CFP: [20th] Elizabeth Bowen colloquium

full name / name of organization: 
Pam Thurschwell

‘A mixture of showing off and suspicion, nearly as bad as sex’*: Reading
Elizabeth Bowen
Call for Papers
30 May 2009
University of Sussex
Sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies

Speakers will include:
Professor Nicholas Royle (Sussex) and Professor Andrew Bennett (Bristol)
Professor Maud Ellmann (Notre Dame)

Elizabeth Bowen wrote of her prose, ‘I want the rhythm to jerk or jarâ€"to
an extent, even, which may displease the reader’. Her fictions rejoice in,
yet also chafe at the impossibility of, a language that never quite gets
you where you think you should be going â€"she is, amongst many other
things, the master of the bad car ride. She also revels in ghosts, houses,
furniture and mad, or at least maddening, little girls. Initially
neglected, recent Bowen scholarship has emphasized the richness and depth
of her work. With a fictional universe poised somewhere on a knife’s edge
between the worlds of Jane Austen and Samuel Beckett, her novels, short
stories, letters and critical writings invite more critical attention.
Modernist and anti-modernist; uncompromising observer of women’s relations
with each other and professed anti-feminist; invested in her Anglo-Irish
heritage while unsparingly marking its demise, Bowen’s work, is as she
once said of E.M. Forster’s ‘revolutionary in a manner impossible to pin

We invite short (250 word) abstracts for short (15 minute) papers on any
aspect of Bowen’s work to form part of this one-day colloquium. Please
send them to or Pam Thurschwell, English
Department, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QN by 1 December

*This is how Bowen describes relations between the Irish and the English
in The House in Paris.

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Received on Tue Nov 04 2008 - 05:33:31 EST