What Happens to Women’s Voices During a Pandemic?
Presenter/s: Rebecca Clode, Alice Grundy, Melinda Harvey and Julieanne Lamond
Event type: Webinar
Event date: Thursday, 27 May 2021 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event venue: Online event
Further information: CuSPP website
What Happens to Women’s Voices During a Pandemic? Studying the Impact of COVID-19 on Women Writers in Australia
This paper presents the preliminary results from ANU Gender Institute-funded research into the effects of COVID-19 on the ability of women writers in Australia to have their work published and read.
In a context in which feminist literary activism has made measurable improvements to the attention women writers receive in Australia, we ask: what happens to these gains when a global pandemic hits? We know the social effects of COVID-19 are disproportionately impacting women in terms of employment, the home and education. Some are calling its economic effects a ‘pink recession’. What about the literary sphere? With feminist non-profit organisation The Stella Prize, we are collecting data to quantify the gendered impact of the pandemic across three interrelated groups of writers: creative writers (including playwrights); cultural critics/journalists, and literary studies academics. In this paper, we present the results of our data collection and interviews for 2019 to 2020, and pose questions about how to ensure that the literary culture that emerges from the pandemic is one in which women’s voices are heard and valued.
- Rebecca Clode is an experienced theatre director and dramaturg and is the Ethel Tory Lecturer in Drama at Australian National University.
- Alice Grundy is a book editor and PhD candidate at Australian National University. Her thesis looks at editorial intervention in the work of contemporary Australian women writers.
- Melinda Harvey has published widely as a book critic for over a decade and is a judge of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She is Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University.
- Julieanne Lamond is a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at Australian National University. She is a judge of the Patrick White Award and editor of the journal Australian Literary Studies.
This project received funding from the ANU Gender Institute