Workshop: Debunking the Scholarly Journal Mystique


Workshop Leader: Susan Tomlinson (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Wed 2 Oct 2019, 2.30pm; Room 205, 5 University Gardens, University of Glasgow

Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask! Please join the Transatlantic Literary Women team for this friendly, hands-on workshop led by the brilliant editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Professor Susan Tomlinson. Free. ALL welcome.

Modelled on the Modern Language Association’s “How to Get Published” roundtable and individual “Chat with an Editor” meetings, this workshop will explore the vagaries, challenges, and delights of scholarly journals. Professor Susan Tomlinson, the editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, will offer guidance for entering this stage of your scholarly development: How does the peer-review process work? What do editors look for and what distresses them? How should you decide when to submit your work and how should you prepare your submission? Bring questions, pitch ideas, and let’s talk about the future of the profession.

Screenshot 2019-09-08 at 13.02.48

Susan Tomlinson is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers. Her work focuses on late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century US literature, particularly black and middlebrow women writers and the anxieties their work incites among the arbiters of modernism. 

The Transatlantic Literary Women Series is generously funded by the British Association for American Studies / United States Embassy Small Grants Programme. Follow us on twitter @atlantlitwomen.




EVENT: Jessie Fauset at the Front of Modernism by Susan Tomlinson

We’re SO ready for our first TLW Series 4 event!

Please join us on Tuesday 1 October 2019 for the first TLW event of the new session – a talk by the brilliant US-based scholar Professor Susan Tomlinson (University of Massachusetts Boston) on “Jessie Fauset at the Front of Modernism”.  Talk starts at 5.15pm, refreshments available from 5pm. Room 202, 4 University Gardens, University of Glasgow. Free. ALL welcome!


France enchanted Jessie Fauset (1882-1961), whose fiction, poetry, and travel writing tracked a personal and intellectual engagement that began during her time as a postgraduate student at the Sorbonne and continued through her career as an author, editor of the Crisis magazine, and architect of the Harlem Renaissance. This talk will trace Fauset’s professional and personal relationship to France as a coming-of-age site, from the function of the First World War in her first novel There Is Confusion (1922), through her foray into Jazz Age Paris in Plum Bun (1928), to the racial violence and despair of 1933 in her final novel, Comedy: American Style. It explores how black American modernists refashioned prevailing constructions of Great War literature, entre-deux-guerres expat culture, and middlebrow transatlanticism. Susan will invite us to consider the contours of cultural enchantment and how it forms transatlantic women writers’ literary sensibility and reforms our own constructions of modernism.  

Screenshot 2019-09-08 at 13.02.48.png

Susan Tomlinson is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers. Her work focuses on late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century US literature, particularly black and middlebrow women writers and the anxieties their work incites among the arbiters of modernism. 

The Transatlantic Literary Women Series is generously funded by the British Association for American Studies / United States Embassy Small Grants Programme. Follow us on twitter @atlantlitwomen.


Get to know the TLW Team – New Committee Member Lindsay Middleton

Hi all, bf593d5a-9cd7-4b2e-ba4e-7fa8d66af6b3

I am writing to introduce myself as the newest member of the TLW team. I am very excited to have recently joined as an online committee member! I will be involved in managing the blog and Twitter accounts, as well as organising the wonderful events and bookclubs that TLW have in store.

Over the past few years I have attended the University of Glasgow, getting my MA in English Literature and my MLitt in Victorian Literature there. Over that time I have attended numerous TLW events, so I am thrilled to now be involved in such a valuable and important community.

My current research is slightly at odds with the TLW rubric, in that I consider recipes and literature from nineteenth-century Britain. My PhD project – ‘The Technical Recipe: A Formal Analysis of Nineteenth-century Food Writing – uses a formal reading to chart the development of the recipe as a textual genre, as well as investigating the innovations in material food technology that influenced Victorian eating and cooking. As such, my project sits across the disciplines of English Literature and the History of Technology, and I have one supervisor at the University of Glasgow and another at the University of Aberdeen. It’s fair to say, then, that I’m used to my interests being spread across multiple areas!

One of my core beliefs when it comes to my research, and in general, is that recipes, domestic texts and women’s writing have the ability and power to both highlight the structures that govern society, but also to disrupt them. Given the domestic slant of my work, and the fact that the majority of historical food texts were marketed at and read by women (either housewives or their female servants), I am passionate about uncovering the latent power that is so often overlooked in these texts. Recipes are not normally deemed ‘literary’, and cookbooks – like popular fiction – are too often dismissed as ‘feminine’ unscholarly texts, and are therefore overlooked in scholarship. The gap this creates is one I see as full of potential.
The hidden texts read daily by hidden women do not just represent and strengthen the patriarchal structures those women work within, in the domestic sphere. Those texts also have the potential to upset those systems and create spaces within patriarchal societies in which women can express themselves.

