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Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation'
International Conference: Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation

Internal News - 20 April 2005

Praise for landmark women's literature conference

The University of Bath recently hosted a major international conference entitled ‘Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation'.

The aims of the conference were to compare the situation of women's writing in the different national literatures of an expanding and evolving Europe, and to investigate whether the legacy of earlier generations of women writers and feminist theorists continues to be relevant today.

The conference, organised by Adalgisa Giorgio, Julia Waters and Rosalind Marsh of the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages and Centre for Women's Studies, brought together over 120 writers, critics, academics and students from 22 countries worldwide. Over 90 papers were presented on women's writing from Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine, drawing important parallels and contrasts between them.

Plenary lectures were given to packed audiences by leading, international specialists on women's writing: Nadezhda Azhgikhina (Russia), Diana Holmes (UK), Maggie Humm (UK), Carol Lazzaro-Weis (USA) and Nancy K. Miller (USA). A particular highlight of the conference was the participation of several women writers – Ananda Devi (France), Laura Freixas (Spain), Silvana La Spina (Italy), Natalia Malakhovskaia (Russia), and Michèle Roberts (UK) – in two fascinating Round Tables and, more generally, in the lively discussions that characterised the whole conference.

One of the key conclusions drawn from the conference was that, whilst ‘gender', ‘generation' and, indeed, ‘feminism' may have taken on very different meanings in different cultures and at different historical moments, they continue to be highly relevant and productive terms today.

Julia Waters and Adalgisa Giorgio, two of the organisers, commented: ‘We are delighted that nearly two years of hard work have paid off and that the conference was such a resounding success. We have been inundated with positive, encouraging messages from the delegates, proving that women's writing continues to be an important and dynamic area of creativity and study. This really was a landmark conference.'

The organisers would like to express their sincerest thanks to the many sponsors, both external and internal, whose financial support made the conference possible: ASMI, ASMCF, BASEES, the British Academy, l'Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, Instituto Cervantes, Italian Institute of Culture London, Society for Italian Studies; and within the University: Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, Equalities & Diversity Unit, Centre for Women's Studies, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

If you would like to find out more about the conference and the future publishing and research projects springing from it, please consult the conference website: