Katherine Mansfield: New Directions conference

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Venue: Birkbeck Main Building
Booking details: No booking required

This summer, Birkbeck will host an international conference to celebrate the modernist short fiction writer, Katherine Mansfield, featuring the acclaimed writers Ali Smith and Elleke Boehmer as keynote speakers. The conference will be opened by the New Zealand High Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, and will mark the tenth anniversary of the Katherine Mansfield Society, which held its first conference a decade ago at Birkbeck.

Since then, there has been a significant resurgence of scholarly interest in Mansfield, and Edinburgh University Press now publishes an annual yearbook dedicated to her work, Katherine Mansfield Studies. There have also been three major new biographies in the last ten years: Kathleen Jones's Katherine Mansfield: The Storyteller (2010), Gerri Kimber's Katherine Mansfield: The Early Years (2016), and Redmer Yska's A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield's Wellington 1888-1903 (2017).

This conference will reassess Mansfield's life and reputation in the light of so much new research, and to consider new directions for future Mansfield studies. Alongside keynote speakers, Ali Smith and Elleke Boehmer, academics from all over the world will speak on a range of themes including modernist studies, postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, feminism, medical humanities, ecocriticism and cultural studies.