Project Launch: The Year of Gothic Women

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The year 2023 marks the bicentenary of both Ann Radcliffe’s death and two major publications for Mary Shelley: the first edition of Valperga and the second edition of Frankenstein, which bore her name. The 200th anniversary of such significant moments for these two women writers is made all the more poignant because the year falls between important bicentenary dates for some of the most widely celebrated Romantic men: the death of Keats in 2021, P. B. Shelley in 2022, and Byron in 2024. The ‘Gothic Women’ project will organise a conference in 2023 to celebrate Radcliffe, Shelley, and other Gothic women writers.   

In the build-up to that conference, and in these isolating times, the ‘Gothic Women’ project will host a curated online seminar series, starting on Mary Shelley’s birthday in August 2021. This series will showcase exciting new strands of research on ‘Gothic Women’, bringing scholars into conversation with creative writers and artists. Featuring established, early career, and postgraduate scholars, our events showcase the diversity of women’s Gothic writing in the Romantic period. We aim to examine the different ways their work thinks about questions of self-definition in a time of crisis, challenging mainstream narratives, including those of nationhood, gender, sexuality, and race.

Our first event will take place at 5pm BST on 30th August 2021.

Inaugural seminar: Mary Shelley beyond Frankenstein
* Professor Nora Crook (Anglia Ruskin University), ‘The hidden women in Mary Shelley’s “Lives of Eminent Literary and Scientific Men”’
* Dr Anna Mercer (Cardiff University), ‘Gothic Women and Self-Sacrifice in Italy: Why we need to reread Mary Shelley’s Valperga’
* Dr Valentina Varinelli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), ‘Mary Shelley’s Anglo-Italian Identity and Her Role as Cultural and Political Mediator’

Full details and registration link to follow.
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