Special issue of Women's Writing on Women Writing Men

Joanne Parsons's picture
Call for Publications
December 4, 2017 to May 1, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Special Issue of Women's Writing: Women Writing Men

Guest edited by Ruth Heholt and Joanne Ella Parsons


As men have written women, so women have always written men but to date there has been much less scholarly attention paid to women’s textual construction of men. This is clearly a notable absence given the recent rise in scholarly interest in the field of 18th and 19th century masculinities. Debate about how men have represented women in literature has a long and distinguished history but in relation to the textual construction of masculinity the emphasis has tended to centre round the representations themselves rather than specifically interrogating who is constructing these gendered representations and from what perspective. This special issue seeks to explore how women writers create and question masculinity in the 18th and 19th centuries examining how they engage with questions of manliness and deviance. Women writers were in a unique position to be able to deconstruct and examine cultural norms from a position away from the centre; able perhaps to ‘look aslant’ at masculinity. This special issue will focus on women’s representations of men and masculinity as they negotiate issues of class, gender, race, and sexuality.


For this special issue of Women’s Writing we are seeking submissions that consider women writers’ depictions of men. The issue intends to explore the range of masculine constructions depicted by women writers in 18th and 19th century fiction, poetry and drama. In doing so, the editors seek to navigate the diversity of representations of men, manliness, and masculinities by women within this period in order to illuminate further this little examined field.


Topics may include, but are not limited to, women’s writing and:

  • Masculinity in Sensation/realist/crime/Gothic fiction
  • The male criminal
  • Representations of the male body
  • The father figure and the patriarchal head of the family
  • Marriage
  • The construction of the male mind and psyche
  • The representation of the cad/the military man/ the hero/ the business man/the male writer
  • Representations of deviant or manly male behaviour
  • Love and romance
  • Queer masculinities
  • Depictions of race
  • Work
  • Fashion and dress
  • The aberrant or ideal male form
  • Male relationships with women/other men/servants/colleagues/children/animals/paternal relationships
  • The boundaries of manliness
  • The representation of the male journey from child to Man
  • Male sexuality
  • Class



We also welcome suggestions for reviews and reviewers for this special issue of the journal.



Please submit 500 word abstracts and a brief biography for consideration to Joanne Ella Parsons (Bath Spa University) j.parsons1@bathspa.ac.uk and Ruth Heholt (Falmouth University) ruth.heholt@falmouth.ac.uk by 1stst May 2018. Completed articles are expected to be between 5000-7000 words and will be due 1st September 2018.


Contributors should follow the journal’s house style details of which are to be found on the Women’s Writing web site http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/0999082.asp. This is the new MLA. Do note that instead of footnotes, we use endnotes with NO bibliography. All bibliographical information is included in the endnotes i.e. place of publication, publisher and date of publication in brackets on first citation of a book.



Contact Info: 

Joanne Ella Parsons and Ruth Heholt

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