“19th C. Women Writers and the Rise of the Bestseller”

Articles due: September 2, 2013 (journal’s house style: MLA)

Special issue of Women’s Writing; Guest editors: Clare Clarke and Clare Gill

Entire CFP Link

The journal Women’s Writing invites papers for a special issue dedicated to the exploration of the diverse role of women writers in the rise of the bestseller in the nineteenth century. How did women writers contribute to the reshaping of authorial practice in the nineteenth century? In what ways did women writers address concerns or anxieties about professional authorship within their work?

How was popular fiction by women writers shaped by the contemporary critical response to female bestselling authors? In what ways did female authors contribute to traditionally ‘masculine’ genres – such as the adventure and detective story? How and why did bestsellers by female authors appeal to readers across gender and class lines? In addition to reflecting the complexity and diversity of women writers’ contribution to the bestseller phenomenon in the nineteenth century, this special issue will also endeavour to answer some broader conceptual questions about the study of popular works of fiction and non-fiction. Why do some bestsellers have ephemeral popularity while others enjoy enduring appeal? What can we learn about culture more broadly from the study of bestsellers? How does the separation of popularity and value come about?

Please submit articles for consideration between 4,000-7000 words to Clare Gill, University of Southampton (c.gill@soton.ac.uk) or Clare Clarke, Trinity College Dublin (clarkc11@tcd.ie) by Monday 2 September 2013.

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