Call for Papers: Katherine Mansfield: Last things and legacies


7-9 July 2023

Pipitea Campus, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington


One hundred years on from Katherine Mansfield’s death in 1923, a conference will be held in the city of her birth that reflects on her final years and her legacy.

Papers, presentations, and panel talks from scholars, historians and creative artists on the following topics are welcome:

  • The final two years of Mansfield’s life (1921-1922)
  • Mansfield as a critic and self-critic
  • Modernism and Mansfield’s place amongst Modernists
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories in the context of other landmark publications of 1922
  • Mansfield’s publishing relationships
  • How Mansfield has been read in the past and is being read today
  • Mansfield’s creative and critical legacy
  • Material legacies – Mansfield’s bequests/requests in her will, collections, and repositories of her material
  • Biographers and biographies of Mansfield – beginning with Ruth Mantz and John Middleton Murry’s The Life of Katherine Mansfield in 1933
  • Teaching Mansfield in the contemporary classroom

Topics related to the period or Mansfield’s experience, but not focused on Mansfield herself are also welcome. For example:

  • Early 20th century spiritualism and mysticism
  • Georges Gurdjieff and the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man
  • Management of tuberculosis and illness in the early 20th century
  • Death, illness, and trauma after the Great War
  • Medical humanities and Modernism
  • The ethics of posthumous publication, particularly with regards to personal papers and unfinished works

All other relevant topics will be considered on application.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of no more than 150 words as an attachment to, cc: by Monday 27 February 2023. Presenters will be notified by mid-March if their paper has been accepted.

At this stage, Friday 7 July will be a day focused on contemporary short fiction and creative non-fiction particularly aimed at writers. Local and national writers will be presenting, writing, and engaging with Mansfield in a programme formulated by the International Institute of Modern Letters.

The option to attend only Friday 7 July, only Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July, or all three days will be available with a discounted registration fee for the latter.

For more information, please contact Professor Jane Stafford, School of English, Film, Theatre, Media Studies, and Art History, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington:

This conference is a collaboration between Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington English Literatures and Creative Communication Programme, the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, the International Institute of Modern Letters, and the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society/Katherine Mansfield House & Garden.