Chawton House Library has hosted numerous international conferences

Academic conferences form an important part of our programme of events. They contribute to scholarly work in the field of women’s writing in English 1600 to 1830, and related topics, and they disseminate the results of the research by selected publication.

We have hosted numerous international conferences which have resulted in significant collections of essays, published with major presses in the UK and USA.

View our diary of forthcoming conferences and seminars

Previous conferences:


Friday 15th May 2020 to Sunday 17th May 2020

Chawton House

Lockdown Literary Festival

3 days of literary heaven, broadcast direct to your home.


Thursday 13th July 2017 to Saturday 15th July 2017

Chawton House

Conference: Reputations, Legacies, Futures

An international conference at Chawton House Library to mark the bicentenary of the deaths of Jane Austen and Germaine de Staël #AustenStaël

Friday 2nd June 2017 to Sunday 4th June 2017

Chawton House

The Independent Libraries Association's 28th Annual Conference

Bricks, Shelves, Books & People. Building for the Future as an Independent Library.

Saturday 25th February 2017

Chawton House

Conference: Writing Art: Women Writers as Art Critics in the Long Eighteenth Century

A one-day conference focusing on women writers as art critics in the late Georgian and early Victorian period.


Friday 14th October 2016 to Saturday 15th October 2016

Chawton House

Placing Charlotte Smith - Canon, Genre, History, Nation, Globe

210 years after Charlotte Smith’s death, exploring the latest research on Smith and her places.

Saturday 23rd July 2016

Chawton House

Women and Shakespeare Day Conference

The part women have played in constructing Shakespeare’s reputation and ensuring his ongoing fame.

Thursday 7th July 2016

Chawton House

Charlotte Lennox, Shakespeare, and the Independent Mind

An overview of Lennox’s career, particularly her ground-breaking study of Shakespeare’s source material.

Friday 13th May 2016 to Saturday 14th May 2016

Chawton House

Charlotte Brontë: A Bicentennial Celebration of her Life and Works

Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, one of England’s most beloved authors.


Wednesday 16th September 2015 to Thursday 17th September 2015

Chawton House

Isabelle de Charrière and England: An English Celebration

Her life and works, reception in England, and contribution to the novel in the 18th century.

Saturday 5th September 2015

Chawton House

BBC Pride and Prejudice 1995: Reflections around a much-loved production

Twenty years on, a day of talks to celebrate and commemorate this landmark in television history.

Novel Approaches: The Language of Women’s Fiction, 1750-1830

24th to 25th February 2012
Co-hosted by the Department of Linguistics, University of Liverpool and SCECS, University of Southampton


New Directions in Austen Studies, a bicentennial conference to commemorate Jane Austen’s move to the village of Chawton in 2009

9th to 11th July 2009
Co-hosted by CHL and SCECS.
Selected articles resulting from papers presented at this conference can be found online, as a special issue of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s journal Persuasions On-Line edited by Gillian Dow and Susan Allen Ford.


‘Readers, Writers, Salonnieres’

May 2008
Selected papers from this conference, co-organised by the Universities of Southampton, Swansea, and Warwick, were included in a special issue of the journal Women’s Writing in 2011, Women Readers in Europe: Readers, Writers, Salonnieres edited by Katherine Astbury, Hilary Brown and Gillian Dow, and in Readers, Writers, Salonnieres: Female Networks in Europe edited by Hilary Brown and Gillian Dow.


Imagining Transatlantic Slavery

16th to 17th March 2007
A two-day conference co-organised by the Library and the University of Southampton.

Collectors & Collecting: Private collections & their role in libraries

19th to 20th July 2007
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Mary & Elizabeth: Partners both in throne and grave

10th to 12th September 2007
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Remapping Austen: Jane Austen in Europe and Beyond

8th November 2007
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Study Day on Jane Austen and Contemporary Culture

June 2007

Transatlantic slaverySeveral edited collections of essays resulted from this activity: Imagining Transatlantic Slavery, edited by Cora Kaplan and John Oldfield; Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, edited by Alice Hunt and Anna Whitelock; and Uses of Austen: Jane’s Afterlives, edited by Gillian Dow and Clare Hanson.


Translators, Interpreters, Mediators: Women’s Writing 1700-1900

March 2006

‘Wild Irish Girls’

July 2006
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A bicentenary conference to mark the publication of Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl and Maria Edgeworth’s Leonora

Both conferences were jointly organised by Chawton House Library and the department of English at the University of Southampton.