“Cultural Connections: Transatlantic Literary Women” offers an exciting series of free public talks, workshops, a day symposium, and a reading group, all sponsored by the US Embassy/British Association of American Studies (BAAS) Small Grants Programme.

Attention has traditionally focused on the writings of male (usually white) contributors to the transatlantic tradition and their place in the special Anglo-American literary relationship. As we approach the centenaries of suffrage and partial suffrage on both sides of the Atlantic, this project directs the spotlight to the still often overlooked work, achievements, struggles and impact of transatlantic literary women. This series explores how women from diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities used their writing to contribute to and at times reshape a special relationship and what we can learn from their lives and work today.

All events are free, fully open to the public and held in Glasgow, a city with a rich transatlantic cultural heritage, 400 miles from London.

 

The inspiration for our programme was the wish to create a dynamic literary and cultural transatlantic series that puts women at its core. In its aim both to highlight transatlantic contexts and to contribute to the ongoing work of redressing gender imbalance, the project is particularly well-timed. In a broader context against which people are being asked to consider as never before what it means to be “American”, “European”, “British”, “Scottish”, “English”, and how/whether we define ourselves as citizens of the world, the series is founded on the transatlantic view of the United States and the recognition that literature, history and cultures exist not in isolation but in a broader international dialogue. This series on transatlantic literary women takes place in the build-up to the centenaries of women’s suffrage/partial suffrage in North America and parts of Europe, and in the context at the time of writing (November 2016) of the US perhaps electing its first female president, while Scotland has its first female First Minister. In addition April 2017 marks the centenary of official US involvement in the First World War, with many American women writers directly involved in war work in Europe, represented in the series.

The series will explore the lives and writings of transatlantic women in all genres from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Themes may include: female writers’ involvement in the transatlantic anti-slavery network, campaigning for (and against) suffrage, famous “others”, transatlanticism in a digital age, transatlantic modernisms, Edith Wharton: adaptations of transatlanticism, race and class, transatlantic poetics.

Regular updates and events will be posted here. Join us and help shape the series. Everyone welcome!

 

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