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Virtual Conference - “This Reading of Books Is a Pernicious Thing”: Restoration Women Writers and Their Readers

Thu., Apr. 15, 2021 | 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Huntington Zoom event (PDT)
Event Notes: 
Free with reservation
Add to Calendar 04/15/2021 09:00 AM 04/15/2021 01:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Virtual Conference - “This Reading of Books Is a Pernicious Thing”: Restoration Women Writers and Their Readers Visit page - The Huntington - Huntington Zoom event (PDT)

Key scholars come together at this two-day conference to assess developments in the study of Restoration women writers such as Aphra Behn and Margaret Cavendish (the Duchess of Newcastle), their reception in their own period, and increasing popularity today. Behn and Cavendish have international societies devoted to the study of their works, and both they and others such as Katherine Philips (“Orinda”) and Anne Finch (the Countess of Winchilsea) now regularly appear on the undergraduate curriculum. Major publishers, including Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press, have recently commissioned scholarly editions of the works of Lucy Hutchinson, Anne Finch, Aphra Behn, and others.

The event is held online via Zoom with times in PDT. Zoom link will be sent to attendees in registration confirmation email. Reservation includes both days of the conference.

Conference Schedule


9 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle, The Huntington
Introduction: Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University (Convener)

9:15 a.m. - Session 1: Publication and its Perils

David Norbrook, Emeritus Fellow, Merton College, Oxford
“Lucy Hutchinson and the Perils of Publication”

Claire Bowditch, University of Queensland
“‘a Purse that seldom fails’?: Aphra Behn’s Finances and Readers’ Legacies”

Jennifer Keith, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
“Anne Finch’s Early Readers in Manuscript and Print”

10:45 a.m. - Break

11 a.m. - Session 2: Machines, Networks, and Book Catalogues

Marie-Louise Coolahan, National University of Ireland Galway
“Late Seventeenth-Century Book Owners and Women's Writing”

Julia Flanders, Northeastern University
“Reading Models, Modelling Reading: Digital Texts and Human Readers”

12:15 p.m. - Closing Discussion: Elaine Hobby


9:15 a.m. - Session 3: Plays on Stage

Elizabeth H. Hageman, Professor Emerita, University of New Hampshire
“Katherine Philips's Plays on Stage, in Manuscript, and in Print”

Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University
“Staging Reading in Aphra Behn”

Joyce MacDonald, University of Kentucky
“‘Dazeling white’: Erasing Blackness in Mary Pix’s Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperor of the Turks

10:45 a.m. - Break

11 a.m. - Session 4: Reading Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle: Past, Present and Future

Lisa Sarasohn, Professor Emerita, Oregon State University
“‘But to cut off tedious and unnecessary disputes, I return to the expressing of my own opinion…’ (Philosophical Letters, 1664, 81.) Margaret Cavendish’s Gripers and Groupies”

Shawn W. Moore, Florida Southwestern State College
“Reading Margaret Cavendish in the Twenty-First Century”

12:15 p.m. - Break

12:30 p.m. - Closing Discussion: All participants, chaired by Elaine Hobby

Funding provided by The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute