This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.
Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.
Can Literature Still Be Dangerous in the Western World?
A panel discussion, hosted by Durham University English Society.
As communication and media transition to new digital mediums, has literature become peripheral to the common culture? For example, a 'tweet' may provoke a firestorm while a sentence in a novel goes unnoticed. Might the victory for freedom of literary expression marked by Ulysses be a pyrrhic victory in which the impact of literature that might in another time be controversial, considered radical, oppressed, is marginalised? Do readers and we as a society take freedom of expression for granted? Does literature become a mere commercial commodity once the battles for literary freedom, which so affirmed the power of words, die down? Conversely, I suppose, is it opposition – oppression, violent prohibition – that empowers literature, or is that an innate quality? How does this apply in those parts of the world where literature still carries stiff sentences of imprisonment and censure? Should we, free to write and publish, "check our privilege" in asking these questions?
Confirmed panelists include Professor Stephen Regan (Durham), Dr Sam Thomas (Durham), and Professor Peter McDonald (Oxford, St Hugh's).
£2 admission for non-members. As always, you can become a member at www.durhamsu.com/groups/english--4 and attend all our events for free.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event.
Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies
We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.
Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.
- 20th January 2021
- Sensory Experiments in Nineteenth-Century Literature
- Online (Zoom)
- Dr Erica Fretwell (University of Albany) and Dr Shannon Draucker (Siena College)