Writing Mothers\Daughters: 1780-2012

A one day conference at Newman University
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 mother\daughter 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  mother\daughter relationships
  • Accounts of mother\daughter relationships in life-writing
  • Sentimentality and mother\daughter relationships
  • Literary foremothers and their literary daughters
  • Anxiety of Authorship/Anxiety of Influence
  • Trends and shifts in narrative perspectives/voices
  • Second-wave mother\daughter conflict
  • Protofeminism/Feminism/Postfeminism and mother\daughter relationships
  • Mothers\daughters and the ‘shared’ body
  • Representations of non-biological mother\daughter relationships
  • The mother’s significance in ‘coming-of-age’ narratives
  • Psychoanalytical theory and mother\daughter relationships
  • Queer mother\daughter relationships
  • Postcolonial mother\daughter relationships
  • Popular fiction and mother\daughter narratives
  • Strategies for reading mother\daughter relations, past and present

Please contact Tracey Priest at t.priest@staff.newman.ac.uk for queries regarding payment/travel/registration.

Please contact the conference organisers, Dr Kerry Myler and Dr Julia Banister, for any queries regarding the programme/content: k.myler@staff.newman.ac.uk or j.banister@leedsmet.ac.uk 


pdf  Conference Dinner Information
Last updated: 18 June 2012

pdf  Conference Programme and Abstracts
Last updated: 25 June 2012

pdf  Essential Information
Last updated: 25 June 2012

pdf  Registration Form
Last updated: 15 May 2012