PAMELA JOSEPH BENSON AND VICTORIA KIRKHAM
TO BE HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
March 3 - 4 - 5, 2000
"Strong Voices, Weak History?" will be an interdisciplinary conference on women writers in England, France, and Italy from the origins to the mid-seventeenth century. Scholars of these three literatures will come into dialogue with each other to explore the parallel, interconnected, and contrasting histories of female authors in their national canons. We shall consider how women were included or excluded from the canon in their own day, through the intervening centuries, and how they are now being canonized both in Europe and America. Moving beyond the monographic study of individual writers and countries, we aim to understand synthetically how national literary histories have differed in their treatment of women and whether there is a female experience that transcends national boundaries. The conference will conclude by examining how we as scholars today are going about the business of creating a canon of medieval and Renaissance women writers, and more generally, female literary history.
Sponsored by: University of Pennsylvania Center for Italian Studies, Department of Romance Languages, School of Arts and Sciences, Women's Studies Program, Program in Comparative Literature, and Rhode Island College.