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Inaugural Beckett Creative Fellows announced

The School of English at Trinity College Dublin is delighted to announce that it will be hosting Niamh Campbell and Nathan O’Donnell as the inaugural Beckett Creative Fellows this coming academic year, 2022-23.

This scheme is a collaboration with the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading, which has pioneered a series of Creative Fellowships since 2017. Through the fellowships at Reading and Trinity the rich collection of archival materials mapping Beckett’s creative process are made available to writers and artists, so that Beckett’s archive becomes a practical and inspiring creative workshop. As Beckett Creative Fellows Niamh Campbell and Nathan O’Donnell will produce original creative works that draw on traces and threads of Beckett’s ideas discovered in the archive.

Niamh Campbell won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in 2020, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2021. She has published two novels, This Happy (2020) and We Were Young (2022), a monograph on the writer John McGahern (Sacred Weather, 2019), and short pieces of fiction, non-fiction, academic criticism, and art writing for a number of journals in Ireland.

Niamh Campbell’s project takes as its point of departure notions of transcendent banality, eternal return, ideological and idiomatic limitation, habit and logjam, and compulsive or onanistic personal memory – ideas drawn from the Beckettian universe and important to her own work. The project is especially interested in looking at writerly ‘voice’ and expressive patterning as habitual or recursive phenomena by using recording devices, voice-to-text software, and vocal performances to develop and supplement the work.

Nathan O’Donnell is a writer and artist based in Dublin. He has published fiction and non-fiction in numerous journals including The Dublin Review, gorse, The Tangerine, and 3:AM, amongst others; he is also one of the co-editors of Paper Visual Art and he writes and publishes regularly in the field of contemporary art. He had his first solo exhibition at the Illuminations Gallery, Maynooth University, in 2020; he was writer-in-residence at Maynooth University, 2020–21; and he has also been awarded artist’s commissions – for publishing-based projects – from IMMA, Ormston House, Dublin City Council, the Arts Council, and South Dublin County Council.

Nathan O’Donnell will use this fellowship to develop a project titled ‘under all weathers’, responding to the Beckett archive through a meteorological lens – gathering weather data, meteorological references, and climate metaphors, from across Beckett’s work as well as his letters and other archival sources. O’Donnell is a writer with an interest in experimental publishing; his aim, with this project, is to produce a set of text scores which will be circulated within a pamphlet-style publication.

The Beckett Creative Fellowships at Trinity are coordinated by the School of English in partnership with The Library of Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Long Room Hub, and Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies. This project is a collaboration with the Beckett Creative Fellowships organised by the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading: https://research.reading.ac.uk/beckett/creative-fellowships/.

For further information contact Dr Julie Bates, School of English, Trinity College Dublin: batesju@tcd.ie

Beckett & Japan: A Virtual Seminar Series

Beckett & Japan:

A Virtual Seminar Series

8th & 15th October 2022

This seminar series, presented by the Samuel Beckett Working Group at IFTR and the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, marks aspects of the reception of Samuel Beckett’s work in Japan. The history of Beckett in this region includes performance practices that have introduced (and adapted) Beckett’s work for Japanese theatre, translations of Beckett’s work into Japanese since the 1950s, and important scholarly interventions into the field of Beckett studies. There is a rich record of scholarship emerging from Japan that has expanded the global reach of our understanding of Beckett. The foundational scholarly and translation work of Professors Shin’ya Ando and Yasunari Takahashi exemplifies this, as does the work of the Beckett Research Circle of Japan, which was founded in 1992 and continues Japanese critical engagement with Beckett. This seminar series seeks to mark these histories of Beckett’s work in Japanese culture, as well as explore the significance of Japanese thinking and performance practices on our understanding of Beckett. Further seminars are planned for Spring 2023.

