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Celebrating our foremothers

NEWW conference:

Celebrating our foremothers: on the occasion of the centennial of Cláudia de Campos (1860-1916)

Continuing the tradition created within the NEWW network and the COST Action "Women Writers In History", our colleague Isabel Lousada organized this conference which was held in Lisbon November 24-26 2016. See the conference website.

Main focus of the conference was on Portuguese women authors: an important number of Portuguese colleagues presented them and argued for the need of studying their works, keeping their memory alive and commemorating their anniversaries. In the conference participated also NEWW members Marie Sørbø, Ileana Mihaila and Suzan van Dijk, who spoke about resp. Dorothe Engelbretsdatter, Norwegian writer died 1716, Carmen Sylva (from Romania, who died 1916), and Dutch/Swiss Isabelle de Charrière: the latter died 1805, but her correspondence is now being digitized in view of it being presented on-line 2019: 40 years after the publication of the first volume of her Oeuvres complètes).

The conference took place in the National Library of Portugal, where an extremely interesting exhibition was prepared, showing books, manuscripts and review articles concerning Claudia de Campos.

And most importantly, our colleague Isabel Lousada had succeeded in also including in this event the municipality of Sines, where Claudia de Campos had lived. The municipality had contributed to a beautiful video presentation of the author, and to a new edition of her novel Ele (1899). It also presents her in its website, and offered the participants in the conference a visit to Sines, in particular the old town near the Atlantic. We saw for instance the house where she had grown up, having as neighbours an English family: contacts with the girls next door had in fact led to her becoming at an early stage familiar with English culture - which was to become decisive for her authorship.

We were much impressed by this proof of the impact our research can have...

SvD, December 2016

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