Posts from February 2015

Mnemonics Network Summer School, September 2015

Written by on Wednesday, posted in Conference, Event, News (No comments yet)

Mnemonics 2015: Memory and Materialism
London, September 8 – 10, 2015

The IMCC is delighted to announce its participation in both the Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies and (with colleagues at Goldsmiths and Kings) the London Cultural Memory Consortium with the following Call for Papers for the Mnemonics summer school to be held in London this September.

Call for papers: For the fourth edition of its annual summer school, the Mnemonics network, an international collaborative initiative for graduate education in memory studies, invites paper proposals that address the relations between materialities and cultural memory. The study of cultural memory is well versed in analyzing the material traces of the past. From the manifold historical objects that continue to inhere in the present as artifacts, ruins, traces, or even present absences, to the ways in which different representational media frame contemporary understandings of particular events through those objects, the discourses of memory studies have proven adept at investigating the use, circulation, value, and affect of historical remnants in processes of cultural remembrance. However, memory studies has so far been less attentive to the actual materiality of these objects. Accordingly, Mnemonics 2015 seeks to unearth the materials and matter that have been overlooked by present regimes of cultural memory, in theory and practice. By tracking their historical and cultural trajectories, we aim to chart the ways in which materials change over time and usage, examining the processes through which matter may be made to assemble, disassemble, metamorphose, and even disappear, to reinforce or challenge hegemonic constructions of memory and history.

Full Call for Papers can be downloaded here: Mnemonics 2015 cfp

Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Stef Craps (Ghent University); Dr Joanne Garde-Hansen (University of Warwick); Professor Ursula Heise (UCLA); Professor Alex Warwick (University of Westminster)

Fees: £250 including accommodation in central London; £100 excluding accommodation.
All fees cover: attendance; all breakfasts, lunches, refreshments, and conference dinner.

Send: A 300-word abstract for a 15-minute paper (including title, presenter’s name, and institutional affiliation), a description of your graduate research project (one paragraph), and a short CV (max. one page) as a single Word document to:

Deadline: 1 April 2015.
Notification of Acceptance: 1 May 2015

The Mnemonics summer school serves as an interactive forum in which junior and senior memory scholars meet in an informal and convivial setting to discuss each other’s work and to reflect on new developments in the field of memory studies. The objective is to help graduate students refine their research questions, strengthen the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of their projects, and gain further insight into current trends in memory scholarship. Each of the three days of the summer school will start with a keynote lecture, followed by sessions consisting of three graduate student papers, responses, and extensive Q&A. In order to foster incisive and targeted feedback, all accepted papers will be pre-circulated among the participants and each presentation session will be chaired by a senior scholar who will also act as respondent.

Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies is a collaborative initiative for graduate education in memory studies between the Danish Network for Cultural Memory Studies; the Swedish Memory Studies Network; and programs at Ghent University (Belgium); Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany); The London Cultural Memory Studies Consortium (IMCC, Westminster; Goldsmiths; Kings); the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA); and Columbia University (USA, associate partner).

Further information about the network is available from the Mnemonics website at http://
Mnemonics on Facebook:
Mnemonics on Twitter: @mnemonics_net

For more information on Mnemonics 2015, contact Lucy Bond at

A more detailed Call for Papers is attached here: Mnemonics 2015 cfp.

Speechless Shakespeare seminar, March 4th

Written by on Wednesday, posted in Event, News (No comments yet)

Wednesday 4th March, 4.15 pm
Room 215, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T

“Speechless Shakespeare”
Gwylim Jones, University of Westminster

In the opening scene of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus says to Hippolyta: ‘I … won thy love, doing thee injuries, / But I will wed thee in another key’. The bride-to-be has no more lines in the scene. Similarly, Measure for Measure’s Isabella is bereft of words to respond to the Duke’s abrupt wooing in the play’s finale.  These are just two of Shakespeare’s great suggestive silences – rich and ambiguous spaces for actors and directors to fill – and their presentation on the stage can characterise the production as a whole.

These moments, key to rehearsal rooms and theatre reviews, have received little attention from literary and performance scholars. When the silences are less obvious – Claudio’s in Measure is even more capacious than Isabella’s – the response is even slighter. This leaves many questions unanswered. How does the acknowledgement of silence affect our approach to the re-emerging emphasis on character? Or on Shakespeare’s engagement with rhetoric? How did Shakespeare’s treatment of silence develop over his career? This paper will examine some of the ways in which silence can be read in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and will show how these writers develop and manipulate silences in order to represent authority and interiority.

Michael Nath on Writers and their Lungs

Written by on Monday, posted in News, Papers (No comments yet)

A magnificent and heart-felt guest blog by our own Michael Nath at on writers and their lungs, from Lawrence Sterne to Proust.

As an extra distraction from the job of writing his life, Sterne gave his own worst organ to Tristram Shandy. Before we object to such a dubious gift, let’s marvel at the wrapping, that image of fluency contending with nature – not to mention the ‘Flanders’ effect (over the sea/close as the garden). Pickling disease with mirth, Tristram reports an episode of haemoptysis at the sight of a cardinal pissing with two hands. For the weak of lungs, every laugh is a dice throw. As an undergraduate, Sterne himself was already coughing blood; making it to 55 without Streptomycin must have required unusual vitality.

Read on here.

The Queer Art of Crisis, Weds 25 Feb

Written by on Saturday, posted in Event, News (No comments yet)

Wednesday 25th February, 1-3 pm
Room 357, University of Westminster, Regent Street, London

“The Queer Art of Crisis”
Nicola Smith, University of Birmingham

The third in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities seminar series of Desire at the University of Westminster. All welcome!

Nicki Smith is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Birmingham and has published on a range of issues surrounding globalisation and social justice. She is currently writing a monograph on Queer Sexual Economies for Palgrave and has published articles in SexualitiesThird World Quarterly and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

LARB interview with Anne Witchard

Written by on Tuesday, posted in News (No comments yet)

There’s a great interview with our own Anne Witchard about her latest book, England’s Yellow Peril: Sinophobia and the Great War up on the LA Review of Books blog.

England’s Yellow Peril builds on Witchard’s previous work, looking closely at British perceptions of China and the Chinese through literature and the arts in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. In England’s Yellow Peril she looks at how the outbreak of war accentuated and intensified many feelings of English racial dominance, Empire, and notions of the Yellow Peril that had arisen before the conflict. She concentrates on London’s old Chinatown of Limehouse in the East End, where swirling tales of opium smoking, gambling, and interracial romance had became synonymous with the presence of the Chinese.

You can read the interview here: