Faculty of Arts Staff Research Conference, 2 July 2018

CTTR staff will be presenting their latest research at the Faculty of Arts Staff Research Conference on Monday, 2 July 2018, from 11-1pm (Room MC331), all staff and students welcome. Speakers include:

Dr Frank Wilson, ‘That Memorable Scene’: Visual and Literary Iconography of King Charles the First in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Literature’

Dr Nicola Allen, ‘Incendiary Politics: Writing the Suffragettes’

Dr Stephen Gregg, ‘Nasty Religion’

Dr Irina Moore, ‘Vilnius Memoryscape: “Razing” and Raising of Monuments, Collective Memory and National Identity’

Prof Sebastian Groes, ‘Memory in the Twenty-First Century’

Dr Benjamin Colbert, ‘British Women’s Travel Writing Database: an Exploration’

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Research Seminar: 24 April – Dr Annika Bautz on Walter Scott, Celebrity, and Stage Adaptation

Dr Annika Bautz, Plymouth University, will be speaking on ‘The “universal favourite”: Daniel Terry’s Guy Mannering; or, The Gipsey’s Prophecy (1816)’, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 14.00 – 15.30, Room MC232. All are welcome.

This paper explores the contemporary reception of the first adaptation of a Walter Scott novel for the stage, Daniel Terry’s Guy Mannering, or, The Gipsey’s Prophecy (1816). Many more people, from a much wider socio-economic background, would have seen Terry’s version between 1816 and 1724 than would have had access to the novel. Reviews of the play indicate that its popularity was enhanced by Scott’s extraordinary fame and status, and indeed, was judged by its closeness to the novel. Terry’s play paved the way for a rush of stage adaptations of Scott novels, and presents one of the many spin-offs that Scott’s works inspired and enabled. The play, in turn, contributed to shaping the reception of the more popular novelist of the early nineteenth century.

About the speaker:
Dr Annika Bautz is Head of the School of Humanities and Performing Arts at Plymouth University, where she specializes in Romantic and Victorian fiction, book history, and reception studies. Her books include Libraries, Books, and Collectors of Texts, 1600-1900 (2017) and The Reception of Jane Austen and Walter Scott (2007).  She is currently working on adaptations and after-lives of Walter Scott’s works.

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Public Lecture: 17 April, Kate Lister on the History of C**t

‌‌Dr Kate Lister from Leeds Trinity University will be visiting City Campus on Tuesday 17th April 2018, 6 p.m.-7.30, MK045 to deliver a public lecture, ‘A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing’: A History of C**t’. The lecture is free, no tickets are required, and all are welcome.

Walter Kirn called c**t ‘the A-bomb of the English language’, and he’s absolutely right (Kirn, 2005). In 2016, Ofcom (the regulator for UK communications) ranked swear words in order of offensive, and the C-Bomb came out on top. The British Board of Film Classification’s guidelines state that the word c**t can only be used frequently in films that are rated 18+. Feminists have long maintained an uneasy relationship with the word, unsure if it is empowering or demeaning.  But, how did we end up here? How did a word that signifies the vulva end up being ranked as one of the most offensive words in the English language? Join Kate Lister in an exploration of c**t and find out just how it ended up on the linguistic naughty step.

About the Speaker: Dr Kate Lister researches the history of sexuality and sex work. She owns and curates the online research project, Whores of Yore. She is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, a columnist for The Independent and on the board of the international sex work research hub.




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Contemporary Critical Perspectives Debate, 20 March

Tuesday 20 March, 5-6pm, MU406, Lord Swraj Paul Building, University of Wolverhampton.

Professor Peter Childs (Newman), Professor Sebastian Groes (Wolverhampton), and Dr Kay Mitchell (Manchester), Series Editors of the Bloomsbury Academic Series Contemporary Critical Perspectives,  debate some of the most pressing problems in society today, and consider how literature has responded to these issues. Concerns include digital immortality, climate change, post-truth, Artificial Intelligence, #metoo, amongst others.

All are welcome.

