The 10th Biennial Symbiosis Conference:

Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations 

Hosted by Department of Literature, Film & Theatre Studies

University of Essex, 9th – 12th July 2015

Conference Directors: Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel London) and Dr. Matthew Scott (Reading)

Assisted by Co-Director: Dr. Susan Oliver (Essex)

Conference Administrator: Pshtiwan Farag Mohammed (Brunel London)


Thursday, 9th July

16-15 – 17-15 Initial Registration (Chair: Pshtiwan Farag Mohammed) 
Room 5A.133

17-15 – 18-30: Welcome and Session A. Room EBS 5A.118 Literature, Film and Theatre Studies Common Room


Keynote Lecture 1 (Chair: Philip Tew)


David Quantick, “Atlantic Crossing: British and American Humour Now”


18-30 – 20-00: Wine Reception sponsored by the Department of Literature, Film & Theatre Studies, University of Essex

Room: EBS 5A.202


20-00 onward: delegates may choose to gather at a local venue TBA (drinks & food not provided). The Wivenhoe Trail (a beautiful riverside walk) is also recommended for recreation during the conference (details will be given at the welcome session).



Friday, 10th July


09-00 – 10-00: Registration /Tea & Coffee

Room EBS 5A.133


09-30 – 11-00: Session B


Panel 1, (Chair: Susan Oliver)

Room: EBS 2.34

Matthew Rumbold (University of Warwick, UK), “Epic and Epochal Transitions: Transatlantic Imperialism and Late Modernist Aesthetics in David Jones and Derek Walcott”


Matthew Gibson (University of Macau, China), “W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and the ‘mythical method’ revisited”


Alison Stone (University of Exeter, UK), “‘Transatlantikers’: National Identity in British Modernist-inspired Poetry”


Panel 2 (Chair: Nissa Cannon)

Room: EBS 2.65


Pietra Palazzolo (University of Essex, UK) “Transatlantic Crossings: conflict, identity and unbelonging”


Robert Morace (Daemen College, USA), “Axis of Power: Contemporary Scottish Literature and Literary Studies”


Abdulgawad Elnady (University of Tanta, Egypt), “Private and Public Space in Selected Short Stories by Alice Munro”


11-00 – 11-30: Tea & Coffee

Room: EBS Foyer


11-30 – 13-00: Session C


Keynote Lecture 2 (Chair: Matthew Scott)

Room: EBS 2.34


Christopher Gair (University of Glasgow, UK), “Rewriting Transatlantic Literary Relations: Symbiosis, 1997-2015”


13-00 – 14-00: Lunch (provided)

Room: EBS Foyer


13-30 – 14-00: Symbiosis Editorial Board Meeting (by invitation)

Room TBA


14-00 – 15-30: Session D


Panel 3 (Chair: Robert Lawson-Peebles)

Room:  EBS 2.34


Julian Vigo (independent scholar), “Sites of Collective Memory and Trauma of 9/11 and 7/7: The Space of Memorial and Political Resistance”



Nissa R. Cannon (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA) “Marked Pages: Claude McKay’s Banjo and the Modernist Passport”


Stefania Ciocia (Canterbury Christ Church University, UK), “Psychopathology of the Island: Love and Trauma in Julia Alvarez and Junot Díaz”


Panel 4, (Chair: Christopher Gair)

Room: EBS 2.65


Hsu Li-hsin (National Chengchi University, Taiwan), “‘A deep distress hath humanised my soul’: the Wordsworth-De Quincey Dispute in America”


Neil MacFarlane (Birkbeck College London, UK), “The 'disenchanted feast' and business culture from American Notes (1842) to Little Dorrit (1857)”


Peter Templeton (University of Loughborough, UK), “Conflict between Poetics of Labour and Industrialisation in Twain and Hardy”



15-30 – 16-00: Tea & Coffee

Room: EBS Foyer


16-00 – 17-30: Session E


Panel 5, (Chair: Richard Brantley)

Room: EBS 2.34


Simon Hull (University of Science, Malaysia), “‘These Britons are Mine by Acquisition:’ Un-Colonial Colonialism in Agnes Keith’s Land Below the Wind


Luke Thompson (University of Exeter, UK), “‘[T]he smoke of your thighs’: A Hermit-Poet’s Transatlantic Inheritance”


Sanders I. Bernstein (University of Southern California, USA) “Cooper’s American Jugend: Der Wildtöter, The Boy Scouts, and Natty Bumppo’s (Proto)Fascist Future”


Panel 6 (Chair: Robert Morace)
Room: EBS 2.65


Pshtiwan Faraj Mohammed (Brunel University London, UK), “Rethinking the Iraq War: Selected Translantic and Iraqi Novels”


Steven Barfield (University of Human Development, Sulaymaniya, Iraq), “‘But who is more tragic, Mamosta, Mrs Dalloway or Mr Gatsby?’: Teaching and Learning  British and American Literature in Iraqi Kurdistan”


Richard Oko Ajah (University of Uyo, Nigeria), “Historicizing Trauma and Traumatizing History in Francophone African War Narratives: Postmemory and Testimony of Scolastique Mukasanga and Ahmadou Kourouma”


