tendency of writers and critics to privilege women who identify as daughters, thus examining post-war female subjectivity in terms of an often fraught relationship with the mother. Recent writing and criticism has begun to reverse this perspective by prioritising the mother’s point of view and the examination of maternal subjectivities.

This one day conference seeks to examine representations of motherdaughter relationships – past and present – and to show that by attending to these narratives we can more acutely assess the varied and shifting dynamics between mothers and daughters as they exist within a range of historical, cultural and spatial contexts.

Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:
· Exemplary motherdaughter relationships
· Accounts of motherdaughter relationships in life-writing
· Sentimentality and motherdaughter relationships
· Literary foremothers and their literary daughters
· Anxiety of Authorship/Anxiety of Influence
· Trends and shifts in narrative perspectives/voices
· Second-wave motherdaughter conflict
· Protofeminism/Feminism/Postfeminism and motherdaughter relationships
· Mothersdaughters and the ‘shared’ body
· Representations of non-biological motherdaughter relationships
· The mother’s significance in ‘coming-of-age’ narratives
· Psychoanalytical theory and motherdaughter relationships
· Queer motherdaughter relationships
· Postcolonial motherdaughter relationships
· Popular fiction and motherdaughter narratives
· Strategies for reading motherdaughter relations, past and present

Abstracts of 250 words and a short biographical note should be emailed to both K.Myler@staff.newman.ac.uk and J.Banister@leedsmet.ac.uk before Friday 30th March.

Dr Kerry Myler
Lecturer in English,
Newman University College,
Email: K.Myler@staff.newman.ac.uk

Dr Julia Banister,
Lecturer in English,
Cultural Studies and Humanities,
Leeds Metropolitan University
Email: J.Banister@leedsmet.ac.uk