Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

LJMU English Lecturer Michael Morris recently attended the second ever World Congress of Scottish Literatures which took place this year in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference’s subtitle ‘Dialogues and Diasporas’ emphasised the variety of ways in which Scotland is articulated both at home and within a global context through literature in English, Scots and Gaelic. This year marks 150 years of the confederation in Canada, though the First Nations have been on the territory for considerably longer than that. The organisers of the congress observed that the location the conference was held on was ‘unceded territory’ and a strong element of the conference was exploring Indigenous/ Scottish relations from the earliest days to the present. This included an opening session featuring Indigenous spoken word poetry and music and the launch of the Indigenous/ Scottish Studies research cluster which will explore the history of conquest and exchange. The congress was closed with an exhibition of Metis dancing believed to be a fusion...
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ESPRIT de Corps: LJMU English Hosts Major European Conference

ESPRIT de Corps: LJMU English Hosts Major European Conference

The first floor of the John Foster Building will resonate with the sounds of many different voices and languages on the 7th and 8th of July when the European Society for Periodicals Research (ESPRIT) holds its fifth conference at LJMU English. The Society was founded in 2009 by a group of periodical researchers from the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, the USA and the UK. The group is dedicated to cross-disciplinary and transnational research into European periodicals, magazines, journals and newspapers from all historical periods. As well as conferences, the Society, which is free to join, acts as an information exchange for research in this field and is just launching an on-line journal, the Journal of European Periodical Studies. Last year’s conference in Stockholm brought together over forty speakers from across Europe all keen to think about the similarities and differences between the periodical press in different countries and in diverse national traditions. This year’s conference has taken 'Periodical Counter Cultures: Tradition,...
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Masculinity and the Metropolis: LJMU English Student to give paper at University of Kent Conference

Masculinity and the Metropolis: LJMU English Student to give paper at University of Kent Conference

Lois Walker, a postgraduate student on LJMU English's Masters by Research programme, has had her conference paper proposal accepted for the 'Masculinity and the Metropolis' conference at the University of Kent in April 2016. The interdisciplinary conference, which spans two days, will include scholars of literature, art history and film. Lois's paper is entitled 'The Myth of Gay "Golden Age" New York', and will focus upon two novels from the period - John Rechy’s Rushes (1979) and Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance (1978). She seeks to challenge the romanticised ideal of an urban 'safe space' by exposing ways in which male homosexual experience was forced into the de-industrialised and derelict dark spaces of New York city such as the piers and the waterfront bars. Her chosen writers express within their novels a duality within gay metropolitan life and illustrate several conflicts between the individual and the community, the homosexual male and the city, and the discourses of private and public life within the urban. Lois graduated...
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This conference changed my life (or my thesis, at least)

This conference changed my life (or my thesis, at least)

I recently got back from a four day geekend that was an international conference on science fiction held in London, as the 72nd WorldCon, an event so big that countries and cities bid for it in coming years (like the Olympics, but instead of athletes you get nerds) – indeed, it was held in a venue so big that it had two – TWO – train stations. Count them… Two. The conference was on diversity in science fiction, from its conception and inception to form and content, including text and hypertext, passive and interactive narratives, and, specifically for me, narratives that operated outside of the dominant paradigm of the straight white male. As I was struggling with a dissertation on the (feminist) posthuman in Iain M Banks novels, Alice Ferrebe threw over a CFP email and I went for it with all the verve and vitriol I had. And they accepted my abstract. And then I panicked. But I had my mentors, the staff,...
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Life Beyond the PhD: My Stay at Cumberland Lodge

Life Beyond the PhD: My Stay at Cumberland Lodge

I was delighted to have recently had the opportunity to attend a residential conference at Cumberland Lodge.  Life Beyond the PhD is an annual event that gives early career researchers practical advice and offers them the chance to reflect on their future within academia.  Compelled to share my experiences I thought I would begin by giving some background to the place itself.  Set against a spectacular landscape the seventeenth-century lodge is situated on the Royal estate in Windsor.  The decision by George VI to make the house and its grounds available to students and universities was largely influenced by Amy Buller’s book Darkness Over Germany (1943).  Critical of the ways in which National Socialist ideologies were promoted and reinforced by German universities during the Second World War, Buller’s study persuaded the King to create an academic retreat where researchers could discuss contemporary ‘social matters, ethics, and international issues’, within an open and democratic environment.   The conference was scheduled to start at...
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Conference Report: Victorian Orientalism(s)

Conference Report: Victorian Orientalism(s)

27th-29th June Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, Lois Thomas In June this year, with the support of a postgraduate travel bursary, I packed my bags and merrily boarded a well-known budget airline flight for Trapani, Sicily to attend the inaugural conference of the Universities of Ghent and Catania. The subject was ‘Victorian Orientalism(s)’ and presented an opportunity for me to finally commit to paper my thoughts about the persistence of oriental imagery in the accounts of transgressive and revelatory experience that form the basis of my PhD thesis. Arriving on the west coast of the island, the first challenge was to negotiate Sicily’s bus service to travel across to the tiny, perfect baroque town of Ragusa Ibla in the South East. This turned out to be no great hardship. Cruising along through the Sicilian countryside accompanied by wonderful views, good tunes and air conditioning, I was able to take in the cities of Palermo and Catania en route to the conference venue. A new...
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