History, Place and Romance:
A Symposium on Mary Stewart
5 June 2013, Newcastle University
‘The mother of twentieth-century romantic suspense’ is how Pamela Regis describes Mary Stewart, one of the top-selling female authors of the post-war period. Many of her novels feature female protagonists embroiled in dangerous situations, set against a background of romantic entanglements. In addition to these novels, though, are three children’s books, a volume of poetry, her acclaimed quintet of Arthurian novels, which re-figure the legend of Merlin in the context of Roman Britain, and the film adaptation of her The Moonspinners. Despite her enduring influence and popularity, Stewart’s work remains almost entirely critically unexplored. As we approach the centenary of her birth, this is the first symposium to critically re-evaluate Stewart’s place in post-war British writing, and to bring her into dialogue with other authors of the time.
We invite 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers relating to any aspect of Stewart’s work. Possible topics might include, but are by no means restricted to:
• Stewart and the middlebrow
• Stewart as a northeastern writer
• Stewart and the Arthurian tradition
• Inter-textuality in Stewart’s novels
• Stewart and her contemporaries
• The politics of romance
• Stewart’s use of the Gothic
• Stewart and female detection
• Stewart and writing for children
• ‘Frost on the Window’: Stewart’s poetry
• Stewart and the historical romance
• Archives, canonicity and women’s writing
Abstracts should be submitted via email to Faye Keegan (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 March 2013 – successful applicants will be notified by 10 March 2013. Please do not hesitate to email if you have any questions regarding the symposium.
This event is sponsored by the Gender Research Group at Newcastle University.
There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided.
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