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Janine Utell

Widener University

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Janine Utell is Distinguished University Professor and Chair of English and Creative Writing at Widener University. She is the author of three books: Literary Couples and 20th-Century Life Writing: Narrative and Intimacy (2019), Engagements with Narrative (2015), and James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire (2010). She is also the editor of two forthcoming collections: The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In and Approaches to Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English.


Utell’s work takes as its focus the theorisation of intimacy and emotions through narrative and narrative ethics. From her first book, she has concentrated on strategies of representing intimacy and desire, the ways in which emotions catalyse narrativity, and the intersections of gender, sexuality, ethics, and affects. Her latest project, a work in progress, is a planned study of rhetorical strategies in women’s writing in response to bullshit. Informed by a feminist theory of bullshit (extending the thinking of philosopher Harry Frankfurt), this project will examine modernist and late modernist texts that manifest negative emotions such as anger, resignation, temper, and general fed-upedness.  


How to apply

Papers: ​individual papers should be 15 minutes long. To apply, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words along with a short bio (max. 100 words) to f​​ ​by 31st January ​2020​.


Panels and roundtables​: panels should consist of three 15-min paper presentations. To apply, please send a proposal of no more than 400 words along with short bios of participants (max. 100 words) to​ ​by 31st January​ 2020​.

Non-traditional formats (​performance, screening, small exhibition, workshop): please feel free to contact us ahead of the deadline (​31st January 2020)​ with any thoughts or initial enquiries.

Paper guidelines

Papers should be written ​in English,​ with oral delivery in mind, in a clear, easily digestible style. The approximate length of a 15-min paper is 6 to 8 pages (double spaced), or about 2,000-400 words. If you would like to see examples of successful abstracts, check out the Modernist Review's Community Resource Pack. We look forward to reading your work!

Attendance and fees

We welcome contributions from all: students, researchers, artists, activists, academics, and enthusiasts!


Fees for the conference, and details of how to pay, will appear shortly.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us or tweet at us @f​iguringfeeling​.

We look forward to hearing from you!

With feeling,

Cécile, Polly & Constance

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