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NEWW newsletter

1.1 - April 2007


Welcome to the first newsletter of the NEWW project (New approaches to European women’s writing before 1900. Using virtual working space for the creation of a real-life international collaboratory). Since the official “start” of our collaboration in June 2005, with the creation of the working group “Cross-cultural Mediations and Gender”, the number of researchers who have expressed their interest in participating has steadily increased, so that at present we number over one hundred active researchers, institutional members and graduate students. This rapid expansion was our reason for creating this newsletter. Its purpose is twofold: not only to streamline communication about the progress of our project and developments relevant to our European proposal(s), but also to strengthen our group identity by increasing awareness of one another’s work and possible contributions. Our intent is to produce a newsletter four times a year. To this end, we invite you to send any information you would like to see included in future newsletters to the newsletter editor, Alicia Montoya (A.C.Montoya@let.leidenuniv.nl).

NEWW project news

On January 1, 2007, our project entered a new phase. With funding provided by NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), we will be using the period until January 1, 2010 to prepare a new version of the database WomenWriters and, especially, to put in place the infrastructure necessary to succesfully submit a large-scale research proposal to one of the European Union’s research bodies. One of our tasks during this new phase will be to work on our cohesion and identity as a group, and to strengthen working relations within the group as a whole, by various means (including this newsletter).

On February 16 and again on February 19, NEWW project director Suzan van Dijk met with members and other interested parties (Petra Broomans, Lizet Duyvendak, Anke Gilleir, Alicia Montoya, Susanne Parren, Lieselotte Steinbrügge, Liselotte Vandenbussche, Kerstin Wiedemann) to discuss the possibility and desirability of submitting a research proposal for the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) in May 2007. The conclusion is that the group needs more time for reflection about research lines to be integrated into one coherent project. Our group certainly already has its own history, but cannot yet be considered a network strong enough to sustain evaluators searching for risk factors on the management side of the proposed project.

Instead, we will ask for funding from the ESF (European Science Foundation) for a so-called exploratory workshop, which could be organised in January 2008. It would permit a number of possible consortium-members to meet and to discuss the present, global project in relation to what we should collectively want to produce, to the individual expertise and to each of our own research projects. A number of our present contacts will be asked to participate in this workshop. One of the criteria for constituting this provisional group will be the necessity to bring together people representing expertise in different languages and national literatures, different periods, and different approaches. Our aim is to have an organized “consortium” in place by the second half of 2008.

In the meantime, for practical reasons and anticipating our future needs, we have created a provisional executive committee of three which will meet on a regular basis to discuss and coordinate future needs and strategy. The committe is comprised of Suzan van Dijk (University of Utrecht, general project coordinator), Anke Gilleir (Catholic University of Leuven), and Alicia C. Montoya (University of Leiden).

Upcoming meetings

NEWW members will have the opportunity to meet during the coming months at a number of events:

May 9, Geneva. Preceding the conference “Women Writers at the Crossroads of Languages” (see following entry), an informal meeting will take place of NEWW collaborators and interested colleagues. Venue: 2nd floor Uni-Bastions (3 rue de Candolle), room B206, at 5 PM. There will be ample opportunity for discussing the contents and structure of the project.

May 10-11, Geneva. The first of our three scheduled annual conferences, “Women Writers at the Crossroads of Languages 1700-2000”, will be held at the University of Geneva. For information and registration, please contact Agnese.Fidecaro@lettres.unige.ch.

September (date still to be determined), Utrecht. We will mark the closure of the present digitizing project (2004-2007) and the online conference (see following entry) with a workshop open to all members.

In addition, in May, at the conference “Women Writers at the Crossroads of Languages”, a virtual online conference will be launched, which is intended to promote collective use and discussion of the database WomenWriters as well as future research plans. Details will follow shortly.

Database news

Because of needs occasioned by increasing participation as well as by new research questions to be addressed, there will be a “second generation” version of the database. We invite everyone to make suggestions for improvements to the interface, suggestions of the kind of tables which the database should be able to generate, and anything else which may be of relevance. Please address all suggestions to: Susanne.Parren@let.uu.nl.

Since the start of the new phase of the project last January, we have continued feeding the database with data concerning the reception of women’s writing. In the context of the current digitizing project “The International Reception of Women’s Writing”, we are concerned in particular with the reception in the Netherlands. The database at present (April 3, 2007) contains 16.780 notices concerning the reception of women’s literary works before 1900; of these, 13.325 concern the Dutch reception.

