Conference schedule

Doris Lessing 2014: An International Conference

All conference events take place in the 6th Floor, Rolle Building, Plymouth University, James Street, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA.


Friday 12th September

9am – 9.30am. Registration


9.30am – 11am. Panel: Lessing’s Lives

Virginia Tiger (Rutgers): “Speak Memory Speak: Lessing’s Life Writing”

Urvashi Vashist (University College London): “The Fantastic Autobiografictions of War: Doris Lessing and Diana Wynne Jones”

Roberta Rubenstein (American University): “Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à clef

11am – 11.30am. Tea & Coffee


11.30am – 1pm. Panel: Canopean Connections

Paul Schlueter: “Lessing and Opera”

David Punter (Bristol): “Lessing and Time Travel”

Boyarkina Iren (Rome): “Lessing, Stapledon, and Science Fiction”


1pm – 2pm Lunch


2pm – 3.30pm. Plenary Panel.

Laura Marcus (Oxford): “The Golden Notebook, Cinema, and Psychoanalysis”

Nick Bentley (Keele): “‘Unanchored fragments of print’: Lessing’s experiments with drama and poetry in the late 1950s.”


3.30pm – 4pm Break


4pm – 5.30pm. Panel: Commitment and Witness

Adam Guy (Oxford): “Lessing, Commitment and the 1950s”

Lilia Miroshnychenko (Taras Shevchenko University, Kyiv): “Reading Doris Lessing in the Optics of Socrates’ Scepticism”

Elizabeth Maslen: (Institute of English Studies and Queen Mary, University of London): “Doris Lessing: World War I and its impact on her ‘witness literature’”


Saturday 13th September

9.30am – 11am. Panel: Novel Forms.

Sophia Barnes (Sydney): “Readers of Fiction and Readers in Fiction: Lessing’s Fictional Readers in The Golden Notebook

Ratna Raman (Delhi): “Not An Angry Young Man but The Astute Woman Who Thought It Through: Doris Lessing’s response to John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger

Rowena Kennedy-Epstein (Bristol): “The Politics of Form: The Golden Notebook and Women’s Radical Literary Tradition”


11am – 11.30am. Tea & Coffee


11.30am – 1pm. Plenary Panel

Susan Watkins (Leeds Metropolitan University): “Second World Life Writing: “Doris Lessing’s Under My Skin

Alice Ridout (Algoma University): Re-reading The Golden Notebook After Chick-Lit”


1pm – 2pm. Lunch


2pm – 3.30pm. Parallel Panels


Lessing’s Transformations

Lara Choksey (Warwick): “Genetics, Governmentality and the Possibility of Change in Doris Lessing’s Canopus in Argos: Archives

Anne-Laure Brevet (Cambridge): “Stendhal, Proust et les autres: French Influences on Doris Lessing’s Novels”

Christine Sizemore (Spelman College): “From Pastoral to Georgic in Alfred and Emily: A Call to Ecological Commitment

Journeys of the Self

Joanna Stolarek (Siedlce): “European Experience in the African ‘wasteland’: Alienation, Displacement, Otherness and the Quest for Identity in Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing and J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace

Kerry Myler (Newman University, Birmingham): “‘It is all a load of old socks’: Lessing, Laing, and the Sexual Politics of Madness”

Arup K. Chatterjee (Delhi; Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University): “Defining Travelogy in the Heterotopias of Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook


3.30pm – 4pm. Break


4pm – 5.30pm. Plenary Lecture:

Clare Hanson (Southampton): “Lessing, Prehistory and Postanthropocentrism”


5.30pm – 6pm. Closing Remarks

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