English Research Seminar Series

'Who gets to speak and why?': Oversharing in Contemporary North American Women's Writing

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As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Rachel Sykes, University of Birmingham, presents: ''Who gets to speak and why?': oversharing in contemporary North American women's writing'

  • From: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 2 pm
  • Location: 101, Mary Ann Evans building, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS

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Event details

As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Rachel Sykes, University of Birmingham, presents: ''Who gets to speak and why?': oversharing in contemporary North American women's writing.'

Summary 

This paper asks how oversharing, the revelation of ‘too much’ personal information, functions as a literary practice in contemporary North American writing.

Providing a brief history of oversharing as a cultural term, Dr Sykes will discuss how the label of oversharer is an ‘ideologically charged accusation’ (Zimmer & Hoffman 2011, 181) that is primarily associated with women. Many critics argue that the identification and chastisement of Internet users who share ‘too much’ of themselves reflects a wider discomfort with the increasingly blurred boundaries between web production and consumption, fiction and reality, and writers and readers in the digital age.

This paper then focuses on an as-yet unexamined gender bias that underlies oversharing’s popularity as a contemporary term of condemnation. Namely, Dr Sykes argues that women are more likely to be accused of oversharing than men no matter what the content of their self-disclosures and through brief analysis of popular texts by several white women writers, including Emily Gould, Sheila Heti, and Chris Kraus, Dr Sykes contends that many mainstream writers are derogatively labelled as literary oversharers by their reviewers and critics, although their confessions of life as straight, white women only marginally differ from presumed racial and sexual norms.

For any enquiries, please contact the College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities Research Office by email, or telephone +44 (0)115 848 2301.

Location details

Room/Building:

101, Mary Ann Evans building

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
Nottingham
NG11 8NS

Past event

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