The database in its present form can be consulted at:


Petra Broomans is teaching an MA course on “Dynamic Women in Cultural Transmission” (together with Janke Klok), at the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Cultures (University of Groningen). This course examines the role of dynamic women in literary contacts between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, from the middle of the 18th century until present. Attention will also be paid to the various ways that (national) identity formation was of significance within these networks.

Conferences and papers presented

In October 2006, at the 21st International Conference on Medievalism (Columbus, Ohio State University), Alicia Montoya presented a paper on the role of the 17th-century fairy tale author Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier in transmitting French medieval literary traditions.
In February 2007, at the University of Leiden, Suzan van Dijk participated in a “Best practice session” organized by Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade (director of the national research project “The Codifiers and the English Language”) to demonstrate the use of ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online), a database containing full-text versions of over 150.000 books published in England during the 18th century (including translations), and EEBO (Early English Books Online), containing some 100.000 books from the period 1473 to 1700. In her contribution to the session on “New digital sources: new questions in research and teaching), Suzan discussed the possibilities ECCO and EEBO open up for research projects such as our own.

Member profiles

In each newsletter, we would like to allow three or four NEWW members to briefly present themselves and their research. Although our research concerns are often very similar, due to the prevailing national and disciplinary boundaries, many of us are unfortunately not familiar with one another’s work. Please send your brief profile (300 words maximum) for inclusion in one of the following newsletters to: A.C.Montoya@let.leidenuniv.nl.

Lizet Duyvendak is senior lecturer in Literature at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences of the Open University Nederland. She studied Dutch literature at the University of Utrecht and wrote her PhD thesis on the book purchase and reading motivation of the members of the 19th/20th-century women’s library “Damesleesmuseum”. This book, “Door lezen wijder horizont”. Het Haags Damesleesmuseum was awarded the Victorine van Schaick prize 2004. Her current research deals with the question why women especially participate in present-day book clubs.

Anke Gilleir is associate professor of German literature at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; she studied Germanic philology at Leuven and Trinity College Dublin; between 1992 and 1998 she worked as a research assistant with the department of literature (German literature) and wrote her PhD thesis on the work of Johanna Schopenhauer (defended in 1998: Johanna Schopenhauer und die Weimarer Klassik. Betrachtungen über die Selbstpositionierung weiblichen Schreibens). From 1998 to 2004 she was a postdoctoral researcher with the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek and in 2004 became associate professor in Leuven. Her research focuses on the following topics: gender and literature/literary theory, German women's literature in the 18th and 19th century, the historiography of (German) literature from a gender perspective, and minority literature in Germany (she is preparing a volume with Yafa Shaneik on Euro-Arab literature for 2008).

Kerstin Wiedemann studied French and German at the Universities of Heidelberg, Paris X Nanterre and Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle. Since 2005/06 she works as an assistant professor of German at the University of Nancy 2 and is a member of the CEGIL (Centre d’études germaniques et interculturelles de Lorraine, Universités Metz et Nancy 2). Her dissertation, published in 2003, discusses the reception of George Sand in Germany during the 19th century (Zwischen Irritation und Faszination. George Sand und ihre deutsche Leserschaft, Tübingen, Gunter Narr, 2003). She also co-edited with Suzan van Dijk a special issue of Œuvres & Critiques dealing with the international reception of George Sand, George Sand. La réception internationale de l’œuvre (Œuvres & Critiques. Revue internationale d’étude de la réception critique des œuvres littératures de langue française, XXVIII, 1, April 2003). While the German-language reception of Sand continues to be one of her research interests, she also proposes to study, during our future collaborative project, women’s literary activities in the 19th-century German periodical press, and in particular their role as mediators in the transmission of foreign women’s writings.

Recent articles by NEWW members

Broomans, Petra, “The Self-Fashioning of Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht”, in I.M. Olsen and S.H. Rossel (ed.), Female Voices of the North II. An Anthology, vol. 3, Vienna, Praesens Verlag, 2006, 27-51.

———, “Metodologiskt ingenmansland eller eklekticismens djungel? Om vårt sätt att forska i kulturförmedling - Exempel: Marie Herzfeld (1855-1940)”, in R. Reidinger, S.H. Rossel and M. Langheiter-Tutschek (ed.), Der Norden im Ausland - das Ausland im Norden. Formung und Transformation von Konzepten und Bildern des Anderen vom Mittelalter bis heute, Vienna, Praesens Verlag, 2006, 201-210.