Seminar 1

Shigeyama Akira (Noho Theatre Company) & Jonah Salz (Ryukoku University),

Beckett/Japan/Kyogen Resonances in the Noho Theatre Group’s Early Works’

Chair: Yoshiko Takebe

Saturday 8th October, 2022

10.00-11.30am (Dublin/London time) / 6.00-7.30pm (Tokyo time)

Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/beckett-japan-a-virtual-seminar-series-tickets-420159146317 (MS Teams link will be sent after registration)

In this talk, Noho-cofounders Jonah Salz (producer, director) and Akira Shigeyama (actor) will discuss their motivations in producing Beckett in 1981-1982, how the techniques and spirit of traditional Kyogen classic comedy were employed, and the resonances they feel exist between Japanese culture and Beckett’s world. Act Without Words I is Akira’s signature Noho play, performed over 100 times domestically and on tours of Europe and the U.S. Akira’s father Sennojo Shigeyama II performed in Beckett’s Act Without Words I (1985) directed by Akira, and his son was stage assistant, a three-generational participation in the Beckett play that will perhaps continue in the Shigeyama repertoire. 

Seminar 2  

Yoshiko Takebe (Shujitsu University), Michiko Tsushima (University of Tsukuba)

Chaired by Trish McTighe

Saturday 15th October, 2022

10.00-11.30am (Dublin/London time) / 6.00-7.30pm (Tokyo time)

Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/beckett-japan-a-virtual-seminar-series-tickets-420159146317 (MS Teams link will be sent after registration)

Yoshiko Takebe, ‘The Translation of Beckett’s Drama’ 

This presentation analyzes some of the approaches involved in translating Beckett’s drama from the following perspectives: responding to the content of Seminar 1, the talk firstly examines how Japanese Kyogen techniques are adapted to allow audiences to understand the humorous aspects in Beckett’s drama. The presentation focuses secondly on how the essence of Japanese Noh theatre is incorporated into Beckett’s later plays. Moving on from the traditional conventions of Japanese theatre, this talk also scrutinizes a different medium that was used to present Beckett’s drama in the midst of the pandemic. The presentation concludes with considering what it meant to translate his drama during his own lifetime and what significance translation had for him, regardless of whether or not Beckett would have appreciated the combination of interlingual and intersemiotic translations in these Japanese versions of his plays.

Michiko Tsushima, ‘Coming in Touch with the Inner Truth of Life: The Unnamable and Daisetz Suzuki’s “Spiritual Insight”’ 

This talk will discuss Beckett’s experience of writing presented in The Unnamable in light of Daisetz Suzuki’s (1870-1966) understanding of religious experience, especially ‘the awakening of spirituality’. Suzuki, born and educated in Japan, is famous for his introduction of Zen Buddhism to the West. While there was no direct relation between Beckett and Suzuki and they wrote in different linguistic and cultural contexts, they shared something in common. Both Beckett’s experience of artistic creation and Suzuki’s religious experience are based on the negation of language and intellect as well as the attempt to come in touch with the inner truth of life which these cannot grasp. The Unnamable shows that writing for Beckett involves descending to an inner ‘place’ of soul deep within the self. This talk will explore the nature of that ‘place’ and the attunement to the truth of life in this novel by referring to the ideas of ‘no abiding place’ and ‘spiritual insight’ in Zen presented by Suzuki.

Series Organisers

Mariko Hori Tanaka (Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo), Michiko Tsushima (University of Tsukuba), Kumiko Kiuchi (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Yoshiko Takebe (Shujitsu University), and Trish McTighe (Queen’s University Belfast). For queries relating to the event and booking please contact t.mctighe@qub.ac.uk.

Speaker Biographies

Shigeyama Akira made his stage debut at three years old as a Kyogen classical comedy actor. He is a member of the fourteenth generation Shigeyama Sengoro family in the Okura school, Kyoto. Akira performed the requisite pieces to full mastery studying with his father Sennojo II, a pioneering post-war performer and inter-genre collaborator. Akira performed with his cousins in Hanagata Kyogen and as a producer, created a new genre, “rakugen”(落言) in 2001, featuring collaborations between rakugo storytellers and Kyogen actors. A multi-talented performance artist, following in his father’s footsteps, Akira has written, produced, advised, and directed modern plays and operas around Japan. With frequent tours abroad, including long-term collaborations with commedia dell’arte actors, his goal is a theatre that goes beyond language and borders. He is executive director of the energetic new E9 Theatre and received the Kyoto Prefectural Cultural Prize in 2013.