Contemporary Critical Perspectives provides companions to major contemporary authors, such as J. G. Ballard, Sarah Waters, David Mitchell and Hilary Mantel. For more information, see https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/series/contemporary-critical-perspectives/

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Public Lecture: 13 Mar., Carolyne Larrington on Game of Thrones

CTTR and the School of Humanities welcome Professor Carolyne Larrington from the University of Oxford to the City Campus on Tuesday 13th March 2018, 6 p.m.-7.30, MK045 for a public lecture, ‘Winter is Coming: Game of Thrones and Medieval Culture’, in which she considers the ways in which medievalist and neomedievalist perspectives informed George R. R. Martin’s work and the blockbuster TV series that arose from it. As this is a public lecture, please bring friends and family. No tickets required.

Carolyne Larrington is Professor of Medieval European Literature at the University of Oxford where she teaches medieval English literature. She researches in Old Norse-Icelandic literature and her most recent book is The Norse Myths which was published in 2017.She also works on Arthurian literature and in medievalism. Recent books include Winter is Coming (2015) and The Land of the Green Man (2015) on folklore and place. Current projects are: an investigation into emotion in Middle English literature and a multi-media project: #modernfairies, with Dr Fay Hield of Sheffield University.

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Dr Daisy Black – AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker

CTTR’s Dr Daisy Black, Lecturer in English, is among this year’s winners of the prestigious AHRC / BBC RADIO 3 NEW GENERATION THINKERS COMPETITION 2018

Dr Black is a specialist in Medieval and Renaissance drama, and gender and queer theory.  She has been selected for the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers scheme 2018, and will be working with the BBC to make a programme for Radio 3 on her research project, ‘Eating God: Food in Medieval Religious Drama’.  As a New Generation Thinker she will also be appearing  in a number of radio and television broadcasts and panel debates over the next few years.  Her role will be officially introduced at the Free Thinking Festival in Gateshead on the 9th-11th March.

The AHRC-BBC New Generation Thinkers competition has run since 2010. Each year, a small group of early career researchers chosen by a multi-stage selection process are trained to communicate academic ideas in creative and accessible ways to non-academic audiences. They will appear regularly on BBC Radio 3, develop programme ideas, and contribute across the BBC’s radio, TV and online output. Successful applicants will also appear at the BBC’s Festival of Ideas and other events, make short films, participate in AHRC public and academic events and receive further support from AHRC for research and communication planning. Previous winners have maintained links with the BBC and often contribute beyond their New Generation year.

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Research Seminar Room Change

Professor John Strachan, Bath Spa University, will be speaking on ‘Wordsworth among the Fascists’, Thursday, 1 February 2018 14.00 – 15.30, Room MU504. All are welcome.

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Research Seminar: 1 February 2018, Prof John Strachan on Wordsworth and Fascism

Professor John Strachan, Bath Spa University, will be speaking on ‘Wordsworth among the Fascists’, Thursday, 1 February 2018 14.00 – 15.30, Room MU504. All are welcome.

This lecture examines the way in which the British Union of Fascists used Romantic poetry in the 1930s, how it contrived to see Wordsworth, in the words of a 1939 article in the fascist magazine Action, as ‘William Wordsworth – National Socialist’. This was part of a contemporary fascistic tendency to see English literature as ‘proving the essentially British character of our creed’: ‘we should be the first to honour such names as Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats’. This lecture discusses a notable misuse of the English canon of poetry, and of Wordsworth in particular.

About the speaker
John Strachan is Professor of English and Vice Provost for Research and Development at Bath Spa University. His research interests focus on British Romanticism, with a particular attention to Romantic-era popular culture, parody and satire, literary magazines and the work of Leigh Hunt, John Keats and William Wordsworth. He is fascinated by the relationship between literature and advertising, the subject of his monographs, Advertising and Satirical Culture in the Romantic Period, Cambridge University Press, 2007, and Advertising, Literature and Print Culture in Ireland, 1891-1922 (co-written with Claire Nally), Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

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‘Un-shared Futures?: Teaching the Literatures of Four Nations in Flux’ –– A Symposium

The Association for Welsh Writing in English and the University of Wolverhampton School of Humanities are delighted to invite colleagues from all areas of literary studies to a one-day symposium on the subject of ‘Un-shared Futures?: Teaching the Literatures of Four Nations in Flux’, on 5 December 2017, Room MU504/5, City Campus, University of Wolverhampton.