17-30 – 18-45: Session F

Room: EBS 2.34


Keynote Lecture 3 (Chair: Susan Oliver)


Peter Hulme (University of Essex, UK), ‘Soldiers of Fortune: American Writers in the First World War”


20-15 for 20-30: Conference Dinner (only for individuals who have pre-booked)

Room: Wivenhoe House- Function Room



Saturday, 11th July


09.00 – 09.30 Tea & Coffee

Room: EBS Foyer


9-30 – 11-00: Session G


Panel 7 (Chair: Richard Brantley)

Room: EBS 2.34


Robert Lawson-Peebles (University of Exeter, UK) “Three Nights of Musical Crime: A Story of Anglo-German-American Cultural Transfer and Resistance, 1920-1956”


Jon Stewart (University of Sussex, UK), “Bob Dylan and John Lennon, Conflict and Reconciliation: Towards a Transatlantic Typology of Anti-War Protest Songs”


Philip Tew (Brunel University London, UK) “Zadie Smith’s Autograph Man: A Curiously Transatlantic Fiction”


Anne Anderson (Exeter University, UK) “TBA”


Panel 8 (Chair: Simon Hull)

Room: EBS 2.65


Glyn Salton Cox (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), “’Communism’s Best Enemies’: The Making of the Bourgeois Gay Subject as Cold War Liberal Intellectual”


Joseph Darlington (University of Salford, UK), “Cutting up the Class System: Alan Burns’ Celebrations and the Influence of William Burroughs in Britain”


Sebastian Jenner (Brunel University London, UK),“The Quantum Gardener: The transatlantic reconciliation of chance in everyday life”


11-00 – 11-30: Tea & Coffee

Room: EBS Foyer


11-30 – 13-00: Session H

Room: EBS 2.34


Keynote Lecture 4 (Chair: Matthew Scott)


Nicola Watson (Open University, UK), “Transplanting Shakespeare: 1916”

Room: EBS 2.65


13-00 – 14-00: Lunch (provided)

Room: EBS Foyer


14-00 – 15-30: Session I


Panel 9, (Chair: Philip Aherne)

Room: EBS 2.34


Courttia Newland (Kingston University, UK), “Alex Wheatle’s New African Diaspora Aesthetic: Pan-Africanism and Protest”


Chukwumah Ignatius (Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria), “The host as Hostage: Constructing the Pharmakos in Alex la Guma’s A Walk in the Night and Louise Eldrich’s The Plague of Doves


Ezechi Onyerionwu (Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Nigeria), “The New Nigerian Novel and the Dislocated Femininity: Narrativising Sex Trafficking”


Raluca Iliou (Brunel London, UK), “Gone with the Wind: Margaret Thatcher Between Scarlett O'Hara and The Wicked Witch of the West”


Panel 10 (Chair: Robert Lawson-Peebles)

Room:  EBS 2.65


Christopher Flynn (St. Edward’s University, USA) "Linklater’s American in Paris”


Joel Pace (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, USA) "Atlantic Syncopation: Gatsby and the 'Jazz Age'"


Erin Atchison (Sheridan College, Canada), “A British Colonial in Bohemian Greenwich Village: Jane Mander (1877-1949) and the Influence of a Transatlantic Modernity”


15-30 – 16-00: Tea & Coffee

Room: EBS Foyer


16-00 – 17-30: Session J


Panel 11, (Chair: Joel Pace)

Room: EBS 2.34


Tanya Llewellyn (Stanford University, USA), “The “By-way to Hell”: Narrative Power and the Spiritual Journey in the Captivity Narratives of Bunyan and Rowlandson”


Stephanie Palmer (Nottingham Trent University, UK) “‘Eyes to See them’? British Responses to Ramona and Hemispheric Studies”


Luz Elena Ramirez (California State University, San Bernardino, USA), “Transatlantic currents: Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Peru and the English Romance Adventure”


Panel 12 (Chair: Christopher Flynn)

Room:  EBS 2.65


Dawid W. de Villiers (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), “The Ectopian Ocean in Modern(ist) Poetry”


Philip Aherne (King’s College London, UK), “‘[U]niting spiritualism with empiricism’: William James and the Coleridgean intellectual tradition”


Maria Cristina Fumagalli (University of Essex, UK) “‘Walcott and Transatlantic Visual Culture: Pissarro, Gauguin and the Centrality of the Caribbean”


17-30 – 18-45: Session K


Keynote Lecture 5 (Chair: Susan Oliver)

Room:  EBS 2.34


Richard Gray (University of Essex, UK), “Inside the Dark House: William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! and the Writing of Trauma”


From 19-30: various pubs and restaurants on campus serve food [which is not provided]. Conference will recommend location.



Sunday, 12th July


10-30: Departure for Gainsborough House, Sudbury (only for those who have pre-booked and pre-paid)


12-00 – 13-00: Session L (at Gainsborough House)


Keynote Lecture 6 (Chair: Matthew Scott)


Paul Williamson (independent scholar), “Approaching Gainsborough”


13-00 – 13-30 Tour of Gainsborough House


13-30 – 14-30: Lunch &/or exploring Sudbury [please note lunch is not provided]


14-45: Departure for Essex / OFFICIAL END OF CONFERENCE.