The Art of English - Friday 21st June 2013
Faced with pressure to quantify and possibly to commodify our research and our teaching through the narrow and potentially homogenizing parameters of concepts such as 'impact', many researchers and teachers in English departments seem to retreat from the challenge of affirming what it is that we value in the study and teaching of English.
This one-day conference to be held at Queen Mary, University of London, aims to meet this challenge by tracing and interrogating historical and contemporary debates pertaining to English and English departments. Commencing from a suspicion of certain rhetorical commonplaces, whereby the subject is discussed as something to be 'defended' or 'protected', we hope to keep in play an openness to the future(s) of the work that we do, by considering the injunction to respond, ethically and imaginatively, to our subject-matter's indomitable capacity to surprise and alarm.
The day is structured as a sequence of three sessions, each featuring an address from a guest speaker, followed by a panel of three shorter papers. We are delighted to announce Professor Derek Attridge (University of York, Fellow of the British Academy) and Professor Ben Knights (Emeritus Professor of English and Cultural Studies in the School of Arts and Media at Teesside University) are confirmed guest speakers. For the panel papers, we welcome abstracts from all scholars, including postgraduates and early career researchers, to discuss questions such as:
Guest Speaker: Professor Ben Knights.
Chair: Dr Peter Howarth.
• The theorisation of literary and aesthetic study in the University from Kant, Schlegel and Schiller through to Matthew Arnold, I. A. Richards, and F. R. Leavis, and beyond.
• The formation and history of English departments, their role within the university, the theorisation of pedagogy in English departments and attendant questions of canon and canonization.
• The history of the relationship between research and teaching in the University.
Guest Speaker: Professor Derek Attridge.
Chair: Dr Andrew van der Vlies.
• The role of theory today.
• The archival turn and material culture.
• Distant reading.
• The ethical turn.
• The usefulness or otherwise of such terms, 'turns', and terminology?
• English departments and creative writing.
• The politics of English studies, for researchers, teachers, and students, today.
• Digital humanities.
• The role of creativity in English research and teaching.
Proposals, of a maximum of 300 words, including a short biography (maximum 100 words), for twenty-minute papers, as well as queries and comments, should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions will be Thursday 28th February 2013.