The BWWA and its annual conference provide a forum to discuss eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British women’s writing—writing which has been historically overlooked, ignored, or excluded from the canon.

— BWWA Officials —
Chair of the Board: Pamela Corpron Parker
Associate Chair: Cindy LaCom
Treasurer: Donelle Ruwe
Director of Communication: Lisa Hager
Editor of the Newsletter: Troy J. Bassett
Webmaster: Troy J. Bassett
At-large Board: Current and past conference co-chairs

— Annual Conference —
The 2013 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference (BWWC) will be held at the the University of New Mexico on April 4-6 ( The theme of the conference is “Customs.” Plenary talks will be given by Devoney Looser and Pamela K. Gilbert, and a plenary panel will include Diane Long Hoeveler, Kathy Psomiades, and Linda Troost.

— History —
The Conference on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers originated in 1991 when a group of graduate students from the Universities of Oregon and Washington noted and were troubled by the lack of presentations on women writers during a regional British Studies conference. In between sessions, we discussed the possibility of organizing a conference focused solely on women’s writing—particularly those writers who have been historically overlooked, ignored, or excluded from the canon. By encouraging important archival work on lesser-known women writers and by inviting divergent critical approaches to a broad variety of texts, we hoped to expand the range of critical approaches for both scholars and students, researchers and teachers. Our desire to revise the conventional canon was matched by our desire to reconstruct the conventional conference format. We sought to break down traditional hierarchies by allowing more space for graduate student voices, an initiative that is closely connected to the critical and pedagogical work of creating space for historical women to speak.

In focusing on British women’s literature and culture, we neither imply the existence of an essentially female literary tradition nor an exclusively white literary past. Instead, we hope that the focus on Britain will provide a specific cultural context in which we can investigate a dense and complicated intersection of colonial and national subjects as well as gender and racial issues. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offer a distinctive period in British women’s history, starting with the rise of organized feminism, developing into the feminization of literary culture, and leading into the various movements of modern, twentieth-century feminism. In exploring the agency of women in literary history, we hope to encourage the creation of richer, more complex cultural tradition, incorporating a wide range of interdisciplinary interests. Likewise, the conjunction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries encourages a re-examination of the existing constructs of traditional literary historiography, especially in the ways that women’s literary history tends to break down canonical divisions between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century culture, such as the “Augustan” and “Romantic,” and the “Romantic” and “Victorian” periods. (Excerpted from the introduction to Nineteenth-Century Contexts, vol. 19 [1996].)

By Pamela Corpron Parker and Cindy LaCom