Call for Submissions: 2016 Ivan Juritz Prize – Deadline 28 March 2016

The King’s College London Centre for Modern Literature and Culture is pleased to announce that our 2016 Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Responses to Modernism is now open.  The competition is open to postgraduate students from throughout the UK.  You are invited to submit texts (up to 2000 words), images, films (up to 15 minutes), digital artefacts, musical compositions (up to 12 minutes for up to two instruments or for electronics*).

Please do come along to our launch event for the 2016 competition:

Inventing the Modern Novel

Mon 9 November, 6.30-7.45pm, Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre

Ali Smith and Vesna Goldsworthy in conversation with Lara Feigel

Acclaimed novelists Ali Smith and Vesna Goldsworthy will explore the influence of modernist literature on their own work and interrogate what it might mean to be influenced by modernism.  Is modernism more a period of early-twentieth century art or a set of styles?  If the modernist novel still exists today, is it necessarily formally avant-garde? Does it continue Virginia Woolf’s task of tracing ‘the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall’? Does it employ what TS Eliot termed ‘the mythical method’, as ‘a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history’?

This discussion is free and will be followed by a drinks reception.  It is open to the wider public but 150 seats have been set aside for students eligible to enter the Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Responses to Modernism.

To book please visit

The Competition

In the early decades of the twentieth century writers, visual artists, filmmakers and musicians across the world competed to follow Ezra Pound’s injunction to ‘make it new’.  Whether artists were willing or resisting change – hurling themselves into the (often technological) future or hankering elegiacally after lost forms and ways of life – the first fifty years of the twentieth century saw an explosion of artistic production in all the arts.  Shaken up by two world wars, stirred by the invention of cinema, artists questioned what art was and could be and asserted its value in a fragmented yet increasingly interconnected world.

Postgraduate students are invited to submit their own creative responses to this moment of artistic explosion in whatever art form seems most appropriate. This might be a homage, pastiche or parody or could be a much freer (and less historical) engagement with modernism.  You might see yourself as continuing, challenging or simply evoking the modernist project. The judges are looking for originality and hope to be made both to think and feel. Entries should be accompanied by a paragraph (up to 150 words) explaining the work of art and its relation to modernism.

The prize is open to postgraduate students from across Britain and will be judged by our Advisory Board (Lisa Appignanesi, Michael Berkeley, Rachel Cusk, Dexter Dalwood, Alison Duthie, Juliet Gardiner, Jeremy Harding, Deborah Levy, Stephen Romer, Fiona Shaw).

The deadline for the prize is Monday 28 March 2016. Entries should be submitted (or posted to Dr Lara Feigel, English department, King’s College London, Virginia Woolf Building, 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NR).

The three shortlisted entries will be published in the journal Textual Practice and on our website.  If a musical composition is shortlisted it will receive a concert performance before the prize-giving ceremony which will also be recorded and published on our website.  The winner will receive a year’s membership to the Tate (or the equivalent museum in the recipient’s home city) and all the shortlisted contestants will meet the Advisory Board at a dinner following the prize-giving ceremony in June 2015.

To see details of the 2015 winning entries and for more details about the prize see

The Centre for Modern Literature and Culture was founded in September 2013 and is currently engaged in a project called ‘Inventing the Modern’. We aim to provide a hub for investigating modernist culture in London, initiating conversation and collaboration between researchers and creative artists. For us modernism can be seen as reaching back into the nineteenth century and forward into the twenty-first, embracing all art forms and nationalities and often mingling popular culture and high art. Our mission is to bring together academics, writers and artists to explore, interrogate, dismantle and reinvent the notion of the ‘modern’.

For more details about the Centre see: .

To join our mailing list please email with the heading ‘join mailing list’.

Music scores, which may be accompanied by a recording (in WAV or mp3 format), should be either posted as hardcopies or send electronically in PDF.  Musical compositions for electronic medium should be submitted in WAV format only.  Any works that include extensive improvisatory or aleatoric elements should be  accompanied  by a recording of a performance.


