Fast Forward: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
PG CWWN
contact email: 

The PG CWWN (Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network) are delighted to announce our next biennial conference, Fast Forward: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century, to be held at Sheffield Hallam University on 8th-9th September 2017.

Fast Forward: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” (Zadie Smith)

Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth was published in the January of 2000 and marked the beginning of a new millennium of women’s writing. Considering that this and other texts released around the turn of the century are soon to be the same age as current undergraduates, it seems timely to move on from well-worn discussions of literature produced in the 1970s onwards and focus on women’s writing in the twenty first century.

The contemporary, as a liminal temporal space, marks the transition between past and future and as such is not only notoriously hard to frame but its fluid and ephemeral nature continues to present a challenge in literary studies and beyond. Contemporary literature, in many ways simultaneously ‘with the time’ and then quickly outdated, presents a curious and exciting paradox to think through questions of literary form, the literary market place, the role of authors as public intellectuals and contemporary readers. The need to focus on the present and contemporary state of women’s literature seems particularly poignant in a post-Brexit and Trump era in which laws and ideas surrounding the future state of gender, race, and class politics are ever more obscure and uncertain.

Join us at Sheffield Hallam University on the 8th and 9th September 2017 as we seek to position the most recent work (post 2000) of established authors alongside the field’s newer voices in order to facilitate a conversation about the present state – and possible futures – of women’s writing.

Possible conference themes:

• the resurgence of women’s confessional writing

• the recent rise in popularity of erotic and romantic fiction

• the emergence of genres such as autofiction and autotheory in women’s writing

• writing at the intersection of creative and critical/writing across genres

• writers as public intellectuals and agents of change

• new directions in writing by canonised authors

Please send abstracts of 250 words and a short bionote to conference@pgcwwn.org until 30th June 2017.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts! The PG CWWN steering group (Krystina Osborne, Veronika Schuchter and Fiona Martinez)