Oscar Wilde and Life Writing Now (International)

Abstract Deadline: November 1, 2016

Dates: May 27-30, 2017

Location: Ryerson University, Toronto

CFP Link

This wide-ranging, discursive panel explores the evolving relationship between Oscar Wilde’s biographers, editors, and literary critics since 1987. It invites papers that are retrospective as well as those that consider how future research might supplement recent developments.

Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde came before the world in 1987. A decade later, Stephen Fry took centre stage in Wilde, the feature film. Neil Bartlett’s Who Was That Man?: a Present for Mr.Oscar Wilde, Terry Eagleton’s Saint Oscar, and David Hare’s The Judas Kiss offer their own interpretations of Wilde’s life. The last few years have seen a steady stream of new biographies and editions of Wilde’s works.

Panelists are invited to submit proposals for 20 minute papers that consider an aspect of the aesthetics, politics, pedagogy, and implications of the last three decades’ Oscar Wilde editions, creative interpretations and literary criticism.

Panelists may want to reflect on the following:


  • How have biographers and editors since Ellmann represented Wilde, and to what ends?
  • What are the politics of reading Wilde and his oeuvre in these ways?
  • What critical avenues does life-writing open up for scholars of Wilde and his circle?
  • What version of Wilde’s biography have recent productions of his plays and stagings of his life privileged?
  • What compromises have such cinematic, dramatic and creative adaptations made?
  • How can Wilde’s biography inform pedagogical approaches?


Send proposals for 20 minute papers to Michèle Mendelssohn at michele.mendelssohn@ell.ox.ac.uk by November 1, 2016.

Proposals must include: a Word file containing a 300 word paper proposal without personal identifying marks; a Word file containing a 100 word abstract and a 50 word biographical statement; and a completed 2017 ACCUTE Proposal Info Sheet.

For more information about the ACCUTE conference, please visit: https://accute.ca/accute-conference/. For information on the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences, please visit: http://www.ideas-idees.ca/.


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