Reconstruction, Conservation, Restoration: Reconciling the Past through Word and Image

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University of Dundee
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'Renaissance literary works are no longer regarded either as a fixed set of texts…that contain their own determinate meanings or as a stable set of reflections of historical facts that lie beyond them…rather they are made up and constantly redrawn by artists, audiences, and readers. These collective social constructions on the one hand define the range of aesthetic possibilities within a given representational mode and, on the other, link that mode to the complex network of institutions, practices and beliefs that constitute the culture as a whole.'
Stephen Greenblatt, The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance (1982)

'[W]e appropriate different meanings, or report different gleanings, at different times – even from the same text – according to our changed assumptions, circumstances and requirements… For insofar as literature is itself a social institution, so, too, reading is a highly socialized – or learned – activity. What makes it so exciting, of course, is that it can be constantly relearned and refined, so as to provide either an individual or an entire reading community, over time, with infinite variations of the same text.'
Annette Kolodny, Dancing Through the Minefield (1980)

'Reconstruction, Conservation, Restoration' is the Twelfth Annual Postgraduate Conference hosted by the English Programme, University of Dundee, in conjunction with the Scottish Word and Image Group.

The purpose of the conference is to view texts, works, creators and writers who build upon the past to address the present and the future through acts of reconstruction and preservation, either in a literal way, working with artefacts and archives, or by reintegrating forgotten or marginalised voices.

We particularly welcome proposals that engage with the way in which word and image challenge or change conceptions of identity. Other topics of discussion may include but are not limited to:

• the relationship between text and image
• gender theory
• historical revisionism
• manuscripts and digitisation
• construction of literary spaces
• adaptation, remakes and reimagining
• (re)discovery, nostalgia, and memory.

Proposals that address any configuration of Reconstruction, Conservation, Restoration are welcomed from all disciplines and periods. Proposals should be 300 words long, for papers lasting 20 minutes.

To submit a proposal or request more information, please contact Elizabeth Rogers (

The deadline for proposals is 10th May 2014.