MT 2016 Week 3 Updates

On Monday (31 Oct) of Week 4 the OCCT Discussion Group will be meeting at St Anne’s to discuss ‘Literature Beyond Literary Studies: Intermediality and Interdisciplinarity’. For further information and readings, see. Registration for the workshop ‘Salons, Circles, Majalis: The Sociable Side of Literature’ (happening in Week 5) is open. This workshop looks at literary gatherings from a wide variety of different cultures, both as elements in the process of creating and experiencing literature and as practices of sociability with aspects that went far beyond the literary. For a more detailed description and how to register, click here.

In Week 3 we had a fascinating ‘Fiction and Other Minds’ seminar. Be sure not to miss the next one in Trinity term!


CFPS and Events

1.Call for Papers: 'Materialising Absence in Film and Media'

Guest Editors: Nadine Boljkovac and Saige Walton

Special Dossier of Screening the Past (2017)

Over the past decade, film theory has invoked ideas of proximity, presence, the haptic sense and the lived body to account for the relationship between cinema and sensation. This Special Dossier of Screening the Past will investigate the sensuous significance of the absent, the spectral and the invisible in film: from haunted imagery and sounds to the fascination with ghosts, wraiths and specters; appeals to time, memory and the past or elusive properties of film such as mood, atmosphere and the role of the imagination.

We ask: how is absence materialised in the cinema? How does absence connect with time, affect or the emotions? How does film bring the ‘invisible’ of death, memory, forgetting or trauma into a vital visibility? Is absence figured differently in Hollywood, European or World Cinema contexts? How does it connect with issues of politics, history, personal and cultural memory? How might longstanding and inter-medial concepts such as the sublime correspond with the ‘un-representable’ of certain experiences, and what are its cinematic potentials?

We are particularly interested in theorising the many ways in which absence has been materialised at the level of film form and aesthetics and how it is in turn experienced at the level of the body and the senses. While no one methodological approach or thinker will be favored, we ask that all authors address the inter-relationship between absence, embodiment and presence that is our central premise. Authors may also choose to address the materialisation of absence and the spectral in other moving-image media.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to the following:

•  Absence as cinematic or post-cinematic ontology
•  Film-philosophical approaches to the concepts of presence and absence, time, affect and subjectivity
•  Cinema and the imagination
•  Sublimity and spectrality
•  Themes of the haunted and the haunting in film
•  Ghost-hunting in film
•  Re-evaluating ‘absence’ in film apparatus theory (Christian Metz; Jean-Louis Baudry; Jean-Pierre Oudart)
•  Film-phenomenologies of absence (ghosts; the past; death; history; memory)
•  Death, dying, illness and aging
•  The visibility and invisibility of vulnerability, fragility and intimacy
•  Actual and virtual aspects of memory, history and experience (Deleuze)
•  Spectres in film history (including early film history)
•  Haunted narratives and landscapes
•  Filmmakers closely associated with ghosts and spirits such as Guy Maddin, Apichatpong Weerasethakul or David Cronenberg
•  Filmmakers associated with haunted and/or traumatic pasts (Alain Resnais)
•  The invisible and film sound (for instance: the acousmatic)
•  Moving-image artists and spectrality (Janet Cardiff, Gary Hill, Bill Viola, Tony Oursler)
•  Ethereal moods and atmospheres
•  Gender, sexuality and the spectral
•  Cinematic ruins and cinema as ruin
•  Media archaeologies of the absent, the invisible, the haunted or the spectral

Potential contributors are invited to submit an abstract of up to 300 words that accompanied by 3-5 references and a short biography by: 20th December 2016. Please submit your abstracts to the editors at the following email address: . On the basis of selected abstracts, authors will be invited to submit a full manuscript of no more than 8,000 words (excluding endnotes) for the journal’s double blind peer review process. This Special Dossier of Screening the Past will be published by the end of 2017.


2. BECKETT WEEK 2016: University of Reading, 2-5 November 2016

The Beckett at Reading team is happy to announce the following events, which will take place during Beckett Week 2016. Please note that registration is necessary for all events.

* Lisa Dwan: ‘A Beckett Actor’ – The Billie Whitelaw Lecture (Wednesday 2 November, 6pm)

Minghella Building, Whiteknights Campus, The University of Reading

Student / Unwaged: £2

Waged: £5

Acclaimed Beckett actress, Lisa Dwan, who has performed in Beckett’s plays across the globe, will speak about performing in Beckett and about her mentor Billie Whitelaw, Beckett’s favourite actress. Lisa met Billie when she was preparing for a production of Beckett’s challenging play, Not I, and Billie passed her notes from Beckett on to Lisa. We are delighted to welcome Lisa Dwan back to Reading, following her virtuoso performance of a selection of Beckett’s prose for performance entitled No’s Knife at London’s Old Vic Theatre. 

The lecture will be followed by a Wine Reception, and the Launch of the Billie Whitelaw Exhibition, which will for the first time show items from Billie Whitelaw’s Beckett Theatrical Collection, acquired by the Beckett International Foundation last year.

     > Registration and Details

* Beckett and Politics Conference (Thursday 3 - Friday 4 November)

Minghella Building, Whiteknights Campus, The University of Reading

UoR Student: £10 (1 day); £20 (2 days)

Student / Unwaged: £25 (1 day); £40 (2 days)

Waged: £35 (1 day); £50 (2 days)

Organised by the Beckett at Reading Postgraduate Group (BARP), the exciting theme of ‘Beckett and Politics’ will be discussed through panel topics ranging from capitalism and postcolonial Ireland to the politics of gender, sex and violence, and keynotes by Matthew Feldman, Elizabeth Barry and Daniela Caselli. All scholars, students, and enthusiasts are welcome. The provisional schedule and other information can be found here:

    > Registration and Details

* The Gerald Finzi Memorial Lecture: ALICE OSWALD (Friday 4 November, 6.30pm)

L022 Lecture Theatre, London Road Campus, The University of Reading

All delegates: Free entry

As part of the Reading Literature Festival 2016, critically acclaimed poet Alice Oswald will deliver the Gerald Finzi Memorial Lecture and give a reading of her poetry. After the lecture there will be a drinks reception in the Museum of English and Rural Life. This annual lecture was established in memory of the composer Gerald Finzi (1911-56), who lived in Newbury and had a close connection with Reading. His extensive collection of English literature is now held in the University's archive.

    > Registration and Details

* Mary Bryden Tribute Day (5 November, 12-7pm)

Minghella Building, Whiteknights Campus, The University of Reading

All delegates: Free entry

A tribute day for the late, much loved Mary Bryden, Professor of French Studies at the University of Reading, and Co-Director of the Beckett International Foundation, who died a year ago. The day will start (at 12 noon) with a lecture by Emeritus Professor Jim Knowlson on Beckett and Billie Whitelaw. In the afternoon, there will be an academic panel which will reflect on aspects of Mary’s research in French Studies and Beckett Studies. This will be followed by personal and musical tributes from Mary’s colleagues and friends, and readings from Mary’s own creative writing. The event is free and will include lunch and a drinks reception at the end of the day. 

    > Registration and Details


Dr Eleni Philippou

Comparative Criticism and Translation