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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

Muriel Spark and Sound Technologies

30th September 2020, 17:30 to 19:00, Online (Zoom), Beatriz Lopez (Durham University)

Sound and communication technologies have been at the forefront of 2020, but they were just as important 75 years ago. In our penultimate lecture of the Late Summer Lecture series, Beatriz Lopez discusses Muriel Spark's work with deceptive sound technologies during the Second World War.

Muriel Spark and Deceptive Sound Technologies: Hearing the Acousmatic Voice

Beatriz Lopez (Durham University)

This lecture draws on Muriel Spark's Political Warfare Executive experience during the Second World War to explore the deployment of deceptive sound technologies such as the wireless and the telephone in her fiction. Due to their disembodied nature, these technologies rely on the 'acousmatic voice' - the voice without origin - to enact their presence, yet their lack of visual references provides opportunities for manipulation and deception.

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