This page provides information on events organised by the CCWW, and comprises event details, the papers presented as well as links to podcasts and event reports hosted elsewhere. 



Sketching / Scripting Women Goblet

Seminar Series | Organiser: Catriona MacLeod

In 2017 the CCWW launched a new initiative: a series of seminars dedicated to studying female-authored graphic novels, beginning with a focus on the French bande dessinée. Since the mid-1990s, female artists have become an increasingly visible presence in the French-language graphic novel, an art form with which women were previously rarely associated, yet research concerning the work of Francophone female graphic novelists, whilst slowly increasing, remains sparse. The primary goal of these seminars was therefore to contribute to the development of research into this socially, culturally and aesthetically significant area. Two seminars were held in the academic year 2017-18, one in London and one in Paris, each exploring the work of a prominent creator who was present to discuss her work with the audience. Both events were generously supported by the Cassal Trust Fund. The seminars are expected to contribute to a publication advancing the understanding of Francophone bandes dessinées written by women.

Dominique Goblet on her Graphic Novels
27 October 2017 | Venue: IMLR, Senate House, London.

At this seminar Belgian graphic novelist Dominique Goblet spoke about her œuvre, including the recent translation of her bande dessinée Faire semblant, c’est mentir into English. The presentation was followed by discussion on the specifics of this text and on female-authored graphic novels more generally.


Johanna Achipper on her Graphic Novels
23 March 2018 | Venue: ULIP

Johanna Schipper, a Dutch-born artist who writes in French, spoke about her œuvre. Schipper was the first recipient of the Prix Artémisia, an award created to honour the best female-created bande dessinée published each year. She discussed her work as a female artist in the French industry (publicly accused of ingrained sexism in 2016 following the lack of inclusion of any female artists on the shortlist for the Grand Prix at the Angoulême festival) and as an artist (and sometimes translator) of bandes dessinées writing in her second language. The seminar attracted a diverse audience, including participants familiar with the French bande dessinée industry and those interested in questions of language and bilingualism. This event forms part of the University of London’s year-long celebrations, Leading Women, marking 150 years since the first female students were admitted into higher education in the UK. 



Disorderly Eating : Food and Disruption in Contemporary Women's Writing

Symposium | 1 December 2017 | Venue: IMLR, University of London | Organiser: Shirley Jordan

This cross-cultural symposium explored some of the increasingly disturbing ways in which contemporary women’s writing, both fictional and non-fictional, turns its attention to our relationship with food. In recent years an increasing number of fictional and autobiographical works by women have grappled with the difficult subject of eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa, and there is a growing body of scholarship in this area. This event set out to expand the focus on disorderly eating, to look not only at, but also beyond clinically-diagnosable cases and to investigate the wider spectrum of other accounts of disorder that are elaborated in a range of contemporary women’s writing through a focus on food. The event concluded with a round table and discussion about future research directions. The event was generously supported by the Cassal Trust Fund. A co-edited special issue with critical introduction and additional articles has been submitted for publication in a leading Modern Languages journal.

Papers presented
Ruth Cruickshank (RHUL): Who’s Messed Up? From Ernaux’s Disordered Eating to Feminist Approaches to Food in Late-capitalist France  
Sandra Daroczi (Exeter): Food and Societal (Dis)Order in Darrieussecq’s Works
Abigail Lee Six (RHUL): Predatory Consumption in Gema del Prado Marugán, Comer con los ojos (2016)
Judith Still (Nottingham): The Solitary Pleasure of a Mère de famille OR Disorderly Eating in Marie NDiaye’s ‘La Gourmandise’
Heike Bartel (Nottingham): Re-assessing Gender through Writing about Male Eating Disorders



A New Language - A New Life? Translingual Literature by Contemporary Women Writers

Symposium | 1 March 2018 | IMLR, University of London | Organiser: Godela Weiss-Sussex

This symposium brought together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in the language fields of Italian, French and German and explored the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues. It was conceived as a springboard for a larger international conference on women’s translingual writing, planned for 2019, and was organised by the CCWW as part of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics - Reshaping Communities’, and generously supported by the Cassal Trust Fund.

