Latest news

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 to let us know.

Vincent O’Sullivan dies at age of 86 in Dunedin, NZ

Members of the Society will be greatly saddened to learn of the death of Vincent O’Sullivan on 28 April 2024 in New Zealand. KMS patron Kirsty Gunn writes:
I heard the news from Vincent’s dear wife Helen who emailed me as I was on a train on Sunday afternoon from Scotland to London, hurtling south through the spring air but not fast enough to catch up with the Autumn dawn in New Zealand, where already the country was waking up to mourn the loss of one of its most important writers. Though one who wore his status, his gravitas, and erudition so very modestly you might have missed it, for his thoughts were always – always – for anyone else but himself, Vincent will be remembered for so many honours, publications and achievements, not least of which, of course, is his distinguished scholarship and service in the realm of Mansfield studies and writing.  His  work with Margaret Scott for Oxford University Press on the Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield brought a whole generation of us right  inside  the world and life of the writer and laid the ground  for the rich array of Mansfield study and publication that followed, right through to the great Edinburgh University Press project of the Collected Works which he and Gerri Kimber began with their two volume editions of the Collected Fiction- and beyond.  Would we be where we are today, I wonder, as a Society, I
mean, had Vincent not, from the outset, been amongst our number ? He was kind, clever, inestimably thoughtful, imaginative, generous- and funny – and he  wrote about the author we admire and love with the kind of attention to her prose that shone through in his own beautifully modulated, finely crafted sentences… A form of prose that was attentive, nuanced and so light on the page we sometimes forgot it was telling us anything but simply showing the way.
Tributes are coming in from around the world and members of the Society are asked to send their own.  For my own part, I feel a little bit like Virginia Woolf reacting to the news of  Mansfield’s death – only for my part wondering indeed what the point of writing about Katherine Mansfield is at all – now that Vincent is not here to read it… 
We will be collecting tributes, photos, and memories of Vincent to be published in a special edition of the KMS newsletter, so if you have any that you’d like to share, please, contact us at

Dublin, Ireland 2024 – CANCELLED!!!

The Katherine Mansfield: Spaces, Places, Traces conference as planned in June had to be cancelled.  We’re hopeful that we may be able to reschedule it for a later date and will, of course, provide more details when we have them.

Listen-along of Bliss and Other Stories

From February 1st – 12th, Audrey is running a listen-along of Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield and have offered all of our members a free copy of their guided, illustrated audiobook. On the Audrey app, the six stories are read by Juliet Stevenson, and they come with an insightful guide by Modernist scholar Sophie Corser and hand-made illustrations by Rosie Leech. The listen-along offers the opportunity to discuss the stories as you listen with a global community of classics lovers. The discussion will take place on The StoryGraph and you are welcome to dip in and out at any time and from any part of the world. To get your free copy, download the Audrey app (mobile only), and use this promo code: KMS-Bliss-631

To receive further information about the listen-along, sign up at this link.


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.

Yearbook call for papers


Katherine Mansfield Studies

on the theme of




Dr Aimée Gasston and Dr Gerri Kimber

For Katherine Mansfield Studies vol. 17 (which will be published in 2025), we invite essays that explore the textual and cultural aspects of the female experience in all its contexts. Some of Katherine Mansfield’s most influential familial relationships were with women, as were many of her longest lasting friendships, as complex as they were. Her astute eye for power imbalances including those that are gendered are apparent across her fiction, while her working life was fraught with the types of material needs set out by Virginia Woolf in ‘A Room of One’s Own’, published after Mansfield’s death in 1929. While the young Mansfield decided she ‘could not be a suffragette’ (letter of 17 September 1908 to Garnet Trowell), her work addresses social injustice with its portrayals of characters who are hemmed in by circumstance and often reaching toward a sense of personal freedom and/or authenticity. As Kate Fullbrook observed, Mansfield’s work ‘implicitly demands the right to see women and their lives as the particulars from which the general historical situation can be deduced’, but her fiction ‘goes beyond an attempt to “reflect” the age in which she lived; it is a body of work that incites revolt’ (Fullbrook, Katherine Mansfield, Brighton: Harvester, 1986, p. 128). We invite contributions that engage with this notion of revolt and all its nuances as depicted in Mansfield’s work and lived experience.

    Subjects might include (but are not limited to):

  • Women in Mansfield’s fiction, Mansfield on women in others’ fiction and relationships with women writers
  • Mansfield’s relationships with specific women such as Virginia Woolf, Ottoline Morrell, Ida Baker, Anne Estelle Rice, Beatrice Campbell, etc.
  • Gender performance/construction, androgyneity, and the limitations of binarism/essentialism
  • Women’s rights, feminism and cultural politics
  • Feminist analyses of Mansfield’s stories as explorations of contemporary women’s consciousness
  • Gendered critical reception of Mansfield’s work
  • Women at work
  • Women and travelling
  • The role of the female patient and gender and illness
  • Mansfield in the context of female modernisms
For further details, please see the Yearbook page.

Katherine Mansfield Society Essay Prize

The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce its annual essay prize competition for 2024, open to all, on the subject of

Katherine Mansfield’s Women

The winner will receive a cash prize of £200 and the winning essay will be considered for publication in Katherine Mansfield Studies, vol. 17 (2025), the peer-reviewed yearbook of the Katherine Mansfield Society, published by Edinburgh University Press.


The distinguished panel of judges will comprise:

Emeritus Professor Clare Hanson, University of Southampton, UK, Chair of the Judging Panel

Professor Rishona Zimring, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, USA

Dr Claire Drewery, Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Essays that address any aspect of the theme of Katherine Mansfield’s Women are welcome. The full CFP for this volume can be viewed on our website:

Submissions of c. 6000 words (inclusive of endnotes), in Word format, Times New Roman 12 point, double-line spaced, using MHRA style referencing with endnotes, should be emailed to the editorial team, accompanied by an abstract, 5 keywords, and 50-word biography:

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2024

Tinakori call for papers

The CFP for Tinakori, the critical journal of the Katherine Mansfield Society, is available here.