According to their website, the BWWA and its conference (the BWWC) provide a forum to discuss women’s writing—writing which has been historically overlooked, ignored, or excluded from the canon.
They provide the following rationale for the association: In focusing on British women’s literature and culture, we neither imply the existence of an essentially female literary tradition nor an exclusively white literary past. Instead, we hope that the focus on Britain will provide a specific cultural context in which we can investigate a dense and complicated intersection of colonial and national subjects as well as gender and racial issues. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offer a distinctive period in British women’s history, starting with the rise of organized feminism, developing into the feminization of literary culture, and leading into the various movements of modern, twentieth-century feminism. In exploring the agency of women in literary history, we hope to encourage the creation of richer, more complex cultural tradition, incorporating a wide range of interdisciplinary interests. Likewise, the conjunction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries encourages a re-examination of the existing constructs of traditional literary historiography, especially in the ways that women’s literary history tends to break down canonical divisions between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century culture, such as the “Augustan” and “Romantic,” and the “Romantic” and “Victorian” periods.