Akira co-founded the Noho Theatre Group in 1981. With an interest in theatre of the absurd, and attraction to silent film actors like Harold Lloyd, Akira is the featured actor in Noho interpretations of short plays by Beckett including Act Without Words I and II, Rough for Theatre I, Ohio Impromptu, and Catastrophe, W.B. Yeats’ A Pot of Broth, and Hamlet in Ophelia. He portrayed Kandata in a multi-media adaptation of A Spider’s Thread by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Death in Woody Allen’s Death Knocks, and most recently ‘friend’ in Tom Sawyer Paints a Fence (2019). He directed the Japanese language premiere of Rockaby and his father in Krapp’s Last Tape. (http://dojicompany.jp/actor/しげやま あきら )

Prof Jonah Salz co-founded the Noho Theatre Group with Shigeyama to interpret Western texts with classical Japanese Noh and Kyogen techniques and spirits. He has produced and directed forty plays, in Japanese, English, and bilingual versions. These include ten short plays by Beckett, including many Japanese premieres and the world premiere of Quad I and II. Noho performs at studio theatres and Noh stages in Japan, and on frequent overseas tours, including LaMama in New York, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Avignon Festival.

Salz teaches comparative theatre at the Faculty of International Studies, Ryukoku University, Kyoto. His Ph.D. dissertation at New York University’s Department of Performance Studies concerned the trajectory of Kyogen actors’ ‘roles of passage’. He has published on Noho’s productions, Beckett in Japan, co-edited a special Kyogen issue for the Asian Theatre Journal (2007), and is chief editor of the A History of Japanese Theatre (Cambridge, 2016). https://researchmap.jp/read0099504

Yoshiko Takebe is associate professor in the Translation and Interpreting Course at the Department of Practical English, Shujitsu University in Japan. Her research focuses on the correlation between nonverbal and verbal forms of expressions with respect to drama and theatre. She studied Drama and Theatre in Research at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has worked as a Japanese-English interpreter and translator in Tokyo. Her recent articles on Beckett are ‘Translating Beckett’s Voices in Different Cultures’ in Beckett’s Voices / Voicing Beckett (Eds. Laurens De Vos, Mariko Hori Tanaka, and Nicholas E. Johnson. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2021) and ‘Translating Silence: Correlations between Beckett, Chekhov, and Hirata’ in Influencing Beckett / Beckett Influencing (Eds. Anita Rakoczy, Mariko Hori Tanaka, Nicholas E. Johnson. Budapest/Paris: L’Harmattan Publishing, 2020).

Michiko Tsushima is Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at University of Tsukuba, Japan. She is the author of The Space of Vacillation: The Experience of Language in Beckett, Blanchot, and Heidegger (Peter Lang, 2003) and Hannah Arendt: Reconciling Ourselves to the World (in Japanese, Hosei University Press, 2016). She has also published a number of articles on modern literature and contemporary thought including articles on Beckett and Arendt. Her articles on Beckett appeared in Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’huiSamuel Beckett and Pain (Rodopi, 2012) and Samuel Beckett and Trauma (Manchester University Press, 2018) co-edited by Mariko Hori Tanaka and Yoshiki Tajiri.

Beckett International Foundation – 2023 Katharine Worth Travel Bursary

The Beckett International Foundation invites applications for the 2023 Katharine Worth Travel Bursary to visit the Beckett Archive at the University of Reading

Amount of Bursary: £250 [GBP]

Closing Date:  7th November 2022 

Bursary may be used: Anytime in the calendar year of 2023, taking into account University and Special Collections closure times.

The Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading is delighted to invite applications for the Katharine Worth travel bursary to visit the Beckett Archive in UoR’s Special Collections. This bursary is in honour of the renowned Beckett scholar, Professor Katharine Worth, who donated her Beckett archive to the University of Reading.  The archive includes a beautifully detailed maquette by Peter Snow of a version of his stage design for the original 1955 UK premiere of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Peter Hall.

