samuel-beckett-john-haynes.jpgThe Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading has announced that the next Beckett Research Seminar will take place on Saturday, 24 November 2018.

Tickets can be purchased on the door on the morning of the seminar, but they need to know numbers for catering so please email Mark Nixon at m.nixon@reading.ac.uk by Thursday 15 November if you wish to attend. As such please notify the organiser if you have any dietary requirements.

The event will include talks by Julie Bates (Trinity College Dublin), Pim Verhulst (University of Antwerp), Lucy Jeffery, and Shane Weller (University of Kent). You can find out more about the event on the The Samuel Beckett Society website.

Robert Harrison has interviewed the American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson about her religious beliefs for Entitled Opinions, hosted by the Los Angeles Review of Books. Their conversation also touches on topics of grief, history, science, Freudianism, and the work of Ralph Waldo EmersonWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson, and Edgar Allan Poe. Listen.

A conference at the University of York • 17-19 May 2018

This conference marks the publication of 30 books in the two book series Historicizing Modernism and Modernist Archives with Bloomsbury Academic.

Archival excavation and detailed contextualisation is becoming increasingly central to scholarship on literary modernism. In recent years, the increased – and often online – accessibility and dissemination of previously unpublished or little-known texts has led to paradigm-shifting scholarly interventions across a range of canonical and lesser-known authors, neglected topics, and critical methodologies including genetic criticism, intertextuality, book history, and historical documentation. This trend is only bound to increase as large-scale digitisation of archival materials gathers pace, and existing copyright restrictions gradually lapse.

These two book series have been at the forefront of this burgeoning trend, and this international conference will take stock of these developments. Above all, it will also point forwards, towards future avenues of research. The authors and editorial board members connected with the series will reflect upon the ‘state of the art’ regarding archive-based research within their particular sub-discipline, connecting this to Modernism Studies as a whole. The provisional paper titles listed below reflect their responses to this invitation. (more…)

Curating some of the best recent links across literature, philosophy, and the arts


discover-badge-circle-rhystranter-comThe weekly round-up brings together the articles, reviews, interviews and miscellany that has caught my eye over the past seven days. Including: 10 moments that rocked the literary world in 2016; Siri Hustvedt on modern misogyny; the growing resurgence of Philip Roth’s ‘what if?’ historical novel The Plot Against America; and much more.
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Call for Papers • Tennessee Philological Association Conference,  23-25 February 2017
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TPA Panel: Samuel Beckett’s Bodies of Water. Design: Rhys Tranter
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Samuel Beckett

In Samuel Beckett’s canon, water is a recurring image. In his radio play, Embers, the protagonist Henry tells us that he is sitting by the ocean, in his stage play Endgame Nagg and Nell remember nearly drowning in Lake Como, and in his tour de force stage and later television play, Not I Mouth refers to the narrative gushing from her mouth as a “steady stream.” Water in these and other works by the Nobel Prize winning author is both a location and a metaphor; it is aligned with happy memories and danger, with transition and stasis, with the beginning and the end.

Professor Katherine Weiss is seeking scholars interested in exploring the images of bodies of water in Beckett’s canon to be considered for a panel proposal to the 2017 Tennessee Philological Association Conference to be held in Johnson City, TN during 23-25 February 2017. For more about TPA, visit their website.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. To submit, please email Professor Katherine Weiss weisk01@etsu.edu with your abstract by 7 November 2016.

John Mullan examines what today’s TV dramatists can learn from the masters of the trade (Source).

Call for Papers

South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
Jacksonville, FL
4-6 November 2016

In Samuel Beckett’s literary landscapes, readers and viewers find dark, barren spaces, crippled characters, haunting voices, and an overall sense that there is “Nothing to be done” (Waiting for Godot). The hope that appears in the presence of a boy or a few leaves on a tree is soon negated by the shake of a head or the absence of a long awaited arrival. Beckett’s worlds are full of ashes and bones in which men and women are exiled and isolated; they are depleted, lonely spaces; they are dystopian spaces. (more…)

Lisa Munro offers the first in a series of posts aimed at people without much archival research experience who need to do some. (Source)

From Ballard’s 1990 annotations to his experimental 1970 novel, The Atrocity Exhibition

vatican-stairs

All over the world major museums have bowed to the influence of Disney and become theme parks in their own right. The past, whether Renaissance Italy or ancient Egypt, is reassimilated and homogenized into its most digestible form. Desperate for the new, but disappointed with anything but the familiar, we recolonize the past and future. The same trend can be seen in personal relationships, in the way people are expected to package themselves, their emotions and sexuality in attractive and instantly appealing forms.

Trinity College Dublin • 7-13 August 2016

About the School

Now in its sixth year, the Samuel Beckett Summer School provides a unique experience for students, scholars and lovers of Beckett’s works. Each year we invite the world’s foremost Beckett scholars to present new lectures and seminars on all aspects of Beckett’s works. The School appeals to a wide range of Beckett enthusiasts by providing the opportunity to experience, savour and study Beckett’s works in the university where he began his intellectual life. (more…)

Michael Wood (NYRB) reviews four biographies of the American filmmaker and raconteur
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Orson Welles arrives at the premiere of Citizen Kane on 1 May 1941. The actor, director, producer, and co-screenwriter is 25 years old.
There is a special risk in writing about Orson Welles. The dimensions may get a little out of hand, as if they had to mime the physical size and imaginative reach of the subject. Patrick McGilligan’s excellent biography of Alfred Hitchcock takes 750 pages to cover the director’s life and his fifty films. By page 706 of Young Orson, Welles is about to start shooting Citizen Kane, his first full-length movie: he is twenty-five years old, and he lived till he was seventy. There is a thirty-nine-page postlude about the day and night of Welles’s death.

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A One Day Postgraduate Symposium Exploring Creative Writing as a Research Methodology

About the Symposium

With a fusion of theory and imagination, fresh visions may be realised and broader evaluations become possible.  If research is the methodical investigation of a subject or subjects in order to discover, uncover, develop and provide new knowledge then Postgraduate study in Creative Writing and Critical Practice becomes a powerful and worthy combined discipline within the academy. (more…)

Study the Nobel laureate’s archives, texts, and dramas thanks to the James and Elizabeth Knowlson Scholarship

James and Elizabeth Knowlson Scholarship
MA Samuel Beckett: Archive, Text and Performance, University of Reading.

The MA in Samuel Beckett: Archive, Text and Performance, jointly co-ordinated and taught by the English Literature and the Film, Theatre and Television departments at the University of Reading, encourages both in depth study of Beckett’s work, and research into Beckett’s interrelationship with the broader contexts of, for example, literary Modernism,  literature, arts and politics, modern and contemporary interdisciplinary performance, and collections based research.

We are delighted to announce the James and Elizabeth Knowlson Scholarship, available to candidates who have been accepted onto the MA in Samuel Beckett: Archive, Text and Performance in the Department of Film Theatre and Television, University of Reading, for entry in October 2016. (more…)

The late great philosopher of logic and life makes an appearance on social media
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Ludwig Wittgenstein
If you are looking for New Year’s inspiration, the austere Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein might not be the best place to look. But then, on the other hand, perhaps he is. Dr Wittgenstein is gradually amassing an online repository of the man’s wisest words, compiling quotations recorded in his work, or remembered by students, colleagues and friends. The quotes reflect not only Wittgenstein’s ethical questions about how to live a good life, but also demonstrate his sense of humour. What follows are a small selection of Dr Wittgenstein‘s tweets, but you can click here for more.

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27 – 30 April 2016, University of Antwerp

About the Conference

Beckett and Modernism
The Second Annual Conference of the Samuel Beckett Society

Samuel Beckett. Photograph: John Haynes
Samuel Beckett. Photograph: John Haynes

The year 2016 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Journal of Beckett Studies (JOBS), founded in 1976 by James Knowlson and John Pilling. To celebrate this occasion, we are proud to announce both of them as keynote speakers at the second conference of the Samuel Beckett Society, dedicated to Beckett and Modernism. Sometimes referred to as ‘The Last Modernist’, Beckett has also been situated within the postmodern canon. After a long critical debate, the term ‘modernism’ has recently been reframed by a vibrant field of what is sometimes called the ‘new modernist studies’, and the term ‘Late Modernism’ seems to be gaining currency in Beckett studies. (more…)