Monthly Archives: June 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS! Twenty-Five Years of Regeneration: A Pat Barker Symposium

Twenty-Five Years of Regeneration: A Pat Barker Symposium

Saturday 15 October 2016, Durham University, 10.30 am – 5.00 pm

Twenty-five years after the publication of Regeneration, we invite proposals for papers on Pat Barker’s formative work of First World War historical fiction, as well as on her wider oeuvre. In 1991 Regeneration focused readers’ attention onto a lesser-visited space of war, the psychiatric hospital, onto challenging narratives of trauma and sexuality, and onto the ideologies of a society struggling to negotiate the effects of a global and industrialised conflict. The conference will be preceded by a public event on 14 October in Durham Cathedral on fiction and World War One, featuring Michael Morpurgo and Pat Barker.

This symposium will centre on discussion of how Barker’s novel, followed by The Eye in the Door (1993) and The Ghost Road (1995), has tested and shaped perceptions of the First World War. Particularly relevant during the current centenary period are the trilogy’s themes of memory and haunting, which resonate with questions of why the war remains such a prominent part of our culture, and how our views of it have been re-processed and revised. Held in Barker’s home city of Durham, the symposium will also address the portrayals of place in her novels. Initially known for her writing about women in the north east of England, the importance of her settings is undiminished in her later work – from Sarah Lumb’s description of herself as ‘what you’d call Geordie’ in Regeneration to the exploration of London in the Blitz in Barker’s most recent work, Noonday (2015).

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker will be Professor Sharon Monteith (The University of Nottingham), and that our guest Chair will be Dr Anne Whitehead (Newcastle University). Professor Monteith’s Pat Barker (2002) was the first book on the award-winning novelist’s work, which she is updating for a new edition. She co-edited the first collection of critical essays on the writer, Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker, in 2005 and has interviewed Barker on a number of occasions, including publicly at Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival, the Nottingham Playhouse and at the Durham Book Festival on more than one occasion. Dr Whitehead, a pioneer in the field of trauma studies, has also interviewed Barker and has published extensively on her novels, for example in her monograph Trauma Fiction (2004).

We welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers on any of the following topics and on any other relevant areas:

  • Changing literary interpretations of the First World War
  • The development of the genre of historical fiction
  • ‘Bringing the past to life’
  • Barker’s themes and settings
  • Trauma, hauntings, memory and remembrance
  • Class, gender, and sexuality in Barker’s work

Please send abstracts (maximum 250 words) by 31 July 2016
to Professor Simon James:

Our event is supported by the Department of English Studies, Durham University. You can find details of this symposium, as well as other similar activities, by following @READEnglish on Twitter. You can keep up to date with others discussing the symposium by using the hashtag #Barker2016 on Twitter.

Professor Simon J. James, Head of Department, Department of English Studies

Call for Papers! Fireworks: The Visual Imagination of Angela Carter

The Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1PX

in association with The University of the West of England, Bristol and the Festival of Ideas

Monday 9 January 2017

Keynote: Sir Christopher Frayling


2017 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Angela Carter, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, renowned for her novels and adaptations of fairy tales. This symposium coincides with the exhibition, Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter (10 December-19 March 2017), hosted by The Royal West of England Academy and curated by Marie Mulvey-Roberts and Fiona Robinson. Carter worked and studied in Bristol for nearly ten years in the 1960s, where she wrote five novels, including The Magic Toyshop. Appropriately this exhibition takes place in Clifton, where she lived and created her first novel, Shadow Dance, set in the city, which forms part of the “Bristol trilogy”.

Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter focuses on the painters who inspired her and historical and contemporary art which can be seen to parallel her writing. Carter had an extraordinarily visual imagination and this is represented in the exhibition through the juxtaposition of images and her words. Carter’s adept story-telling, accompanied by her captivating graphic imagination, bursts out of the restraints of a single discipline. As she once pointed out: “I feel free to loot and rummage in an official past, specifically a literary past, but I like painting and sculptures and the movies and folklore and heresies, too.” Carter’s subversive, political, radical and highly original work has been an important influence on film-makers, writers and artists. This symposium aims to give new insights into the strange worlds of Angela Carter and pay tribute to her visual imagination, as well re-assessing her impact and importance for the twenty-first century.

The symposium seeks to create dialogue between practising artists, curators, writers, academics and students from disciplines including the visual arts, literature, history, film and media studies. Proposals for papers are invited to reflect on various aspects of Carter’s work: These might include, but are not limited to:

• Visual imagination and inspiration

• Art, poetry, music, film, journalism, translation, theatre, puppetry

• Japanese culture, sexuality, philosophy, radicalism, feminism


250 word abstracts for 20 minute papers by 1 August 2016
should be emailed to Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts at and Dr Charlotte Crofts at

Artists and curators should send proposals directly to Fiona Robinson at

The Future of the Humanities Day on 4 July

Dear all,

Wanted to let you all know about our event on 4 July – The Future of the Humanities at the Tetley, Leeds – with Sarah Churchwell, Eleonora Belfiore and Donald Drakeman. Some of you may have seen it already in other contexts, but please do come if you would like to and also forward to your networks. I’ve asked Leanne to send round the CWWA mailing list.


Best wishes,


Professor Susan Watkins
School of Cultural Studies and Humanities
Leeds Beckett University
Broadcasting Place A214
Woodhouse Lane
Leeds LS2 9EN
Tel 0113 8123375
Director, Centre for Culture and the Arts