CFP: Special Issue of Women’s Writing on Nineteenth-Century Australian and New Zealand Girls’ Culture (short deadline)

Colonial girls’ culture is receiving growing critical attention, prompting us to rethink its significance for women’s writing. The journal Women’s Writing invites original papers for a special issue dedicated to the colonial girl and her literature in nineteenth-century Australia.
What was it like to be a girl at “the antipodes” in the nineteenth century? How was the colonial girl constructed, both “back home” and throughout the British Empire, and how did she view and represent herself? Was there a distinctly “antipodal,” Australian, or New Zealand girls’ culture and in what ways did it parallel, overlap with, influence, and in turn, become influenced by constructions of girlhood in other parts of the Empire? How did antipodal girls’ culture harness and redefine imperialist ideologies and their malleable relationship to domesticity? In what ways did their literary representation not only mould imperialist representations, but help to shape nineteenth-century literature in English in general, including children’s and especially popular girls’ fiction, which was emerging as a distinct genre in the course of the century? These are some of the questions that individual articles will be addressing. The colonial
girl’s changing depiction in Victorian culture at the same time raises larger issues about the representation of the antipodes in British and colonial texts. A new look at colonial girlhood constructively draws into question the still dominating discourses on male mateship, for example. In addition, it helps us to reassess the wide range of genres that constituted nineteenth-century Australian and New Zealand literature and read them in tandem with similar cultural formations.
This special issue aims to create a forum for a more encompassing approach to nineteenth-century Australian literature, inviting comparative work on British and colonial texts, while providing new detailed insight into Australian girls’ literature.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
–    Colonial girlhood and its literary representation
–    The construction of colonial girls’ culture
–    Australian girls’ magazines and periodicals
–    “The antipodes” in both British and colonial girls’ publications
–    Colonial children’s literature and writing for girls
–    Individual authors and their works
–    Comparative approaches

See also:

Please submit papers for consideration between 4000-7000 words to Tamara S. Wagner at:, by 1 September 2012.

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