An International Conference
Reading Michèle Roberts
Department of British Literature and Culture, University of Lodz, Poland
7-8 September 2017
Michèle Roberts is an author who escapes easy classifications, her books being as rich and complex as her personal history and the sources of her inspiration. Born in an Anglo-French family and raised in a repressive Catholic background, she has blossomed into a writer who draws inspiration from this complex heritage without being inhibited by its limitations. In consequence, her oeuvre—which includes novels, short stories, poems, essays and theatrical plays—offers a seemingly effortless marriage of oppositions. Like no other contemporary writer, Roberts combines spirituality with sensuality, engages literary tradition in the service of radical experiment and employs religious motifs and images to express progressive feminist ideas. Provocative and witty, her work ranges far beyond the trio of “food, sex and God” that she jokingly named as her principal thematic concerns.
The conference offers a rare opportunity to reflect on Michèle Roberts’s achievement by bringing together scholars interested in her writings. Papers are invited on all aspects of the author’s work. They may concentrate on particular texts or address recurrent themes, motifs and formal strategies. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- spirituality and religion
- feminist theology
- sensuality, desire and sexuality
- literary representation of sensory experience
- (maternal) body
- male/female dynamics
- family dynamics
- female space(s)
- feminine experience and identity
- history, memory and the past
- intertextuality: tradition and the practice of “writing back”
- historical, literary and biblical inspirations
- narrative technique and formal experiments
- representations of London / representations of small-town France
- language, symbolism, recurrent images and metaphors
- society, ideology and politics
Proposed presentations should be 20 minutes long. Please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, including the title of your presentation and a brief academic CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2017 and the participants will be notified by 15 June 2017.