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Blogging, Postgraduate Life and the Contemporary Academy

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

This talk will consider how different kinds of blogging can complement postgraduate life and in particular the thesis writing process. With reference to both personal blogs and institutional project blogs, I will address what potential transferable and desirable skills can be gleaned and how these relate to institutional and funder aims in the contemporary academy. Invited talk for ‘Cultural Connections: exchanging knowledge and widening participation in the Humanities’, Digital.Humanities@Oxford Summer School, July 2013.

Humanities, Scholarship and the Digital Age

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

Who cares about the Humanities and why should digital engagement be a key part of modern academic practice? View a reusable Prezi here. Invited talk for ‘Humanities in the 21st Century’ symposium, (Inter-Disciplinary.net at Harris Manchester College, Oxford).

Great Writers Inspire Great Writing

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

Alex Pryce considers how writers are readers, influenced and inspired by the works of other writers. Taking as a starting point the literary afterlife of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and the influence of Romantic John Keats on the First World War Poet Wilfred Owen, Alex discusses how writers are challenged by precursory writers, and introduces some theories of influence from T.S. Eliot and Harold Bloom.” University of Oxford podcast, Great Writers Inspire

Are We Sitting Comfortably? A Review of Feminist Book Reviews

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“Book reviews remain important to authors, publishers, booksellers, peers, academics and general readers. They may shape what gets published, what stays in print, and what or who does not. If reviews are important, then it is also important to consider the health of reviewing culture. Thus, this paper will consider the current feminist book reviewing culture by interrogating reviews found in journals such as Feminist Review and Contemporary Women’s Writing, and feminist blogs and websites such as The F Word and For Book’s Sake.Both outlets present opportunities for engagement with texts by women and about women’s issues. Yet, there are often quite different value judgments made about the usefulness and validity of their reviews. This paper will consider several important facets of journal and online reviewing culture, including the kind of texts under discussion (and available...

Paratextual Politics in Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will consider the political wrangling played out in some ‘paratexts’ which are key to our understanding of contemporary Northern Irish poetry. In using the term ‘paratext’, I will draw primarily on the ideas of Gerard Genette who first surveyed and explained the use of features such as dedications and epigraphs in his 1997 work Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. These paratexts are on the threshold of the text proper and play a part in our appreciation of it by their often implicit meanings and the reader’s conditioned understanding of them. Further, they are of interest when considering recent Northern Irish work because their prevalence is an ostentatious display of the flourishing tradition’s continued dominance.Dedicatory ‘networks’ have been a noticeable feature in Northern Irish poetry during the late 20th-century, often indicating friendships or artistic...

The Troubles Poetry of Post-Millennial Northern Irish Poets Living in Great Britain

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will consider how the work of emerging Northern Irish poets who live and work in Great Britain engages with the Northern Irish Troubles. It will interrogate how the geographical displacement of the authors reflects other kinds of distance manifest in the poetry and give critical attention to the peculiarly Northern Irish character of this detachment, considering how this is shaped in particular by the recent history of civil unrest. Taking in particular the work of Colette Bryce (b. 1970) and Nick Laird (b. 1975), two poets who grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and who have lived their adult lives in Great Britain, this paper will identify the characteristics of the expatriate Troubles poem in the post-Troubles era. Thus, this paper engages with the cultural memory and legacy of the period as well as examining the contemporary impact and engagement as it...

Canon/Vacuum: Two Views of Colette Bryce’s Poetry

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“Derry born poet Colette Bryce claims that literary criticism finds change hard, saying ‘[m]ale poets are usually criticised in relation to the canon whereas women poets are often discussed as working in a vacuum’. This paper will offer new critical insights into Bryce’s work by considering her in relation to both the canon and the vacuum. However, in an attempt to change critical paradigms in the manner the poet speaks of, it will address her work within a women’s canon and a men’s vacuum.Following from Alice Entwistle and Jane Dowson’s history of British and Irish twentieth century women’s poetry which identifies Carol Ann Duffy as the major poet in the recent women’s tradition, this study will interrogate the characteristics of such a canon. It will consider the parallels between Bryce and Duffy, exploring in particular the ways in which lesbian sexuality is legitimized in...

Not ‘A Gothic’: Leontia Flynn’s Unstable Genre

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“Hailed for her wry wit and original contemporary lyricism, the 29 poem sequence ‘A Gothic’ from Northern Irish poet Leontia Flynn’s most recent collection Profit and Loss (2011) seems to be a new direction. This paper will consider the conventional Gothic tropes being deployed in this sequence (including madness, doubling, screaming women and haunting) in order to interrogate what they reveal about Flynn’s attitude towards genre, poetics and selfhood. The most unsettling aspect of Flynn’s Gothic is its deliberate fragility. ‘A Gothic’ is barely ‘A Gothic’ at all. While Fred Botting defined Gothic as ‘writing of excess’ (1996), Flynn’s approach subverts this. Her work is restrained; most poems barely exceed two stanzas and make scant reference to the Gothic tropes which supposedly bind them together. The sequence portends to demonstrate Flynn’s approach to legacy, yet family and...

‘This Silence is [Un]Ambiguous’: Female Absence in Northern Irish Poetry Pre-1995

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will investigate the absence of women in contemporary Northern Irish poetry during an era of exceptional poetic activity within the province and the simultaneous, independent, growth of women’s writing outside of the province. The study will explore three kinds of female absence; not being published in single author collections, not being selected for any of the many anthologies of contemporary Ulster verse, and not appearing with any agency in the representations of women in the verse that was being published by famed male poets such as Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. Thus, this paper considers both the ‘business’ of poetry production and poetry itself to investigate exclusion and the popular conception that there were no Northern Irish women poets of note but for Medbh McGuckian. The title is taken from a statement by Ruth Hooley,...

“Where is she?”: Anthologies, Binaries and Northern Irish Poetry

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will interrogate patriarchal binary value systems and their manifestations in poetry from the North of Ireland during the Troubles. It will ask and attempt to answer the question posed by Hélène Cixous in Sorties (1975): ‘Where is she?’. Looking at the Northern Irish scene in the mid-1970s it would seem that women found no space in the dominant binaries of the civil unrest. The focus was instead on aggressive and masculinist oppositions such as Catholic/Protestant, Republican/Loyalist and nationalist/unionist. Given the critical attention paid to Troubles writing, and the high acclaim for anthologies such as Padraic Fiacc’s The Wearing of the Black (1974) and Frank Ormsby’s A Rage for Order (1992) it is poignant and timely to question ‘where is she?’ – for women poets from Northern Ireland were overlooked in these otherwise self-consciously inclusive texts. Moving to...