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CFP: John Burnside Symposium

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John Burnside Symposium – Call for Papers
15th November 2014, University of Portsmouth

“The trick and the beauty of language is that it seems to order the whole universe, misleading us into believing that we live in sight of a rational space, a possible harmony.”

(John Burnside, The Dumb House).

Invited speakers include:
John Burnside
Sebastian Groes (University of Roehampton)
Julian Wolfreys (University of Portsmouth)

Celebrated as both a poet and a novelist, John Burnside is one of Britain’s leading contemporary writers. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Petrarca Preis, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Poetry Prize, and the James Tait Memorial Prize. This one-day event will be the first symposium dedicated to his work, offering the chance for researchers to discuss and reflect upon Burnside’s writing and its place within contemporary literature more widely. The day will conclude with John giving a public reading and participating in a Q&A.

Papers and panels are invited on all aspects of Burnside’s work, including:
• Being, language, space and place;
• The environment and eco-critical perspectives and approaches;
• Human/non-human relations, life forms and animals;
• Burnside’s use of, and relationship to, the other arts;
• Loss, longing, love, sex and violence;
• Contemporary Scottish and/or British writing;
• Nonfiction writing, memoirs; father-son relations, childhood and adulthood;
• The relationship between Burnside’s poetry, fiction and/or nonfiction writing.

Send 300-word abstracts for papers, along with a brief biographical note, to Ben Davies at the email address below by 28th September 2014. Selected papers from the symposium will be put forward for consideration for a volume on the work of John Burnside as part of Bloomsbury Academic’s Contemporary Critical Perspectives series.

Ben Davies, Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth.


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