Research Project: Ageing and Gender in Contemporary Literary Creation in English
Billy Gray Carmen Zamorano Llena Núria Casado Gual, University of Lleida, Spain Emma Domínguez Rué, University of Lleida, Spain Carmen Farré Vidal, Department of English and Linguistics University of Lleida, Spain Marta Miquel Baldellou, University of Lleida, Spain Maricel Oró Piqueras, University of Lleida, Spain Maria Vidal Grau, University of Lleida, Spain Brian Worsfold, University of Lleida, Spain
This project will analyse the effects deriving from longevity and gender identity through the study of a number of contemporary women authors with an international dimension who have continued to write in their over-60s. In particular, our research will centre on the late writing of American, British and Irish women authors representative of advanced and aging societies like our own and it will seek an answer to questions such as: What changes in the writing process of a woman author in her late age? What thematic or formal changes are observed that may also contribute to a new phase of experimentation in late age? Up to what point can these changes differ from those presented in the work of men writers of similar age and situation? In what way can literary creation modify individual and socio-cultural perceptions of the women writers' identity as a woman in late age? Beyond the literary field, our project will seek to undermine stereotypes of passivity which often have been associated with late-aging and with women. For this reason, our research will also be useful in other fields of study, such as gerontology, psychology and sociology, and in each of these disciplines from the perspective of gender studies.
Specifically, the analysis will focus on works by authors from English-speaking countries, but the results of this research will be easily applicable to literatures written in other languages and pertaining to societies with a high aged population index. Furthermore, while of considerable use to various fields within the humanities, such as sociology and social anthropology, we believe that this research will also be pertinent for other disciplines, especially gerontology, medicine, psychology, and health and care sciences.
In my contribution to this project I will focus on the work of John McGahern and Jennifer Johnston, and I will write an article publicising the results of my research.