Call for Papers – The Biennial International Margaret Cavendish Conference

Held virtually on June 9-11, 2022, 12-4 EST
Organized by the International Margaret Cavendish Society


“The Future is Now”–there has never been a more apt statement to describe Margaret Cavendish’s writing, which is why we are delighted to announce the theme for this year’s International Margaret Cavendish Conference is “Futures.” The theme applies not just to critical approaches to Cavendish’s age- and genre-defying works, but also to the future of Cavendish studies. 

We welcome proposals by scholars in all disciplines, including literature, philosophy, political science, book history, and the history of science, for traditional paper presentations, themed panels, and roundtable discussions with a particular emphasis on academic breakthroughs and the next generation of Cavendish scholars as we consider Cavendish’s own innovations. In addition, we invite proposals for panels or papers that honor the individual scholarly achievements of the late Cristina Malcomson and the late Brandie Siegfried, whose groundbreaking work prepared the way for today’s Cavendish scholarship. Finally, we encourage submissions on pedagogical approaches to Cavendish and on the forthcoming Complete Works of Margaret Cavendish project. We are particularly interested in receiving abstracts from graduate students and early-career researchers.  

This year we invite Cavendish scholars to think outside the box formally. We encourage creative approaches and invite proposals for the following formats:

Paper Presentations and Roundtable Panels. Submit an abstract to present your research in a 20-minute paper. Feel free to coordinate with others to develop a panel of three papers, or if you submit just an abstract we will group accepted papers into panels ourselves. We also invite roundtable panels or shorter discussion based panels. Like the paper panels, please feel free to coordinate a roundtable of at least four speakers.

Seminars and Workshops. This year, we invite senior scholars in particular to propose seminars and workshops: to propose a topic pre-conference (e.g., Teaching Cavendish, Performing Cavendish, Editing Cavendish), share readings and short work, and meet at the conference itself to discuss the collaborative work everyone has done. For instance, an Editing Cavendish workshop might ask everyone to edit a small excerpt and share the work at the conference itself with the workshop members + auditors; or members of a Teaching Cavendish workshop might develop and pool pedagogical resources. Feel free to propose a seminar or workshop topic, indicating how you would organize the time before the conference itself. 

Practical Skills Sessions. This year the conference would like to offer practical skills sessions targeted at ECR needs: for instance, a roundtable on publishing in academic journals or thinking about the stakes of publishing in women writer venues or beyond. The programming committee will be soliciting a few of these, but if you would be interested in leading a Practical Skills Session please let us know. 

Performances and Visual Representations. If you are interested in hosting an online performance at the online conference, please do let us know! You might propose screening a filmed version of a class exercise, or hosting a staged reading of a play (or scene) at the conference itself. If you have a creative activity in mind, feel free to touch base. We are eager to make space for it. If you have visual representations or collage images we also want to highlight these creative works during the conference.

Possible subjects and themes include, but are not limited to:

-Editing Cavendish in the 21st century

-Teaching Cavendish to a diverse student body

-Cavendish and race

-New directions in Cavendish studies

-Digital humanities

-Cavendish and book history

-Queer Cavendish

-Ecocritical approaches to Cavendish

-Cavendish and embodiment

-Cavendish and (a)sexuality

-Cavendish and interdisciplinarity

-Cavendish and performance

– Cavendish in the visual arts

Abstracts and proposals of 150 to 200 words together with a brief CV should be emailed to Shawn W. Moore ( by March 31st. 

For more information, please visit the website of the Margaret Cavendish Society: