Registration Now Open for Literary Dolls: The Female Textual Body from the 19th Century to Now

literary dollsRegistration is now open for Literary Dolls: The Female Textual Body from the 19th Century to Now. This one-day conference at St. Aidan’s College, Durham University assesses the ways in which female corporeality has been depicted in text from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include the winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Jane SmileyProfessor Jo Phoenix (University of Durham); Dr Kate Macdonald (University of Ghent).

To register and for links to accommodation, visit Registration costs £35 for unwaged/students and £45 for waged attendees. The deadline for registration is 1st December 2013.

Background to the conference can be found in this research conversation with conference organiser Emma Miller, in which she outlines its theoretical focus and aims.

Other papers to be presented at the conference include:

  • Voyeurism and the Art of Looking: The Female Physique as Viewed Through the Windows of Early Twentieth-Century New York
  • “The most awful things must happen, when a woman lets herself have adorers, while at the same time easily coming to bits.”  Aging and artifice in the novels of Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941)
  • Freedom through Fragmentation: Rosamund Marriott Watson and Feminist Mastery
  • Playing Gender: A Ludological Perspective on Tomb Raider
  • Pearls of Desire: (Ad)dressing Female Bi-Sexuality in Orlando
  • Weaponized Women in Contemporary Young Adult Dystopia
  • Fetishizing the Women: Female Beauty in Indian Advertisements
  • Enchained Bodies : Women Musicians in European Literature
  • The female body in women’s periodical press [England, c. 1891-1939]: nontextual representations and their association to gender
  • Daguerreotypes and Archetypes: The female nude in photography from the 1840s to the present day
  • Body Conscience: “‘Don’t cut off my head!’: The feminised accounts of digitally inscribed textual representation as feminised
  • Saints in Stockings: Iain Banks and the Awesome Physicality of Women
  • “The Girl Who isn’t There”: May Kendall’s (Non-)Representations of the Female Form
  • “That Graceful Charm Which Lingers in Every Little Tasteful Work of Woman’s Hands”: Charm, Models of Femininity and the Marriage Market in Dickens
  • ‘She Sees Her Everywhere’: Finding the (No)Body in Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood
  • The Shape of Citizenship: Examining the Female Body Politic In American New Immigrant Fiction
  • The “coarse pattern” on the “beautiful feminine tissue” of Tess’ gendered body – the site of the experiences that morph her sense of self
  • Happy Days: Sinking Into Immanence
  • When Richard Corben hypersexualises Edgar Allan Poe’s Work
  • Broken Minds & Tortured Bodies – The Victorian Asylum in the Literature of Amalie Skram & Sarah Waters
  • Iconic women in the late prose romances of William Morris and the paintings of Edward Burne-Jones
  • The Labour of Death: Reading the female body in childbirth death.
  • Sleep, Death, and Infinity: Retrieving Japan’s lost women
  • “I seem to have lost my gumption when my foot fell off”: Cybergothic bodies in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder
  • “Painted and attired even unto death”: Representing the Female Offender in the Manning Murder Case of 1849
  • Writing their Own Bodies: Queer Performance Spaces and their Impact on Young Women’s Gendered-Sexualities in Post-Katrina New Orleans
  • Literary Lolitas/ Defiled Dolls: Adolescent Prostitution in Twenty-First Century Women’s Writing
  • Sasha Jansen as a living doll in Good Morning Midnight
  • “Don’t let him notice me, don’t let him look at me”: Cinema, Vision and the Ageing Female Body in Jean Rhys’ Early Fiction
  • Body of Evidence: The Female Corpse and the Middlebrow Corpus in Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun
  • ““The picture and figure of the half-bedizened damsel”: (Dis-)Embodied Females and Late-Nineteenth-Century Platform Performances
  • Ancient Sex Objects: The Erotic Allure of the Female Mummy in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Culture
  • Re-membering the abject body: corporeality in life narratives by Francoist political prisoners
  • Becoming Dolls: Woman and the Ideal across Temporal Boundaries
  • Ladies Day at Ascot: Bodies of Excess
  • “This Curious Creature”: Crossover fictions of Amazons and Mermaids as embodied in the one-breasted beastie of Benbecula
  • Broken Dolls: Investigating the relationship between female victim and female detective.
  • Literary Lolitas/Defiled Dolls: Adolescent Prostitution in Twenty-First Century Women’s Writing

The conference is being organised in association with the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities, Durham University, and is sponsored by the Department of English Studies. Please send enquiries to


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