International Margaret Cavendish Society Conference Announcement (June 22-24, 2017)–Look for a CFP in August

by Jessica C. Murphy

From Lisa Walters, Immediate Past President of the Margaret Cavendish Society
Liverpool Hope University

The International Margaret Cavendish Society is pleased to announce that the next biannual conference is set to take place on June 22nd-24th, 2017 at Bates College, Maine. Professor Carolyn Merchant from the University of California, Berkeley, will be the keynote speaker.

Preference will be given to abstracts that closely relate to the conference theme, but all talks about Cavendish, her family, and related subjects will be considered.

The conference theme is “Margaret Cavendish: Reception and Representations.”   Cavendish has increasingly garnered intense academic interest during the past twenty five years by scholars from a wide range of disciplines such as literature, history of science, philosophy, history and politics. She is also increasingly becoming a figure of interest in popular culture, as attested to by Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World and Danielle Dutton’s Margaret the First: A Novel. Regardless of the interest that she sparks and publications devoted to her, old caricatures and stereotypes of Cavendish still stubbornly remain within both popular culture and academia alike. Indeed, she still provokes aversion in many disciplines. It is our intent that this interdisciplinary conference will explore and investigate reactions to Cavendish by her own contemporaries as well as by writers from the late seventeenth century up to the twenty first century. We aim to gain insight into how and why Cavendish has been loved, hated and/or ignored as tastes and socio-cultural norms evolved. On a broader level, the conference will consider who or what hinders writers and/or certain ideas from being canonical or acceptable.

A call for papers will go out in August, 2016. The program committee (yet to be formed) will look at abstracts as they come in and will try to get decisions to authors quickly. We also will post advice on transportation and accommodation for the conference. We expect there will be both inexpensive dormitory housing and reasonably priced motels, perhaps with a shuttle bus to campus for the motels. Please check the Margaret Cavendish Society website in August for further details.

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