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CFP: Obscure Modernism: Deadline 1 December 2015

Obscure Modernism

Call for Papers

Birkbeck, University of London, 27 February 2016

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Esther Leslie (Birkbeck, University of London)

Dr. Ian Patterson (Queens’ College, Cambridge)

This conference invites contributions on the more obscure aspects of modernism and modernist cultural production. Obscure modernism denotes, on the one hand, those works, artists and writers who have been forgotten or neglected by scholarship to date and whose full meaning and value we are only now beginning to appreciate. On the other hand, obscure modernism can also signify the result of an intentional act of obfuscation on the part of the artist, aimed at creating an aura of difficulty, mystical secrecy or utter senselessness. In modernist texts which resist legibility and in forms of modernist cultural production which are difficult to access or extremely limited in scale, obscurity can be seen as an underlying structural principle of the work itself.

By focussing our attention on what remains obscure within modernism, this conference ties in with the ongoing critical recovery of the less prominent or valued aspects of modernist culture under the auspices of the New Modernist Studies. In addition to this, we invite speakers to consider modernist obscurity not only as the passive result of artistic failure or critical misapprehension but as an active act of resistance to institutionalised forms of attention. This includes, for instance, the productions of the historical avant-garde which adopt obscurity in order to resist their incorporation into the institution of art. By considering the scholarly mantra to recover and recuperate vis-à-vis a modernism which can be viewed as inherently obscure, we hope to stimulate a renewed debate around the status of obscure work and its critical recovery within Modernist Studies.

We invite proposals for papers that could focus on, but are not limited to, topics such as:

  • Obscure figures or groups within modernism
  • Lesser-known works by prominent figures
  • Regional modernisms
  • The institutional space of modernism, and the dynamics of resistance and recuperation
  • The politics of critical recovery
  • Modernism and the occult/esoteric
  • Difficulty
  • Opacity
  • (Mis-)translation
  • Dealing with obscure material: modernist archives, small presses, limited editions, theatre and performance studies
  • Creative reconstructions of modernism

Submission guidelines:

Proposals for 20-minute papers should include a 250-300 word abstract and a short bio. Please send your proposal to

Submission deadline:

1st December 2015

Organised by Evi Heinz, Paul Ingram and David Miller.

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Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group Events 11 November and 9 December

Wednesday 11 November: Therapeutic Aims

Please note that this session will be held at the Wellcome Library, Euston Road, between 3-4.30. Please come to the Library entrance reception on level 2

In June 2015 the Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities hosted a screening of Abandoned Goods, a short essay film detailing the extraordinary collection of artworks created by patients detained in Netherne psychiatric hospital between 1946 and 1981. The artworks were created in a pioneering art studio in the hospital run by the artist Edward Adamson. Today around 5,500 pieces survive, assembled together as the Adamson Collection, one of the major bodies of British ‘asylum art’, now held at the Wellcome Trust and the Maudsley Charity. Adamson’s studio will be the springboard for our discussion.

Set texts:

  • Extracts from Edward Adamson, Art as Healing (London, Coventure, 1984);
  • David O’Flynn, ‘Art as Healing: Edward Adamson’
  • Susan Hogan, ‘British Art-therapy pioneer Edward Adamson: a non-interventionist approach’, History of Psychiatry (2000) 11.43, 259-271

Online link to images from the collection are on the Wellcome’s website: and South London and Maudsley Trust:

If you would like access to the film Abandoned Goods (approximately 37 minutes long) prior to the session please do get in touch.

More information is available on our webpage, along with details of past reading.

Please note the next session will be held at the Keynes Library, Birkbeck on Wednesday 9 December, between 3.30-5. We will send a reminder nearer the time.

The reading group aims to create a space in which academics, clinicians and students can come together to explore key readings, ideas and materials in the field of medical humanities. Our endeavour is to find ways of talking across the different disciplines of the humanities and medicine, and we welcome participation from colleagues interested and engaged in these areas.

For further details, and copies of the set texts, please contact Heather Tilley ( and Suzannah Biernoff (

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‘A Walk Around Eighteenth-Century Covent Garden’ – 1st December

Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group:

Reading Group, led by Dr. Thom Braun, Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College

‘A Walk Around Eighteenth-Century Covent Garden’

12.30pm, Tuesday 1st December, Room 112, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square

The most famous image of someone walking in eighteenth-century Covent Garden is by William Hogarth: his Morning, from The Four Times of the Day. Please follow this link to see the print version – the only thing you need to ‘read’ in advance of the session:

In the eighteenth century Covent Garden piazza was the centre of a dynamic ‘round-the-clock’ urban space that encompassed a fruit and vegetable market, a theatre, artists’ studios, print shops, coffee houses, bagnios, and houses of ill repute. It was one of the defining spaces of eighteenth-century London, and, as such, it was represented across a range of media in a variety of ways. As well as being the subject of more than twenty paintings and scores of prints, Covent Garden is mentioned in contemporary novels, poems, continental guidebooks to London, and a range of other texts.

