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

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deadline Apr. 30: Doris Lessing 100 conference, University of East Anglia

The deadline for submitting a proposal to participate in the conference marking Doris Lessing’s centenary, taking place this fall at the University of East Anglia (UK), is almost here: April 30! See details below or visit the conference website.

12th-14th September 2019
UEA Thomas Paine Centre
The School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA is hosting an international conference to mark the centenary of Doris Lessing’s birth.

Doris Lessing is one of the most widely-read and culturally important writers of the twentieth century, yet her academic reputation does not reflect this fact. On the occasion of her centenary, this conference proposes a new critical exploration of the life and work of a complex and multifaceted writer, presenting an opportunity to rethink her contribution to modern literature. It also seeks to establish Lessing as a central figure in twentieth-century literature who traverses a range of forms, styles, periodising categories, genres, political orientations, and readerships.

The conference will take place at the University of East Anglia, an institution that Lessing had a strong connection with, and to which she donated her extensive personal papers on her death. The event will coincide with an exhibition dedicated to Lessing’s life and work in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at UEA, which will see letters, manuscripts and personal effects on public display for the first time.

Please see the conference website at http://dorislessing100.org/ for more details.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

Patrick French (Lessing’s official biographer) in conversation with Professor Christopher Bigsby (UEA)
Dr. Nick Hubble (Brunel University)
Professor Roberta Rubenstein (American University, Washington)

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

Lessing’s relationship to questions of gender, feminism and women’s liberation
Lessing’s politics: Communism, Anti-Communism and the New Left
Lessing and the theory of the novel: realism and/or experimentalism in Lessing’s work
Lessing as short story writer / poet / playwright
Science fiction
Sufism / religion
Lessing and Africa: from the colonial to the postcolonial
Archives: Lessing’s papers, her interest in archives
Reception and readership
Lessing in translation (the BCLT at UEA has an extensive archive of translations: contact the conference organisers if you would like to consult this)
Teaching Lessing
Lessing’s influence

Please send proposals for 20 minute papers, panels, roundtables, and creative contributions to lessing100@uea.ac.uk before 30th April 2019

Conference Organisers: Dr. Matthew Taunton (UEA) and Dr. Nonia Williams (UEA)

Contact: lessing100@uea.ac.uk

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Doris Lessing Society CFPs for MLA 2020

The Doris Lessing Society’s calls for papers for MLA 2020 in Seattle (deadline 17 March 2019):

Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles in the Work of Doris Lessing
Lessing’s portrayals and thematizations of the displacement or movement of peoples: during and after colonialism and the nation-state; in connection with political and environmental crisis; from transnational or planetary perspectives. 300-word abstract, brief bio.

The Question of the Human in Doris Lessing
Humanity as considered in the work of Doris Lessing: as a value, a species, a problem. 300-word abstract; brief bio.

Follow links above for submission details.

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Doris Lessing Studies’s 2018 issue now published

The new issue of Doris Lessing Studies is now published! This year’s issue is volume 36.

As in recent years, 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. On our site we host an online archive of recent issues; here is the page to join as a member and receive access.

The table of contents:

  • Letter from the President, Cornelius Collins
  • Letter from the Co-Editors, Robin Visel and Dorian Stuber, with Cornelius Collins
  • “Reimagining the Maternal in Jenny Diski’s and Doris Lessing’s Apocalyptic Imaginative Memoirs,” Susan Watkins
  • “‘Rubbish of All Kinds’: Domesticity, Squalor, and Squatting in Doris Lessing’s Fiction,” Mica Hilson
  • “The Representation of Non-Normative Kinship: Sufi Family and Sufi Parenthood in The Memoirs of a Survivor and Ben, in the World,” Selcuk Senturk
  • “Alternative Domesticities, Altered Perspectives: Reading Lessing’s ‘The Grandmothers’ and Diski’s In Gratitude through Nabokov’s Lolita,” Terry Reilly
  • Review: Lara Feigel, Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing, Emma Parker
  • “Fostering Connections, Insight, and Alternative Visions: A Tribute to Phyllis Perrakis,” Debrah Raschke
  • List of Society Officers

2017 student essay contest results

The winner of the 2017 Doris Lessing Society graduate student essay contest has been announced! See this page for more information.

 

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