[UPDATE] Colours of Memory: An International Conference on the Writing of Geoff Dyer
2014 will mark 25 years since the publication of Dyer's first novel, The Colour of Memory (1989), the beginning of a wide-ranging career as a novelist, critic of art, photography and film, travel writer, essayist and shrewd observer of everyday life. Dyer's witty subtle and experimental writing has won him critical acclaim and a broad literary following but has received little sustained academic attention to date. The event will mark a collaboration between the Centre for Contemporary Literature and the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre.
Dyer is free-wheeling in his interests and his written about everything from avant garde film, jazz and D. H. Lawrence to drugs, doughnuts and the poetics of boredom. His genre-defying work and distinctive brand of 'creative criticism'—which mixes criticism with elements of the personal essay and fiction—demands an interdisciplinary approach. This conference aims to bring together scholars with expertise in this important author for the first time, but also to use Dyer's work as a way of accessing some of the most urgent debates in literary and photographic criticism.
Taking our cue from Dyer's wide-ranging work, we invite papers which experiment with the generic conventions of the conference paper, introducing hybrid elements of the personal essay or memoir with academic criticism, and adding a self-reflective element into the conference. We are delighted to announce that Geoff Dyer will be in attendance throughout the conference and for a Q&A session at the end of the day.
Topics might include, but are not limited to:
• Creative criticism
• The photo book
• Remix culture
• Conceptual writing and uncreativity
• 1980s and 1990s British fiction and film/ photography
• Postmodern travel writing
• The poetics of boredom
• Music in contemporary fiction
• Retromania and nostalgia
• Rave fiction
The conference welcomes proposals for individual papers or panels. We are open to papers which, like Dyer's writing, experiment with the established boundaries of the genre. Submissions are welcome from both research students and academics. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper along with your name, affiliation and 100 word professional biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6th December 2013.
The conference is organised by Dr Joseph Brooker and Dr Bianca Leggett (Birkbeck, University of London). It is being supported by the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities and the Centre for Contemporary Literature
Select papers will be sought for publication as part of an edited collection on the work of Geoff Dyer. For further information please email Bianca at email@example.com.