The First International Djuna Barnes Conference

full name / name of organization: 
The Institute of English Studies

The First International Djuna Barnes Conference
21-22 September 2012

An International Conference hosted by The Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, in association with Birkbeck College, University of London.

Guest Speakers:

Daniela Caselli (University of Manchester)
Melissa Jane Hardie (University of Sydney)
Scott Herring (University of Indiana)
Teresa de Lauretis (University College Santa Cruz, CA)

The work of author, poet, playwright, journalist, visual artist and sometimes reluctant modernist Djuna Barnes (1892 – 1982) has continued to beguile, excite and inspire readers and has, over the years, produced its own voluminous and varied critical history. While Barnes has often been treated as a somewhat peripheral figure in relation to modernism, recent studies, graduate research activity, and research focused on questions of literary history and modernism continues to reveal a deepening body of research that increasingly values Barnes's importance as a central modern writer.

The First International Djuna Barnes Conference presents itself as a timely opportunity to reflect upon this complex critical history history and consider the shape and scope of Barnes scholarship and twentieth century literary studies today. International and interdisciplinary in focus, this conference hopes to reflect the diversity of Barnes's own art practice, cohering a diverse and dispersed research community of scholars and postgraduate students interested in Barnes either directly, tangentially, or in relation to other frames of cultural-historical studies which might open up further possibilities for investigation and discussion.

We warmly invite papers on any aspect of the work of Djuna Barnes. Topics could include, but are by no means restricted to the following:

Barnes's Canon:
- anachronism
- propriety
- canonicity
- legibility
- narrative
- genre

Barnes's Form:
- poetics of form
- modes of reading
- staging Barnes
- aesthetic approaches
- a 'Barnesean' style?

Teaching and Reading Barnes:
- close analyses
- pedagogical issues
- Barnes and the syllabus
- difficulty

Barnes and Others:
- Beckett
- Stein
- Woolf
- Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
- Emily Holmes Coleman
- Mina Loy
- Eliot
- Joyce
- little magazines and journals
- publishers

Barnes in Context
- trauma
- biography
- history
- gender
- identity
- race
- sexuality
- animality
- alterity
- feminist and queer poetics

Barnes and Modernity:
- modernism
- late modernism
- questions of canon formation and canonicity
- critical histories
- methodological and theoretical approaches
- new directions in research

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words in length for 15–20 minute papers (or 500 word proposals for panels of 3 papers). Please also include: affiliation and position, details if applicable of graduate work, and research interests to by 30th March 2012. Decisions will be announced by June 2012.

For more information and to keep updated on the development of the conference please visit:

We welcome all correspondence and input.Please circulate to colleagues you know might be interested.

Main Organisers: Caroline Knighton & Cathryn Setz (University of London, Birkbeck College).
Organising Committee: Claire Conilleau (Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle), Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes), Elizabeth Pender (University of Cambridge), and Joanne Winning (Birkbeck College).