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Durham University

Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Subscribe to our monthly North East Literature Events newsletter and we'll keep you posted. If you are a staff member or student and want to publicise your event, contact

Late Summer Lectures 2020

North American Identities

23rd September 2020, 17:30 to 19:00, Online (Zoom), Dr Michael Docherty (University of Kent) and Dr Fransesca Mussi (Northumbria University)

In the sixth lecture of the Late Summer Lecture series, our speakers present on two aspects of American identity: the western frontier, and indigenous Canada.

'Westward is not accurate as a direction': The Frontier as Bodily Condition and State of Mind in Literary Los Angeles

Dr Michael Docherty (University of Kent)

The fictional Los Angeles of the '30s and '40s, shown in readings from Raymond Chandler, John Fantay, Hisaye Yamamoto, Chester Himes, and Dorothy B. Hughes, in fact presents a remarkably consistent vision of a frontier that did not disappear but instead proliferated, repeatedly reconstituted in the bodies and minds of the city's inhabitants.

The Indian Residential School System in Canada: Impacts and Legacies on Indigenous Minds, Bodies and Spirits

Dr Fransesca Mussi (Northumbria University)

This talk will discuss the impacts and legacies of the Indian Residential School system on Indigenous peoples in Canada. Running for more than a century since their establishment in the mid-nineteenth century, residential schools aimed at assimilating Indigenous peoples into white Canadian society: children were taken from their families and communities, denied their languages, ceremonies and cultural practices in order to make them "civilised" Christians.

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