As the UK stumbles from constitutional crisis to EU withdrawal, three speakers, a postgraduate panel and a round-table discussion address the question of how literature and humanities departments face the challenge of choosing, framing and teaching canonical and contemporary literary texts from the Four Nations within the critical and pedagogical structures found in each nation’s schools and universities.

The keynote speakers will be Professor Katie Gramich (Prifysgol Caerdydd/University of Cardiff), Professor Eve Patten (Cólaiste na Tríonóide Baile Atha Cliath / Coleg y Drindod Dulyn / Trinity College Dublin) and Thomas Morris (author of We Don’t Know What We’re Doing (2015), Contributing Editor of  The Stinging Fly and Writer in Residence, Cólaiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh / University College Cork) reading from his work and in conversation with Professor Matt Jarvis (UWTSD/PCYDDS/Prifysgol Aberystwyth University).

Panel chairs will be Dr Sarah Morse (Learned Society of Wales / Cymdeithas Ddysgedig Cymru) and Professor Kirsti Bohata (Prifysgol Abertawe / University of Swansea).

Indicative schedule:

9.30-10.30: Introductory Keynote 1 – Professor Katie Gramich

10.30-11: Coffee

11-12.30: Postgraduate paper panel chaired by Dr. Sarah Morse

12.30-1.30: Lunch

1.30-2.30: Keynote 2 – Professor Eve Patten

2.30-3: Coffee

3.00-4.30: Hard Borders? Teaching Four Nations Literature – a round table discussion chaired by Professor Kirsti Bohata

4-30-5.00: Coffee

5.00-6.00: Creative Keynote – Thomas Morris.

Please send 200-word abstracts of postgraduate papers on the subject of new approaches to Four Nations texts and/or teaching to a.byrne2@wlv.ac.uk by November 1st: draft papers will be distributed to delegates in advance so that panellists and delegates can engage with the ideas and texts in a discussion led by the chair and author of each paper.

The conference is free to all registered delegates, funded by the Faculty of Arts, Wolverhampton University. Delegate numbers will be limited to 45. For further details and to reserve a place, please contact:

Dr Aidan Byrne
School of English, University of Wolverhampton
Camp Street

Postgraduate and low-waged members of the Association for Welsh Writing in English are welcome to apply to the Association for travel support: please contact treasurer@awwe.org.


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Jane Austen – Germaine de Staël Anniversary Keynote

Benjamin Colbert, Co-Director of CTTR, delivered the opening keynote address at the Chawton House Library conference, Reputations, Legacies, Futures: Jane Austen, Germaine de Staël and their Contemporaries, on Thursday, 13 July 2017.  Celebrating the bicentenary of the deaths of Austen and Staël – the one who would become one of the most famous novelists in England and the other who enjoyed celebrity status throughout Europe in her own day – the conference took as its theme the cross-channel literary and cultural relationships that flourished in their era and which form a principal context for appreciating their works.

Prof. Catriona Seth, Oxford University, introduces keynote speaker Benjamin Colbert, 13 July 2017

Colbert’s keynote, ‘Lady Morgan’s France en France, 1817-1830: “The book, which one must run to read”‘, took up another landmark work, also 200 years old, namely the controversial best-selling travel book of Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan, whose earlier novels had earned her celebrity status in Britain and France. Morgan was sometimes identified as ‘the Irish de Staël’ and referred to Staël herself in France as ‘the most distinguished woman of the age’, but, unlike Staël, Morgan drew fire from critics and reviewers on both sides of the channel for her defence of revolutionary and Napoleonic reforms and for, as a woman, writing on politics at all. Even her own translator cut out ‘objectionable’ passages and carried on a critical dialogue with her through his translator’s notes, following all of this with a book-length refutation and a concerted campaign against her influence in France. Colbert’s keynote considered the larger shape of this cultural reception as well as Morgan’s development of a counter-history in which her travel writings broach ‘truths which history trembles to narrate’.

A second keynote address was delivered  by Professor Alison Finch, University of Cambridge, on ‘Staël, Austen and the Politics of the Bildungsroman’, and Deirdre Lynch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature at Harvard University, concluded the conference with ‘The Unwritten History of the Woman of Genius’.

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