Professor Elaine Hobby recently gave the International Women’s Day guest lecture at the English and Creative Writing department at Lancaster University. Elaine discusses four works from the end of Behn’s career: A Discovery of New Worlds, The Emperor of the Moon, Oroonoko and The Widdow Ranter.
Members of the Behn project have organised and will be taking part in a virtual conference on Restoration women at the Huntington Library, which is scheduled for the 15th and 16th April 2021.
The two-day event, “This Reading of Books Is a Pernicious Thing”: Restoration Women Writers and Their Readers, will bring together scholars working on the lives and writings of Restoration women – including Aphra Behn, Margaret Cavendish, Lucy Hutchinson, Anne Finsh and Mary Pix – and explore questions relating to editing, digital approaches, race and readership, among others. The event is funded by The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute. The full conference schedule is below.
Elaine has also written a short blogpost reflecting on her research at the Huntington, and its history in promoting women’s writing, for the library.
If you are interested in attending the conference – via Zoom – then you can reserve a place for free here:
There may not be the opportunity to visit the beautiful gardens of the Huntington, but the conference should prove to be a stimulating and engaging event, wherever in the world you happen to be!
THURSDAY, APRIL 15
All times arePDT.
9 a.m. – Welcome: Steve Hindle, The Huntington Introduction: Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University (Convener)
9:15 a.m. – Session 1: Publication and its Perils
David Norbrook, Emeritus Fellow, Merton College, Oxford “Lucy Hutchinson and the Perils of Publication”
Claire Bowditch, University of Queensland “‘a Purse that seldom fails’?: Aphra Behn’s Finances and Readers’ Legacies”
Jennifer Keith, University of North Carolina at Greensboro “Anne Finch’s Early Readers in Manuscript and Print”
10:45 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – Session 2: Machines, Networks, and Book Catalogues
Marie-Louise Coolahan, National University of Ireland Galway “Late Seventeenth-Century Book Owners and Women’s Writing”
Julia Flanders, Northeastern University “Reading Models, Modelling Reading: Digital Texts and Human Readers”
12:15 p.m. – Closing Discussion: Elaine Hobby
FRIDAY, APRIL 16
9:15 a.m. – Session 3: Plays on Stage
Elizabeth H. Hageman, Professor Emerita, University of New Hampshire “Katherine Philips’s Plays on Stage, in Manuscript, and in Print”
Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University “Staging Reading in Aphra Behn”
Joyce MacDonald, University of Kentucky “‘Dazeling white’: Erasing Blackness in Mary Pix’s Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperor of the Turks”
10:45 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – Session 4: Reading Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle: Past, Present and Future
Lisa Sarasohn, Professor Emerita, Oregon State University “‘But to cut off tedious and unnecessary disputes, I return to the expressing of my own opinion…’ (Philosophical Letters, 1664, 81.) Margaret Cavendish’s Gripers and Groupies”
Shawn W. Moore, Florida Southwestern State College “Reading Margaret Cavendish in the Twenty-First Century”
12:15 p.m. – Break
12:30 p.m. – Closing Discussion: All participants, chaired by Elaine Hobby
In an engaging conversation with Dr Tom Harrison, Elaine and Claire discuss The Rover, some of Behn’s other plays, her prose, and the challenges and joys of editing her work over the last few years. We hope it’ll prove interesting and a useful resource especially for those less familiar with Behn and/or the perils(?) of literary editing.
Here at the Behn project, we’re very grateful to be able to contribute to the ABitLit YouTube channel, which was set up in UK Lockdown 1 in spring 2020 and seeks to provide ‘a platform for research and creativity’. Check out their website for more information, abitlit.co and see their YouTube channel for many other brilliant videos, talks and Q&As.