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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).


KEYNOTE SESSIONS (Friday, 8 April 2022):

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

Sally Wainwright (writer, executive producer, and director, UK) and Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University, US, and ALS chair):
“Constructing Gentleman Jack: A Dialogue” (evening) 


PANEL SESSIONS (Friday and Saturday, 8-9 April 2022)

(panels will be arranged across Friday and Saturday, 8-9 April 2022; details may change, and exact times to be determined):


Caroline Gonda (University of Cambridge, UK):
“Labels, Plaques, and Identity Categories: Finding the Words for Anne Lister”

Jane Finn (Halifax Minster, UK):
“The Theology of Anne Lister and Human Sexuality: Querying the same church 200 years on”

Sarah Wingrove (University of Surrey, UK):
“Queer Pilgrimage: Anne Lister and Identity Tourism” 

Amy Solomons (University of Liverpool, UK):
“‘I am happy among my books – I am not happy without them’: Navigating Anne Lister’s Reading”

Marc Schachter (Durham University, UK):
“Making Sense in the Margins: Anne Lister’s Notes on Juvenal”

Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University, US):
“Anne Lister’s Constructions of Genesis”

Claudia Johnson (Princeton University, US):
(on Anne Lister and Regency manners) 


Anthony Delaney (University of Exeter, UK):
“Anne Lister’s Oeconomy: Authority, Identity and Patriarchy at Shibden Hall and Beyond”

Patricia Bredar (Notre Dame University, US):
“Women on the Move: Anne Lister and Her Contemporaries" 

Freya Gowrley (University of Bristol, UK):
“For the sake of the place where it grew’: Botanical Gift Exchange and the Spaces of Queer Community

Anna Hawthorne (University of Sheffield, UK):
“The "ghost ship" of Lister's autoeroticism”

Alex Pryce (University of Cambridge, UK) and Shantel Smith (Independent researcher, US):
“Tuft-hunting: Anne Lister, Mariana Percy Belcombe and the creation of a social self” 

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

Lynn Shouls (Independent researcher, UK):
“Anne Lister’s Coat of Arms, and its role in her sense of self” 

Jennifer Reed (California State University Long Beach, US):
Gentleman Jack: By, For, and About ‘Transgressive Women’” 

Chris Roulston (University of Western Ontario, CA):
“’Softly Gentlemanlike’: Gentleman Jack and the Fandom Phenomenon”

** 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).


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