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10th July 2014, 3:09pm
What Happens Now? International conference addresses questions raised by contemporary literature
What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English Literary scholars from 15 countries across the globe will gather in Lincoln this month for a major international conference exploring the new directions of 21st century literature.

The University of Lincoln, UK, will host its third biennial What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English conference from Monday 14th – Thursday 17th July 2014. This year's conference will welcome luminaries in the field of contemporary literature and provide a forum to discuss and review significant creative, literary and dramatic work published since the year 2000.

Dr Rupert Hildyard, Principal Lecturer in English in Lincoln’s School of Humanities, explained: “Lincoln is increasingly recognised as one of the leading universities in the country for research into 21st century literature. Our MA in the subject is still the only one of its kind in the world, we believe, and our now well-established conference provides a unique opportunity for international scholars to bring together their research and ideas about writing that is genuinely contemporary.

“Alongside the analysis of literature and drama in all its forms, our conference will also explore evolving debates in critical theory and the teaching of 21st century writing, and investigate some of the themes that are reflected in the form, content and context of writing today – from terror and catastrophe to digital culture and financial crisis.”

Keynote speakers at the conference are internationally renowned scholars Professor Derek Attridge (University of York), Professor Robert Eaglestone (Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Imogen Tyler (University of Lancaster) and Dr Colette Conroy (University of Hull).

The guest writer at the conference will be poet Paul Farley, Professor of Poetry at Lancaster University and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s series on contemporary poetry, The Echo Chamber. Professor Farley has published several collections of poetry, including The Ice Age, which won the Whitbread Poetry Prize in 2002, and most recently The Dark Film (2012). He is also co-author, with Michael Symmons Roberts, of Edgelands (2011) - a ground-breaking book on the wildness in 21st century Britain.

Conference organisers Dr Rupert Hildyard, Dr Siân Adiseshiah, Dr Martin Eve and Dr Agnes Woolley, are members of the University of Lincoln’s vibrant 21st Century Research Group - an interdisciplinary cluster of scholars researching artistic, digital and environmental mediations of the 21st century.

By bringing together the most influential scholars in 21st century literary studies, their biennial What Happens Now conference aims to identify new patterns and trends in contemporary writing. It is recognised for its contribution to the canon formation process, through which innovative writers and dramatists of the new millennium are discovered and discussed.

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