———, “Martha Muusses en de drie M's. Over de studie naar cultuurbemiddeling¨, in: P. Broomans, S.I. Linn, M. Vogel, S. van Voorst and A. Bay (ed.), Object: Nederlandse literatuur in het buitenland. Methode: onbekend. Vormen van onderzoek naar de receptie van literatuur uit het Nederlandse taalgebied, Groningen, Barkhuis Publishing, 2006, 56-70.

——— (with Lars Huldén), “Two Tango Tales in One”, in P. Broomans, J.E. Klok and H. van der Liet (ed.), Staging, Images and Poetics - From a Transatlantic Perspective, Essays offered to Alan Swanson, special issue Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek, 27, 2 (2006), 199-207.

——— (with Ester Jiresch), “Philippine Wijsman: een selfmade vertaalster”, Filter. Tijdschrift over vertalen, 13, 3 (2006), 31-41.

Cossy, Valérie, “Isabelle de Charrière and the Universality of the French Language: From Cosmopolitanism to Imperialism,” in S. van Dijk et al., ed., Belle de Zuylen/Isabelle de Charrière: Education, Creation, Reception, 287-298.

Dijk, Suzan van, “Lectrices néerlandaises d’Histoire de ma vie: une femme de pasteur dévouée à ses enfants, une reine mal-mariée, une future socialiste”, in S. Bernard-Griffiths and J.-L. Diaz, ed., Lire Histoire de ma vie de George Sand, Clermont-Ferrand, Presses universitaires Blaise Pascal, 2006, 203-221.

———, “Temporalité et ‘gender’”, in D. Maher, ed., Tempus in Fabula. Topoï de la temporalité narrative dans la fiction d’Ancien Régime, Québec, Presses de l’Université Laval, 2006, 39-56.

———, “Etudier les topoi ‘féminins’ dans des fictions épistolaires et des correspondances véritables: Mesdames de Graffigny, Riccoboni et Charrière”, in B. Diaz and J. Siess, ed., L’épistolaire au féminin, Caen, Presses universitaires de Caen, 2006, 39-50.

———, “Belle de Zuylen et son contexte historique: Perspectives de recherche grâce à internet,” in S. van Dijk et al., Belle de Zuylen/Isabelle de Charrière: Education, Creation, Reception, 299-320.

Dow, Gillian, “‘Je me suis permis, suivant ma coutume, quelques légers changements’: Jane Austen 'translated' by Isabelle du Montolieu”, in A. Cointre, F. Lautel-Ribstein and A. Rivara (ed), La Traduction du discours amoureux 1660-1830, Metz, Centre d'Etudes de la Traduction, Université de Metz, 2006, 155-169.

Duyvendak, Lizet, “Gelijkgestemde zielen. Waarom vrouwen in groepsverband lezen”, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis 12 (2005), 177-190.

Montoya, Alicia C., “A Woman Translator of Montaigne. Appreciation and Appropriation in Maria Heyns’s Bloemhof der Doorluchtige Voorbeelden (1647)”, in P.J. Smith, ed., Montaigne and the Low Countries (Intersections. Yearbook for Early Modern Studies, vol. 8), Leiden, Brill, 2007, 223-245.

Edited volumes by NEWW members

Broomans, Petra, ed. (with A. Bay, S. Linn, M. Vogel and S. van Voorst), Object: Nederlandse literatuur in het buitenland. Methode: onbekend. Vormen van onderzoek naar de receptie van literatuur uit het Nederlandse taalgebied. Groningen, Barkhuis Publishing, 2006.

———, (with H. Van der Liet and J. Klok), Staging, Images and Poetics -From a Transatlantic Perspective, Essays offered to Alan Swanson, special issue Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek, 27, 2 (2006).

Dijk, S. van, ed. (with V. Cossy, M. Moser-Verrey and I. van Strien-Chardonneau), Belle de Zuylen/Isabelle de Charrière: Education, Creation, Reception, Amsterdam/New York, Rodopi, 2006.

———, et al., ed., Cahiers Isabelle de Charrière / Belle de Zuylen Papers I, 2006, special issue: Women’s work: pens and needles of Belle de Zuylen.