Papers presented
Anne Fleig (FU Berlin): New Language and Female Voice – Heteroglossia in the Writings of Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Yoko Tawada
Mary Gallagher (University College Dublin): Nancy Huston on Othering the Mother-Tongue
Maria Cristina Seccia (Hull): Translingualism as Reparation in Shirin Ramzanali Fazel’s Nuvole sull’Equatore
Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR, London): Translingual Creativity and Belonging in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014)
Anna-Louise Milne (ULIP): Plural Subjectivities, or 'Writing With'



Contemporary Jewish Women's Writing in Germany and Austria - A 'Minor' Literature?

Workshop | 27 April 2018 | IMLR, University of London |Organisers: Maria Roca Lizarazu and Godela Weiss-Sussex

This workshop explored whether the label and concept of a ‘minor’ literature (Deleuze/Guattari, 1975) can be usefully applied when examining contemporary Jewish women’s writing in Germany and Austria. As women, Jewesses and migrants, many of these writers belong to a whole range of minority groups, while also being firmly embedded in the literary market, as the success and public visibility of Funk, Grjasnowa, Gorelik or Petrowskaja demonstrates. Questions raised included: What – if anything – makes their writing ‘minor’? How can we conceptualise the relationship between being ‘minor’/writing ‘minor’ literature and contributing to the mainstream? How do these writers negotiate the various and intersecting components of their identities? And how does their writing contribute to and re-calibrate our understanding of German-and Austrian-Jewish literature more generally? The workshop concluded with a reading by the Berlin author Mirna Funk. Publication in preparation. 

Papers presented
Anita Bunyan (Cambridge): Minor, Mainstream or Situational? The Narratives of Eva Menasse
Myrto Aspioti (Oxford): The Identity Politics of Uncertainty: Eva Menasse’s Quasikristalle
Paul Hoehn (Berkeley): Katja Petrowskaja and the Labour of Kinship
Maria Roca Lizarazu (Warwick/IMLR): Between Minority and the Mainstream – Constructions of Jewishness in the Contemporary German Media Landscape
Mirna Funk (Berlin): Autobiografie als Schlüssel zu einer Geschichte über die Welt
Lena Ekelund (Independent Researcher): Daughter’s Voices: Translation, Genealogy and Intertextual Networks as Techniques of Transmission
Kerstin Steitz (Virginia): Aesthetic and Literary Traditions in Mirna Funk’s Winternähe
Annette Bühler-Dietrich (Stuttgart/Ouagadougou):  ‘Hast du nicht alle zu Hause’ – Sprache und Gleichgewicht in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther



Women's Writing and Science

Symposium | 18 May 2018 | Venue: IMLR, University of London | Organiser: Jean Conacher

The world of science, traditionally dominated by men, has proven a fruitful domain for women writers. In exploring the work of a range of contemporary women writers from different cultural contexts who engage with science, this symposium engendered discussion around topics such as the portrayal of women scientists (woman as scientist/scientist as woman); literary engagement with scientific themes; Creativity in science and fiction inter-relations and mutual gains; commonalities between specific sciences and literary fiction; and the scientific lens and its impact on writing fiction (genre, narrative choices). Through the encounter with practitioners (novelist and creative writing teacher Aifric Campbell and science student Anita Chandran), the symposium facilitated a lively dialogue between academic consideration of the topic and the exploration of possibilities of mutual enrichment.

Papers presented
Benjamin Dalton (KCL): Forms of Freedoms: The Plasticities of Catherine Malabou and Marie Darrieussecq
Sonja Stojanovic (Nôtre Dame): Bodies in Conflict in Élisabeth Filhol’s La Centrale [The Nuclear Power Plant]
Aifric Campbell and Anita Chandran (Imperial,London): Creative Writing and Scientific Identity
Jean E. Conacher (Limerick/CCWW): Processes of Recovery in Helga Königsdorf’s Respektloser Umgang [Fission]
Emily Jeremiah (RHUL): Transpositions: Ulrike Draesner's Aesthetics of Encounter
Karen Leeder (Oxford): Twin Spin: The Role of Science in Ulrike Draesner’s Poetry