With its main focus on the visual, and starting with maps and mapping, this interdisciplinary session will look at a sample of topographical prints, all of which mediate the space in different ways. Through discussion of the images – and in relation to other insights that participants bring to the session – the aim will be to explore some of the ways in which a key metropolitan space was understood and represented through the century.

For further information, please contact Kate Retford:

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Professor Tita Chico: ‘Aesthetics, Mediation, and Difference: British Literature and Science’ – 10th November

Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group:

Lecture by Prof. Tita Chico, ‘Aesthetics, Mediation, and Difference: British Literature and Science’

6pm, Tuesday 10th November, Keynes Library, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square

The Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group is delighted to announce a forthcoming lecture by Tita Chico, Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Maryland.

Professor Chico is the author of Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture (2005), and co-editor of Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment (2012), with Toni Bowers. She is also editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. This talk relates to her current book project, Experimentalism: Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment.

For further information, please contact Ann Lewis:

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Victorian Supernatural Reading Group Autumn Term 2015 details

Our informal, student-run group sets out to consider different ways in which notions of the supernatural were tied in with Victorian ideology. Our definition of the ‘supernatural’ is very broad and we always welcome reading suggestions.

Our first session this term will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday 19 November in room 112, 43 Gordon Square, and is entitled ‘Strangers on a Train: Fear and loathing in Victorian travel fiction’.

We will be reading the following stories, both of which can be accessed online:
– Rhoda Broughton, ‘Under the Cloak’ (1873):
– Katherine Mansfield, ‘The Little Governess’ (1920):

Students can join our mailing list by writing to We have a Facebook group as well (Victorian Supernatural Reading Group).

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CFP: Forgotten Geographies – deadline 20 December 2015

CFP: Forgotten Geographies in the Fin de Siècle, 1880-1920

Deadline: 20 December 2015

8-9 July 2016

Birkbeck College, University of London

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Regenia Gagnier (Exeter)
  • Dr Olga Kirillova (National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Kyiv)
  • Dr Stefano Evangelista (Trinity, Oxford)

The glamour and mystery of the place, with its sinister atmosphere of forgotten nations, appealed to the imagination of my friend.
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in fin-de-siècle cultural studies and, in particular, in the growth of cosmopolitanism and internationalism in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. This critical reception has tended to read British fin-de-siècle culture as a reflection of and reaction to specific European countries, mainly France. The wealth and variety of imperial and industrial Britain’s cross-cultural exchanges, however, has not been generally considered as a whole. British artists and writers of the 1880s and 1890s were avid travellers and readers who came in contact with a vast range of European cultures – Belgian, Bohemian, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish… As a way of escaping industrialisation and cultural homogenisation, or as a consequence of imperial politics, many artists and writers also interacted with further cultures, such as Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Moroccan, and Turkish, to name but a few. British authors of the fin de siècle were undeniably influenced by French writing, but also by Scandinavian naturalists like Ibsen and Hamsun, and by the newly translated fiction of Turgenev and Tolstoy.

Likewise, the impact and response to British art and literature in the international cultural community has yet to be explored. Anglomania was a distinct tendency among aesthetes in turn-of-the-century Hungary, Russia, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland, to name but a few. The promotion of British aestheticism was often seen by the locals as a step to modernisation and advancement of national artistic and literary tradition. English magazines, which facilitated revolutionary changes in publishing, design, and international networking, e.g. The Studio, The Yellow Book, The Savoy, were set as examples for the emerging culture of periodicals in Eastern Europe. The late Pre-Raphaelite movement, especially works and ideas of Burne-Jones and Watts, was also a powerful yet underappreciated influence on the development of Symbolism in Polish visual culture.

