Visiting Speaker, 29 Nov 2016: Tom Abba on Ambient Literature

Tom Abba (University of the West of England) will be presenting his paper, ‘The Road to Ambient Literature’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 29 November 2016. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.03, and will be followed by a wine reception.

Abstract
2016-03-abbaAmbient Literature—a two year, AHRC funded research project undertaken by UWE Bristol, Bath Spa University and the University of Birmingham, did not suddenly appear fully formed within a funding application. The project, defined as an exploration of situated literary experiences, delivered by pervasive computing platforms, responding to the presence of a reader to deliver story, emerges from a body of work that has sought to address the form of digital texts, grammars of writing for new technologies and interventions into situated literary practice.

Six months into the project, UWE’s Tom Abba will discuss and assess the work that informed the initial development of the Ambient Literature proposal, including Circumstance’s These Pages Fall Like Ash and a Hollow Body, and map out the territory within which Ambient Literature operates. The underlying aim of the research project; the reification of frameworks, grammars and platforms for writing Ambient Literature; informs the commissioning of three new pieces of writing during the programme of work. Alongside these, smaller experiments are being used to work through initial findings and research questions as they arise. Tom will conclude by examining the ways in which the second of these—yesterday you’re still dreaming—worked with specificities of spoken word and situated storytelling to manipulate each reader’s perception of their experience. (more…)

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Location, Location, Location … and Literature

Stories by the City, Stories by the Sea: Locative Literature and Narrative Archaeology

Verity Hunt, 25 Oct 2016, CEIR Seminar Series

Unless you are extremely adept at avoiding news on popular culture, you must have, in one way or another, encountered the mobile sensation that is Pokémon Go. In the past six months this augmented reality phenomenon has launched location-based gaming into the public consciousness. In the first paper in this year’s CEIR series, Dr Verity Hunt began by encouraging us to imagine if our smartphones alerted us to nearby voices from the past, rather than the presence of Pikachus. What if your phone could provide you, for example, with a story about the Victorian world set in the place you are standing, incorporating the archaeological traces of nineteenth-century narratives that permeate the built landscapes of our cities?

This is exactly what a team at the University of Southampton are achieving with the Story Places project, combining story-telling skills with the location-based technology behind Pokémon Go to create interactive historical landscapes. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the project has built a location-aware, storytelling application for smartphones, which supports situated stories interwoven with the places they are read. The team worked with a range of creative writers, including undergraduate and postgraduate students, taking three case study places as way to explore the potential of the application: Southampton Old Town and Docks, the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and the Crystal Palace Park in South London. (more…)

Reminder: Emily Rohrbach’s talk on voice and dispossession is on later today

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New Sensations: Placing Sensation and New Woman Literature

In the first of an ongoing series of posts, Katherine Mansfield, a second-year doctoral candidate based in Cardiff’s Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, introduces her project: Sensationalising the New Woman: Crossing the Boundaries between Sensation and New Woman literature, 1859–1901. 

Critical discussion regarding Sensation fiction has tended to focus on the genre itself, examining its main themes, such as the devious and criminal wife, and the bigamy and murder plots; in contrast, New Woman studies has placed the genre in relation to other fin-de-siècle movements, for example decadence and first-wave feminism, but has not paid much attention to links with earlier developments. Equally, the first phase of Sensation and New Woman fiction has remained within strict time boundaries; 1860-1880 for Sensation fiction, and 1880–1900 for New Woman literature. In my PhD project I seek to move beyond these limitations to conceptualise and explore the connections between Sensation and New Woman fiction, investigating the extent to which Sensation literature is a forerunner to the early development of the New Woman novel; and consequently how the two genres blur, or cross, temporal and conceptual boundaries. (more…)

Visting Speaker, 8 Nov 2016: Emily Rohrbach on voice and dispossession in ‘gothic’ literatures

Emily Rohrbach (University of Manchester) will be presenting her paper, ‘Voice and Dispossession: A Comparative Poetics’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 8 November 2016. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.03, and will be followed by a wine reception.

Abstract
2016-02-rohrbachThis talk draws from her current work on voice and dispossession in ‘Gothic’ literatures from Britain and Europe to the Americas, which examines not only to plot elements and themes of dispossessed voices but also aspects of narrative voice that dramatise self-reflexively its own otherness. That otherness concerns less the transcendence or divine quality of poetic inspiration than the imagination of textual circulation and influence in the Romantic period and the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic. (more…)