Picturing the Perpetrator seminar, December 7th

Wednesday 7th December, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 412, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1T

“Picturing the Perpetrator”
Paul Lowe (UAL)

Photographs of and by the perpetrators of atrocities, war crimes and genocide pose a series of troubling and difficult questions for practitioners, media outlets, audiences, and critics. Such images often blur the boundaries of photographic representation, generating a form of genre slippage, such as the formal portrait, where an accepted form of representation with an accepted set of responses, is challenged by the knowledge that the subject, with whom the form invites the viewer to empathize with, is know to be a mass murder. Images made by perpetrators of their actions also are complex, should they be viewed as evidence of their atrocity, or does such an act make the viewer complicit in the re-victimization of their subjects? How should self-images of terrorists be understood and analyzed?

This seminar will explore these questions through the detailed close reading and interpretation of a series of perpetrator related images covering a broad historical and geographic sweep, that will include 19th century colonial imagery, the Holocaust, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the War on Terror. A key feature of this exploration will be the imaginative space generated by the still image. This idea of the image creating a performative space into which the viewer is invited to project their imagination makes the act of photographic production and consumption more akin to that of the theatre or even opera; a space in which the everyday is heightened by the emphasis in dramatic moments to create an encounter that amplifies the situation and draws attention to it, and a space where the co-existence of the everyday and the extreme can collide in the encounter of traumatic realism.

All welcome. Followed by Christmas drinks in the Green Man.

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Professor Richard Imgham Inaugural Lecture: Language History and Language Acquisition

Tuesday 13th December 2016, 4.00 – 6.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HT

Language history and language acquisition: making the connection
Professor Richard Ingham, University of Westminster

Please join the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies for Professor Richard Ingham’s inaugural lecture as Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster. Professor Ingham is Principal Investigator for The Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England, a Leverhulme Trust-funded project based at the University of Westminster and Birmingham City University. In creating an online, freely accessible thesaurus of Middle English and Anglo-French words, the project captures the influence on English of Anglo French at a time of the overlapping presence and use of both languages within England. It allows scholars to conduct research on the Middle English and Anglo-French vocabulary of seven occupational domains: building, domestic activities, farming, food preparation, manufacture, trade, and travel by water.

The lecture will be followed by an introduction to the project by Louise Sylvester, Professor of English Language at Westminster, a brief discussion of the key findings so far by Professor Ingham, a demonstration of the thesaurus by Dr Imogen Marcus, and a drinks reception.

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British Story in Spanish

For any Spanish readers, there’s a translation from Michael Nath’s excellent novel British Story to be found in the new issue of the Mexican magazine Argonauta on Shakespeare and Cervantes.

Read it here: https://issuu.com/fomentoculturalirapuato/docs/argonauta-issu_b5fe018e17b451

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Call for Papers: Media, Arts and Hybrid Spaces, January 27th 2017

Friday 27th January 2017, 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Room 315, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HT

Media, Arts and Hybrid Spaces: Experience and Meaning in the Contact Zone

Study Day organised by Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) in collaboration with HOMELandS

Mary Louise Pratt introduced the concept of ‘the contact zone’ in 1991, using this term ‘to refer to social spaces where cultures, meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today’. She goes on to introduce the concept of ‘transculturation’, which is expanded upon in her later book Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (1992), which describes ‘processes whereby members of subordinated or marginal groups select and invent from materials transmitted by a dominant or metropolitan culture’.

The ‘contact zone’ is a site of artistic production but it can also be a site of negotiation of meanings, a context of experience. In her paper, Pratt expands on the notion of the contact zone beyond the interpretation of colonial encounters and deals with difference and conflict in the classroom. She writes, ‘All the students in the class had the experience … of having their cultures discussed and objectified in ways that horrified them; all the students experienced face-to-face the ignorance and incomprehension, and occasionally the hostility of others … Along with rage, incomprehension, and pain, there were exhilarating moments of wonder and revelation, mutual understanding, and new wisdom—the joys of the contact zone’. How might we broaden Pratt’s notion of the ‘the contact zone’? What is its significance in the contemporary sphere and how might it be a useful site for further investigation?