As recent research questions the cultural segregation between East and West, challenging post-colonial assumptions about imperial hierarchy, and instead emphasising global networks of reciprocity, it is the intention of this conference to further expand this debate. By bringing together established and emerging scholars, we aim to reconsider the intellectual and national foundations of the British fin de siècle, assessing the role of other ‘forgotten’ cultures in the articulation of British cultural movements of the time. At the same time, we intend to unlock and reframe the perception of British authors abroad by explicating the reinvention of meaning of their work in different cultural, social, and political environments.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on topics related to forgotten geographies in the fin de siècle, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Dialectic between the cosmopolitan and the local/national
  • Non-traditional European identities
  • Non-European collaborative links of British cultural producers
  • Portrayals of difference in cosmopolitan literature and art
  • Cosmopolitan practices (travelling, translation, hospitality)
  • Modern cities as centres of transnational cultural exchange
  • Literary and artistic networks of the turn of the century
  • Fin-de-siècle cultural imperialism, aesthetic Orientalism
  • Mass culture and popularization of aestheticism

Please email 300-word abstracts to by 20 December 2015.

Organisers: Leire Barrera-Medrano (Birkbeck, University of London), Sasha Dovzhyk (Birkbeck, University of London)

More information

Call For Papers Link:


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CFP: Artist and Empire: New Dynamics: 1790 to the present day – deadline 28 October 2015

International conference

Artist and Empire: New Dynamics: 1790 to the present day

Tate Britain

24 – 26 November 2015

Call for Posters


Tate Britain is holding an international conference, in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London and Culture at King’s College London, to mark the opening of the exhibition Artist and Empire (25 November 2015 – 10 April 2016). Scholars, curators and artists from around Britain and the world will gather to consider art created under the conditions of the British Empire, its aftermath, and its future in museum and gallery displays.

A poster session is being organised as part of the conference in order to give early career researchers an opportunity to share research related to the topic of Artist & Empire and receive feedback from leaders in this field. A number of scholars will be given the opportunity to present their research in A2 format, which will be on display at the conference for delegates.

Those interested in presenting research at the conference should submit for consideration a short abstract of no more than 200 words outlining the subject of the poster to the conference administrator, Jessica Knights, at A short CV should also be submitted. The deadline for submitting abstracts is Wednesday 28th October 2015.

We would be grateful if you could circulate this call widely to your colleagues and students.


More information about the conference and exhibition can be found at A full programme will be available shortly.

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Developing Your Research Career – Research and the Media: 26 November 2015

Developing Your Research Career – Research and the Media: Spreading the Word

Thursday 26 November 2015 | 12.00 – 13.30pm | Room G04, 43 Gordon Square


Communicating research findings outside of the academic community to demonstrate its applications and enhance its impact is an increasingly important element of a researcher’s job. But what opportunities are out there, how do you craft messages for a wider audience, and how can you prepare for press interviews about your work?

This introduction to media work session will offer practical insights into the dos, don’ts, opportunities and value of communicating your work far and wide. It is for researchers who are new to media work, or those looking to refresh their knowledge.

Delivered by Birkbeck External Relations team members, this introductory session will include:

  • What makes a good press story?
  • An overview of the opportunities and platforms, from Birkbeck’s official digital and social media channels, to print, broadcast and online media
  • Crafting the message: extracting key findings and narratives from your study
  • Converting research papers into press releases and other communications materials
  • The press interview: how to prepare and what to expect
  • Real life Birkbeck case studies
  • Open discussion / Q&A opportunity

Presenters: Henry Rummins (Communications Manager) and Andrew Youngson (Media and Publicity Officer)

Organised by: Dr Wendy Earle, Impact Development Officer, Birkbeck

This workshop is open to Birkbeck PhD students and academic staff only – book your place here

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London Science Fiction Research Group 2015-16

Please see the readings for the London Science Fiction Research group 2015/16. All sessions will be held between 7-9pm in Room 112, 43 Gordon Square. All are welcome to attend:

  • 2nd November 2015  – James Tiptree, Jr., Up the Walls of the World
  • 7th December 2015 – Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life
  • 11th January 2016 – Iain M. Banks, Excession
  • 1st February 2016 – Ursula Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest
  • 7th March 2016 – China Mieville, Embassytown
  • 4th April 2016 – Stanislaw Lem, Eden
  • 2nd May 2016 – Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic
  • 6th June 2016 – Suzette Haden Elgin, Native Tongue
  • 4th July 2016 – Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon
  • 1st August 2016 – Naomi Mitchison, Memoirs of a Spacewoman
  • 5th September 2016 – Ian Watson, The Embedding

The London Science Fiction Research Group

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