Dr Gerri Kimber, Senior Lecturer in English, was invited to Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense on Friday 21 June 2013, to give the keynote speech at a conference entitled ‘Katherine Mansfield’s fiction: new edition, new approaches’.
This follows the creation of the landmark four volume Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield, of which Dr Kimber is the deviser and series editor. The first two volumes, the fiction, co-edited with Emeritus Professor Vincent O’Sullivan, were recently published to critical acclaim with reviews in both The Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books.
Dr Kimber’s speech in Paris explored the genesis and creation of the Series, as well as discussing the implications for new scholarship arising from the new edition of Mansfield’s fiction.
She told the delegates: “The last ‘definitive’ volume of Mansfield’s stories from the 1980s contained 85 stories in one volume; the Edinburgh edition contains 225 stories and fiction fragments in two volumes, with many exciting new discoveries. As the introduction notes, it permits us to see, for the first time, the genesis of Mansfield the writer. We can watch her development, and see gems of ideas, first drafts, tentative beginnings, transformed into some of her most recognisable and important works.”
The conference was attended by a wide cross section of Mansfield scholars from both Europe and across the world, including one South Korean scholar who flew to Paris especially to meet Dr Kimber. Professor Janet Wilson, from the University of Northampton, also attended the conference and presented a paper. The conference was organised by the research group FAAAM (Femmes Auteurs Anglo-Américaines) and supported by the France/New Zealand Association.