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.
-- Josna Rege, President, Doris Lessing Society


[Note: Extended Deadline] Calls for Proposals, DLS sessions at MLA Convention, 2024

Doris Lessing and Contemporary African Critics of Neocolonialism

We invite papers examining Lessing’s critique of neocolonialism in works such as African Laughter, especially in conversation with post-colonial African writers from Aidoo, Gordimer, Dangarembga, and Vera to Gappah, Bulawayo, and Mbue. 250-word abstracts requested.

Extended Deadline for submissions: Monday, 20 March 2023

Josna Rege, Worcester SU <jrege@worcester.edu> and <josnarege@comcast.net>


The Griot in Doris Lessing, African, and Postcolonial Diaspora Writers*

We invite papers exploring figures of the griot—as chroniclers, poets, songmakers, and Memories—in Doris Lessing’s later works and in the works of writers from Africa and throughout the postcolonial diaspora. Bio and 250-word abstract.

Extended Deadline for submissions: Monday, 20 March 2023

Josna Rege, Worcester SU <jrege@worcester.edu> and <josnarege@comcast.net>

* This session is designed to fit with the Presidential Theme of the 2024 MLA Convention, “Joy and Sorrow.” For more information on the theme, see <https://www.mla.org/Convention/MLA-2024/Presidential-Theme-for-the-2024-Convention>

Student Essay Contest, 2022

The winner of the 2022 Student Essay Contest is Srijanee Roychowdhury, an M.A. candidate at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Her winning essay is titled, “Geographies of Resistance: A Comparative Study of Nature’s Resistance to Colonisation in India and Africa as seen in Doris Lessing’s “This Was the Old Chief’s Country.'” Congratulations, Srijanee!

Congratulations, Participants in DLS session at MLA 2023!

What a terrific session! DLS members, the session will be repeated in brief at the start of tomorrow’s Annual Business Meeting.

Working Mothers and Lost Daughters: Doris Lessing’s Motherhood in Contemporary Context
Saturday, 7 January, 2023 8:30 AM-9:45 AM (PST), Virtual

Presiding: Robin E. Visel (Furman U)

  1. The Working Mother in Doris Lessing’s Letters, Archived at the Keep, University of Sussex–Saskia May (U of Sussex)
  2. The Memoir of Whom? Jenny Diski’s (In)Gratitude–Seda Arikan (Firat U)
  3. The Rhetoric of Choice and Motherhood in Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs and Lessing’s The Fifth Child–Courtney Patrick-Weber (Bay Path U)

Respondent: Sandra Singer (U of Guelph)

Student Essay Contest 2022 [Extended Deadline]

We invite current and recent graduate students and upper-level undergraduates to submit an essay on the work of Doris Lessing. Submissions of at least 3000 words in MLA format should be sent by email as MS Word attachments to rvisel@gmail.com by 31 December, 2022. Professors are invited to nominate essays by current or recent students, or students may submit their work independently. The winning essay will be considered for publication in Doris Lessing Studies, the society’s peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Robin Visel, Secretary, Doris Lessing Society

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