Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of the world’s leading modernist writers, New Zealander Katherine Mansfield, is to have her place in the English literary scene even further enhanced with the creation of the international Katherine Mansfield Society.

Society president, Emeritus Professor Vincent O’Sullivan, says the society has been set up to promote and encourage enjoyment of Katherine Mansfield’s writing, which influenced a fundamental shift in the way stories are told.
“Katherine Mansfield’s influence is still being felt by writers and readers today, and we want to ensure this recognition continues. She is New Zealand’s greatest writer, and ironically there’s the likelihood of her becoming better known overseas than she is at home.”
To that end, he says, while the society is international, with people from England, Ireland, Australia, France and the United States involved in its creation, there is a strong New Zealand focus, and it is incorporated as a charitable trust in New Zealand.

“The Society will work to ensure Katherine Mansfield is on school and university curricula in New Zealand and overseas and aims to establish a Mansfield memorial in her home town of Wellington.

“We will also be creating a biennial Katherine Mansfield Society literary scholarship – a Rhodes scholarship for literature as it were – for work in the modernist sphere.”

The Society’s founders comprise Mansfield scholars from around the world:
Emeritus Professor Angela Smith (UK), Emeritus Professor C. K. Stead (NZ), Dr Sarah Sandley (NZ), Dr Gerri Kimber (UK), Dr Sue Reid (UK), Dr Josiane Paccaud-Huguet (France), Janna Stotz (USA), Dr Melinda Harvey (Australia), Dr Anna Jackson (NZ), Dr Delia Da Sousa Correa (UK), Dr Jenny McDonnell (Ireland), Dr Sarah Ailwood (Australia), Professor Larry Mitchell (USA) and Professor Janet Wilson (UK).

A website,, has already been set up, and the Society aims for it to be the world’s most comprehensive hub of information on Mansfield. It includes images, literature on Mansfield and downloadable versions of all her short stories.

Society members will receive three newsletters a year, a free copy of The Annual Journal of Katherine Mansfield Studies, regular email news alerts, discounted rates for the bi-annual Katherine Mansfield conference and all other KMS events as well as access to Mansfield scholars worldwide. Membership costs just NZ$70 ($42 for students/unwaged/ retirees), and application forms are available on the website.

No comments: