British Council seminar 0702: The 22nd Oxford Conference on the teaching of literature

Venue: Oxford

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Mar 30, 2007 End Date/Time: Apr 05, 2007
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Reading lives: the literature of life and the life of literature in intercultural Education

The 22nd Oxford Conference will investigate the meanings of life for literature in English. The event addresses the many ways in which the concept of 'Life' offers a provocative, problematic but indispensable model for talking about Literature - and Literature offers such powerful means to explore and understand Life.

Contemporary life
Literature gives access to other experiences, other times and other cultures: what is new and significant in contemporary British writing in English? How are we to read the variety and difficulty of new Englishes/new Britains, it represents?

Textual life
Texts have lives and histories that change with the different cultural contexts of their reception: How does context impact upon textual interpretation? How can cultural difference serve an intercultural pedagogy?

Writers' lives
Author biography and historical work on literature have never been so popular - there is more 'context' than ever to support the reading and teaching of literature. What are the implications of this situation for literature teaching? How might this new work change our readings of the classics and the canon?

Life writing
The growth of life writing and non-fiction in the UK means there is now a wider range than ever of literary texts, and the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction were never more porous. Can we revisit canon and curriculum in the light of the extraordinary force and quality of this writing? What formal and ethical demands do these texts make of us?

The 22nd Oxford Conference will again comprise a distinctive blend of author readings and conversations, roundtable discussions, workshops and reading groups. With its emphasis in dialogue and participation, the event offers a lively and informal environment for the exploration of these urgent and demanding questions.

The conference, this year, will be chaired by Sean Matthews, Robert Eaglestone and Susanna Nicklin and contributors include the novelist, biographer and critic Victoria Glendinning, Anne Whitehead, senior lecturer in English literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University and the writer Blake Morrison.

The website can be found at: