Wednesday, 30 October 2013

'Dylan Unchained': The Dylan Thomas Centenary Conference 2014

A major conference to mark the centenary of Wales's famous (or infamous) literary son will take place 3-5 September 2014. 'Dylan Unchained' will hope to attract new and exciting readings of Thomas's work, and might involve looking at his work from psychoanalytic, postcolonial, feminist and deconstructionist perspectives; it might involve reclaiming the regional specificity of his work from those who locate him as an international modernist; it could, alternatively, involve seeking to tear him away from nationalist attempts at Welsh or British canon formation in order to underline the transnational and hybrid character of his work; it might seek to place him amongst his contemporaries, or his literal or metaphorical ancestors; it might look at his influences across literary traditions and languages; it might involve seeing his review of Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood as key moment in the re-gendering of modernism, or his review of Amos Tutuola’s Palm-Wine Drinkard as a key moment in the global impact of Anglophone African literatures; it might involve close and detailed readings of his work and analyses of his poetic practice; or it might draw on more distanced forms of reading which address locations of publication, sales, readership and dissemination; it might think of Thomas as late Romantic, or as early Beat; it might consider Thomas’s voice in the age of mechanical reproduction, or his texts in the age of digital humanities. Thomas is a figure who transcends the ‘now’ to which he incessantly returned in his work.

Possible topics for paper or panel proposals might include, but are no means limited to:
·        Poetics and language
·        Theories of the body / gender studies
·        Radio, film and the mass media
·        Popular culture
·        Modernism in the 1930s
·        Visual art
·        Translation
·        Impact in the USA/ Europe / internationally
·        WWII, elegy and the ‘Blitz sublime’
·        The journal, Wales, and other friends (Glyn Jones, Lynette Roberts, Vernon Watkins, Keidrych Rhys)
·        Representing childhood and nostalgia
·        The gothic-grotesque and surrealism
·        The ‘First Flowering’ and Anglo-Welsh poetry
·        The short story
·        Regionalism and nationalism
·        Thomas and music (jazz, classical etc)
·        Trauma
·        Legacy and present influence (Plath, Hughes, W. S. Graham, etc.)

Please send abstracts for 20 minute papers (max 300 words), and a short biography, to . Proposals for panels of three are also welcome.  The deadline for abstracts is 14 February 2014.  Please contact the conference organiser, Kirsti Bohata, at the above address if you have any queries.

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