Class, Confinement and Criminality in Contemporary Women’s Writing

Class, Confinement and Criminality in Contemporary Women’s Writing
22 July 2020, 10.00am - 11.30am

CCWW PGR online seminar series

The Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online Seminar Series organised by Postgraduate and Early Career researchers. The seminars will offer opportunities to showcase and debate a wide range of projects across cultures. They will be curated by the community whose work they highlight, and will be made available as podcasts on the CCWW web site. We invite expressions of interest for one-off events or for short thematic strands of events in any subject relating to contemporary women’s writing. Please send these to Jessica Rushton, Jemima Jobling and Shirley Jordan.

The series begins with a seminar strand addressing the broad themes of class, confinement and criminality in contemporary women’s writing. Please see below for the call for papers for this strand and for details of the first event

Call for Papers

Class, Confinement and Criminality
Deadline for proposals:  13 July 2020
Organisers: Jessica Rushton (PGR Durham) and Jemima Jobling (PGR Newcastle)  

We invite PGRs and ECRs to contribute to seminars in this series. Submissions are invited for 15-minute papers from a range of literatures and languages across a range of topics covered under ideas of Class, Confinement and Criminality. Some suggestions of themes and questions are:

How do contemporary women writers represent class?
How does class intersect with other categories of identity (such as race, age, gender, sex, etc) ?
What are some of the class-related struggles which women face in contemporary women’s writing?
Confinement: restriction, control and imprisonment  
Societal pressures, boundaries and their transgressions
How does contemporary women’s writing represent the theme of women’s confinement?
How are women confined in the twenty-first century? Does this have echoes with other periods of history?
Are confinement, class and criminality intertwined? 
Criminality as a gendered act
Revolt and rebellion
Responses to lockdown/COVID-19 by women writers

Short abstracts (250 words max) for 15 minute papers should be sent to Jemima Jobling and Jessica Rushton, along with a short biographical note, to arrive by 13 July 2020.

Class, Confinement and Criminality - first seminar

All are invited to attend the Centre’s first PGR online seminar entitled 'Class, Confinement and Criminality'. This triad of themes is intentionally broad, opening out to consideration of women’s struggles at this critical moment in time, as well as tracing their evolution. The seminar series arises out of the need to create alternative spaces for academic discussion, engagement and motivation during these difficult times as we all continue to come to terms with COVID-19 and its impact.

Our first event ties together the themes of Class, Confinement and Criminality with two 15-minute papers followed by a Q&A:

Jemima Jobling (Newcastle): "Navigating Space and Class in Annie Ernaux’s Mémoire de fille (2016) – an exploration of class-based anxiety as told through the text’s intimate bedroom spaces"

Jessica Rushton (Durham): "Destablising the Nineteenth-Century Maidservant Revolt Narrative: Leïla Slimani’s Chanson douce (2016) – an investigation into how Slimani’s nanny figure echoes a nineteenth-century discourse around the rebellious maidservant"

The seminar will be held in English.

This free event will be held online, at 10:00 am BST. Please note that it is essential that you register in advance to join the event. 

Download guidance on participating in an online event (pdf)


Jessica Rushton
020 7862 8738