What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English / 14-17 July 2014 / Lincoln, UK / Deadline: 1st February 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Martin Paul Eve, University of Lincoln
contact email: 

What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English
3rd Biennial International Conference
14-17 July 2014, University of Lincoln, UK


After a hugely successful first round of calls and with over 100 accepted speakers, we have decided to extend the call for papers for a final round. Please email 200-300 word proposals for 20-minute papers and brief biographical notes of 50 words to the conference organisers: Dr Siân Adiseshiah, Dr Martin Eve, Dr Rupert Hildyard, and Dr Agnes Woolley: WHN@lincoln.ac.uk Panel proposals are also welcome.

Deadline for proposals: 1 February 2014

Conference website: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/whatson/eventsconferences/event...

Follow us on Twitter @WHN21CWriting

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Imogen Tyler, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Lancaster University
  • Sue-Ellen Case, Professor and Chair of Critical Studies in the Theatre Department in the School of Theater Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Paul Farley, Professor of Poetry, Lancaster University
  • and a performance of Tim Crouch's What happens to the hope at the end of the evening

The third international What Happens Now conference will provide a forum in which to discuss, reflect on, and review creative literary and dramatic work in English, published since the year 2000. The principal aim of this conference series is to contribute to the canon formation process by which the significant and innovative writers and dramatists of the new millennium are discovered and discussed, and to begin to identify new patterns, clusters, trends and paradigms in contemporary prose, poetry and drama.

We welcome papers discussing the full range of literary and dramatic expression produced from the mainstream to the margins, including:

historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, utopian and dystopian writing, life writing, children's literature, travel writing, graphic novels, flash fiction, romantic fiction, crime writing, verbatim drama, musical theatre, post-dramatic theatre, technologically mediated performance, electronically mediated text, performance poetry, and poetic dialogue.

Alongside the analysis of literature and drama in all its forms, this conference is also keen to explore evolving debates in critical theory and the teaching of 21st-century writing.

Suggestions for areas of discussion include, but are not limited to:

∙ What happens now
Terror and catastrophe
Environmental endgame
Globalization and consumerization
The Financial Crisis
Austerity politics
21st-century demographies

∙ Genre and Form
Mainstream and experimental, popular and avant-garde
New genres/forms
Mixing genres/forms, fact/fiction
Re-emergence of older forms
New technologies and form

∙ Contexts of Literature
Individuals, communities, and institutions in a marketized world
New conceptions of time
Spatial struggles: occupations and riots
Digital culture
Self-publishing and the economics of production

∙ Politics and identity
Political impotence, political agency
21C racisms
Return of the violent right
Religious returns/postsecularism
Class abjects
(Dis)ability and Critical Disability Theory
Global injustice and postmillennial subalternity
Bioscience, Butlerism and the politics of reproduction
Misogyny and the pornography of consumer culture

∙ Literary and Cultural Theory
Recent theorists (Giorgio Agamben, Antonio Negri, Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek Gilles Deleuze, Timothy Morton, Bruno Latour, Peter Sloterdijk, David Abram)
Recent theories (Hybrid/Diaspora/Gender/transgender/Trauma and testimonial criticisms/Ecocriticism/Cybercriticism)
Contemporary applications of older theoretical frameworks (Marxist, feminist, postmodernist, (anti-)humanist, historicist, Lacanian, phenomenological)
Critical conversations: dialogues among disciplines

∙ Teaching 21st Century Writing
Pedagogical problems and opportunities
Professionalization of creative writing
Cutting back on humanities
Sources and resources
Students as consumers