CfP: Women Readers/Educational Texts 1500-1800 (Event, 04/2010, Liverpool); DL: 28.09.2009

University of Liverpool History of the Book Research Group; The Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre Liverpool

Zeit: 14.-16.04.2010
Ort: University of Liverpool
Deadline: 28.09.2009

The recent upsurge in interest in the history of reading has opened numerous new interpretative avenues for scholars. Women’s reading has attracted particular attention, in specific regions and time periods. Much of this critical interest has focussed on the idea of leisure reading, however, with the reading of literary texts an especially common theme. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the range of representations and reading practices contained within and encouraged by works which had a solely or largely pedagogical purpose. What vision of female nature did they propose? How were their textual and editorial strategies specifically adapted to fulfil the perceived needs of the female reading public? How did individual female readers respond to these representations and proposed practices? And how did reading advice and practices change over time?

Points of departure include but are not limited to:

  • textual and editorial strategies for advising women
  • moral aphorisms for women
  • the interplay between educational and leisure reading
  • the role of reading in developing women’s civic and domestic duties
  • reading as a means to women’s moral and social advancement
  • specific reading practices proposed by educational texts or adopted by individual readers
  • the ‘feminisation’ of traditionally ‘masculine’ reading practices, including commonplace books, books of extracts etc.

Contributions which treat any language area are welcome. Papers which compare and contrast more than one language area are particularly encouraged.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be sent to Dr Pollie Bromilow ( and Dr Mark Towsey ( by Friday August 28th 2009.

It is envisaged that this conference will form the basis of a co-edited volume.

Pollie Bromilow
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
University of Liverpool
URL for the call for papers, with links to the History of the Book Research Group and 18th Century Worlds Research Centre

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