Rethinking Intimacy: Representations, scenes and scenarios of intimacy in women's writing

Carmen Dutu's picture
September 22, 2016 to September 24, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Starting from the established research of feminist literary critics such as Nancy K. Miller (The Heroine's Text: Readings in the French and English Novel, 1980), Joan DeJean (Tender Geographies: Women and the Origins of the Novel in France, 1991),  Dena Goodman (The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment, 1994), and continuing with Joan Landes’ Feminism, the public and the private, 1998 or Janice Radway’s seminal Reading the Romance (1998) to the more recent studies of Suellen Diaconoff, (Through the reading glassWomen, books and sex in the French Enlightenment, 2005), Cathrine J. Golden (İmages of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction, 2003), Jaqueline Pearson (Women’s Reading in Britain1750-1835. A dangerous recreation, 2005) a.s.o., consistent research on women’s reading and writing practices up to the 19th century has virtually created a new field in contemporary literary studies. What these studies have in common seems to be the analysis of the stasis of the reading subject in intimate relationship with the book, women’s reading and writing as a private sphere matter, as well as the anxieties clustered around the power of reading and writing to affect women’s emotions.

The Department of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures and The Institute for Intercultural Studies and Research at Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest, are pleased to announce the international conference Rethinking intimacy: representations, scenes and scenarios of intimacy in women’s reading and writing (1700s to 1900s), taking place within the series of annual NEWW conferences (New approaches to European Women’s Writing), which intends to contribute to the developing field of women’s  literary historiography, beyond the mainstream cultures, towards the fringes of Europe and beyond. The conference will be focusing on scenarios of intimacy, examining the role and influence of intimacy on the history of women’s reading and writing practices and more specifically question the way in which women, supposed to be actors in these scenarios, may have handled them. We will be exploring both recent developments in the area of intimacy in écriture féminine, and the links between intimacy and the experience of home landing to the feminist movement/emancipation (as most of the research carried so far has been focused on French and Anglo-American cultures), as well as cross-cultural encounters of intimacy scenarios and their possible  outcomes.

Within the above, proposals may focus on topics such as (but are not limited to):

  • ways in which readers (both compatriots and those representing different cultures) were reacting to intimacy
  • writing/reading on intimacy as love, eros and lust.
  • Women writing on and being written by intimacy.
  • Intimacy as affection (confidentiality inwardness, communion) and association (camaraderie, communion, togetherness, fellowship).
  • Anti-intimacy: enmity, hatred, ignorance, incompatibility, estrangement, indiscretion.
  • Beyond intimacy: the culture of divorce and adultery
  • Importing/exporting intimacy mannerisms
  • intimacy and spatiality

We invite proposals for individual papers, panels (3-4 papers) or interactive sessions. Both English and French papers are welcome. Abstracts should have a maximum length of 300 words and should also contain first and last name of presenter, title of proposed presentation, institutional affiliation (if applicable), mailing address and email address.

For a panel proposal please include a summary of the session in addition to the individual abstracts, with a maximum length of 300 words.

The conference languages will be English and French.

Conference fee: 60 eur


Proposals must be received no later than 15th of June 2016 and should be addressed to:

Carmen Dutu:

Papers will be reviewed by members of the programme committee. Selected conference papers will be published in the form of articles in an edited volume.


Organizing committee:

Dr. Carmen Dutu, Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest

Dr. Ramona Mihaila, Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest

Dr. Alis Zaharia, Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest


Contact Info: 


Dr. Carmen Dutu                                                                                    


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