8.06.2023 Events, Literature

A Feminist Writer without a Home | Discovering Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska

A rediscovery of the fascinating profile and output of feminist writer Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska, with artist Ania Ready whose encounter with her archive led to a seven-year research project.

8th June, 4pm-5.30pm, Online (Microsoft Teams)

Join a special event of the Polish Studies Working Group at the University of Oxford, with artist Ania Ready, who will talk about her literary photobook I Also Fight Windmills (VIKA Books, 2023) inspired by the writing of Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska (1872-1925), a trilingual feminist writer and poet of Polish origin who died forgotten in a mental asylum in Gloucester, UK.

Ania Ready’s chance encounter with the archive of Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska led her to a seven year research project which involved reading hundreds of manuscripts in English, French, and Polish, and travelling to rural Poland, Krakow, Lviv, Paris, New York, London, and Wotton-under-Edge to piece together the writer’s life.

Gaudier-Brzeska’s frequent changes of identity, even more regular changes of addresses, and her ability to express herself creatively in three languages meant that for decades, she remained an enigmatic, misunderstood figure whom no national literary canon could claim.

Ania Ready (b. 1979 in Gdynia, Poland) is a Polish-British photographic artist based in Oxfordshire, UK. She has an MA in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Gdańsk, Poland. She works with images, text and archives. She has a special interest in the topic of femininity and madness. I Also Fight Windmills is her first book.

Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska (b. 1872 in Galicia, Austro-Hungary, d. 1925 in Gloucester, UK) was a writer and poet who wrote in three languages: French, English and her native Polish. After leaving her Polish home in 1899 to find employment in the West, she worked as a nanny, teacher, and domestic worker in Paris, Philadelphia, New York, London, and many other places. Ever ambitious to become a writer, she left behind numerous writings that are now part of the special collections at the University of Cambridge, University of Essex, Kettle’s Yard, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Orléans in France.

To register for your free place:

A Feminist Writer without a Home | Discovering Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska | TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

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