4th International Gissing Conference, abstracts 12/15/2010, meeting 3/28-30/2011

full name / name of organization: 
Nicky Losseff, University of York
contact email: 

Fourth International George Gissing Conference
"Gissing's World within the World: Art and the Artist"
Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 March 2011
University of York, UK
With the support of CECILLE Research Centre, University of Lille


The specific focus of the York Gissing Conference will be an often-overlooked aspect of Gissing's artistic philosophy. While many readers have emphasized Gissing's almost sociological engagement with material conditions, Gissing saw himself as a more detached devotee of art "pure & simple." In a famous letter to his brother Algernon (22 September 1885), he observed that the artist should "keep apart, & preserve [his] soul alive" because the natural environment of the artist is "the shade," where he "can make a world within the world." Papers are therefore particularly sought on all aspects of Gissing as an artist, notably his engagement with late Victorian aesthetics and obsessive "detachment from the vulgarities of the day." Topics may also include, but are not limited to the following:

Absorbing non-verbal aesthetics into the fictional constructs: the world as picture; ekphrasis; the visual arts in Gissing
Artistic leanings, amateur and professional: representational strategies
Gissing and Aestheticism
Exploring generic boundaries: Gissing and the Künstlerroman
Not his line of work? Gissing, drama and poetry
Classical Gissing
Gissing as Critic
This Conference will feature a session on "Teaching Gissing in the Twenty-first Century." If you are interested in participating in this panel, please provide the organiser with a brief description of your particular approach to teaching Gissing. You may apply both to deliver a paper and to participate in the teaching session.

Please submit abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute papers with a brief biographical note and/or applications to be involved in the Teaching panel to Nicky Losseff, University of York (nl5@york.ac.uk) no later than 15 November 2010. Please include the following personal details with your abstract: name and institutional affiliation, email address, postal address, telephone and mobile phone numbers, and A/V requirements (if any).

Participants will be notified of their acceptance by 15 January 2011 (or earlier, for those who require official letters of invitation for the purpose of obtaining support from their home institutions). Further details about registration costs, travel arrangements and accommodation (ensuite single bedrooms available on campus) will be available on the conference website after the summer:

http://www.york.ac.uk/music/conferences/gissing [site is not yet active]

Conference highlights:

Conference dinner to be followed by a piano concert (by students from the Music Department of the University of York – Gabrielle Fleury repertoire)
An optional excursion to the nearby city of Wakefield, birthplace of the author. Anthony Petyt, of The Gissing Trust, will organise a visit to the Gissing Centre and a tour of Gissing's Wakefield.
Gissing-related book stalls (notably The Idle Booksellers)
Conference Organiser: Dr Nicky Losseff (University of York)

Advisory Committee: Prof M. D. Allen (University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley); Prof Maria-Teresa Chialant (University of Salerno); Prof Pierre Coustillas (University of Lille); Prof Constance Harsh (Colgate University); Dr Christine Huguet (University of Lille); Dr Simon J. James (Durham University); Anthony Petyt (The Gissing Trust, Wakefield); Dr Bouwe Postmus (University of Amsterdam).