imgresThe Fifth Biennial International Conference of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association 


Hosted by RMIT, Monash and Deakin Universities, Melbourne, Australia

3-5 July 2014 

Sponsored by the Research in Literary Studies research unit, Centre for the Book, and the Centre for Australian and Postcolonial Writing at Monash University. 

Call for papers

The 5th biennial CWWA conference, ‘Contemporary Women’s Writing and Environments’ recognizes and investigates the importance of environments to women’s writing, and the contribution women’s writing makes to current thinking about environments. Taking an expansive view of ‘environment’, the conference will unite practitioners and scholars in discussion of the ways in which contemporary women’s writing engages with places, spaces, homes, cities, nature, workplaces, communities, publics, literary spheres and virtual worlds.

Papers and panels in English are sought on all genres of literary and popular writing since the 1970s, including: fiction, poetry, plays, nature writing, travel writing, life writing, theory, criticism, graphic novels, cross-media forms and writing for performance. The language of the conference is English, however the convenors welcome discussion of texts in any language (with translation). Papers and panels are also sought on the relation of writing on the environment to teaching and activism.

Possible topics might include:

·      Ecocriticism

·      Ecopoetics

·      Environmental studies

·      Women in academia

·      Women’s writing environments

·      Women’s writing and virtual environments

·      The body as environment

·      Literary architectures

·      Women in the city

·      Publishing environments

·      Urban social geographies

·      Gender and perception of the environment

·      Ecological Feminism

·      Activism and writing

·      The page and the screen as environments

·      Affective environments 


Chris Kraus: cutting-edge LA-based writer of fiction and art criticism, Chris’ books include I Love DickAliens & Anorexia, Torpor, Summer of Hate and Where Art Belongs. She was awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism from the College Art Association in 2008. She also founded the Native Agents series for Semiotext(e).

Lyn Hejinian: A founding figure of the Language writing movement in the 1970s, Lyn is one of America’s foremost experimental poets. Her books of poetry include My LifeWriting Is an Aid to MemoryHappilyThe Fatalist andThe Book of a Thousand Eyes. She has also published a collection of essays, The Language of Inquiry. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Deborah Rose: an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Humanities at the University of New South Wales where her research focuses on multispecies ethnographies in this time of extinctions. She is a founding member of the extinction studies working group, and of Kangaloon – creative ecologies – as well as co-editor of the newly formed journal Environmental Humanities. Her influential books include Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction, Dingo Makes Us HumanReports from a Wild CountryCountry of the Heart, Nourishing Terrains and Hidden Histories.

Kate Rigby: Australia’s first Professor of Environmental Humanities (Monash University), founding member of the Australian Ecological Humanities network and founding president of the Australia-New Zealand  Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Kate is a leading Australian theorist of ecopoetics, and is co-editor of Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (U of Virginia P 2011).

Submission of abstracts or panel proposals:

E-mail the conference contact (below) with the following information:

·      A 250-word abstract in MS Word (doc or docx) format

·      Your full name as you would like it to appear in the conference booklet

·      Contact information (email)

·      A short biography including academic affiliation

·      Audiovisual requirements 

Please note that all presenters are required to be members of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association.


Applications and abstracts: 1 November 2013

Notification of acceptance: 30 November 2013 


Dr. Jessica Wilkinson

School of Media and Communication

RMIT University

Melbourne, Australia

Email: cwwamelbourne2014[at]

Conference Venue:

State Library of Victoria

Melbourne CBD

Conference Convenors:

Dr Jessica Wilkinson (RMIT University)

Dr Anna Poletti (Monash)

Dr Melinda Harvey (Monash)

Dr Ann Vickery (Deakin University, Melbourne)

Dr Cassandra Atherton (Deakin University, Melbourne)







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