Fidecaro, Agnese (with S. Lachat), ed., Profession: créatrice. La place des femmes dans le champ artistique, Lausanne, Editions Antipodes, 2006.

Gilleir, Anke, ed. (with Eva Kormann and Angelika Schlimmer), Textmaschinenkörper. Genderorientierte Lektüren des Androiden, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2006.

———, Sophie Tieck. Flore und Blanscheflur. Ein episches Gedicht in zwölf Gesängen, Hildesheim - Zürich - New York, Olms Verlag, 2006.

Monographs by NEWW members

Cossy,Valérie, Jane Austen in Switzerland: A Study of the Early French Translations, Geneva, Slatkine, 2006.

Montoya, Alicia C., Marie-Anne Barbier et la tragédie post-classique, Paris, Champion, 2007.

Work in progress

Within her research project Scandinavian Literature in Europe around 1900: the Influence of Language Politics, Gender and Aesthetics, Petra Broomans is co-editing two books, provisionally entitled The Beloved Mothertongue: Ethnolinguistic Nationalism in Small Nations. Inventories and Reflections, and Women in the field of cultural transmission (1880-1930). She is also working on a new project, together with the University of Ghent (Department of Nordic Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature) and the University of Uppsala (Centre for Gender Research and the Department of Teacher Education): Peripheral autonomy? Longitudinal analyses of cultural transfer in the literary fields of small language communities, financed by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), 2006-2008.

Anke Gilleir is applying for a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung for the project Literatur und Intellektualität. Die Bedeutung der Literatur im Werk Margarete Susmans, promotor Inge Stephan, Humboldt Universität Berlin, (January-July 2008, decision expected in July 2007.)

Other announcements

The editorial board of Cahiers Isabelle de Charrière/Belle de Zuylen Papers, together with the project “The International Reception of Women’s Writing”, has decided to establish a biennial prize to award a master’s thesis on women authors contemporary to Isabelle de Charrière/Belle de Zuylen. Please alert your students to this prize. For further details, please contact Suzan.vanDijk@let.uu.nl.

Personal news

Congratulations to Anke Gilleir, who was granted tenure at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in February 2007!

Alicia Montoya will be leaving the University of Leiden in September for the University of Groningen, where she will take up a position as Rosalind Franklin Fellow/assistant professor in the Department of Romance languages and cultures. She will receive funding there for a doctoral student to write a dissertation on fairy tale author, critic and translator Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier.

Other upcoming events

April 25, Geneva, lecture by Joan DeJean, “L’histoire du livre et la mort de l’écrivain femme”. Venue: University of Geneva, Faculty of Letters, Aile Jura (enter by the Bastions, 3 rue de Candolle), room A 109, 8 PM. For details, contact jeannette.perruchoud@lettres.unige.ch.

May 12-15, Sweden, ESF-LiU Conference “Literature for Europe: European identitites and European literature in a globalizing world (deadline for paper proposals closed)

June 8, Paris, general meeting and study day of the SIEFAR (Société internationale pour l’étude des femmes de l’Ancien Régime), for details see www.siefar.org.

July 8-15, Montpellier, 12th quadrennial Congress of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (submissions for participation in NEWW round table metting accepted until mid-May, contact person Suzan van Dijk)

August 8-12, Sofia, Bulgaria, “Women, Gender and the Cultural Production of Knowledge”, Conference of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History (deadline for paper proposals closed)

December 8-9, Groningen, workshop 2 of the “Peripheral autonomy-project” funded by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research): The Development of Literary Fields and the Influence of Foreign Literature from the late 19th Century until 1950 (call for papers will follow shortly), contact persons: p.broomans@rug.nl, marta.ronne@gender.uu.se, Daan.Vandenhaute@UGent.be.

Other publications of interest

A.-M. Legaré, ed., Livres et lectures de femmes en Europe entre moyen âge et Renaissance, Turnhout, Brepols, 2007

Christine Planté, ed., George Sand critique, 1833-1876: Textes de George Sand sur la littérature présentés, édités et annotés, Tusson (Charente), Du Lérot, 2007


Project director: Suzan.vanDijk@let.uu.nl.

Project websites: http://www.womenwriters.nl (general website, currently under reconstruction), http://www.databasewomenwriters.nl (database), https://www.surfgroepen.nl/sites/NEWW-CMG (internal project website, accessible only with a password)

Newsletter editor: A.C.Montoya@let.leidenuniv.nl

AsK, September 2010

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