Welcome to the website for the Doris Lessing Society! Here you can find resources for studying and enjoying the writings of one of the 20th century's great authors, including a bibliography of recent literary criticism, information about past conferences and panel presentations, and reading guides on selected works for book clubs and independent readers. Also listed here are current Society members and their scholarly interests. If you would like to join, or if you have a question, don't hesitate to click "Contact," above. -- Cornelius Collins, President, Doris Lessing Society

Latest

2016 graduate student essay contest results

The winner of the 2016 Doris Lessing Society graduate student essay contest has been announced! See this page for the news.

Doris Lessing Studies: call for papers, 2017

With 2016’s issue online, the editors of Doris Lessing Studies are now soliciting articles for the next issue. This year’s edition is a general call — any area of Lessing’s work is of interest. The editors look forward to fielding your submissions by May 15.
Call for Papers, Doris Lessing Studies 2017: Open Topic
Our refereed journal, published yearly online, invites submissions on any aspect of Doris Lessing’s work.
Manuscripts, which should follow the current MLA handbook for style, must be typed, double-spaced, and between twelve and eighteen pages in length. Manuscripts in Microsoft Word should be submitted to the editors: Phyllis Perrakis (phyllis.perrakis@gmail.com) or Robin Visel (rvisel@gmail.com) as email attachments. Endnotes should be indicated by superscript numbers manually added within the text and typed in at the end of the article. Contributors may also submit short essays, notes, reviews, news, bibliographies, announcements, and reports of classroom experiences.
Deadline: May 15, 2017

calls for papers, MLA 2018

Now posted: the Doris Lessing Society’s calls for papers for the 2018 MLA Annual Convention in New York City!

The topic of the Society’s guaranteed session is “Alternative Domesticities in the Works of Doris Lessing.” Following Jenny Diski’s 2016 memoir, In Gratitude, we invite new readings of Lessing’s portrayals of non-biological families, non-normative modes of affiliation and dependence, and unconventional households and genealogies. Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.

The topic of the special session the Society will propose is “Doris Lessing and Planetary Insecurity.” We seek accounts of Lessing’s early and long engagement with the present, global state of crisis and of her insistence on the role of literature, particularly fiction, in apprehending it. The MLA President’s theme for next year’s convention is “#States of Insecurity”: where mankind’s history of “events as varied as war, plague, famine, conquest, and enslavement” have led to today’s climate of “political volatility, fluctuating financial markets, fear-mongering media, and increasingly hateful acts and rhetoric that contribute to a general sense of malaise.” In what ways does Lessing’s prophetic and pioneering work offer a space for “critical and historical reflection, inquiry, and intervention” on these dire and urgent conditions? Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.

the 2016 issue of Doris Lessing Studies

The new issue of the Society’s academic journal, Doris Lessing Studies, is now available! This year we welcome volume 34 to the collection.

As with last year, the journal is first published here on our web site, in PDF format, for members to download. The contents will also shortly appear in EBSCO’s and ProQuest’s literature databases; contact your library for access instructions to these academic resources. Here is a link to our online archive, where the issue can be downloaded, and here is the page to become a member.

The table of contents for this year’s issue:

  • Letter from the President, Cornelius Collins
  • Letter from the Co-Editors, Mark Pedretti and Robin Visel
  • After Aldermaston: Doris Lessing and the Problem of Revolution in the Nuclear Age, Mark Pedretti
  • Reading Forward: The Fractal Texts of Doris Lessing and David Mitchell, Robin Visel
  • Comparative Empires: Diaspora and Hybridity in Children of Violence and Canopus in Argos: Archives, Linda Weinhouse
  • Ageism and Gender Performativity in The Summer Before the Dark, Sima Aghazadeh
  • Becoming Jane Somers: Constructing Authorship, Genre, and Age in The Diary of a Good Neighbour, Kortney Stern
  • She Wrote Past Us: Early Readings of Doris Lessing, Linda Chown
  • Review: “So much depends . . . upon distance”: Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook After Fifty, Debrah Raschke
  • List of Society Officers
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