Wellington 2013

Katherine Mansfield: Masked and Unmasked

February 8-11, 2013

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Download Conference Flyer

‘Don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath – as terrible as you like – but a mask,’ wrote Mansfield in wrote Mansfield in a letter to John Middleton Murry in July 1917.

Keynote speakers: Angela Smith and Sydney Janet Kaplan

The landmark publication of the Collected Fiction of Katherine Mansfield, edited by Gerri Kimber and Vincent O'Sullivan, was launched by Edinburgh University Press.

In the year of the 90th anniversary of her death, the works and life of Katherine Mansfield was the focus of a conference hosted by Victoria University’s English programme from the 8−10 February.

The Katherine Mansfield: Masked and Unmasked conference was held, in part, to celebrate the recent release of a landmark new publication—The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Fiction of Katherine Mansfield. The book was edited by prominent Mansfield scholars Victoria’s Emeritus Professor of English Vincent O’Sullivan and senior lecturer at the University of Northampton Dr Gerri Kimber, and published by Edinburgh University Press. The edition also includes an appendix of four previously unpublished stories, which were uncovered by a PhD student, Chris Mourant, in the King’s College archives in London just prior to the book’s publication. The books were launched at a plenary session on Saturday 9 February hosted by the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, Victoria’s English Programme and Edinburgh University Press.

In addition to the book launch, the conference included papers on Mansfield’s childhood and social influences, her debts to other authors and her works in relation to subjects as diverse as nationalism, philosophy, visual art, identity and fairy-tales.

Professor of English, Peter Whiteford, says in part, the conference was also an opportunity to draw attention to some important new Mansfield materials recently arrived in the Alexander Turnbull Library. One of the conference activities was hosted by the Alexander Turnbull Library and included a display of some of the new manuscripts.

“This event drew people from all around the world, including England and Scotland, the United States and Australia, Japan and Taiwan, as well as from other parts of New Zealand, and a particular highlight was that there were several postgraduate students presenting their research alongside distinguished senior academics.”

The conference concluded with a delegate’s dinner at Parliament Buildings hosted by the Honourable Chris Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.


Click here for a gallery of photographs from the event