You are here:

Please note the date for this seminar has been rescheduled from it's original advertised date of 15 March and will now take place on Wednesday 26 April.

Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) Seminar Series.

As a concept, metaphor, and sensation, ‘heat’ evokes some of the most urgent issues of the contemporary period. We are currently faced with the climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises, in which we inhabit the paradox of cold, unheated homes in an ever-warming global climate. Bound up with ecological and economic injustice, heat is unevenly distributed within society and across the planet. Heat is also something that we feel, on our skin and beneath it, as our bodies face illness and change: from fevers and flushes, to burning pain and blushing cheeks. It is equally an affective and sensory term that connotes love, sex, and anger. This particular triad of feminist concerns has renewed significance in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and undergirds current protest movements demanding access to healthcare, contraception, abortion, and safety for everyone, including non-binary and trans people. 

In this series, the conceptual focus on heat brings together speakers whose research covers such topics as illness and ageing; sex and intimacy; protest and rage; and the global climate emergency. Our speakers explore contemporary women’s writing across languages and cultures, and work in and between such fields as feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; postcolonial studies; affect studies; and the medical and environmental humanities. The seminars in this series will move between the cellular and the planetary, and the personal and the collective, asking how heat figures in contemporary literature by women from across the globe.

Wednesday 26 April 2023, 5–6:30pm, Zoom (Rescheduled from 15 March)

‘It’s Getting Hot in Here: On Sex, Pleasure, and Intimacy’

‘Pleasure at Her Leisure: Black Women Writing Sexual Desire’
Johanna Montlouis-Gabriel (North Carolina State University)

‘Discovering Pleasure and the Boundless Body in Marie Darrieussecq’s Clèves (2011)’
Dominique Carlini Versini (Durham University)

‘Getting a Rise: Marie Calloway’s Audacity and the Sticky Issue of Literary Value’
Jennifer Cooke (Loughborough University)

With a short introduction to book publishing by Dr Polly Galis

All are welcome to attend this free seminar being held online via zoom. Booking is essential to receive the online joining link. To register and attend this seminar taking place on 26 April at 17:00 GMT please follow the Book Now link at the top of this page.

Series schedule:

Launch Event: Wednesday 8 March 2023, 4:30–6:30, Zoom
‘Burning Up: Reading Hot Bodies’

Wednesday 29 March 2023, 5–6:30pm, Zoom
‘Getting Heated: Rage as Feminist Praxis’

Wednesday 19 April 2023, 5–6:30pm, Zoom
‘The Sun Never Sets: On (Post)colonialism and Global Heating’

Wednesday 26 April 2023, 5–6:30pm, Zoom (Rescheduled from 15 March)
‘It’s Getting Hot in Here: On Sex, Pleasure, and Intimacy’

This series is organised by Alexandra Pugh ( and Elly Walters (