Paper sub­mis­sions of 20 min­utes are invited for this one-day post­grad­u­ate con­fer­ence hosted by the Cen­tre for Regional Lit­er­a­ture and Cul­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham on 14 April 2011. The event will be fol­lowed by a one-day sym­po­sium of invited speak­ers,  includ­ing Prof. Patrick McGuin­ness (Uni­ver­sity of Oxford), Prof. Andrew Thacker (De Mont­fort Uni­ver­sity), and Dr Nadine Holdsworth (Uni­ver­sity of Warwick).

Recent crit­i­cal work on region­al­ism in lit­er­a­ture has sought to reassess both its scope and its con­tin­u­ing impor­tance over the course of the twen­ti­eth and twenty-first cen­turies. For instance, Scott Her­ring has recently empha­sised ‘the impor­tance of local­ity to modernism’s world-imaginary’, echo­ing Ray­mond Williams’s call for the equa­tion between mod­ernism and the met­ro­pol­i­tan to be reassessed.

This col­lo­ca­tion of local­ity and moder­nity can be seen in the fic­tions of, among oth­ers, D.H. Lawrence, Storm Jame­son, George Moore, Caradoc Evans, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Lewis Gras­sic Gib­bon. Even James Joyce’s Ulysses derives its cos­mo­log­i­cal uni­ver­sal­ism from a micro­scopic atten­tion to the local details of its provin­cial urban set­ting. In the post-war period, the cur­rency of regional themes in British fic­tion is appar­ent in nov­els by writ­ers like Alan Sil­li­toe, Muriel Spark, Ray­mond Williams, Gra­ham Swift, Pat Barker, and Jim Crace.

A sim­i­lar rich­ness of inter­ests in ideas of place and intra-national iden­ti­ties can be found in the late mod­ernist poetry of Hugh Mac­Di­armid, David Jones, and Basil Bunting, and Patrick Kavanagh’s advo­cacy of the ‘poetry of the parish’ has also had a wide and last­ing influ­ence. Regional themes, set­tings, and dialects strongly colour the work of Ted Hughes, R.S. Thomas, George Mackay Brown, Paul Mul­doon, Gillian Clarke, and Roy Fisher, amongst many oth­ers. In the work of a younger gen­er­a­tion of poets and nov­el­ists there is a strik­ing con­ver­gence between local expe­ri­ence and the pres­sure of inter­na­tional con­texts and relations.

British and Irish drama saw a resur­gence of local pride at the start of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. From 1904, the act­ing and play-writing ener­gies of Dublin’s Abbey The­atre were emu­lated by a num­ber of other regional reper­tory the­atres in Man­ches­ter, Birm­ing­ham, Liv­er­pool, Glas­gow, and Belfast. And in recent years, com­pa­nies includ­ing The­atre Work­shop, Druid, Knee­high, and Field Day have attempted to stage work that speaks to audi­ences away from the usual cen­tres of the­atri­cal power and influence.

It will be the pur­pose of this sym­po­sium to explore the vari­ety and diver­sity of expres­sions given to region­al­ism in British and Irish lit­er­a­ture and cul­ture dur­ing the twen­ti­eth and twenty-first cen­turies, with a par­tic­u­lar empha­sis upon mod­ernism and its after-effects. Con­trib­u­tors are also encour­aged to con­sider the inter­sec­tions and con­ver­sa­tions that occur between region­al­ism, nation­al­ism, inter­na­tion­al­ism, and cosmopolitanism.

Con­firmed Keynote Speak­ers:
Prof. Luke Gib­bons (NUI Maynooth)
Prof. Dominic Head (Uni­ver­sity of Nottingham)

We would there­fore wel­come papers on a wide vari­ety of themes and top­ics, such as:
• The loca­tions of mod­ernism
• Regional lit­er­ary geo­gra­phies
• Region­al­ism, form, and lan­guage
• Arch­i­pel­agic rela­tions and the cul­tures of the ‘Four Nations’
• Gen­der and regional iden­tity
• Writ­ing, read­ing, and the poet­ics of place
• Region­al­ism and glob­al­i­sa­tion
• The pol­i­tics of regional cul­tures
• Crit­i­cal genealo­gies of ‘region­al­ism’
• Map­ping and cul­tural car­togra­phies
• The phe­nom­e­nol­ogy of the ‘local’
• ‘Parochial­ism’ and ‘provin­cial­ism’ in con­tem­po­rary writing

Please sub­mit an abstract of 300 words to by 28th Jan­u­ary 2011, ensur­ing that you include the fol­low­ing details: your name; your affil­i­a­tion; your email address; the title of your paper.

We are also able to offer one bur­sary of £100 towards the costs of fees, travel, and accom­mo­da­tion for the con­fer­ence. If you wish to apply for this bur­sary, please also sub­mit a state­ment of 500 words explain­ing how your cur­rent research engages with the themes of the con­fer­ence. This should also arrive no later than 28th Jan­u­ary 2011.

The con­fer­ence fee will be £50 for both days. Please note that this does not include accommodation.
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