Welcome to the new Katherine Mansfield Society website!
We hope you will find our new website easy to use, and we will be adding more and more features and content to it over the coming months. In the meantime, if there is anything you used to access via the KMS website which you can no longer find, please select the ‘Archive’ link in the menu to see a copy of the website as it was in April 2021.
We welcome your comments and feedback – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Katherine Mansfield Society Essay Prize – WINNER 2023
The co-editors of the Katherine Mansfield Studies book series, Dr Aimée Gasston and Dr Gerri Kimber, are pleased to announce that the 2023 Essay Prize for a scholarly essay on the theme of Katherine Mansfield and London, has been awarded to A. C. Wang. Her winning essay, ‘Katherine Mansfield and the London Rain’, unanimously convinced the judges for this year’s competition, Dr Chris Mourant, Professor Anna Snaith, and Professor Andrew Thacker, with its brilliant examination of rain as affective atmosphere in Mansfield. The essay blends a sophisticated theoretical framework with detailed attention to a number of texts, and offers a compelling argument about the significance of rain – and weather more broadly – in Mansfield’s oeuvre, particularly around the complexity of her thinking on selfhood. It represents an original contribution to scholarship on Mansfield and to work in ecocritical modernist studies more generally. Andrew Thacker, Chair of the Judging Panel, commented that this was ‘a beautifully written and framed essay full of stimulating ideas – it was a real joy to read.’ Two other essays were commended for their innovative scholarship: Moira Taylor and Charles Woodhouse’s ‘Katherine Mansfield and Margaret Wishart in London during the Years 1908–1909 and Beyond: Intimacy and Separation, Reconciliation and Forgiveness’, and Martin Griffiths’s ‘Music and London: Katherine Mansfield’s Experiments in Form’. All three essays will appear in the forthcoming yearbook.
Katherine Mansfield Birthday Lecture 2023
The Katherine Mansfield Birthday Lecture — featuring professor Elleke Boehmer is coming up on 14 October, as both the keynote address and the 2023 Katherine Mansfield birthday lecture at the international conference Katherine Mansfield: Life, Light, and Renewal, held in Avon, France.
Southern Light in/and Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield’s writing is remarkably attentive to light—its radiance, fall, intensity—especially what I will call the southern light of her far south homeland of Aotearoa New Zealand, as the conference theme reflects. The lecture will offer a creative-critical meditation on these forms of attention in Mansfield, pointing to a symbiosis in her work, whereby the light that suffused her childhood and youth informs her narrative perceptions, even while she at the same time found ways of noticing and foregrounding that light in her writing. I may (tentatively) go so far as to say that Mansfield’s sensitivity to radiance and luminescence provides pathways to better understanding the nature and behaviour of southern light, and also recommended to other, later antipodean writers ways of representing it.
Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English and Co-director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the English Academy, of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. She is a member of the Dutch Society of Letters. She is the author of Postcolonial Poetics (2018); Indian Arrivals 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire (2015; winner of the biennial ESSE prize 2016); Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction (2008, 2023); Empire, the National and the Postcolonial, 1890–1920 (2002); Stories of Women (2005); and Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors (1995, 2005). Southern Imagining is forthcoming. She is also a novelist and short story writer. Her fiction includes To the Volcano, and other stories (2019; commended Elizabeth Jolley Prize) and The Shouting in the Dark (winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize 2018). Elleke is a founder member of the KM Society and has been reading and thinking about Mansfield for many decades.
The CFP for Tinakori, the critical journal of the Katherine Mansfield Society, is available here.