Postgraduate Conference to be held at Swansea University, 11 April 2014.

Graduate Centre blocks thin

Sadeian Woman conference2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the Marquis de Sade’s death, but Sadeian influences remain prominent in contemporary literature, criticism, and culture. From Angela Carter’s 1979 polemic The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History, Andrea Dworkin’s seminal text Pornography: Men Possessing Woman (1981) and the recent cultural phenomenon of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, Sade’s work permeates both fiction and non-fiction, and is a central component of contemporary debates surrounding feminism, sexuality and pornography. The anticipated film release of Fifty Shades of Grey pays testimony to Sade’s ongoing presence in literature and other media.

This one-day postgraduate conference, funded by GENCAS and RIAH (The Centre for Research into Gender and Culture in Society and the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities at Swansea University), aims to revisit the Sadeian debates first established in the 1980s, and to investigate how these ideas are relevant to contemporary society. How have evolutions of feminism and post-feminism impacted upon Sadeian influences? Are images of sado-masochistic relationships changing? How do erotic and pornographic texts affect expectations of masculinity and femininity? Is the internet having a detrimental impact on our attitudes towards sex and relationships? What role does social media play in shaping our perceptions of gender? Are particular groups/individuals reluctant to identify with a feminist identity – if so, why?

There will be 20 minute papers from a range of disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, a keynote speech from Dr Claire O'Callaghan, and a Q&A session with a burlesque performer from The Bluestocking Lounge in Swansea, called Lilly Laudanum.  The program for the event is below, as well as a link to the registration form.


9.00am – Registration and Welcome

9.30-11.00 – Panels A and B

Panel A – Re-readings of Sade (Chair: Prof Caroline Franklin)

  • Liberation, Domination, and Representation, or, ‘Why would a feminist read Sade?’ – Amy Crawford
  • Revisiting the Sadeian Woman: Angela Carter and the ‘philosophical pornographer’ – Heidi Yeandle
  • Fifty Shades of Plato: Liberated/Repressed Feminine Sexuality – Saul Blair

Panel B – Power Dynamics (Chair: Dr Jude Roberts)

  • The Sadeian Woman and the Faces of the Carterian Heroine - Cleide Rapucci
  • ‘There’s only one thing in the world that turns me on’: Sex Writing and failed negotiation scenes - Erika Kvistad
  • Power Exchange, Performance and Performativity: Sadomasochism and Social Critique - Elizabeth Schreiber-Byers 

11.00-11.15 – Refreshments

11.15-12.15 – Panel C

Panel C – Alternative Sexualities (Chair: Helen Snaith)

  • (Porno)graphic novels and the representation of women’s sexuality – Jude Roberts
  • The Darkness of Sexuality in Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate – Shareena Hamzah

12.15-1.15 – Lunch

1.15-2.15 – Q&A session with a burlesque performer from The Bluestocking Lounge, Swansea, Lilly Laudanum.
(Chair: Helen Snaith)

2.15-3.45 – Panel D

Panel D – Sade’s Legacy (Chair: Heidi Yeandle)

  • Pornology in a Clime of Sensationalism and Censorship – Jean Owen
  • Sade and the Female Libertine – Thomas Froh
  • The Enduring Legacy of Carter’s ‘Polemical Preface’ – Krystina Osborne

3.45-4.00 – Refreshments

4.00-5.30 – Keynote – ‘Sadeian Daughter: Pornography, the Sex Wars and Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith’ – Dr. Claire O’Callaghan (Chair: Dr. Sarah Gamble)

5.30pm – Closing Remarks

Registration for this event is now open and will close on Tuesday 25 March 2014.  To download the registration form click here:   Registration form: Revisiting the Sadeian Woman .