An academic conference

Chetham’s Library, Manchester,

 28th-29th January, 2011

For more details contact James Smith and Joel Swann at:


Call for papers

During the restoration and eighteenth century, the civil war period was consistently represented as a traumatic break in the history of England and the British Isles, separating the institutionally and culturally modern Augustans from either the primitiveness or idealised simplicity of the earlier epoch. Today, much academic practice silently repeats the period’s self-representation as a century divided between pre and post civil war cultures, whether in research, job descriptions or in undergraduate survey courses. Among the effects of this division of labour is a tendency for the earlier ‘Renaissance’ decades to be privileged over the restoration, which is frequently treated as a poor relation to the eighteenth century.

This conference provides a forum for researchers in all disciplines whose work spans all or any part of the long seventeenth century. As our titular quotations from Clarendon’s History of the Rebellion and Swift’s sermon ‘On the Martyrdom of King Charles I’ suggest, we also encourage papers on subsequent imaginings of the period that have contributed to or contested the ways in which it is read today. Concerns include but are not limited to:

  • The comparative study of seventeenth-century writing, sciences, visual arts and music before, during and after the civil war period; their material and intellectual dissemination; their relationship to ideas of what constitutes the early modern and the restoration.
  • Constructions of the seventeenth century from the restoration to the present; representations in literature, art, history and film; the cultural influence of the seventeenth century on subsequent periods.
  • The role critical theory can play in our reading of the period and/or narratives of the long seventeenth century from within literary criticism and critical theory; e.g. Leavis and Eliot on the Metaphysical poets, Walter Benjamin on the baroque, Foucault on madness, Habermas on the public sphere.
  • The study of non-canonical and marginalized texts and materials, and nationally comparative readings of the period.
  • The representation and reception of pre-seventeenth-century culture during the seventeenth century; the place of the past in the period’s self-representations.

Confirmed speakers include:
Rosanna Cox (Kent), Jeremy Gregory (Manchester), Helen Pierce (York), George Southcombe (Oxford), Jeremy Tambling (Manchester), Edward Vallance (Roehampton)

Please send abstracts of 300-500 words to James Smith (Manchester) and Joel Swann (Keele) by 15th October 2010, at c17.conference@manchester.ac.uk. Proposals from students are particularly welcomed, for whom attendance will be subsidized thanks to the generous support of the Society for Renaissance Studies.


Gregynog Hall

Gregynog Hall

Recycling Myths, Inventing Nationshisto

14th to 16th July 2010

The organisers of Recycling Myths, Inventing Nations would like to invite proposals for panels and papers that explore myth and myth-making in all its guises. The conference will bring together scholars working across creative and critical disciplines, historical periods and theoretical approaches in order to explore the links between story-telling, mythology, histories, identities and ideologies.
A montage depicting images of Brittania, Oedipus and unkown Hindu Goddess (probably Lakshmi or Parvati).

The organisers welcome contributions that will explore these issues in ways that will engage with current and emerging scholarly dialogues and demonstrate the diverse range of approaches being adopted in the study of mythology, both in contemporary culture and cultures of the past. Proposals should raise new questions and ideas in relation to the cultural, social and political functions of myth; the “recycling” of stories; the formation of “invented” identities and the multivalent relationships between mythology, history, fact and fiction.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University), Professor Murray Pittock (University of Glasgow) and Alastair Reynolds have agreed to act as keynote speakers for this event.

Suggested themes include;

* the ways in which writers draw on myths to retell the stories of people and nations
* the re-inscription of myths in fiction as a challenge to “official” history
* the use of myth by writers to represent new kinds of personal or collective identity
* using myth as a way to rethink literary traditions
* the fictional critique of myth and its politics
* the links between story-telling, mythology, identity and history
* mythologising origin or originary culture
* the supernatural in relation to origin and ancestral identity
* recycling mythologies to reflect contemporary political, cultural and global crises.

We welcome proposals, in the form of a 250 word abstract on any of these topics, or a related area. The deadline for abstracts is 30th November 2009. Proposals, expressions of interest and enquiries by email to myth2010@aber.ac.uk.

To be held at Gregynog Hall, the University of Wales Conference Centre, near Tregynon in Powys.

Images courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London and the University of Wales.
Contact Details
Recycling Myths, Inventing Nations
Department of English & Creative Writing
Aberystwyth University,
Hugh Owen Building,
SY23 3DY
Tel: (01970) 622534 Fax: (01970) 622530 Email:myth2010@aber.ac.uk