Rachel Bowlby, A Child of One's Own: Parental Stories

Assuming Gender Annual Lecture · Cardiff University, 14 December 2011
Design: Rhys Tranter. Click to download poster (PDF)
Some readers of A Piece of Monologue may be aware that I am on the editorial committee of Assuming Gender, an academic project founded and organized by postgraduates. The project is structured around three research-led pursuits: a freely-accessible academic journal, an ongoing seminar series, and an annual lecture presented by a respected scholar.

This year's Assuming Gender annual lecture is just around the corner, and you may be interested to know that attendance is absolutely free. And no prior booking is necessary. I've designed a poster for the event (above) which is downloadable in a PDF format, should you wish to share news of the talk with friends and colleagues. The following text is taken from a press release on the Assuming Gender website:

'A Child of One's Own: Parental Stories'
An Assuming Gender Guest lecture by Professor Rachel Bowlby (University College London)
Wednesday 14 December 2011, 5.15pm
Lecture Theatre 2.01, Humanities Building, Cardiff University, Colum Drive
All welcome
Funded by the University Graduate College and ENCAP

We are delighted to announce that the 2011 Assuming Gender Annual lecture will be given by Professor Rachel Bowlby (University College London), and is entitled 'A Child of One's Own: Parental Stories'.

About the speaker:
Rachel Bowlby is Northcliffe Professor of English at UCL. Her books include Just Looking (1985), Still Crazy After All These Years: Women, Writing and Psychoanalysis (1992), Shopping with Freud (1993), Carried Away: The Invention of Modern Shopping (2000), and, most recently, Freudian Mythologies: Greek Tragedy and Modern Identities (2007). She has edited Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and two volumes of Woolf’s critical writings, and is also the author of Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf (1997). She has translated a number of books by contemporary French philosophers, including Derrida’s Of Hospitality (2000) and Paper Machine (2005). She currently holds a two-year Leverhulme Major Research Award.

About the lecture:
Parenthood is a neglected topic in comparison with other elemental attachments (the passions of childhood or erotic love). But recent radical changes in typical family forms and in procreative possibilities (new reproductive technologies) expose the mutability and multiplicity of ‘parentalities’, creating new kinds of parental story and new questions about parenthood. Why do people want (or not want) to be parents? How has the ‘choice’ enabled by contraception changed the meaning of parenthood? Today, the positive choice to seek and have a child as a matter of personal fulfillment is accepted as valid for men as well as women, individuals as well as couples. But there are also antecedents to the contemporary orientation, sometimes in classical texts where the parental story has up till now been sidelined. This lecture will look at one example of this phenomenon, Dickens’s Great Expectations.

Event Website:

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