CFP: Reading Coetzee’s Women

Dates: 27-29 September 2016

Venue: Monash University Prato Centre, Palazzo Vai, Prato, Italy

Confirmed Participants/Keynotes:

Professor J.M. Coetzee (Adelaide)

Professor Zoë Wicomb (Strathclyde)

Professor David Attwell (York)

Professor Elleke Boehmer (Oxford)

Other Participants/Keynotes to be confirmed


Professor Sue Kossew (Monash)

Dr Melinda Harvey (Monash)


Conference Outline:

There has been enormous international scholarly interest in J.M Coetzee’s writings in recent years. Since 2010, four major international conferences (Sydney, Wuhan, Leeds and Adelaide) have been held and two literary biographies, nine monographs and over four hundred book chapters and journal articles have been published on his work. Despite this, very little has been written on what we are calling, as a deliberate provocation, ‘Coetzee’s women’: on his female narrators and characters; or on the women writers who have influenced him and have been compared with him. This three-day international conference asks preeminent and emerging scholars to bring their attention to bear on ‘Coetzee’s women’, broadly conceived, as well as possible reasons for the lack of sustained critical engagement with this theme until now.

Possible paper topics include: Female ventriloquism |Love, sex and desire | Mothers and daughters | The woman writer |Female mentors and carers |Violence against women |Youth and aging | Women and race |Beauty |Coetzee and Gordimer |Women and power |The female gaze |Coetzee and Lessing | Women’s silence and speech | The male gaze |Women and education |Coetzee on women’s writing | Women’s knowledge | Feminist and queer readings of Coetzee’s writings

An intended outcome of this conference is an edited volume of scholarly essays.

Abstracts of not more than 250 words and a 50-word bio are invited and should be sent to the conference convenors by 1 April 2016.

This event is hosted by the Centre for Writers and Writing, Monash University and kindly supported by the Faculty of Arts.

All enquiries should be directed to the organisers:

Professor Sue Kossew (

Dr Melinda Harvey (