Please send abstracts (circa 300 words) for 20 mins papers by 6 January 2017 to both organisers:
Mattia Lento – Lentom@westminster.ac.uk
Margherita Sprio – spriom@westminster.ac.uk

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Reminder: New Nativisms in Global World – this Thursday 24th

Thursday 24th November 2016, 6.00 – 7.30 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HT

New Nativisms in a Global World

The rise of such phenomena as post-reality politics, extreme right-wing parties, legitimised demonisation of refugees, the partisan lines drawn by emotive referendums, populist language at the highest levels of political power, regional politics blocking vast transnational agreements, and so on, have all been signaling the rise of a new nativism of petty locality that seeks a reversal of the status quo with unpredictable consequences.

The theoretical challenge of this is considerable: is this the voice of the disenfranchised and the rise of minor politics; or is it the triumph of populism through mendaciously democratic and inclusive means? What happens to stasis when co-opted? What is the role of affects in post-reality politics today? How to resist the nativist, nationalist call, while carrying on questioning the globalising impetus of capitalism?

The interdisciplinary panel brings together experts from the Westminster Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in order to diagnose  and reflect upon these recent emergences.

PANEL: Dibyesh Anand (Politics and International Relations); David Cunningham (IMCC / English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies); Radha d’Souza (Westminster Law School); Harriet Evans (Modern Languages and Culture); Thomas Moore (Politics and International Relations); and Lea Sitkin (History, Sociology and Criminology).

CHAIR: Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Westminster Law & Theory Lab)

Book a place at: www.eventbrite.com/e/new-nativisms-in-a-global-world-tickets-29060636145

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Phobic Resistances from Freud to Blanchot seminar, November 23rd

Wednesday 23rd November, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 412, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1T

“‘Detestable residue’: phobic resistances from Freud to Blanchot”
Simon Morgan Wortham (Kingston University)

This talk traces Freud’s interest in yet apparent aversion to phobia, from his earliest writings on the topic in the 1890s through to his reinterpretation of the Little Hans case study, originally from 1909, in the mid-1920s. Here, it is possible to detect something like a phobic reaction to phobia itself. In the subsequent writings on the case of Little Hans, including those by Deleuze and Guattari, traces of this phobic reaction can be found contaminating sometimes sharply critical readings just as surely as they do Freud’s own text. Such ‘phobia’ operates precisely through a certain resistance to itself, a doubleness that renders Freud’s phobophobia not just a psychological curiosity but perhaps a feature of the very structure of phobia from the outset.  The talk will contrast psychoanalytic approaches to phobia with other possible ways to think about the questions it invites. Since Freud’s most famous early text on phobia takes the example of Pascal’s fear of abysses, the talk will turn to Blanchot’s short essay, ‘Pascal’s Hand’. For Blanchot what is abyssal in Pascal’s text amounts to a ‘detestable residue’ that might prove just too much for psycho-phobic reading.

Simon Morgan Wortham is Professor in Humanities and Co-Director of the London Graduate School at Kingston University. His many publications include Modern Thought in Pain: Philosophy, Politics, Psychoanalysis (2014), The Poetics of Sleep: From Aristotle to Nancy (2013), Derrida: Writing Events (2008), and Counter-Institutions: Jacques Derrida and the Question of the University (2006).

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Archive-as-method Salon, December 5th at Senate House

Monday 5th of December 2016, 15.30-18.30
Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E (SH243)

Archive-as-Method Salon
Working with Visual Documents of the Italian Colonial Heritage

Presentations, short-film screenings and Q&A with: 
Alessandra Ferrini, Gianmarco Mancosu, Martina Melilli and Jacopo Rinaldi

Organised by one of our former MA Art & Visual Culture students, Alessandra Ferrini, of the excellent Mnemoscape, this Salon brings together artists, filmmakers and historians in order to discuss methodological approaches to the exploration and activation of colonial, archival material. Given the recent interest in the Italian colonial past,  the salon aims to shed light onto a previously marginalised historical period.

The first part of the salon will introduce to the fascist imperial project and its legacy through Gianmarco Mancosu’s research based on the newsreels on the Ethiopian War of 1935-36 and Alessandra Ferrini’s essay film and pedagogic project Negotiating Amnesia (2015), which is based on archival photographs and propaganda postcards from the same period. The second part of the salon will kick off with Martina Melilli’s presentation of an ongoing body of work stemming from her family’s history in the Libyan colony and in Italy, after the expulsion of Italians from Libya in 1970. It will be followed by Jacopo Rinaldi’s problematisation of the truthfulness of archival material, through his research in the Pirelli Historic Archive (Milan), and the production of works exploring the rubber industry. To conclude, the four researchers will be in conversation and will open up the debate to the public.

