Catholicism, Literature and the Arts: 1850 – Present (Conference, 5th-7th July)

Is there a distinctive tradition of ‘Catholic literature’? Through looking at writers such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Seamus Heaney, this is just one of the many questions that will be addressed at this interdisciplinary conference from 5th-7th July, in Durham. Registration is now open. 

The conference will bring together leading scholars to address key questions in the study of Catholic art and writing, including the question of whether there is a distinctive tradition of ‘Catholic literature’. Among the main topics and themes of the conference are Catholic memoir and autobiography; Catholic fiction and poetry; Catholic readership; journalism; publishers and archives; and the visual arts. The conference will include film, music, and the visual arts, as well as literature. It will also draw on works of art and literature closely associated with Ushaw College.

Featured speakers include:

  • Prof. Eamon Duffy
  • Prof. Terry Eagleton
  • Prof. Paul Lakeland
  • Anna Lawson
  • Dr Melanie McDonagh
  • HE Daniel Mulhall
  • Paul Anthony Murray

The conference will also include short-paper sessions on topics such as:

  • Spiritual autobiography
  • Sacred objects
  • Catholic poetry from Hopkins to Heaney
  • James Joyce and the Irish novel
  • Nineteenth-century religious painting and sculpture
  • Catholic book history and publishing

For more information, including a programme and booking information, see the Centre for Catholic Studies. This conference is organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University and Ushaw College and is supported by the Centre for Poetry and Poetics and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University, with co-sponsoring assistance from The Tablet, The Pastoral Review and the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain.


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