CfP: Katherine Mansfield: Germany and Beyond, Bad Wörishofen, 21-22 Mar 2020 (deadline 23 Jan 2020) [updated]

New deadline: 23 January 2020


Katherine Mansfield: Germany and Beyond

Bad Wörishofen, Germany

21-22 March 2020

An international conference organised by the Katherine Mansfield Society

Hosted by the Bad Wörishofen Mayorality and Tourist and Spa Bureau


Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3, France


It is  well known that Katherine Mansfield’s first book of stories, In a  German Pension (1911), was  inspired by her eight months’ stay in the Bavarian spa town of Wörishofen in 1909 at the age of 21, but the importance of Germany and all things German in her writing has not been explored in any depth until recently. Although Mansfield did not return to Germany in the same way as she kept visiting France, her spiritual home in Europe, Germany continued to hold a fascination for her long after her 1909 sojourn, and myriad associations can be traced in her fiction as well as her notebooks and letters.

This two-day conference aims to open up to new scrutiny the impact of Germany on Mansfield’s work and life: its language, peoples and cultures. These range from the setting in Munich of her story ‘The Little Governess’, to her passion for music by composers such as Beethoven, Bruch, and Wagner, her love of the poetry of Heinrich Heine, and literary influences such as the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Indeed, her longing for her German classes at Queen’s College in Harley Street because of the dashing Professor Walter Rippmann, reveals her early devotion. Another influence on her love of German and Germany is the writing of her cousin, the writer Elizabeth von Arnim, widow of Graf Henning von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a member of the Prussian aristocracy, and her friendship with Elizabeth, which developed during her stay in Montana,  Switzerland in the last two years of her life.

It is entirely fitting that this conference will be held in Bad Wörishofen, a Bavarian spa town that honours Mansfield as one of its most famous residents and a significant cultural icon in fostering local civic pride and identity. Last year, on the occasion of her 130th birthday, a specially commissioned statue of Katherine Mansfield gazing out over the Iceberg Pond in the Spa Park, was unveiled.

The Katherine Mansfield Society is therefore delighted to host, together with the Bad Wörishofen Mayorality and Tourist and Spa Bureau, a conference that aims to explore and celebrate what Germany meant to Mansfield and what it points to in her vision of the world.

Suggested topics for papers might include (but are not limited to):

  • Wörishofen and artistic inspiration:  Mansfield’s In a German Pension 
  • Bavaria and the German Pension stories: nationality, gender and satire
  • German poetry in the works of Mansfield (e.g. Heinrich Heine)
  • German music: classical and modernist
  • German art, architecture and visual culture in Mansfield’s writing
  • German/Prussian family connections: Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Mansfield, travel, Germany and ‘beyond’
  • Mansfield and fairy tales
  • The gothic and fantastic:  Germanic sources and influences
  • The legacy of Mansfield in German writing today
  • The German reception of Mansfield’s works
  • German influences in Mansfield’s education (e.g. Walter Rippmann)
  • Translating into German / German translations of Mansfield’s work
  • Teaching and studying Mansfield in Germany today
  • Mansfield, Sebastian Kneipp, naturopathy and other holistic therapies
  • The Germans and Germany as sources for Mansfield’s imagination
  • Mansfield and Frieda von Richthofen (wife of D. H. Lawrence)
  • Mansfield as icon and inspiration for German cultural production

NB: All other topics will be considered 

Abstracts of 200 words, together with a 50-word bio-sketch, should be sent to the conference organisers:

Dr Delia da Sousa Correa (Open University, UK),

Dr Gerri Kimber (University of Northampton, UK),

Monika Sobotta (Open University, UK)

and Professor Janet Wilson (University of Northampton, UK)


Submission deadline: 23 January 2020