Difficult Women, 1680-1830, University of York, UK, 28 November 2015

What? Difficult Women, 1680-1830

When? 28 November 2015

Where? University of York, UK

Deadline for submissions? 1 July 2015

The long eighteenth century witnessed an age of social and political revolution which profoundly affected the way in which women occupied and contributed to the public sphere. This interdisciplinary conference looks at representations and conceptions of ‘difficult women’ from the years 1680-1830. The term ‘difficult women’ encapsulates many different female experiences and lifestyles. From religiously non-conformist women to women bearing arms, a plethora of ‘difficult women’ find representation within the British Empire.


This conference welcomes abstracts and/or proposals for panels on any topic relating to ‘Difficult Women’ throughout the long eighteenth century.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

Dissenting Women – Preaching and Teaching Women, Women writing theological texts, Methodist, Quaker, or Moravian Women.

The Politically Engaged – Women involved in revolution (Glorious, American, French), female campaigners, authors of political pamphlets, female protestors, women assisting politicians

Sexually Non-Conformist women – Lesbianism, Cross-dressers, spinsters, prostitutes, promiscuous women.

Women of the Pen  – Female philosophers, Published Authors, Bluestockings and similar intellectual circles.

Armed, Dangerous, and Criminal  – Murderesses, Warriors, Thieves, Female Prisoners, Representations of Armed Women

Women in Art – Representations of women in satirical prints, portraiture, depictions of the female body, female artists

Theatrical Women – Travesty roles, Gender-bending Roles, Breeches Parts and Various Forms of Theatrical Dress, Women Working in Theatre.

Sporting Women – Female Cricketers, Hunters, Horse Riders, Boxers

Women of the Larger British Empire – Black women, women of ethnic minorities, women of conquered territories as a form of ‘other’

Women and Medicine – Hysteria, Melancholia and Femininity, Depictions of Childbirth, Love’s Madness, the female body, female medical practitioners, midwives

Submission Details

Please send abstracts/panel proposals of no more than 500 words to difficultwomenconference@gmail.com by 1 July 2015.
Panel proposal submissions should include the full name, affiliation, and email addresses of all participants.

Further Information

Visit the conference website.

Email: difficultwomenconference@gmail.com

Follow the organisers on twitter: @DiffWomenConf


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