It is this interest that has lead me to the TLW and the events they put on, as they create a space in which women’s writing is at the fore. Having fruitful discussions with likeminded readers is such a rewarding thing, and demonstrates the good that comes from paying attention to women writers who have used their writing to create a space of power and presence. Moreover, my interest in food has always led me to those transatlantic women who adapt and create new culinary trends in their travels. From the endlessly influential Julia Child, to Elizabeth David, to M.F.K Fisher, whose writing about crossing the Atlantic in The Gastronomical Me is incredibly beautiful, these women have always used food as a means of creating community across the ocean – and that is something I find fascinating.

I am therefore very excited to get involved with the TLW team, and be a part of the very necessary conversations they facilitate. And who knows, maybe some tantalising discussions about female foodies lie in our future!



A Backward Glance (with apologies to Edith Wharton) and Looking Forward

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Transatlantic Literary Women Series this season! Speakers, blog writers, audience members, book club participants, team members past and present: thank you all! Looking back, as we plan our next season, it’s been a busy few months.

We started the new season in September with a first: a collaborative event in Edinburgh at the National Library of Scotland, with an afternoon on “Women and the Archives”. It may have been our first collaborative event with the brilliant NLS team, but we hope it won’t be the last! In a sold-out session, four speakers from both sides of the Atlantic considered the relationship between archives and literary reputations. What is the place of libraries (and other archives) in the recovery of “forgotten women writers”? What is the relationship between a writer’s archive and their literary status? We heard from Jenni Calder on the 1930s Scottish explorer and poet Isobel Wylie Hutchison, from Donna Campbell on Edith Wharton, from Imaobong Umoren on the politics of the archive of Jamaican poet and broadcaster Una Marson, and from A.N. Devers on the underrepresentation of women in the rare book trade, and why she started The Second Shelf, a rare book dealership specialising in works by female authors (@secondshelfbks).

Back in Glasgow, we were delighted to welcome Helen Hanson (University of Exeter) for her eagerly-awaited talk on Daphne du Maurier and Hollywood’s mid-century Adaptation Industry:

And later in the same month, we hosted US speaker Jennifer Haytock for her rich and timely talk, “Writing for France: American Women Writers and the Great War”:

In a collaboration with the Hook Centre for American Studies, we held a Protest and Activism Workshop, with four great ECRs speaking on womanist writers to radical quilters, on student activism, and on children’s books and educational activism. Thank you to Katja May, Kate Ballantyne, and Nick Batho.

Thank you too Katja for a great guest blog:

And thank you to our TLW friend and supporter, Gyorgy “George” Toth, Director of Atlantic Studies at the University of Stirling, for a fascinating guest blog on Native American women’s transatlantic activism:

We’ve been trying to get the brilliant Janine Bradbury as a speaker since the TLW series started, and she definitely did not disappoint, with her talk on racial passing and its transatlantic contexts. There are serious Nella Larsen fans in TLW!

As there are serious Zelda Fitzgerald fans in the group! It was a pleasure to welcome Kate Macdonald, Director of the fabulous Handheld Press to talk about her work, including a much-needed new edition of Save Me the Waltz.

We were delighted to welcome Helena Goodwyn from St Andrews who gave a brilliant talk on Margaret Harkness, W. T. Stead and the Transatlantic Social Gospel Network:

And this year we brought back the TLW book club, kicking things off in style with Dorothy Parker’s short stories, setting the most un-secret of secret passwords to access free copies of the book at the campus bookstore. We followed Parker with Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, which sparked lively discussions from book club members from both sides of the Atlantic. And we were delighted to accept an invitation from US Studies online to help relaunch their online bookhour, with Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Wharton resistance in this group is futile.

So, what’s ahead in the next season after the break? Well, we’re starting planning soon, so if you have suggestions – which we always welcome – now’s the time to get in touch with ideas for themes, events (in-person or online), speakers, book club choices. What events would you be interested in attending? As ever, what we can do very largely depends on funding. We would like to say a massive thank you to the British Association of American Studies and the US Embassy in London for ongoing support from their small grants programme. We’re very grateful to BAAS/US Embassy for an award this year to invite three exciting speakers from the United States. Watch this space for updates!

We hope to welcome you at a friendly TLW event next season. If you’ve been to all, or many of, our events, huge thanks for your support, and please keep coming! Or, if you’ve never quite made it to one of our talks, we hope to welcome you next season. The TLW mantra: all events are free and everyone is welcome…

TLW Bookclub: The Custard Heart & Other Stories, Dorothy Parker

TLW Bookclub is back! And we’re back in style with Dorothy Parker’s collection of vibrant Jazz Age short stories.

Join the team on Wednesday 20 February at 5pm in room 203, 4 University Gardens to talk about Penguin Modern’s The Custard Heart, with three brilliant stories from Dorothy Parker; her award-winning ‘Big Blonde’, the iconic ‘You Were Perfectly Fine’ and the story the collection is named after, ‘The Custard Heart’. Whether you’ve spent a lifetime reading Parker or are reading her for the first time, we welcome all for some friendly discussion. Snacks, wine, soft drinks and copies of the book are all free!

