Sunday, February 14, 2010

Biblical Women: Reading and Writing Women in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.

10th-11th September 2010, Queen’s University, Belfast


In the past decade scholarship has rethought the literary impact of Scripture during the Renaissance. It has focused in particular on how Scripture was read and used by individuals and authorities. Understanding Scripture as a co-text, rather than a straightforward ‘source’, this conference seeks to engage in these discussions, exploring the significance of ‘biblical women’ in the period’s literary output. We particularly seek to broaden this field of enquiry by considering ‘biblical women’ in a dual sense: the appropriation and use of women from Scripture in a variety of canonical and non-canonical texts, by both male and female writers, as well as the ways in which Scripture is deployed, more generally, in the period’s female writings. This AHRC conference seeks to bring together postgraduates and academics to further critical developments in this field; to that end we welcome (20 minute) papers that include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

· Direct and indirect representations of women from Scripture in a variety of genres, by both male and female writers, which may include Eve, Susanna, Esther, Judith, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary.

· The texts of ‘biblical women’; that is, female writers who enmesh Scripture in debates on femininity, politics, religious persecution and subjectivity.

· The literary appropriation of the Virgin Mary into discussions on iconoclasm, motherhood, childbirth and grief.

· The use of typology, mimesis, imitatio and allegorical interpretations of Scripture in literary discourse.

· The parallel, or alternative, ways women and men deployed scripture in literary texts.

· The centrality/role of Scripture in the everyday lives of women during the Renaissance.

Please submit an abstract of not more than 250 words by 31st May 2010 to Victoria Brownlee and Laura Gallagher at


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