Free, but seats are limited. Please email Mnemoscape at mnemoscape@gmail.com to book a place.

For more information please visit the facebook event page.

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PhD Scholarships at Westminster

The University of Westminster Graduate School is offering five MPhil/PhD Scholarships in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, including in Visual Culture, Cultural Studies and English Literature. The Scholarships are open to candidates with a Home fee status, and are full-time for three years, including an annual stipend of £16,000 and a Home fee waiver starting in September 2017. As part of the Scholarship candidates will be required to undertake up to six hours teaching per week. Deadline: February 17th 2017 by 5pm.

For general enquiries please contact Dr Leigh Wilson, wilsonl@westminster.ac.uk, T: 020 7911 5000 ext 68955.

At the same time, the Faculty is also offering three fully funded Quintin Hogg Trust PhD studentships beginning in September 2017 for projects using the University of Westminster Archive. The Archive holds a wide collection of material on the history of the University and its predecessor institutions from 1838 to the present. The Studentships will be awarded to projects making excellent use of the University Archive, and to applicants demonstrating commitment to the promotion of the Archive both within the University and externally and to the development of the University’s research student community. The three Scholarships will be awarded across the following broad areas: Creative Writing based on material in the Archive; Performing science in the 19th centuryLeisure, religion and mobility: Quintin Hogg and the Regent Street PolytechnicPhotography and/as pedagogy

It is strongly recommended that candidates for these scholarships contact the Archive and arrange to visit and speak to an archivist before applying. Please contact Anna McNally at the Archive: a.mcnally@westminster.ac.uk.

Further information on all the Scholarships, and details on how to apply, here: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/courses/research-degrees/research-areas/social-sciences-and-humanities/research-studentships

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Conversations on Communism podcast

We are very pleased to announce an exciting new project by the IMCC’s own Elinor Taylor, who is launching a podcast series, “Conversations on Communism”, in collaboration with Henry Stead. Episode 1 is now online, with Robert Lister discussing Frank Walbank and Polybius.

Check it out at: http://www.bravenewclassics.info/index.php/listen/

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La Post-photographie, un nouveau paradigme? November 11th, Paris

If anyone is in Paris on Friday 11th November, the IMCC’s Deputy Director, David Cunningham, is speaking on a panel at the Centre Culturel Suisse on “Post-Photography“, as part of Paris Photo.

The blurb is in French, but the discussion is in English. Kicking off at 8pm.

Soirée menée par Duncan Forbes, directeur du Fotomuseum Winterthur. Avec :Melanie Bühler, commissaire indépendante, Amsterdam and New York ; Joshua Chuang, New York Public Library ; David Cunningham, Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, Londres ; Camille Le Houezec et Joey Villemont, It’s Our Playground, Thorigny-sur-Marne ; Nadine Wietlisbach, Photoforum PasquArt, Bienne.

Further details at: http://www.ccsparis.com/events/view/la-post-photographie-un-nouveau-paradigme

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Memory Unbound – published this month

We’re delighted to announce the publication this month of the collection Memory Unbound: Tracing the Dynamics of Memory Studies, co-edited by our own Lucy Bond with Stef Craps and Pieter Vermeulen.

Though still a relatively young field, memory studies has undergone significant transformations since it first coalesced as an area of inquiry. Increasingly, scholars understand memory to be a fluid, dynamic, unbound phenomenon—a process rather than a reified object. Embodying just such an elastic approach, this state-of-the-field collection systematically explores the transcultural, transgenerational, transmedial, and transdisciplinary dimensions of memory—four key dynamics that have sometimes been studied in isolation but never in such an integrated manner. Memory Unbound places leading researchers in conversation with emerging voices in the field to recast our understanding of memory’s distinctive variability.

Order your copy here: http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/BondMemory

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Lying, Testimony and Murder in Early Modern England, November 9th 2016

Wednesday 9th November, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 412, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1T

“Lying, Testimony and Murder in Early Modern England: The Case of Annis and George Dell (1606)”
Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex)

This talk will explore a particularly gruesome murder story from the early 1600s, recorded in two pamphlets which each give slightly different versions of the evidence. The paper will analyse these works in order to reconstruct what we can of a troubling and bizarre case, and to reflect on the nature and significance of testimony in early modern England.

