The Twenty-Second International Thomas Hardy Conference and Festival
Saturday 23rd - Saturday 30th July 2016
2016 is the 130-year anniversary of the publication of The Mayor of Casterbridge; the 140-year anniversary of The Hand of Ethelberta and the 125- year anniversary of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Last year saw the release of Thomas Vinterberg’s much anticipated film adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd summarised on the BBC Film website as telling the ‘timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions’. Radio Four’s ‘The Archers’ has recently borrowed plots from Hardy’s novels and Mackenzie Crook, writer and star of the BBC Radio 4 comedy drama ‘The Detectorists’, declared: “We aspire to be the sitcom that Thomas Hardy would have written.” At the same time Rosemarie Morgan, Richard Nemesvari and Paul J Niemeyer wonder if Hardy is still too challenging for modern viewers and whether the more disturbing aspects of his work tend to be toned down in favour of romance.
Like its predecessors the Twenty-Second International Hardy Conference is designed to appeal to new, established and independent Hardy scholars, and to the lay readers who attend in large numbers. We welcome proposals from established and independent scholars, postgraduate students, and general enthusiasts - especially those from the international community - which address the themes of Hardy’s legacy, the anniversaries of his works, adaptations of Hardy’s novels, and his relevance for the modern world. Proposals are also welcome on any other aspect of Thomas Hardy’s life and work.
Confirmed speakers for 2016 include: Professor Seamus Perry on ‘Hardy’s Gentleness’; Dr Terry Hale on ‘French Sensation Fiction and the “Wessex Cycle”’ and, back by popular demand, Professor Mike Irwin (Vice President of THS) on ‘Hardy’s Use of Simile’, and Professor Barrie Bullen who will speak on ‘Tess, Painting, Place and Music’. We will also hear from Sean O’Connor, producer of ‘The Archers’, on ‘'Hardy, Wessex, Ambridge and Fate: Thomas Hardy and “The Archers”’ and Dr Trish Fergusson on ‘Hardy’s Night Skies’. The 2016 Conference will feature lectures by some of our postgraduate students who recently received their doctorates: Dr Karin Koehler on 'A Modern Wessex of the Penny Post: Thomas Hardy's Postal Imagination'; Dr Hugh Epstein on ‘A Transmissive Medium: Atmosphere in Hardy’s Novels’ and Dr Indy Clark on ‘Hardy, Wessex and the Pastoral Tradition’ among others.
As before, postgraduate papers will be incorporated into the general panel sessions although there will be chance to discuss your work informally in a separate postgraduate forum run by Tracy Hayes, and to take part in ‘Professionalisation Workshops’ run by Dr Mary Rimmer and Dr Jane Thomas. The academic sessions will be supplemented by a wide variety of excursions and entertainments relating to the local context which Hardy’s work celebrates, and from which it emerged. There will also be a poetry reading by Professor William (Bill) Morgan (Vice President of THS), and a launch of Vybarr Cregan-Reid’s (a previous Conference lecturer) recently published book: Footnotes: a Study of Running, Meaning and Modern Life.
Proposals of c 200 words should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
‘Call for Papers’
(Thomas Hardy Festival and Conference)
Dr. Jane Thomas, Department of English
University of Hull, East Yorkshire HU6 7RX
All submissions will be read and adjudicated by an academic panel. The closing date is 22nd April 2016. The best of the papers given at the Conference will be considered for publication in the peer-reviewed Thomas Hardy Journal appearing in Autumn 2016.