‘Katherine Mansfield and the Art of the Short Story’
Gerri Kimber, Visiting Professor, and Janet Wilson, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, in the Department of English and Creative Writing, are finalising preparations for an important international conference being held in Bandol on the French Riviera from 10-12 June and sponsored by the University of Northampton: ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Art of the Short Story’.
“This conference celebrates the centenary of the acclaimed New Zealand modernist short story writer Katherine Mansfield’s visit to Bandol in 1916, where ‘The Aloe’ (the first draft of ‘Prelude’), one of her most famous and important short stories was completed”, says Gerri. “Katherine Mansfield, who died in France from tuberculosis in 1923, at the tragically young age of 34, is New Zealand’s most revered writer. The importance of this centenary is such that the Mayor of Bandol will be hosting the conference at the town hall, and putting on a vin d’honneur in our honour on Friday 10 June. The New Zealand Ambassador to France, His Excellency James Kember, together with his wife, Alison Kember, will also be in attendance for both days of the conference. We have over 50 delegates attending from all over the world, and two significant keynote speakers: Professor Enda Duffy, an internationally acclaimed modernist scholar, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as world expert on the short story genre, Professor Ailsa Cox, from Edge Hill University. Northampton University’s support of the event has been critical to its success, and its logo prominently displayed on all associated materials. In addition, the whole of the town of Bandol has been invited to the final event of the conference, a major presentation in French by renowned French Mansfield expert Bernard Bosque, who will offer a detailed analysis of Katherine Mansfield’s time in Bandol. From an impact point of view, this just adds to the importance of the conference overall”.