Applications are invited from any student in part or full-time higher education (undertaking an MA or Ph.D. or equivalent qualification). Interested applicants should submit a CV, and a short essay (max 800 words) outlining their interest in and current work on Samuel Beckett, and stating how a visit to the Beckett Archive at Reading would be beneficial to their studies. Applicants should identify those materials in the archive that would be of most benefit to them. See: http://www.reading.ac.uk/special-collections/collections/sc-beckett.aspx

Entry requirements: Applicants must be over 18 and must be in part-time or full-time higher education (undertaking an MA or Ph.D. or equivalent qualification).

Applications, as well as queries, should be sent by email to Dr Mark Nixon (m.nixon@reading.ac.uk)

Professor Katharine Worth 

Professor Katharine Worth was the first female professor of theatre in the United Kingdom and set up the Drama department at Royal Holloway (University of London). She was a leading expert on Beckett’s theatre. Her books include Beckett the Shape Changer (1975) and Samuel Beckett’s Theatre: Life Journeys (1999). Her research combined theory and practice and she worked with distinguished composer Humphrey Searle on a production of Beckett’s radio play Words and Music (1973), and with actor Julian Curry on a stage performance of Beckett’s prose work, Company, directed by Tim Pigott-Smith, in 1987.

The Beckett Collection at the University of Reading

The Beckett Collection held in the University of Reading’s Special Collections is the world’s largest collection of resources relating to Samuel Beckett (1906-1989). It has been recognised as being of national and international importance by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The Collection has recently acquired the manuscript notebooks which Beckett prepared when he was writing his first novel, Murphy, and the Beckett archive of acclaimed Beckett actor, Billie Whitelaw.

New Publication: ‘Samuel Beckett’s Legacies in American Fiction’

Dr. James Baxter is delighted to announce the publication of his first full-length monograph, Samuel Beckett’s Legacies in American Fiction, which has been released as part of Palgrave’s series ‘New Interpretations of Beckett in the Twenty First Century.’

Following Beckett’s only trip to the United States for the haphazard production of 1964’s Film, he would offer the sheepish statement that America was ‘somehow not the right country me.’ This uncertain comment would recall a longer history of  American misfires, exemplified by the 1956 premiere of Waiting for Godot in Miami, Florida in which the play was to be clumsily marketed as ‘the laugh hit of two continents.’

Despite these setbacks, Beckett’s work would inspire an especially vigorous response among American authors in the second half of the 20th century. Building on scholarship concerning the international character of Beckett’s literary legacies, this study provides the most sustained account of his influence over American writing, reading Beckett alongside the works of Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Paul Auster and Lydia Davis. In particular, Samuel Beckett’s Legacies argues that Beckett’s fiction of exhaustion and lessness played a galvanising, albeit unlikely role, in shaping the freewheeling postmodern style of American writing. Throughout the book, Beckett’s influence is celebrated, disavowed, and collided with in essays, interviews, and (in true postmodern fashion) negotiated within the space of the literary text itself.

At the same time, this study situates Beckett’s textual legacies alongside the parallel story of his American dissemination, spearheaded by Barney Rosset’s Grove Press. While Rosset’s status as a long-standing champion of Beckett is well known, this book provides a special focus on the Grove in-house magazine Evergreen Review, in which the full range of Beckett’s textual production would be packaged alongside the leading edge of American avant-gardism. Beginning life as a late modernist literary review publishing Beckett alongside the likes of Jean Paul Sartre, Eugene Ionesco, and D.H. Lawrence, Evergreen would rapidly transform into a glossy, commercial production—a bellwether for the pornographic and breezy postmodernism of later decades. Together with the individual author studies that comprise this study, Grove and Evergreen would play decisive roles in transforming Beckett into a ‘postmodern icon.’

