The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0571 Wednesday, 18 November 2009
From: Film-Literature Pr <
Date: Monday, 16 Nov 2009 09:51:23 +0000
Subject: The Writer on Film: Screening Literary Authorship
Please forward to colleagues or postgraduates to whom it might be of
The Writer on Film: Screening Literary Authorship
A one-day conference hosted by the Film and Literature Programme,
University of York (UK)
Thursday 25th March 2010
In the past decade or so there has been a marked resurgence in the
popularity of the literary biopic. Writers turned subjects of recent
films include Shakespeare, Austen, Virginia Woolf, Iris Murdoch, Dylan
Thomas, Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Kafka, Keats,
Kaufman and many more, both fictional and historical. This cultural
phenomenon prompts a re-examination of a long and varied history of
cinematic engagements with literary lives, literary processes and other
forms of authorial creativity.
Abstracts are solicited for individual 20-minute papers on subjects
relating to the theme of the conference. Proposals of pre-constituted
panels (composed of two or three 20-minute papers) are also welcome.
Questions informing case-studies might, for example, include (without
being limited to):
- What appeal have literary lives and literary process historically held
for the film industry?
- How are the processes of creativity and creation in one medium
narratable through the codes and conventions of another?
- At what moments in film history (and film present) have particular
writers proved cinematically modish, and how has their modishness been
- Do the cultural and commercial operations of literary biopics differ
from those of literary adaptations?
- How have different genres of writing (poetry, novelistic, dramatic,
journalistic, screenwriting) been treated by the film industry in
- How might screen representations of acts of writing relate to screen
representations of other expressions of creative/artistic endeavour
(fine art, musical composition etc)?
- What approach to the material tools of literary composition (ink,
quill, pen, typewriter, computer, paper, desk etc) has the camera
adopted in different films and at different moments?
- How do audience engagements with fictional writers as film characters
compare with audience engagements with historical writers as film
- How might the formal and/or cultural challenges with which literary
biopics have engaged relate to those attendant upon a work of literary
Depending on clusters of expressed interest, it is anticipated that
separate conference sessions may, for example, focus on:
- screen representations of particular authors (eg Shakespeare, Austen);
- screen representations of separate genres of writing (eg poetry,
play writing, novels, screenwriting);
- cinema's engagements with literary lives and literary processes in
specified historical periods (eg in particular decades);
- questions of medium identity, specificity and transmediality as
expressed in this body of work;
- the responses of particular national film industries to screen
engagements with writers and the literary.
Abstracts of not more than 250 words should be submitted, not by
attachment but within the body of the email, to:
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: Monday 21st December 2009.
A brief personal biog-sketch (of not more than 100 words) including
institutional affiliation, current appointment or stage of study,
principal publications (where applicable) and main areas of research
interest, should be included in the same email. All submissions will be
responded to, and all contributors notified, by Friday 8th January 2010.
To reserve a non-speaking delegate place, send your name and
institutional affiliation in an email, subject line 'Conference
Reservation: The Writer on Film', to:
Confirmation of conference places and registration details will be sent
Speakers thus far confirmed include Andrew Higson, Deborah Cartmell,
Erica Sheen, Judith Buchanan.