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ALS Inaugural Meeting, 2022


The Anne Lister Society convenes for the first time on 8-9 April 2022, in Halifax, U.K. Launched in 2020, the Society aims to foster knowledge of Lister’s extraordinary life and writings and to interpret her legacy. It seeks to sustain conversation among scholars and to build conversations between scholars and Lister’s wider readership and expanding network of invested enthusiasts. By encouraging research and greater understanding of her way of inhabiting the world, the Society aims to amplify Anne Lister’s place — both in the cultural tradition and for the future.

We are proud to announce the speakers for this first conference. Although there may be small changes to this schedule, we hope the range of topics begins to reflect the scope of inquiry that Anne Lister asks of us. With many thanks to Pat Esgate of Anne Lister Birthday Week for all her crucial support, Dr. Caroline Gonda (St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge), Prof Chris Roulston (University of Western Ontario), and Prof Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University) have served as the organizing committee for this conference.

Registration for the ALS meeting opens on December 18. It will be handled online, within the registration and ticketing process for the larger slate of Anne Lister Birthday Week events. You may register for one or two days of our conference, and the Friday evening event is a third registration. To register for one, two, or three segments of the ALS conference, click HERE (after the link goes live on December 18 at 9am EST) and navigate to and register for events numbered 800 (Friday-Day One), 805 (Friday evening keynote with Sally Wainwright), and 900 (Saturday-Day Two).



WELCOME (Fri 9:15-9:30am)

Laurie Shannon (Anne Lister Society Coordinator)

Panel 1: Anne Lister then and/or now (Fri 9:30-10:50am)

Panel Chair: Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University, US)

Panel 2: Embodiment and Early 19th-Century Forms of Community (Fri 11:15-12:35)

Panel Chair: Mary Fairclough (University of York, UK)

Panel 3: Anne Lister, Reading (Fri 2:30-3:50pm)

Panel Chair: Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham University, UK)

KEYNOTE SESSION 1 (Friday 7:00 pm)

Sally Wainwright (writer, executive producer, and director, UK) and Laurie Shannon:
“Constructing Gentleman Jack: A Dialogue”



KEYNOTE SESSION 2 (Sat 9:30-10:30am)

Session Chair: Chris Roulston

Susan S. Lanser (Brandeis University, US):
“Anne Lister’s Politics”

Panel 4: Anne Lister and the Terms of Selfhood (Sat 10:50-12:10)

Panel Chair: Joan Burda (Attorney and WYAS Codebreaker, US)

KEYNOTE SESSION 3 (Sat 2:00-3:00pm)

Session Chair: Caroline Gonda

Emma Donoghue (novelist, screenwriter, and literary historian, IE-CA):
“A Chronology of the Life of Eliza Raine, with Gaps and Puzzles”


** NOTE: Our meeting is planned to take place in person, amidst the festive events of the Anne Lister Birthday Week ( in Halifax, “Providence willing.” We recognize some uncertainty remains about whether travel will be viable at that point. While contingencies remain, we adopt Anne Lister’s approach: “bel[ieve] all th[in]gs n[o]t unreasonab[le] & hope all th[in]gs n[o]t imposs[ible]” (2 August 1833).