There are thirty free copies of the book available from John Smith’s bookshop on campus. Please ask at the front desk and give them the not-so-secret password: martini.

First come, first served. When they’re gone they’re gone!

Helena Goodwyn, “Margaret Harkness, W. T. Stead and the Transatlantic Social Gospel Network”, 5:15pm, Wednesday 27th February, Room 202, 4 University Gardens

Transatlantic Literary Women and the Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies are excited to announce this joint event. We are delighted to be welcoming Dr. Helena Goodwyn to Glasgow to give a paper titled: “Margaret Harkness, W. T. Stead and the Transatlantic Social Gospel Network”. The talk takes place in room 202, 4 University Gardens (University of Glasgow) at 5.15pm on Wednesday 27th February, with drinks and refreshments available from 5 pm. As always, everyone is welcome. Hope to see you there!

Margaret Harkness, W. T. Stead and the Transatlantic Social Gospel Network

To be a journalist in the second half of the nineteenth century was often to be caught between accusations of evangelism and commercialism. For Margaret Harkness and W. T. Stead the desire to reach as wide an audience as possible created a tension between their idealism and popularism that each sought to overcome by marketing their respective social-activist texts as part of a wider, transnational network of reform. This talk, therefore, considers Harkness’s 1889 novel Captain Lobe: A Story of the Salvation Army, reprinted in 1891 as In Darkest London, and Stead’s 1894 socio-religious treatise If Christ Came to Chicago! A Plea for the Union of All Who Love in the Service of All Who Suffer, in light of each author’s attempts to align themselves with a movement of greater significance than their writings could achieve on their own: the transatlantic social gospel network.


Version 2About Helena

Helena Goodwyn is a Lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews. Her work has appeared in the THE, Journal of Victorian Culture and Victorian Periodicals Review. Her forthcoming book The Americanization of W. T. Stead will be published with Edinburgh University Press.


A new edition of Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me The Waltz will be published on January 14th by Handheld Press. We spoke with founder Kate Macdonald about the publishing process ahead of her talk at the University of Glasgow on the 23rd of January.

Zelda-cover-with-border-300x480 Zelda Fitzgerald is no stranger to being overlooked. Her combined work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bits of Paradise (consisting of twenty-three stories written by the couple) would see Zelda’s name erased from many of the titles, and literary agent Harold Ober removed her name from her short story Millionaire’s Girl on publication. Yet, she persisted. Her novel Save Me The Waltz is a masterpiece, documenting a woman’s desire for freedom in her own life set throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Despite recent critical acclaim, the book finds itself in and out of print regularly, and so founder of Handheld Press, Kate Macdonald, knew she had to act.  “When I heard her only novel had gone out of print, it was like a call to arms for me, a lightbulb moment. The neglected woman author is probably my most enduring scholarly interest, and I knew the market would respond well to a new edition of this novel.”

Save Me The Waltz follows Alabama Beggs, a woman who ‘wanted her own way about things’ and is determined to follow her own path. After marrying artist David Knight (the book is widely thought to parallel Zelda’s relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald), Alabama’s life is a whirlwind tour of the Jazz Age, highlighting the grim realities behind a romanticised time. Eventually, Alabama finds purpose in ballet and begins to pursue the art at the age of twenty-seven. “Alabama’s ballet training, as a contrast to David Knight’s artistic life and production, and the immersion into theatrical consumption in New York and Paris in the 1920s, captivated me,” Kate adds, “as well as Zelda’s narrative style, her gift for description and dialogue and the economy of her narrative.” The ballet training scenes are particularly poignant in this age where success is often seen to be synonymous with youthfulness; Fitzgerald paints a painful picture of Alabama being told she is too old to pursue her passion in her twenties, but the strength and determination exhibited in these pages is enough to ignite inspiration in any reader.

Despite Zelda Fitzgerald experiencing a recent increase in popularity (mostly due to her relationship with her husband – highlighted in the recent Amazon Prime show ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’), her status as a ‘forgotten’ woman writer still stands. “When I present the novel,” Kate notes, “the response has been along the lines of ‘Oh, I didn’t know she wrote’, and ‘I’ve never heard of her: is she related to F. Scott Fitzgerald?’; but I’ve had a good response from bookshop buyers, readers and scholars which has shown that my instincts to republish Save Me The Waltz were right.”

The new Handheld Press edition has an introduction from Erin E Templeton, providing a fascinating account exploring the parallels between Zelda’s struggles to have a life of her own and Alabama’s struggle to be a dancer. It also features a refreshing cover design by Nadja Guggi (who is responsible for the iconic look of the Handheld Press titles).

If you want to hear more from Kate Macdonald about publishing Save Me The Waltz (as well as Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Kingdoms of Elfin) then join us on the 23rd of January, 5 University Gardens at 5:15pm to hear an in-depth account of the publishing process.

You can purchase Save Me The Waltz here and at John Smith’s Bookshop in the Fraser Building from the 14th of January.