114th Annual Conference - Pasadena, California
Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Women and Work

Session Chair: 
Susanne Weil, Centralia College, Washington
Topic Area: 


  1. Summer Star, San Francisco State University
    In the representation of women’s work in Victorian novels, bed-making, pastry-crimping, and hearth-tending perform narrative roles of betokening not only domestic virtue, but minds actively at work in the task of practical and aesthetic judgment. This paper focuses on three Gaskell novels–RuthNorth and South, and Cranford–to show how domestic details of object and gesture illuminate the intellectual world dwelling within the corners of domestic arrangement, idiosyncrasy, and efficiency. 
  2. Morgane Gonseth, University of Geneva
    Through its exploration of contemporary Chinese "workplace fiction", this talk will address the representation of white-collar women in China. This presentation will show that even if these novels are often described as feminist, they set forward a great variety of expectations and requirements concerning how women should perform their womanhood, in the workplace as well as in their private lives.
  3. Noemie Anne Leduc, Bordeaux Montaigne University (France)
    This paper explores the ways in which the representation of work and women in Judy Fong Bates’s Chinese-Canadian novel Midnight at the Dragon Café (2004) exposes the functioning of dominant patriarchal systems as alienating across gender and ethnic categories. It also underlines how the novel delineates means to challenge such dominant identity boundaries. The analysis focuses on stifling gender roles in work and family life, sexuality as an escape route, and the deconstruction of limiting frontiers.
  4. Keegan Medrano, San Francisco State University
    Mothers of Apartheid explores the formation of childhood memories of domestic servants by white South Africans. For as domestic servants worked tirelessly, whites recount their relationship with sentiments of admiration representing either the importance of domestics in breaking racial barriers or the insidious recycling of the domestic as a symbol of liberalism.
Session Cancelled: