Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing Online Conference 

Care is fundamental to human survival, yet it is often overlooked, undermined, and undervalued. Care of the old, in particular, is low in status and too readily occluded. This event seeks to explore why and how, to examine some of the powerful responses to relationships of care in recent creative works by women, and to investigate ways in which care might be redefined and reconceptualized. Taking as its focus the representation or narrativization of care, in theory, literature and visual culture, it seeks to engage with contemporary female-authored texts from diverse cultural contexts, encouraging the development of comparative, cross-cultural perspectives. Narrative is key here; as Sarah Falcus claims: ‘Telling and reading stories of age … open[s] up debate and embrace [s] complexity, and may challenge our ways of thinking.’


9.00-9.15 Introduction and Welcome 

Conference Organisers: Emily Jeremiah (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University) 

9.15-10.45 Panel 1: Narratives and Counternarratives of Age
Chair: Emily Jeremiah (Royal Holloway University of London)

Avril Tynan (University of Turku), ‘Counternarrating Loss in Women’s Dementia Fiction in French: Collaboration, Continuity, Care’ 
Jordan McCullough (Queen’s University Belfast), ‘«Tu trouves pas quand même absolument fabuleux d’en connaître un peu moins?»’: Dementia and the “Second Childhood” as Shared Learning in Sophie Fontanel’s Grandir (2010)’ 
Martina Pala (Durham University), ‘«Non vorrei toccarla»: daughters repulsing ageing mothers.
Laudomia Bonanni, Donatella Di Pietrantonio, and Maria Grazia Calandrone in comparison’


11.00-12.30Panel 2: Care and Caring 
Chair: Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University)

Kate Averis (Universidad de Antioquia), ‘Still the Carer Sex: Women Ageing and Caring in Contemporary Women’s Writing’ 
Alice Hall (University of York), ‘Women’s Work: Reading, Writing and Archiving as Forms of Care in The Carers UK Archive’ 
Siobhán McIlvanney (King’s College London), ‘Collaborative Care: Sharing Stories of Ageing in Recent French and Francophone Women's Writing' 


13.10-15.00Panel 3: Narrativizing Care 
Chair: Emily Jeremiah (Royal Holloway University of London) 

Julia Dobson (University of Sheffield), ‘Co-presence as Care: The Hyperreal Figures in Bérangere Vantusso’s Work’ 
Margarita Saona (University of Illinois Chicago), ‘The Old Woman Comes out of the Attic’ 
Kathleen Venema (University of Winnipeg), ‘“I guess there’s Nice Meddling and Meddler’s Meddling”: Women’s Graphic Narratives of Ageing and Care’ 
Susan Ireland (Grinnell College) and Patrice J. Proulx (University of Nebraska Omaha), ‘Textualizing the Maison de Retraite in Contemporary Narratives by Francophone Women Authors’


15.15-16.00Book Launch: Sarah Falcus and Katsura Sako, eds., Contemporary Narratives of Ageing, Illness, Care (Routledge, 2022).

16.00-16.20Collective Conclusions 
Chair: Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University)

Conference Organisers: Emily Jeremiah (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University)  

Download Programme (pdf)

All are welcome to attend this free online event, starting at 09:00 GMT, UK time. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register. Advance registration essential.

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