The Doris Lessing Society has organized two International Doris Lessing Conferences, one in New Orleans in April 2004 and the other in Leeds in July 2007. Both conferences brought together scholars from all over the world to explore Lessing’s work in a variety of contexts and using different critical approaches. Each conference resulted in the publication of a book containing some of the most provocative and insightful papers delivered. More information on each of these publications can be found below. Click here to view the programs for both the First and Second International Doris Lessing Conferences.
Doris Lessing: Border Crossings
This book originated from the papers delivered at the Second International Doris Lessing Conference. It was published in 2009 by Continuum (a division of Bloomsbury).
- Introduction: “Doris Lessing’s Border Crossings,” Alice Ridout and Susan Watkins
- “Horrors of the Breast: Cultural Boundaries and the Abject in The Grass is Singing,” Edith Frampton
- “Inside and Outside Colonial Spaces: Border Crossings in Doris Lessing’s African Stories,” Pat Louw
- “Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook: An Experiment in Critical Fiction,” Nick Bentley
- “Doris Lessing’s Fantastic Children,” Roberta Rubinstein
- “The ‘Jane Somers’ Hoax: Aging, Gender and the Literary Marketplace,” Susan Watkins
- “(Not Such) Great Expectations: Unmaking Maternal Ideals in The Fifth Child and We Need to Talk about Kevin,” Ruth Robbins
- “Doris Lessing’s Under My Skin: The Autobiography of a Cosmopolitan ‘Third Culture Kid’,” Alice Ridout
- “Environmental Fables? The Eco-Politics of Doris Lessing’s ‘Ifrik’ Novels,” Fiona Becket
- “The Porous Border Between Fact and Fiction, Empathy and Identification in Doris Lessing’s The Cleft,” Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis
- Afterword: “Encompassing Lessing,” Judith Kegan Gardiner
Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times
Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times is the book that came out of the First International Doris Lessing Conference. It was published in 2010 by the Ohio State University Press.
Introduction – Debrah Raschke, Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis, and Sandra Singer
Part One – Joining the Centuries: Lessing from the Twentieth to the Twenty-First Century
- “Notes for Proteus: Doris Lessing Reads the Zeitgeist,” Roberta Rubinstein
- “‘Anon,’ ‘Free Women,’ and the Pleasures of Impersonality,” Tonya Krouse
- “House/Mother: Lessing’s Reproduction of Realism in The Sweetest Dream,” Robin Visel
Part Two – Engaging the Postmodern Death of History: Redefining Context and Historical Narrative
- “‘What Is the Function of the Storyteller?’: The Relationship between Why and How Lessing Writes,” Alice Ridout
- “London and Kabul: Assessing the Politics of Terrorist Violence,” Sandra Singer
- “The Porous Border between Fact and Fiction, Empathy and Identification in Doris Lessing’s The Cleft,” Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis
Part Three – Destabilized Genre as Social Critique
- “love, again and The Sweetest Dream: Fiction and Interleaved Fictions,” Virginia Tiger
- “Writing in a Minor Key: Doris Lessing’s Late-Twentieth-Century Fiction,” Susan Watkins
Part Four – Reflections on Early, Midlife, and Later-Life Lessing
- “Domestic Spaces: Huts and Houses in Doris Lessing’s African Stories,” Pat Louw
- “The Challenge of Teaching Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook in the Twenty-First Century,” Suzette Henke
- “Sex after Sixty: love, again and The Sweetest Dream,” Ruth O. Saxton
Read more about the book on the Ohio State University Press website here.