From 22 to 24 November, the University of Reading will be holding a conference and seminar to celebrate Beckett Week 2018 and the 30thanniversary of the Beckett International Foundation. The conference, entitled ‘Modernist Archives in Context: Periodicals and Performance’, is designed to bring together a diverse group of scholars to examine Beckett’s influence on the early Modernist periodical writing tradition as well as his major contributions to theatre and performance. Papers range from readings of early Modernist writing styles in light of Beckett’s own emerging voice to discussions of Beckett’s working relationship with scenographer Jocelyn Herbert. The ‘Performance day’ of the conference promises fruitful discussions on the development of the domestic in Beckett’s drama, the interactive relationship between the audience and the stage, intermediality and adaptation, and Beckett’s use of Beethoven in his late teleplay Ghost Trio. During the conference, there will also be an exhibition with paintings by Avigdor Arikha, Henri Hayden, Geer van Velde, and Matias, as well as artists’ books and a selection of notebooks and letters from the archive. The two keynotes will be delivered by Professor Andrew Thacker (Nottingham Trent University) and Dr Jonathan Herron (University of Warwick). And the two workshops will be led by Dr Adam Guy (University of Oxford), who will be talking about periodical cultures in transition, and by Dr Matthew McFrederick (University of Reading and University of the Arts London), who will be using the Billie Whitelaw collection to talk about staging Beckett.

On Thursday 22 of November there will be a reception to celebrate the exciting Creative Fellowship programme launched by the University of Reading’s Samuel Beckett Research Centre, and also the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Beckett International Foundation (BIF). This event will feature a Q&A with the award-winning novelist Eimear McBride, the first recipient of a Beckett Creative Fellowship. The Beckett International Foundation will be holding a seminar on Saturday 24 of November, with invited speakers Dr Julie Bates (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Lucy Jeffery (University of Reading), Dr Pim Verhulst (University of Antwerp), and Professor Shane Weller (University of Kent). A separate registration for the BIF seminar will be available in due course.


To find out more about the conference fees and register to attend the conference please click here

            Lucy Jeffery