Andrew Hadfield is Professor of English at the University of Sussex and author of books including Edmund Spenser: A Life (OUP 2012), Shakespeare and Republicanism (CUP 2005) and Shakespeare, Spenser and the Matter of Britain (Palgrave 2002). He is also editor of the Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1500-1640 (2013).

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New Nativisms in a Global World, November 24th 2016

new-nativisms

Thursday 24th November 2016, 6.00 – 7.30 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HT

New Nativisms in a Global World

The rise of such phenomena as post-reality politics, resistance voting, extreme right-wing parties, legitimised demonisation of refugees, the partisan lines drawn by emotive referendums, populist language at the highest levels of political power, regional politics blocking vast transnational agreements, and so on, have all been signaling the rise of a new nativism of petty locality that seeks a reversal of the status quo with unpredictable consequences.

The theoretical challenge of this is considerable: is this the voice of the disenfranchised and the rise of minor politics; or is it the triumph of populism through mendaciously democratic and inclusive means? What happens to stasis when co-opted? What is the role of affects in post-reality politics today? How to resist the nativist, nationalist call, while carrying on questioning the globalising impetus of capitalism?

The interdisciplinary panel brings together experts from the Westminster Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in order to diagnose  and reflect upon these recent emergences.

PANEL: Dibyesh Anand (Politics and International Relations); David Cunningham (IMCC / English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies); Radha d’Souza (Westminster Law School); Harriet Evans (Modern Languages and Culture); Thomas Moore (Politics and International Relations); and Lea Sitkin (History, Sociology and Criminology).

CHAIR: Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Westminster Law & Theory Lab)

Book a place at: www.eventbrite.com/e/new-nativisms-in-a-global-world-tickets-29060636145

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Experiments and Incidents – Julie Martin and Barbara Steveni in Conversation

eat-shunk-kender
Thursday 27 October 2016, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Arts Catalyst Center, 74-76 Cromer Street, London, WC1H 8DR

£3 – book here

Experiments and Incidents – Julie Martin and Barbara Steveni in Conversation with Neal White

A reunion between two pioneers in experimental and incidental art practices

IMCC and CREAM at the University of Westminster and Arts Catalyst are delighted to host a reunion between two pioneers in experimental and incidental art practices, Julie Martin (Director of Experiments in Art and Technology) and Barbara Steveni (Artist Placement Group / O+I), chaired by Professor Neal White (University of Westminster).

Pushing at the limits of radical ideas and art practice since 1966, these two women have helped change the landscape of where and how art has been made. This is a unique opportunity to hear both in dialogue, reflecting on not only the past, but the future for art which has an experimental and incidental focus.

This collaboration between the University of Westminster and Arts Catalyst has been developed as part of Arts Catalyst’s season of events that mark the 50th anniversary of E.A.T. and the project the led to their founding 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, titled 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engeneering Revisited 1966/2016.

In addition to this talk, the programme also includes an exhibition reflecting on the work of Experiments in Art and Technology at Arts Catalyst Centre for Art Science & Technology, a talks programme developed in collaboration with Afterall and Side Effects, a major new performance commission by Robert Whitman (co-Founder of E.A.T.).

This 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engeneering Revisited 1966/2016 programme is supported by Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation, PACE, Afterall, Central Saint Martins, UAL, King’s Cross and Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Westminster, London: The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) with the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) and The Performance Studio.

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The Married Woman Worker in Fiction seminar

Wednesday 26th October, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 412, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1T

“The married woman worker in fiction, c. 1870-1960”
Helen Glew (History, Westminster)

This paper forms part of a wider social and cultural history of the marriage bar and married women’s right to do paid work in the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries. By examining fictional depictions of working wives in British, Canadian and US novels and short stories in this period – and also considering reactions to these – the paper will explore the ways in which fiction was used alternately as a means to critique society, to reimagine established norms or to act as a conservative or cautionary voice.

All welcome! (Please note the change of room and building from the previous seminar in the series.)

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The Seven Sisters Indoor Market film showing, November 4th

screeninghead

Veronica Posada, who is currently studying on our MA Art and Visual Culture, is organising a screening of The Seven Sisters Indoor Market Film on Friday 4th of November at 6:30pm, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers. The screening is part of Veronica’s participation in the Mitologia de la Tierra exhibition of seven Colombian artists at the Koppel Project in London (93 Baker Street, W1U 6RL), in which she is also presenting work from her research project ‘Mapping Memories’ (with Lorena Raigoso). Further details here.

