North East English Literature Events in January 2017


Rocky red paving slabs and a wall

Grand Canyon National Park: Hermit Trail Cobblestone, via Grand Canyon NPS (reproduced under CC BY 2.0 licence)

Happy New Year to all our readers and followers! According to Mark Twain, the turn of the year is “the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” We recommend you don’t follow Twain’s advice. Instead, make a resolution to enjoy some of the literature talks and book chat taking place throughout the North East in January, as listed in our new monthly roundup.

One highlight this month, appropriate for the dark days of January, is a rare opportunity to experience Samuel Beckett’s Company in an immersive performance in Durham Cathedral; a discussion about the work, featuring renowned Beckett scholars, takes place on 20th January. Both events are spin-offs from the ongoing exhibition Hearing Voices: Suffering, Inspiration, and the Everyday at Palace Green Library. Other events associated with Hearing Voices this month include a lecture and conversation about Literary Minds and a talk on Dickens and Over-hearing.

Apparently 2016 saw a few minor political developments. Bring a literary perspective to bear on both the past and the future of politics at two conferences this month. The first, on Brexit and the Democratic Intellect thinks about the role culture played in the vote to leave Europe. The second looks back in time to reflect on the ongoing influence of Margaret Thatcher; register soon for Thatcher and Thatcherism: New Critical Perspectives.

Also looking towards the future in uncertain times, Durham Con at the end of the month will bring science fiction scholar Farah Mendleshon, and author Charlie Stross, to the city.

This is just a snapshot of what’s on in the North East this month. Subscribe to our full newsletter, or keep in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook for reminders and additional events. Post using the hashtag #NELiteratureEvents to help publicise your own activities.

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