In addition to this monograph, Dr. James Baxter has published in Textual Practice and contributed a chapter to the volume Pop Beckett: Intersections with Popular Culture. Forthcoming publications include an article on Beckett, masculinity, and American magazines in the ‘Beckett and Gender’ special issue of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui. His current research contends more broadly with modernist legacies in mass market magazine culture.

Conference – Inside and Outside Modernism: An Anatomy of 1922 and its Cultures

“James Joyce is quite wrong headed. Anyhow, with his wilfulness, he has made novel reading into a fair imitation of penal servitude…” (ARNOLD BENNETT on ULYSSES)

Keynote Speakers: Professor Patrick Collier (Ball State University), Dr Beci Carver (University of Exeter)

This one-day conference intends to examine 1922 looking at the cultures and writers associated with this significant year, in all their forms and geographical spread. It will consider the year holistically, considering cultural and personal interactions and how they relate to the intellectual work of modernism. The conference is designed to bring the year into clearer focus with interdisciplinary contributions from politics, history, science, economics, music, literature, book history and visual culture and areas that have fallen outside the purview of traditional modernism. Some questions the conference would like to approach include: how has modernism impacted on the study of artistic cultures? How far did recent history shape social attitudes? How did the political and economic uncertainties in 1922 permeate different cultures? Was 1922 important for anything more than modernism itself?

Panels:

  • Ephemeral Modernism
  • Poetry and Performance
  • High Modernism
  • Publishing and Trade

Other highlights include:

  • University of Reading Special Collection and Archive exhibition of materials
  • The Handheld Press will showcase a selection of texts for attendees to browse and purchase on the day

The full conference programme can be found here. The conference will take place in-person at the University of Reading, London Road Campus, with some blended panels. Please note that the schedule is subject to change according to University COVID-19 guidance and advice. We will inform all speakers and attendees of any changes in advance of the conference as soon as possible.

Registration is free but places are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Lunch and refreshments will be available to purchase on-site. Register here.

If you have any questions, please contact the organisers, Benjamin Bruce (b.bruce@pgr.reading.ac.uk) and Domonique Davies (domonique.davies@pgr.reading.ac.uk)

Supported by the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing and the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at University of Reading.

Beckett International Foundation Research Seminar

The Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading is pleased to announce that the 32. Beckett Research Seminar will take place on Saturday, 6 November 2021.

The event will be held in Minghella Studios, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading.

As in previous years, our speakers represent a mixture of early career researchers as well as established scholars, local and international, reflecting current research into Beckett’s work. We hope that the programme will, as in the past, attract a wide and varied audience.

The charge for the day is £20 per participant (£10 unwaged), which includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Please register by 2pm on Friday 29 October 2021 using the following link:

https://www.store.reading.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/faculty-of-arts-humanities-social-science/english-literature-department/beckett-international-foundation-research-seminar-2021

For further information, please contact: Dr Mark Nixon – m.nixon@reading.ac.uk

Programme

10.30 – 11.00: Registration / Welcome

11.00 – 11.30: Anna McMullan (University of Reading): ‘Intermedial Embodiments: Company SJ’s Staging of Beckett’s Company

11.30 – 12.00 Discussion

12.00 – 12.15: Tea / Coffee Break

12.15 – 12.45: Zoe Gosling (University of Manchester): ‘Algebra in the Archive: Calculation and Narrative in Watt

12.45 – 1.15: Discussion

1.15 – 2.15: Lunch

2.15 – 2.45: Feargal Whelan (Trinity College Dublin): ‘“All traffic is retarded”: Beckett’s Disruptive Trains’

2.45 – 3.15: Discussion

3.15 – 3.30: Tea / Coffee Break

3.30 – 4.00: Olga Beloborodova (University of Antwerp): ‘A “hideous corruption” or a “posthumous collaboration”? Beckett’s Fin de partie in Kurtág’s Opera Adaptation’

4.00 – 4.30: Discussion

4.30 – 4.45: Closing Remarks

We look forward to seeing you!