Mapping Memories is a research tool and visibilization platform that supports recognition of Latin Americans in the UK, as well as promoting processes of unification and resistance against gentrification. See their website at: http://mappingmemory.weebly.com/

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Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London book launch

Friday 21st October, 7pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1

Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London book launch

We’re delighted to pass on an invitation to the book launch for Simon Avery and Kate Graham’s fabulous collection Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c. 1850 to the Present, which has just been published by Bloomsbury.

To help with catering, please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sex-time-and-place-book-launch-tickets-28363251248

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“The Baths” documentary film showing

the-baths-still

Wednesday 30th November, 2.00 – 5.00
University of Westminster, Harrow Campus

“The Baths”

One of our MA Art and Visual Culture students Sofia Pancucci-Mcqueen will (with her co-director Anouska Samms) be presenting her documentary “The Baths”, and accompanying research, to students on the Film and Television: Theory, Culture and Industry MA at Westminster. All staff and students welcome!

Tucked away in the corner of an industrial estate in Canning Town is a steam baths where men meet to wash, eat and chat. Visited daily by culturally diverse groups, it’s where bathing rituals intertwine and collective memories are forged. Made by two female filmmakers, Anouska Samms and Sofia Pancucci-McQueen, the documentary explores masculinity in a unique setting and invites us to observe often unseen cultural traditions that are integral to the lives of those who practice them.

The film highlights the transcultural nature of the baths whereby seemingly disparate traditions are continually exchanged. While each group may at first sight appear separate from one another, it soon becomes apparent that in sharing the same space they are also sharing wider cultural histories.

You can watch a trailer for the film here: https://vimeo.com/185019337

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The Architecture of Neoliberalism book launch

Monday 24th October, 6.00 – 8.00
Room M416, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1

The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Architecture Became an Instrument of Control and Compliance

An invitation to the book launch for our friend Doug Spencer’s The Architecture of Neoliberalism, published by Bloomsbury. A talk by Doug about the book will be followed by a panel discussion with IMCC affiliate Jon Goodbun, Peg Rawes from the Bartlett School of Architecture and David Chandler from Westminster’s Centre for the Study of Democracy.

Look out, too, for a later one-day event at the Architectural Association on Friday 25th November, The (Dis)Enchanted Subject of Architecture, also timed to celebrate the publication of Doug’s book, with speakers including Libero Andreotti, Nadir Lahiji, Joan Ockman, Nina Power and the IMCC’s own David Cunningham. Details here: http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=3500

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The British Communist Historical Novel seminar, October 12th

Wednesday 12th October, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 310, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

“The British Communist Historical Novel: Marxism, Modernity and Historiography”
Elinor Taylor (Westminster)

In 1935, following the failures of revolutionary movements in Europe and the advances of fascism, the Comintern abandoned its sectarian ‘class-against-class’ policy and advocated instead the strategy of the Popular Front, an anti-fascist bloc that had as its base a ‘united front’ of working-class organisations and, predicated on that, a wider popular alliance. Central to this new orientation in Communism politics was a stress on national histories and traditions as the site and means of resistance to a fascism that was, as the Comintern’s General Secretary put it, ‘rummaging through the entire history of every nation’ for its means of national cultural legitimation. This paper considers the historical novel as a crucial historiographic genre for British communists in the late 1930s and early 1940s, focusing on a trilogy of novels of English history by Jack Lindsay. While in certain ways this trilogy, spanning the English civil war to the revolutions of 1848, seems to obediently answer the Comintern’s call for the cultural representation of national histories, it sceptically traces the arc of ‘bourgeois revolution’ as it was formulated in classical Marxist historiography, and in so doing stages a series of problematics – over the constitution of English modernity and the nature of class succession – that were inadmissible in other arenas. But the trilogy also constitutes a self-reflexive meditation on the novel’s own conditions of possibility and its political limits. In Georg Lukács’s 1937 study of the historical novel, it was the revolutionising energy of the bourgeoisie before 1848 that enabled the historical novel to access certain ‘epic’ qualities, and the final chapter of that work is organised around the claim that the Popular Front made possible the end of the genre’s retrograde, post-1848 phase. Lindsay’s work, however, might suggest a need to move out of and beyond the novel form, in its competing realist and modernist configurations, altogether, and the paper considers the ways that Lindsay’s work glimpses this other, unrealised form.

All welcome! Followed by drinks at the Green Man …

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