UPDATE New Cultures of Ageing: Narratives, Fictions, Methods & Researching the Future; deadline Nov 20011; event 04/08 - 09/11

full name / name of organization: 
Prof. Philip Tew, Brunel University
contact email: 



New Cultures of Ageing:
Narratives, Fictions, Methods & Researching the Future

8th – 9th April 2011

An interdisciplinary conference organized by the NDA-funded FCMAP Group of Investigators and by the BCCW Research Group, Brunel University, London.


Will Self
Fay Weldon

Barbara Czarniawska (Gothenburg Research Institute),
Gillian Crossby (Director, Centre for Policy on Ageing),
Keith Richards (Third Age Trust),
Dorothy Sheridan (Director, Mass Observation),
Pat Thane (Institute of Historical Research)
Plenary Panel on 'Ageing Policy'
Plenary Panel on 'Third and Fourth Age Subjectivity'

As representations of ageing circulate culturally as social and literary narratives, they radically impact upon identity, agency, attitudes, ideology, policy and even one's quality of life. Fiction, biography, academic criticism and other discourses contribute to this cultural modality. Critical and qualitative analyses of such narratives help us understand ageing both as currently experienced and the emerging shifts that indicate ways in which it may well be experienced and represented in the future.

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore literary, filmic and other representations of ageing, addressing various questions including the following. In what ways can literature help to provide us with a longitudinal perspective on the changing experience of ageing in the post-war period? How are representations of ageing changing as we move through the early twenty-first century? In what ways are writers refiguring our imagination of the ageing body, as well as the social and physical spaces it inhabits? In what ways does literature figure ageing as a gendered experience, and in what ways have feminist and gender critics and theorists responded to these representations? What connections can be drawn between depictions of ageing in fiction and those in the other creative arts? How far can post-war and contemporary writers be argued to have perpetuated, or to have disturbed, sedimented stereotypes of ageing-as-senescence? What light can literature shed on the complex relationships between postcoloniality, globalisation and the changing experience of ageing in Britain and internationally? Does it make sense to speak of ageing subcultures, and how might literature help to shed light on the differential contexts and experiences of ageing in contemporary culture? In what ways have literary texts addressed the thorny questions of ageing and disability/capability?

New Cultures of Ageing will bring together literary specialists with academics and professionals from other disciplines, including social science and social policy to examine the changing scene of ageing in contemporary Britain. Our common understanding is that both social narratives of ageing and actual conditions of life are in flux. By providing a forum for mapping that flux, this event will investigate the necessity for future-directed inflections in literary studies and across many disciplines.

Proposals crossing boundaries and challenging preconceptions are most welcome.

The FICTION AND THE CULTURAL MEDIATIONS OF AGEING PROJECT (FCMAP) based in the BRUNEL CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY WRITING (BCCW) is funded by Research Councils UK and is part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme: http://newdynamics.group.shef.ac.uk/

300 word abstracts for 15 - 20 minute papers should be submitted by Friday 19 November 2010 to: fcmap@brunel.ac.uk Add your name and affiliation; use the following subject line as the submissions will be sorted automatically: 'New Cultures of Ageing conference FCMAP Brunel'

Notification of the acceptance of paper proposals will be sent out by 6 December 2010.

Waged: £80; Unwaged/ retired/postgrad: £55 (early bird rates – by 7 January 2011 - £60/£40).
Accommodation: £45 bed and breakfast on campus (limited availability).
Registration and payment deadline: 25 February 2011 [after which £25 late registration fee applies].
All queries and correspondence to:
Natalia Clarke, FCMAP Administrator,
School of Arts, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH