North East English Literature Events in May 2017


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Love books and all things literary? Live in or visit the North East? Our monthly listing keeps you in the know about literature and book chat, lectures, readings and discussions taking place across the North East, in Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Teesside and beyond. If you are organising a literature-related event that should be added, let us know.


Wed 03

16:30 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham

Wellness as Metaphor: Mapping Affect in Heidi Julavits The Vanishers, with Sean Grattan (University of Kent)

This talk examines the increased language surrounding wellness in the United States through a discussion of Heidi Julavits’s The Vanishers. The Vanishers insistently maps ways narratives of wellness creep into contemporary American fiction. In The Vanishers the everyday routinization of monitoring affective states becomes deeply entangled in productivity. Julavits describes affective states as contagious and open to influence and attack from others. These attacks force people out of appropriate affective states rendering them unacceptable laboring bodies. This event is organised by Durham University English Society.

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Thu 04

18:00 in St Chad’s College Chapel, Durham

Slow Politics: Towards a Literary Prehistory of the Welfare State, 1880-1920, with Benjamin Kohlmann (Freiburg)

This paper outlines a literary prehistory of the welfare state through readings of works by Edward Carpenter, H. G. Wells, E. M. Forster, and Virginia Woolf. By focusing on the slow politics of reform, I foreground a temporality of institutional change – and a modality of literary writing – that differs from the aesthetics and politics of rupture commonly associated with the experience of modernity. The reformist literary mode responds to what Perry Anderson has called the “imaginative proximity of social revolution” in the period. At the same time, literary works written in the reformist mode imagine the emerging institutional structures of the welfare state as deeply connected to the fabric of social life in a way that defuses the threat of revolutionary upheaval. Finally, by presenting the welfare state as an embodiment of collective ends, these works also provide some critical leverage on current theorizations of the welfare state in literary studies. This event is organised by Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures and St Chad’s College.

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Fri 05

10:00 in Senate Suite, Durham Castle, Durham

Horace Walpole and his Legacies: A Tercentenary Colloquium

An informal gathering with presentations, discussion, and a workshop, as part of Durham’s series of events marking the tercentenary of the birth of Horace Walpole—novelist, playwright, designer, collector, and letter-writer extraordinaire. This event is organised by Durham University Department of English Studies.

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Fri 05

15:00 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham

Education and Accomplishments, with Leanne Cane (Northumbria, English) and Amélie Addison (Leeds, Music)

Leanne Cane (Northumbria, English) ‘“In which instruction and amusement were happily blended”: Education and reading in the novels of Charlotte Smith’

Amélie Addison (Leeds, Music) ‘Billy Boy – how the songs and sounds of William Shield’s youth in the North East accompanied him to Covent Garden and beyond’ This event is organised by The North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies.

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Sat 06

19:30 in Gala Theatre, Durham

Dr John Cooper Clarke

Dr John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet.’ Today he is as relevant as ever and his presence is visible on today’s pop culture. His poetry is included on the National Curriculum syllabus and his influence on modern music is huge with the Arctic Monkey’s putting one of his classic poems I Wanna Be Yours to music. This event is organised by .

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Mon 08

12:30 in School of Education Gardens , Durham

The Poetry Exchange – Pop Up Poetry Swap

Join The Poetry Exchange team for Pop Up Poetry Swap as we invite you to a poetry picnic, exploring the idea of poems as friends.

We’ll be in the gardens outside the School of Education, near the memorial (or inside the Joachim Room at Hild Bede if the weather is really miserable), creating a pop-up poetry space in the University grounds – a chance to get outside of your usual surroundings and make a different kind of space in your day through poetry, and a chance for us to try out some ideas we are working on for the Durham Book Festival. We’d love to make contact with colleagues interested in taking the project to new and interesting places as well.

Feel free to bring along a friend and/ or a poem that has ever been a friend to you. No prior poetry experience necessary. Refreshments & picnic blankets provided. This event is organised by Poetry Exchange and Foundation Centure.

