Call for Proposals: Late Summer Lectures 2020 (Deadline 29th May)

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Now in its eighth year, our popular annual series of Late Summer Lectures is running again in 2020, whether in digital or face to face form, or a combination of the two. Postgraduates and early-career researchers from around the UK are invited to submit proposals on the theme of Body and Mind.

We are pleased to announce that the Department of English Studies’ annual Late Summer Lecture Series will return this summer. We invite postgraduates and early career researchers from all disciplines to submit abstracts for consideration. The series gives researchers an opportunity to present their work as an accessible public lecture, open to academic and non-academic audiences alike.

As we continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, we will be proceeding with the lecture series, and will therefore be considering the conduction of virtual live lectures. We aim to be as flexible as possible in terms of each speaker’s access needs at this time, including access to the internet and quiet spaces, and hearing and vision requirements. A decision will be made in due course keeping in mind how the virus will impact our daily lives.

We welcome papers which analyse the theme of Body and Mind. The bodily turn in academic criticism invites us to consider our reception of sensation, our position in space, and broadens literary discussions into medicine, technology, anthropology, and other corporeal fields. Yet a focus on the body requires an interrogation, in dualistic terms, of the mind which it encases; through which it is inhabited; or with which we can approach questions of the affective or the cognitive. We encourage papers from all literary and interdisciplinary fields.

In recent years, joint presentations have proved successful and we would be particularly pleased to receive applications from groups of two or three researchers alongside individual applications. We are also interested in putting groups of shorter presentations together – please indicate in your proposal whether you would be happy to speak on a panel.

Speakers will be given the opportunity to have their work recorded and uploaded as a podcast to the READ (Research in English At Durham) website, with the permission of the speaker. Core reimbursement is available for travel to/from Durham.

The Series will be held at Alington House in Durham every Wednesday evening from 19 August to 7 October 2020. Lectures should be approximately 45 minutes long for individual papers, or 15 minutes long if presenting on a panel, with an additional 10-15 minutes for questions. Abstracts of 250-300 words accompanied by a 100 word bio should be sent to by 29 May 2020.

For further information and updates about the Series, find us on Facebook (Late Summer Lecture Series), follow us on Twitter (@Late_Summer2020), or visit us at We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Bryony Armstrong and Samantha Belcher
2020 Late Summer Lecture Series Convenors.

If you’re in need of inspiration or a sense of what lectures can be like, listen to podcasts from previous series, such as 2019 on ‘Time and Space’.

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