CCWW Women’s Historical Fiction Across the Globe

CCWW Women’s Historical Fiction Across the Globe
28 October 2021, 3.45pm - 29 October 2021, 6.30pm
Conference / Symposium

Download the full 2 day programme here (pdf)

This online symposium examines historical fiction by women writers across languages, time periods and cultural settings. The aim is to facilitate a dialogue between scholars working on and/or from the Global South and North on intersectional feminist approaches to women’s histories and literary texts. 

Papers explore how the genre unearths women’s historical experiences, retrieves them from the archive and fills gaps in historical narratives through fiction in order to counter and challenge patriarchal and cisnormative official histories. How can fiction become a way for women writers, especially ethnic, LGBTQIA+ and other minorities, to reclaim their ancestral pasts and write forgotten subjectivities back into history? 

The symposium will reflect upon trends in historical fiction and gender-based approaches to the genre, with the aim for this to be a significant step towards developing more inclusive, transnational, comparative and comprehensive theoretical notions on women’s historical fiction. 


Day 1: 28 October

3.45pm  Welcome and Introductions

4.00-5.45pm Panel 1 Identities
Chairs: Karunika Kardak and Catherine Barbour (University of Surrey)

Letícia Pilger (Federal University of Paraná), ‘The Sound of the Jaguar’s Roar, by Micheliny Verunschk: Decolonizing Voice and Time in a Brazilian Historical Novel’
Maria Guadalupe Elías (Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí), ‘‘Hojas de limón negro’ – A Decolonial Feminist Reading of Ángeles Mastretta’s Arráncame la vida’ 
Neslihan Demirkol (University of Münster), ‘Old Wine In A New Bottle: Huru On the Road to Feminism’
Radhika Sharma (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee), ‘Personal, National and Historical: A Study of Indo-Pak Partition as an Embodied Experience through Historical Fiction’

5.45-6.00pm Break

6.00-7.45pm Panel 2 Postcolonial Historical Fiction 
Chair: Gemma Marr (Carleton University)

Ayşe Çırçır (Erzurum Technical University), ‘Post-Colonial Historical Novel: Masculinity, Metonymic Gaps and Muslimness in Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies
Jessica Habib (University of Glasgow), ‘Between the Self and the Collective: Reading Daughter Narratives and Postcolonial Settings’
Diana Alvarez Amell (Seton Hall University), ‘Indigenismo in La Avellaneda’s Historical Fiction’ 
Tegan Zimmerman (Saint Mary’s University), ‘Speaking Through Stone: Mother-tongue in Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa’s Daughters of the Stone (2009)’

Day 2: 29 October 

9.00-10.45am Panel 3 Archival Voices
Chair: Kiriaki Massoura (Northumbria University)

Nisha Ghatak (The University of Auckland), ‘The Invisible Bhadramahila - Privilege and Gender Discrimination in Aruna Chakravarti’s Jorasanko’
Beth Kearney (University of Queensland) and Bonnie Thomas (University of Western Australia), ‘Uncovering Adrienne Fidelin: Disorderly Subjectivity in Gisèle Pineau’s Ady, soleil noir (2021)’
Camellia Choudhuri (St Xavier’s College, Kolkata), ‘‘I paint the blood’: Perspective and Collective Autobiography in Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint’
Kata Gyuris (Independent scholar), ‘‘Turn remembrance into a sly weapon’ - Reclaiming Archival Memory in Maaza Mengiste's The Shadow King’

10.45-11.00am Break

11.00am-12.30pm Panel 4 World War II Historical Fiction 
Chair: Rebecca Walker (University of St Andrews)

Meri Tek Demir (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), ‘From History to Her Story in Nancy Kricorian’s All the Light There Was’
Seong Yun Lee (SOAS), Restoration of voices through reified memory: re-defining “comfort women” via Kim Soom’s historical novels
Caroline Lynch (Cardiff University), ‘‘Il libro deve essere come un sasso che si butta per colpire’: testimony and the representation of women and war in Laudomia Bonanni’s La rappresaglia’

12.30-1.30pm Lunch

1.30-3.15pm Panel 5 Women and National Memory
Chair: Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR)

Hala Kamal (Cairo University), ‘Autobiography and Fiction as Arab ‘Herstory’: The Case of Latifa Al-Zayyat’
Rhitama Basak (Delhi University), ‘Borders, Exiles, and Post-partition Women's Writing from the Subcontinent’
Ahmed Nuri (University of Amsterdam), ‘From the Tragic to Self-Discovery: Redemption of History and the Feminist Discourse’
Elisa Sampson Vera (King’s College London), ‘Recovering and Rewriting the Testimonial as Activist Intervention: Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s Fictions about Contemporary Peru’

3.15-3.30pm Break 

3.30-5.15pm Panel 6 Lesbian Historical Fiction 
Chair: Céire Broderick (University College Cork)

Tasha Alden (Aberystywth University), ‘Coming out of the archive: knowing the past in contemporary lesbian historical fiction’
Linda Garber (Santa Clara University), "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate Dyke for Me"
Qiyao Zhang (University of Nottingham Ningbo, China), ‘Encouraging Cross-spatial Identification through Feminist Translation: Translating Tipping the Velvet’
Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir (University of Iceland) ‘Finding Truth in the Detail: Filling in the Gaps and Silences of Tudor Women’s Lives in Two Historical Novels by Elizabeth Fremantle’

5.15-5.30pm  Break

5.30-6.30pm Roundtable and Discussion

Catherine Barbour (University of Surrey)
Catherine Davies (IMLR)
Linda Garber (Santa Clara University)
Karunika Kardak
Nisha Ghatak (The University of Auckland)
Tegan Zimmerman (Saint Mary’s University)

Download all Abstracts here

Download all Biographies here

All are welcome to attend this free online symposium, starting at 15:45 BST on Thursday 28 October. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register.

Download guidance on participating in an online event (pdf)


Jenny Stubbs
020 7862 8832