material cultures

2015/16 Speakers Programme now available

Our programme of talks for this academic session is now available, spanning a wide range of subjects and historical periods, while underpinned by intertextual aspects that link them together. Confirmed speakers include:

  • McGill medical lecture theatreNeil Badmington will be discussing Roland Barthes, mourning and Mallarmé
  • Jason Harding considers the convoluted history of Encounter magazine and its CIA sponsors
  • Jennie Batchelor will talk about her Leverhulme-funded research project on The Lady’s Magazine
  • Dale Townshend will present a paper on his AHRC-sponsored work looking at gothic writing and architecture
  • Lisa Stead turns to the early history of cinema writing, which builds on her work on research archives of the interwar materials
  • Mary Hammond‘s talk will look at the tensions disclosed through the regional reception of Dickens’s Great Expectations
  • Andrew Nash will discuss his work on transcribing some of Samuel Beckett’s ms notebooks

We’re also delighted to be co-hosting a public lecture from Prof. Sally Shuttleworth in association with Cardiff’s Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study for Science, Medicine and the Imagination research group. Prof. Shuttleworth’s paper (title TBC) will examine phobias as diseases of modern life.

You can see more details by viewing our Visiting Speakers page.

Click here to download the flyer for the 2015/16 programme (PDF).

Visiting speaker, 10 Feb 2015: Freya Johnston on editing Thomas Love Peacock

Freya Johnston (University of Oxford) will be presenting her paper, ‘Medieval Graffiti: Editing Thomas Love Peacock’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 10 February 2015. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.

This paper reflects on the challenges and rewards of editing a writer whose works have routinely been described as ‘inaccessible’. Even if his comic fictions abound, like Jane Austen’s, with clever, good-looking women and with sparkling dialogue that culminates in marriage, Peacock’s repartee can be hard to follow. This is partly because he does not aspire to the portrayal of interiority—perhaps the most cherished aspect of Austen’s novels. Rather, his characters, both male and female, exist primarily in order to share, voice, and test the limits of their ideas. His fictions, rebuffing intimacy, are inescapably political and intellectual. This paper will show that to approach the nineteenth-century novel via Peacock is to see it as an outward-facing genre indebted to philosophical tracts, lectures, classical dialogues and the rhythms of parliamentary debate. (more…)


Romantic Imprints: BARS 2015 Conference Site now live!

The website for our forthcoming conference for the British Society for Romantic Studies, Romantic Imprints, is now live. The conference will be running in Cardiff, 16–19 July 2015. Please visit it for more details about the event, the Call for Papers and venue details.

CFP: Romantic Imprints, British Association for Romantic Studies 2015 Conference (Cardiff, 16–19 July 2015)

The BARS 2015 website will shortly be going live, but in the meanwhile, we’re posting the 2nd Call for Papers.

2nd Call for Papers: Romantic Imprints

British Association for Romantic Studies, 14th International Conference

Cardiff University, 16–19 July 2015

Download as PDF

Download as PDF

Proposals are invited for the 2015 British Association for Romantic Studies international conference which will be held at Cardiff University, Wales (UK) on 16–19 July 2015. The theme of the interdisciplinary conference is Romantic Imprints, broadly understood to include the various literary, cultural, historical and political manifestations of Romantic print culture across Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world. Our focus will fall on the ways in which the culture of the period was conscious of itself as functioning within and through, or as opposed to, the medium of print. The conference location in the Welsh capital provides a special opportunity to foreground the Welsh inflections of Romanticism within the remit of the conference’s wider theme. The two-hundredth anniversary of Waterloo also brings with it the chance of thinking about how Waterloo was represented within and beyond print.

The confirmed keynote speakers for Romantic Imprints will be John Barrell (Queen Mary, London), James Chandler (Chicago), Claire Connolly (Cork), Peter Garside (Edinburgh) and Devoney Looser (Arizona State). (more…)

Visiting speaker, 9 Dec 2014: Kate Griffiths on multimedia adaptations of 19th-century French fiction

Kate Griffiths (Cardiff University) will be presenting her paper, ‘Multimedia Adaptations of the 19th-Century Novel: Zola’s Thérèse Raquin’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 9 December 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.36.

To read Zola is to engage with the art of adaptation in two key respects. The texts of this now-canonical nineteenth-century French naturalist writer have been worked and re-worked across time, media and nations since, and even at times before, their publication. Adaptation, though, is not just a process external or subsequent to Zola’s texts. Rather, it is a part of their lifeblood as Zola fashions his original novels from the adapted textual matter of other moments and media. These reconfigurations of and in Zola make him a powerful test case for adaptation studies as a whole. The discipline, despite the sophistication of a whole host of intertextually inspired adaptation theorists, continues to be dominated in practice by the direct transfer model. This model triggers analyses which seek only the original text, a work conceived of as a sealed point of origin, in the replicatory and somehow always inferior reproductions of it. But Zola’s novels do not fit the direct transfer model for they self-consciously locate their origin in a shifting range of earlier sources. Zola adapts music, opera, painting, theatre and statuary in his novels, implicitly encouraging adaptation studies to move beyond its obsession with cinema and theatre and be comparably inter-medial in its approach. While critics have left configurations of Zola’s texts in BBC television almost entirely unexplored and those in BBC radio completely untouched, these media provide something of a natural home for Zola. They bring us closer to his conceptualisation of authorship, to his belief that in cross media adaptation true originality may be found. (more…)