Call for Papers: Hybridity and Women’s Writing in Eighteenth-century Britain

By Isabelle Murray

Guest Editors: Francesca Blanch-Serrat, Paula Yurss Lasanta

In the last four decades, hybridity has become an umbrella term encompassing a variety of disciplines, including biology, linguistics, postcolonial studies, media studies, and cultural studies. Particularly within literary studies, genre hybridity refers to the blending of themes, forms, and other elements from different genres—a practice with a long and fruitful history as old as literature itself. As a hybrid field itself, literature cannot be extricated from “extraneous elements”1 such as the sociopolitical context, class, age, or gender. According to Behling’s formulation2, the hybrid genre exists as a site for identity negotiation and resistance. In this sense, the hybrid genre allows for the assertion, reconsideration, and articulation of women’s identities. In women’s writing, it becomes a strategy and a vehicle for intellectual contemplation and expression.

Indebted to the hybridity of genre in the early modern period, the eighteenth century saw a blossoming of hybrid texts fostered by new forms of circulation and the growing literary market. Authors “experimented with hybrid combinations to a degree previously unrecognized”3, and women writers in particular, often excluded from intellectual debates because of their gender, not only experimented with blending different genres but also challenged conventional notions of authorship …read more