Dorothy Richardson Society

Minutes of the Inaugural Meeting of the Dorothy Richardson Society
Institute of English Studies
Friday 30 March 2007

Present: Richard Brown, Daniela Caselli, Howard Finn, Abbie Garrington, Gillian Hanscombe, Michiko Kurisu, Scott McCracken, Laura Marcus, Deborah Parsons, Bryony Randall, Eva Tucker, Juliet Yates
Apologies: Joanne Winning

Dorothy Richardson Now
Scott gave a brief introduction to the website and the project to create a resource where academics and students can access a complete bibliography and details of archival materials on Dorothy Richardson and to set up an annual Richardson electronic journal.

Deborah gave a brief introduction to her current research on the philosophical religious influences on Richardson.

Laura gave a brief introduction to her current research on Richardson, modernism and cinema.

Gillian raised the issue of biography and Richardson criticism, asking where we are now with the question of ‘art and life’.
The ensuing discussion made it clear that it is difficult to compartmentalise the different issues that surround Richardson studies at the moment: Richardson research and criticism; publishing Richardson; and teaching Richardson. They are all connected and publication is perhaps the most pressing issue.

Lunch at Pizza Paradiso
This was an opportunity to exchange ideas and to get to know everyone. It was so successful that it was decided to make a meal in Bloomsbury a regular event.
Resolved : That the society will have an annual Dorothy Richardson event in Bloomsbury, which will consist of

  1. A talk on Richardson
  2. A Richardson walk
  3. Dinner in a suitably ‘dowdy’ Bloomsbury restaurant

The Organisation of a Richardson Society
Resolved : To set up a Dorothy Richardson Society. Scott to be Secretary and we find a prominent public figure (a big-shot celebrity) with an interest in Richardson to be President (suggestions to Scott). That membership will be open to all, not just academics but all Richardson enthusiasts. There will be no membership fees.

Richardson Conference 11-12 September 2007
Scott has delayed sending out the call for papers in case the conference and the workshop became confused, but will send out next week. The timing has proved problematic for Americans as the US term will have already begun. It’s too late to change the date for this year, but future conferences will have to take this into account. Suggestions for speakers were discussed – Scott to follow up.

Richardson Journal
The first issue will include selected papers from the conference and if the conference becomes a biennial event this will be true every two years. In the intervening years, the issue might include relevant Dorothy Richardson material. Scott, Laura and Deborah volunteered to be on the editorial board and Gillian was later persuaded to join. Subsequently, Bryony and Richard have volunteered. We will seek further members from Britain, Europe and North America.

Publishing Richardson
Scott distributed a report from George Thomson on his project, largely complete, of transcribing all the unpublished letters. OUP are not interested in publishing the letters while there are selected letters in print. There was a discussion about getting funding for electronic publication. The key issue here, as with all the publication projects is copyright. Deborah reported on the difficulties she has experienced with her Broadview edition of Pointed Roofs, where copyright costs prevented publication outside the US and Canada. Gillian reported on the history of publishing the Virago edition. Several people reported on the difficulties of teaching Richardson because of the lack of editions. Howard argued that single ‘chapters’ of Pilgrimage would help to get it onto courses and increase interest in Richardson’s work. CUP are not interested in publishing a Complete Works, but other publishers may be. Scott reported on Kristin Bluemel and Cheryl Hindrichs’ planned Richardson Reader. Eva has been working on a similar idea and asked to be put in touch.

It was decided to pursue a number of avenues:

  1. contact George about his experience with copyright when publishing letters
  2. contact Marsh Paterson about current ownership of copyright
  3. contact publishers about possibility of publishing single chapters
  4. contact publishers about
    1. a new edition of Pilgrimage
    2. a Complete Works
      Suggestions included: Penguin; Continuum; Ashgate; Duckworth
  5. contact the AHRC about funding.
  6. Investigate courses on which Richardson is taught. Scott to the ask the English Subject Centre if they could do some research and to send out a mailing on the MSA mailing list. We are currently aware that Richardson is taught at De Montfort, Leeds, Birkbeck, Birmingham, Sussex, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

SMcC, 16 April 2007

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