Current Students and Staff

// University News

11 Jul 2018

School hosts inaugural conference that puts contemporary literature in the spotlight

Featuring 140 researchers from national and international universities, What Happens Now is the inaugural conference of The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) which is taking place in the School of Arts, English and Drama 10- 12 July.

The conference will include three plenary sessions, one of which will be Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey in conversation with Dr Kaye Mitchell (University of Manchester). Baroness Young was the chair of the 2017 Man Booker prize for literature, won by George Saunders for Lincoln in the Bardo, and DrMitchell interviewed Saunders on his recent book tour. Drs Young and Mitchell will discuss the Man Booker, prize culture’s impact on contemporary literature, and the challenges and opportunities for contemporary literature and its publishers in the current cultural climate.

Baroness Young is joined by keynote speakers Dr Sandeep Parmar (University of Liverpool), who will present ‘Still not a British subject: Race and UK Poetry’ and Professor Alison Phipps (University of Sussex), presenting ‘MeToo, but he’s worth more than you: markets, harassment and violence’.

Staff from the School of Arts, English and Drama will present:

  • ‘Out of Time: Ageing Women and the Contemporary in Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone’ (Dr Siân Adiseshiah)
  • What Happens When We Make Demands: Twenty-first-century Feminist Manifestos (Dr Jennifer Cooke)
  • ‘From Fan Fiction to YouTube: Navigating The Digital Literary Sphere’ (Dr Clare Hutton

The programme also includes The Decline and Fall of the Home Office – a performance by Lisa Jeschke and Lucy Beynon, and Re-Imagining Citizenship – an exhibition collectively curated by the Politicized Practice/Anarchist/Theatre and Performance Research Groups.

More details about the conference are available from the BACLS. Anyone wishing to come single sessions of the conference, the keynotes, or the performance are welcome to attend for free.