CLiC: To Exit – Literatures of Ending

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
University of Worcester
contact email: 

7th November 2023

“nothing in life now ever seems to end. Chemists tell you matter is never completely destroyed, and mathematicians tell you that if you halve each pace in crossing a room, you will never reach the opposite wall, so what an optimist I would be if I thought that this story ended here.”

– Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

The Contemporary Literary Cultures Research Group are delighted to announce their second symposium, CLiC: To Exit – A Symposium on Endings. The symposium looks to interrogate the notion of ‘ends’ and ‘endings’ in a cultural moment preoccupied by climate emergency and the aftermath of a global pandemic which has rendered an awareness of human finitude inescapable, in which formal and thematic innovation is putting pressure on how the close of a text might function, and where new ways of consuming literary texts of various kinds have radically restructured our sense of an ending.

Papers are sought which explore the concept of ‘ends’ and ‘endings’ in any contemporary literary and theoretical context (from literary texts as conventionally understood through performance, video game narrative, digital literatures and immersive experience).

Topics may include but are not limited to:

-          Endings as formal device.

-          Last words, last lines, last chapters.

-          Mortality, finitude, death as ending.

-          Theorising the end.

-          Extinction (human and non-human)

-          Apocalypse and post-apocalypse.

-          Entropy, stagnation and a refusal to end.

-          ‘Happy’/Unhappy endings.

-          Spoilers.

-          Finales, climaxes and last acts.

Abstracts of 250-300 words along with a short professional bio should be submitted to Dr Lucy Arnold ( by 1st September 2023.