CFP: Women Writing History (1/15/04; journal special issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Ann Heilmann
contact email: 


Women Writing History

Essays (maximum 6,000 words) are invited on the subject of ‘Women
Writing History’ for a special issue of Women’s Writing.

In recent years, women writers have increasingly come to use the genre
of historical fiction in their work, yet although more noticeable in
contemporary fiction this is far from a new phenomenon. From the late
seventeenth century women poets and their revisions of the pastoral
tradition through to Christina Rossetti’s and Vernon Lee’s medieval and
Renaissance reimaginings, via the Romantic period of Anne Marsh and
Benedikte Naubert, women have used history – both to explore and explode
it. But what is it about ‘history’? If the past is by definition the
origin of the present, what kind of theorised view of history do women
authors offer us? Can history, or the use of history in fiction, be
theorised? What is it about history and the possibilities of (re)writing
it that so appeals to women writers? Why the use of a particular
historical period? What kind of connections are authors trying to create
between the period in which they write and the period they write about?
Does the past merely offer a framing discourse for these fictions or is
there also a deliberate attempt to reclaim the past? Do various genres
deal differently with concepts of the past and its relationship to the
present / future?

This special issue seeks to explore these themes and the multiple
treatments of the past offered by female authors writing before 1900.
Essays on European and world literatures are welcome.

Please send completed essays (using the Women’s Writing style guide for
all references) by 15 January 2004 to the special issue editors, Mark
Llewellyn and Ann Heilmann, either via email: or by
post to:

Ann Heilmann or Mark Llewellyn
Department of English
Keir Hardie Building
University of Wales Swansea
Singleton Park

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Received on Sat Nov 15 2003 - 19:42:24 EST