Anna McMullan and Mark Nixon

(Directors, Beckett International Foundation)

Beckett Week 2021 (4-6 November 2021)

We are delighted to announce that our annual Beckett Week will take in November at Minghella Studies on the Whiteknights Campus of the University of Reading. Beckett Week events will include:

  • SPECTRAL LANDSCAPES: ABSENCE, TRAUMA AND NATIONHOOD
    Thursday 4th November and Friday 5th November
  • BECKETT INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION SEMINAR
    Saturday 6th November

SPECTRAL LANDSCAPES: ABSENCE, TRAUMA AND NATIONHOOD

KEYNOTES
Our two keynotes will be delivered by Professor Emilie Morin (University of York) and Dr Sarah Jane Scaife (Trinity College Dublin). 

PANELS
4th November

Panel 1: Isolation, Instability and Absence

  • Olan Monk (University of Porto, Portugal): Olan Monk – Uaigneas (2021).
  • Mohit Abrol (Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi): What Remains without Remains”: Spectral Figures and Enactment of Dharma in Dharamvir Bharati’s Andha Yug (1953) and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953)
  • Douglas Atkinson (Vrije Universiteit Brussel,Belgium): Spectral Inversions of Beckett: On the Japanese Reception of Beckett’s Prose

Panel 2: Oceans, Shorelines and Histories

  • William Davies (University of Reading): ‘The tide of ebb, upon the level sands’: Reflections on the Deep Time of Coastlines and the Sea
  • Xander Ryan (University of Reading): ‘Ebb-Tide from Stevenson to Beckett: the Epistolary Shorelines of Menton(e) and Killiney’
  • Clare Finburgh Delijani (Goldsmiths, University of London): Spectral Seascapes: Ghosts in the Middle Passage

PGR Forum

  • Vanesa Cotroneo (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg): Intermediality, Ghostly Landscapes, and Sustainability in Samuel Beckett’s Theater
  • Bryony Taylor (Northumbria University, Newcastle): Systemic Trauma in British Theatre
  • JP McMahon (NUI Galway): “Lobster Ecology: Performing Animals with Beckett”
  • Hajin Park (University of Reading): Video cassette technology and the reproduced self-image in … but the clouds…: memory, creation and unconsciousness by means of an optical device
  • Scarlett Butchers (University of Lincoln): David Rudkin and his depiction of the relationship between people and the land

Panel 3: Sonic Landscapes

  • Tyler Bouque (University of Huddersfield): “ ‘From Inner to Outer Shadow’: Absence and Loss in the Musical Landscape of Feldman and Beckett’s ‘Neither’”
  • Robert Baker – White (William’s College, Massachusetts): Disembodied Voices/Necessary Landscapes: Beckett’s Radio Drama
  • Harry Parks (University of Glasgow): Segregating and Contouring the Soundscape: Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Cascando’.

Panel 4: Margins, Borderlines and Identity

  • Trish McTighe (Queen’s University, Belfast): Drawing in the Margins: Borderland Godot and Across and In-Between
  • Hannah Simpson (St Anne’s College, Oxford): Invoking Beckett: Beckett’s Legacy in Northern Irish Poetry
  • Alicia Nudler (University of Rio Negro, Argentina): Stops in Krapp’s Last Tape. A reflection on individual and collective memory and archives

5th November

Panel 1: Spectres of Technology

  • Jonathan Bignell (University of Reading): Beckett’s Television for the Vast Wasteland
  • Celia Graham- Dixon (University of Reading): “A faint tangle of pale grey tatters”: Spectral materiality and the fabric of the screen in the 1990 television version of Footfalls (dir. Walter Asmus)
  • Evangelia Dandaki & Thomas Symeonidis (Central Saint Martins, UAL & National Technical University of Athens, Greece): System of vision, self-perception and narrative in Ill seen Ill said

Panel 2: Trauma and the Ghosts of Institutionalism

  • Shane O’Neill (University of Limerick): “‘…parents unknown…unheard of…’: Re-reading Not I in light of the ‘Mother and Baby Homes Report’, January 2021”
  • Chloe Duane (University of Reading): Institutional Scenography: Exploring historical and contemporary marginalisation in Company SJ’s The Women Speak.
  • Dunlaith Bird (Université Sorbonne Paris Nord): ‘You know what she died of, Mother Pegg? Of darkness…’: Samuel Beckett, Sean Keating, and the Shannon Scheme.

