Conference Report: ‘Difficult Women 1680-1830’

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By Anna Mercer

Conference title

Thank you to Lucy Hodgetts and Marissa Bolin for the following reports from the interdisciplinary conference ‘Difficult Women 1680-1830′ held at the University of York on the 27th-28th November 2015.

To see the tweets from this conference please have a look at the Storify (day 1 and day 2). More information can also be found on the conference website.

Report by Lucy Hodgetts (PhD candidate, University of York)

‘Difficult Women’ was a two-day conference put together with the aim of uniting scholars working on representations and conceptions of women in literature, theatre, art, and science of the long eighteenth century. The term ‘difficult women’ encapsulates a plethora of figures that resisted accepted norms of femininity, and who challenged the expectations of their gender by innovative means. This interdisciplinary conference was a vibrant reflection of current research into the numerous ways in which women were considered to be ‘difficult’.

Shearer West’s keynote lecture, ‘What Do Difficult Women Look Like?’ set the tone for a truly interdisciplinary conference by exploring a range of artistic interpretations of femininity. West argued that over the long eighteenth century women became more ‘difficult’ as they became more visible, and thus more visualised. The …read more