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Tue 09 to Sat 13

09:00 in Various venues, Newcastle

Newcastle Poetry Festival

‘In Time’ is the theme of this year’s festival, which explores notions of timeliness, history and music. It will feature music and poetry collaborations at Sage Gateshead including performances by Royal Northern Sinfonia, readings from UK-based and international poets, the launch of a new poetry app Steps in Time: a poem-walk through Newcastle upon Tyne, The Basil Bunting Poetry Award announcement, a poetry symposium, as well as workshops, panel discussions, films, exhibitions, book signings and food stalls. This event is organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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Wed 10

17:30 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham

Science Fiction film, literature and television, with Dr Mark Bould (University of the West of England)

An Inventions of the Text seminar. This event is organised by Inventions of the Text.

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Fri 12

20:00 in Gala Theatre, Durham

Bang Said The Gun

Voted the best poetry night in the UK by the Times, Bang Said The Gun has made poetry cool again. A rollercoaster of emotions, it’s loud, raucous, political, trivial, serious and very funny. Normal rules do not apply here. Featuring a rich mix of the best and freshest talent, they will grab you by the collar and drag you into another world.
This event is organised by .

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Fri 12

14:15 in Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Painting the Theatre: Garrick in Action, with Bernadette Petti

Join the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Fine Art, Bernadette Petti, to learn more about the current exhibition Painting the Theatre: Garrick in Action. This event is organised by Bowes Museum.

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Tue 16

17:30 in Learning Centre, Palace Green Library, Durham

The Struggle for Acceptance: Applying Tenets of Ecocriticism to Medieval Texts, with Dr Connie Scarborough (Texas Tech University)

As omnipresent as are potential works for ecocritical interpretation in the field of pre-modern literature, ecocriticism as an accepted vehicle for critical inquiry has come relatively late to the game for scholars of medieval literature. This seminar will examine works from Medieval Spain with an eye to the presence of details about the natural world and explain why an ecocritical approach to pre-modern texts can open up new ways of reading of even very familiar works. This event is organised by Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

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Wed 17

16:30 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham

Early Modern Comedy and the Discourse of Prudence, with Dr Daniel Derrin (Durham)

Daniel Derrin’s past research has focused on the theoretical traditions and practices of early modern rhetoric, but in current work he is investigating the intersections between early modern comedy and ethics as well as the ethical discourses that inform it. The project seeks a new approach to the politics of comedy that addresses the role of the ‘moral imagination’, both in the context of Renaissance debates about comedy as well as in that of contemporary philosophical theory. This event is organised by Durham University Department of English Studies.

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Thu 18

17:00 in Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, Durham

Walter Benjamin’s Paris, Capital of Jewish Aesthetic Modernity, with Professor Jonathan Freedman (Michigan)

A trio of contexts conventionally define Walter Benjamin’s influential writings: German literature and philosophy, mystical Jewish thought, and Marxism. But there is a fourth that is oddly marginalized in the criticism: France. Benjamin spent much of the last ten years of his life in Paris, and theorized modernity with reference to Proust, Baudelaire, and its shopping arcades, among other texts and circumstances. (He imbibed hashish, for example, in Marseilles.) What happens if we take French culture in general—Paris in particular—as seriously as the other three? And what happens to Benjamin’s other intellectual engagements if we do so? This event is organised by Transnationalism Research Group & Centre for Jewish Culture, Society and Politics.

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Mon 22

19:15 in Culture Lab, Newcastle University, Newcastle

Val McDermid in conversation with Jackie Kay

Val McDermid is a No.1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have sold over 15 million copies. Jackie Kay is an award-winning poet, novelist and playwright. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and Scotland’s Makar, or national poet. This event is organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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Tue 23

18:00 in World Heritage Site Visitors Centre, Durham

‘So faire ȝhe was & briȝt of mod, Ase snow vpon þe rede blod’: The Shifting Identities of Saracen Women in Medieval Romance, with Anum Dada

This event is free to attend and open to all and you do not need to register your attendance. This event is organised by Durham University Medieval and Early Modern Studies Students Association.

