Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nancy Drew and Girl Sleuths: Conference

I loved reading Nancy Drew as a little boy (the Hardy boys were OK). Maybe it was a sign of my early feminist leanings or simply wanting to share something with my mother (who turned me on to the series).

I'm glad it looks like Nancy and other "girl sleuths" are getting their critical due.

Nancy Drew and Girl Sleuths: Past, Present, and Future Conference
February Friday 16 – Saturday 17, 2007
Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA

Resolute, fiercely independent, and always expertly coiffed, the Girl Sleuth was one of the most enduring literary creations of the twentieth century. Numerous examples of plucky heroines abounded in children’s and young adult literature, fronted by the cultural revolution that remains Nancy Drew, one of the most popular characters of all time. From their origins in the early part of the century, to their heyday in the 1950’s, to their Renaissance in the 1980’s, Girl Sleuths both reflected the social mores and constrictions of their times while simultaneously flaunting the roles society often ascribed to them—pioneers in pumps, they blazed trails, righted wrongs, and left a cultural and critical impact that is still being explored.

Yet, as we enter a new century, one fronted by technology and the ever-changing role of women, the figure of the Girl Sleuth, though not as prevalent or popular as before, still remains a cultural zeitgeist, though one defined by rapidly changing attitudes and climes. This conference looks to explore the Girl Sleuth, and especially Nancy Drew, in these changing roles, examining her significance and impact in the past, her critical present, and the shape she may take in the future.

Send abstracts of 250-500 words by SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 to Dr. Michael G. Cornelius at or to the address below:
Dr. Michael G. Cornelius
Chair, Department of English and Mass Communications
Wilson College
1015 Philadelphia Avenue
Chambersburg, PA 17201

The organizers of this conference hope to compile an anthology of the papers delivered at the conference for publication. A significant press has expressed an interest in the text.


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