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.
Personification Across Disciplines: An Interdisciplinary Conference
This two-day conference organised by Hearing the Voice will explore personifying dynamics and experiences through a variety of disciplines, methods and perspectives.
Humans have a flair for attributing intentions, traits, agency, emotions and mental states to beings or things – either real or imagined. Whether anthropomorphising natural or abstract shapes, playing with imaginary companions, (re) constructing fictional characters and dialoguing with gods or hallucinatory presences, the attribution of an agentive mentality to human and non-human targets appears both natural and meaningful to our everyday life. The personification of inanimate, non-human, virtual or absent objects or entities seems at the core of human cognition, yet remains in many respects mysterious. To what extent is personification a conscious process whereby we extend intersubjective and narrative relations? When does this capacity emerge? What are its cognitive underpinnings and what are its effects? Is there a continuum to be traced between these different cognitive, narrative, religious and hallucinatory experiences?
Our conference aims to explore personifying dynamics and experiences through a variety of disciplines, methods and perspectives. Keynote speakers include H. Porter Abbott (University of California, Santa Barbara) Guillaume Dumas (Institut Pasteur), Nev Jones (University of South Florida), Tanya Luhrmann (Stanford University) and Marjorie Taylor (University of Oregon).
We are now taking submissions for the conference. Further details on how to apply can be found here.
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)