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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

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.

Twenty-Five Years of Regeneration: A Pat Barker Symposium

15th October 2016, 10:00 to 17:00, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary's College

Twenty-five years after the publication of Regeneration, this conference will exploring the legacy and influence of Pat Barker’s seminal First World War novel, Regeneration, and the representation of the War in literature generally

Registration for this unique symposium is now open. For details see https://patbarker2016.wordpress.com/registration/

In 1991 Regeneration focused readers’ attention onto a lesser-visited space of war, the psychiatric hospital, onto challenging narratives of trauma and sexuality, and onto the ideologies of a society struggling to negotiate the effects of a global and industrialised conflict.

This symposium will centre on discussion of how Barker’s novel, followed by The Eye in the Door (1993) and The Ghost Road (1995), has tested and shaped perceptions of the First World War. Particularly relevant during the current centenary period are the trilogy’s themes of memory and haunting, which resonate with questions of why the war remains such a prominent part of our culture, and how our views of it have been re-processed and revised.

Held in Barker’s home city of Durham, the symposium will also address the portrayals of place in her novels. Initially known for her writing about women in the north east of England, the importance of her settings is undiminished in her later work – from Sarah Lumb’s description of herself as ‘what you’d call Geordie’ in Regeneration to the exploration of London in the Blitz in Barker’s most recent work, Noonday (2015).

Papers at the symposium will cover topics such as medicine, trauma and psychology; the ethics of depicting the First World War; and issues of memory and the representation of conflict experience. A full programme will be released soon.

Our guest Chair will be Dr Anne Whitehead (Newcastle University). Dr Whitehead, a pioneer in the field of trauma studies, has also interviewed Barker and has published extensively on her novels, for example in her monograph Trauma Fiction (2004).

The conference will be preceded by a public event on 14 October in Durham Cathedral on fiction and World War One, featuring Michael Morpurgo and Pat Barker.

This event is supported by the Department of English Studies, Durham University. You can find details of this symposium, as well as other similar activities, by following @READEnglish on Twitter or by visiting https://patbarker2016.wordpress.com/

Contact patbarker2016@gmail.com for more information about this event.

Related Links


READ Blog

Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies

Events

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Next Event

  • 29th January 2021
  • Title TBC
  • Online (Zoom)
  • Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (University of Edinburgh)