M.R. James and the Modern Ghost Story: a one-day symposium

Posted by Matt Foley on October 01, 2014 in Blog tagged with ,

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M.R. James and the Modern Ghost Story: a one-day symposium hosted by the University of Leeds, to be held at The Leeds Library on 28 March 2015

Confirmed Keynotes:

Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Darryl Jones (Trinity College, Dublin)

Helen Grant (Author)

The conference will be followed by a public screening of ‘A Warning to the Curious’ (1972) and a Q & A session with writer/director, Lawrence Gordon Clark

The ghost stories of Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) are amongst the most influential in the English language. Never out of print, they have been adapted numerous times for stage, screen and other media and their formal and thematic features have come to embody the very model of the traditional English ghost story.

This one-day symposium is the first such event dedicated entirely to M.R. James’s ghost stories. The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers with an interest in James’s fiction in order to assess the significance of his ghost stories from a range of theoretical, literary and historical perspectives.

Although widely read and tremendously influential, James’s fiction has received little academic attention. The aim of this event is to foster further discussion and analysis of these tales and their place in late-Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture.

The conference is organised by Dr James Mussell, Dr Dewi Evans and Jane Mainley-Piddock. Registration will be open soon – in the meantime, please see our Call for Papers below.

The organisers would welcome abstracts for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of James’s tales on topics including, but certainly not limited to:

  • The ‘antiquarian’ flavour of James’s stories
  • James’s position as a late-Victorian/Edwardian writer
  • Representations of gender, race and sexuality in the tales
  • Adaptations of James’s fiction
  • James’s relationship to the ghost story genre
  • James and Englishness
  • The historical contexts of James’s fiction

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to MRJconference@gmail.com by 1st December 2014

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