Commemorating the Sidney Ladies, 1621-2021
Call for papers for a one-day conference
At the Sorbonne nouvelle, Paris
25 September 2021
2021 marks the 400th anniversary of two crucial events in the Sidney circle and in early modern English literature as a whole: the publication of Lady Mary Sidney Wroth’s Urania (1621) and the death of her beloved aunt, Mary Sidney Herbert, countess of Pembroke. This one-day conference will commemorate their literary works, by offering fresh examinations of their own writings, translations and editions, but also of their roles as patrons and participants in the culture of the time. Simultaneously, the conference aims at investigating their wider influence over other ladies ‘belonging’ to the Sidney circle (Barbara Gamage, Susan de Vere, Anne Clifford…) or women that may have been associated with the circle or that were influenced by it, like Elizabeth Cary and Aemilia Lanyer. The conference thus seeks to explore the driving force of the ‘Sidney ladies’ in the development of early modern women’s writings, in England and possibly on the Continent as well. Mary Sidney Herbert and Mary Sidney Wroth’s works were imbued by Continental influences (French, Italian and Spanish in particular), but were they read, and did they have an impact there (by point of comparison, Philip Sidney’s Arcadia was translated and adapted for the stage on the continent and had great success in France)? The conference would also like to address the contemporary relevance of the Sidney ladies’ works by interrogating the challenges they pose to contemporary editors and their potential for both contemporary adaptations and teaching.
We are seeking individual proposals for short papers (15 minutes maximum), panels and roundtables.
Participants will later be invited to submit longer papers for a collection of essays.
Please send a 300-word abstract with a title and a short bio-bibliographical notice by June 1st, 2021 to Aurélie Griffin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by June 15th.
NB: Plans are for the conference to be hybrid, i.e. with the possibility for some talks to be given online – we are glad to consider proposals from scholars who may not be able to travel.