Conferences & Symposia

The Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference

“Gilman and the Archive”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Archive conference

The Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference will take place in June 2015 at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is a cosponsor of the conference. The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe holds a rich collection of Gilman’s papers, including letters, drawings, and the entire run of her periodical, The Forerunner. A selection of Gilman-related materials will be exhibited as part of the conference.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a descendent of the prominent New England Beecher family, was an author, journalist, editor, and lecturer. Although she is best known for her story “The Yellow Wall Paper” and her book Women and Economics: A Study in the Economic Relation between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, Gilman published more than a dozen books and edited her own periodical. Over the course of her prolific career, she helped shape the cultural conversation on a number of issues, including feminism, socialism, birth control, eugenics, interior design, and animal rights. Her biography, which involved the infamous “rest cure,” divorce, and suicide, also invites us to consider the available life narratives for public women at the fin de siècle.

Registration is required

Questions about the conference may be sent to


8:30–10 a.m.

Panel 1: Gilman and Turn-of-the-Century Intellectual Trends

“'Kindling a Streak of Fire’: Gilman’s Evolutionary Sympathies”
William Hunt, Duke University

“Performing the Self in Relation: The Pragmatic 'Human Work' of Gilman’s The Forerunner
Cecile Roudeau, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris

“Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Rhetoric of Citizenship”
Larisa Schumann Asaeli, Texas Christian University

Chair: Sari Edelstein, University of Massachusetts Boston

10:15–11:45 a.m.

Panel 2: Gilman and Print Culture

“A Living in Periodicals: Charlotte Perkins Gilman the Magazinist”
Cynthia Patterson, University of South Florida

“‘The Superwomen: Feminist Utopias in the Fiction of Miriam Michelson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman”
Lori Harrison-Kahan, Boston College

“‘Otherwise incomprehensible hieroglyphics’: The Secret Code of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Diaries”
Brandi So, Stony Brook University

“Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her ‘Literary Advertising’”
Yoshiko Uzawa, Keio University

Chair: Nadia Nurhussein, University of Massachusetts Boston

Noon–1 p.m.

Lunch/Presentation on MONK

1:15–2:45 p.m.

Panel 3: In this Our World: Gilman and Material Culture

“Gilman Demeuble”
Peter Betjemann, Oregon State University

“Toppling the ‘Cookstove Throne’ in ‘The Cottagette’: Cooking Up Equal Gender Dynamics in the Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Kitchen”
Catherine Golden, Skidmore College

“Producing Pillows and Other Queer Matter in Gilman’s ‘The Balsam Fir’”
J. Samaine Lockwood, George Mason University

Chair: Holly Jackson, University of Massachusetts Boston

3–4:30 p.m.

Panel 4: New Contexts for Gilman at Home and Abroad

“The Unlikely Friendship of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Caroline Hazard”
Helen Horowitz, Smith College

“From Russia, With Yellow Wallpaper”
Dorothy Richardson, Independent Scholar

“Gender Mainstreaming, According to Charlotte Perkins Gilman”
Laura Moschini, Roma Tre University

“Women and Economics in the Netherlands”
Harriet Feinberg, Independent Scholar

Chair: Heidi Silcox, The University of Oklahoma

4:30 p.m.

Keynote Address

“Activism and the Archive: Rethinking Recovery in Gilman Studies”
Jennifer S. Tuttle, the Dorothy M. Healy Professor of Literature and Health, Professor of English, and Faculty Director of the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England


SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2015

9–10:30 a.m.

Panel 5: Gilman and Place

“Of Spaces and Places: Recovering the Gilman Addenda, 2009-2011”
Denise Knight, SUNY Cortland

“A Woman’s Place...”
Jill Bergman, University of Montana

Herland and the Imperial Pacific,”
Jennifer S. Tuttle

Chair: Betsy Klimasmith, University of Massachusetts Boston

10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Panel 6: Gilman and Modernist Aesthetics

“Feminist Outfittings: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Influence on Georgia O'Keeffe”
Linda Grasso, York College, The City University of New York

“A Scape of One’s Own: Autobiography and Place in Gilman’s Fiction”
William Snyder, St. Vincent College

“A Room With a View”
Kristina George, Independent Scholar

Chair: Phyllis Thompson, Simmons College


 Charlotte Perkins Gilman at her desk writing, ca. 1916-1922. Courtesy of Schlesinger Library Charlotte Perkins Gilman at her desk writing, ca. 1916-1922. Courtesy of Schlesinger Library