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Tue 23

17:30 in Ushaw College, Durham

English Jesuit Drama 1599-1916: From Martyrs to Rum Punch, with Joe Reed & Jan Graffius (Stonyhurst)

This event is organised by Ushaw Lecture Series.

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Tue 23

13:00 in Laing Gallery, Newcastle

Exploring Genius: Genius, Creativity and Disease, with Professor Clark Lawlor (Northumbria)

Professor Clark Lawlor, Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature atNorthumbria University, will discuss the fascinating cultural history of ideas of genius and creativity, and their complex relationship to theories about melancholia and disease.

This event has been programmed to accompany the exhibition Modern Visionaries: Van Dyck and the Artists’ Eye, showing from 28 January – 4 June 2017. This event is organised by Laing Gallery.

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Tue 23

09:00 in Northumbria University, Newcastle

Offensive Shakespeare

rom Thomas and Henrietta Bowdler expurgating ‘inappropriate’ passages from their Family Shakespeare, through Jewish campaigns in the early 20th century to remove The Merchant of Venice from American classrooms, to this latest ‘outrage’, people have been offended by what Shakespeare wrote or by the uses to which others have put him. But what is it that offends us and how do we deal with it? What makes Shakespeare and his appropriations such a sensitive issue? This event is organised by Northumbria University.

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Wed 24

17:30 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham

PhD Student and Early Career Researcher Seminar

Inventions of the Text is a fortnightly staff-student seminar series run by postgraduate students from the Department of English Studies at Durham University. In seminars, staff and postgraduate students from Durham and other institutions present their research in the form of a brief paper before participating in a discussion on the issues raised. This event is organised by Inventions of the Text.

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Wed 24

17:00 in Mining Institute, Newcastle

Breath Lab: Lost in Translation

Breath Lab is an experiment; a discussion forum which brings people together to think differently about breathing, breathlessness and respiratory health. Convened by the Life of Breath research team, our first workshop will explore the language of breathlessness, lung disease and respiratory healthcare. In particular: Is our language rich enough to fully describe the experience of breathlessness? Do some of the words and descriptions used have unhelpful connotations?Is there a mismatch between the language doctors and patients use? This event is organised by Life of Breath.

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Fri 26

14:00 in Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Sunderland

Two against Hitler, with Stuart Miller

Ida and Louise Cook, residents of 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, saved many Jews from Nazi persecution. Under the pen name of Mary Burchell, Ida was also a prolific author for Mills and Boon. This talk will outline the lives and careers of these two fascinating women. This event is organised by Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

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Sat 27

00:00 in University College, Durham

Conflict, Healing, and the Arts in the Long Nineteenth Century

This conference will investigate the ways in which the arts—materially, sonically, and aesthetically—promoted, transformed, and negated experiences of healing for soldiers, civilians, and communities between 1774 and 1918 across European Empires, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This event is organised by Durham University Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.

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Wed 31

17:00 in Russkiy Mir Centre, Elvet Riverside, Durham

Affective Political Work on the Document: Yael Bartana’s Polish Trilogy, with Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky (Professor of Media Studies and Gender Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

Queer Cinema is situated beyond the cinematic regime, experimenting with new aesthetics and forms of queer subjectification, as well as pushing to dissolve genres and media dispositifs. At its best it succeeds in what Deleuze, at the end of the 1980s, asked of film in times of digital and electronic imaging: to generate a new form of resistance, and to counter television’s system of surveillance and control. Engaging with Yael Bartana’s Polish trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011), Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky will exemplify how aesthetics, politics and technology come together in queer post-cinema. Yael Bartana’s work revolves around the ambivalent and traumatic history of the state of Israel, of Zionism and diaspora. Bartana, as will be explicated in the talk, pursues an aesthetic approach that can be described as affective political work on the document. This event is organised by Performance and Performativity research group..

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Disclaimer

Before you travel, please check all event information using the web links provided.

12 responses to “North East English Literature Events in May 2017

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