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Tag: Aphra Behn (Page 1 of 3)

A is for Aphra: the Behn Statue Campaign

Elaine Hobby is working with the Canterbury Commemoration Society to fund and commission a bronze statue of Behn to take pride of place in Canterbury, Behn’s likely place of birth. The Society, via the campaign ‘A is for Aphra‘, are presently inviting artists to submit designs for consideration, with the shortlisting process anticipated to take place in 2022.

Aerial view of Canterbury

As a public campaign, this will only be made possible with the generous support of those in Canterbury – many of whom are as yet unaware of Behn’s significance for their city – and those further afield. The Society explain:

‘We think Aphra Behn deserves to be remembered. That’s why we are launching a fundraising campaign for a statue of her in Canterbury, the city she grew up in. We want Aphra Behn to take her place alongside Marlowe and Chaucer as one of the literary giants celebrated not only by this fantastic city, but also by those far beyond it’

If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, and supporting the creation of a Behn statue, please visit A is for Aphra to learn more.


The 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition (SSEMWG)

Logo for SSEMWG

The general editors and project team are delighted to learn that The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn: Plays 1682-1696 has been awarded the 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender (SSEMWG) 

The first volume of eight volumes to be published, it contains the final five plays that Behn wrote. The award reflects the effort and care of the seven editors involved in preparing those texts for a new readership: Rachel Adcock, Kate Aughterson, Claire Bowditch, Elaine Hobby, Alan James Hogarth, Anita Pacheco, and Margarete Rubik.  

The awarding committee praised the volume for providing ‘a welcome focus on [Behn] as a woman and a writer in a specific historical context, and will be useful for both specialists and anyone interested in learning or teaching about women and gender in the early modern world’. 

We’re very grateful to the society for their recognition, and their support for our goal of making Behn’s works increasingly accessible to a wider, diverse readership. 

Restoration Women – Virtual Conference @ the Huntington Library

Photograph by Claire Bowditch (personal collection)

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.

Photograph by Claire Bowditch (personal collection)

If you are interested in attending the conference – via Zoom – then you can reserve a place for free here:

Reserve a Place

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!

Conference Schedule

THURSDAY, APRIL 15

All times are PDT.

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

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