Rebecca West: Celebrity, Publicity, Memory – New York University (September 21-22, 2013)

Rebecca West: Celebrity, Publicity, Memory

New York University, September 21-22, 2013

Keynote Speaker: Faye Hammill

Centering on the contested and still-evolving reputation of Rebecca West, this conference explores the processes by which a celebrity writer passes into cultural memory. How have scholars selectively created their own Rebecca Wests? How do recent cultural representations reinforce or contest her reputation? How did West’s peers create or contribute to the memory of West? How did West’s manipulation of her own image affect the way she is remembered? How does the history of West’s celebrity—the shaping and misshaping of her image—compare to that of other writers and artists of her period? Are women writers, and West, remembered primarily in a gender context? How can we understand West in light of recent theorizing of modernist celebrity by critics such as Aaron Jaffe and Faye Hammill? And what does West’s work contribute to conceptualizing larger aspects of personal and cultural memory?

These questions, and others, can productively frame discussions of West’s fictional and non-fictional work. We also welcome abstracts on other topics related to West’s voluminous oeuvre.

Please send abstracts of up to 200 words by June 15, 2013, to Ann Norton at