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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Inventions of the Text Seminar Series

Inventions of the Text complements our Research Seminar series. Inventions is organised by a team of postgraduate researchers, and combines papers by academics from Durham and beyond with presentations by PhD students. Seminars run roughly every couple of weeks during term time, with around eight or nine events a year. After each seminar, attendees are welcome to socialise with the speaker(s) over dinner. They are generally for University staff and students, although sometimes open to the public.

Forthcoming Inventions of the Text Seminars

The​ ​King’s​ ​English:​ ​language,​ ​colonialism​ ​and​ ​the nation​ ​state​ ​1537-1617

15th November 2017, 17:30 to 19:00, Elvet Riverside 247, Professor​ ​Tony​ ​Crowley (University of Leeds)

The inaugural seminar for the Inventions of the Text series will explore tussles over language and identity in sixteenth and seventeenth century England.

About this Seminar

The paper will analyse the relations between language, colonialism and the English nation-state in the early sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries. Considering a range of texts, the discussion will focus on the emergence of a link between language and political allegiance, usually in the form of a concatenation of language and national identity, in the context of a chronic and acute set of problems that developed out of English colonialism in Ireland. The analysis will conclude by reversing the usual critical emphasis in order to evaluate the effects of linguistic colonialism in this period not on the Irish language, but upon one form of that fragile, unconfident, oft-derided language that we call English.

About the Speaker

Professor Crowley is Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds. His research interests lie broadly in the area of the politics of language, understood in general terms as the way in which language constructs, and is constructed by, forms of social power. His recent publications include The Politics of Discourse: The Standard Language Question in British Cultural Debates, Language in History: Theories and Texts, and Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004.

Further Information

This Inventions of the Text seminar is open to all, including interested researchers and members of the public not studying at Durham. Attendees are asked to register their interest on Facebook if possible.

Wine and nibbles will be provided. There will also be the possibility of dinner with the speaker, so if that's something you're interested in, please don't hesitate to contact the organisers. Spaces are limited!

Contact for more information about this event.

Related Links

Past Inventions of the Text Seminars