Panel 3: Memory, Landscape and the Revenant

  • Roger Owen (Aberystwyth University, Wales): The Horror of Returning in Meini Gwagedd (1944)
  • David Pattie (University of Birmingham): Who is this who is coming?: Beckett and MR James.
  • Feargal Whelan (Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies, Dublin): The need for a Dr Petrie: Uncovering embedded history in the landscape of ‘Fingal’

Panel 4: Liminal Spaces

  • Mary Steadman (Bath Spa University): Dwelling: Embodying the eerie through a site-sensitive dramaturgy.
  • Paul Stewart (University of Nicosia, Cypress): Hesitating to die to death”: St Augustine and the After-Life in “Echo’s Bones”

A full schedule for the Spectral Landscapes: Absence, Trauma and Nationhood conference can be found here.


BECKETT INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION SEMINAR
The Beckett International Foundation will be holding a seminar on the 6th November with invited speakers. Details on seminar can be found here.


REGISTRATION
Registration for the Spectral Landscapes: Absence, Trauma, and Nationhood conference is now available here.

Please note that registration for the BIF Seminar is separate to the conference. More information on registration for the BIF Seminar can be found here.

Talking Beckett: New Recordings

As part of our Talking Beckett series, we are delighted to release recordings from the Beckett Forum. The Beckett Forum is a postgraduate run group that meets frequently throughout each term to read and discuss the works of Samuel Beckett, as well as hosting talks from the Samuel Beckett Research Centre’s Creative Fellows, emeritus professors, academics, and practitioners

Robert McCrum led a session at the Beckett Forum in 2019. McCrum, Creative Fellow from 2019-2020, discussed his creative response to the archives and his new drama Full Moon based on a fictional encounter between P.G. Wodehouse and Beckett in France during World War II. McCrum’s discussion covered a range of topics relating to Beckett’s life and legacy, the importance of radio, and the development of his new play. These recordings can also be listened to on our website here.

Forthcoming Publication: ‘Transdisciplinary Beckett’ by Lucy Jeffery

We are delighted to announce that Transdisciplinary Beckett: Visual Arts, Music, and the Creative Process will be published by ibidem-Verlag in November 2021. In this monograph, Lucy Jeffery, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading, analyses Beckett’s use of the visual arts, music, and broadcasting media through a transdisciplinary approach. This book will be the eighth monograph of the ‘Samuel Beckett in Company’ series edited by Paul Stewart.

In this crucial and timely publication, Jeffery makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relation between Beckett, music, and the visual arts. To do so, Jeffery analyses specific instances where Beckett’s writing adopts musical and/or visual structures. The book is divided into four chapters: ‘Watt’s “wild and unintelligible” painting’, ‘Radio waves of “encircling gloo-oom”’, ‘Watching Beethoven and Schubert’ and ‘Paint it blue: “The vision at last”’. In each chapter, Jeffery draws on musicology and art history, on philosophy and literary theory in order to unpick the significance of Beckett’s own recourse to the arts. In this in-depth study, Jeffery evaluates Beckett’s stylistic shifts in relation to the cultural context, particularly the technological advancements and artistic movements, during Beckett wrote his texts. Jeffery positions Beckett as a key figure in the fields of visual arts, music, and broadcasting media. She foregrounds his transdisciplinary approach to writing by referring to new examples of work in progress from the Beckett Collection at the University of Reading.

In addition to this forthcoming monograph, Jeffery has also published extensively on Beckett in the Journal of Beckett Studies, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. Her forthcoming publications on Beckett can be found here. Jeffery’s interdisciplinary research has seen her publish on a range of other authors, including Harold Pinter, Ezra Pound, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Magda Szabó.

Transdisciplinary Beckett: Visual Arts, Music, and the Creative Process can be pre-ordered in the US and Canada here or worldwide here.