New British Fiction: Innovations in Literature & Criticism (New British Fiction)

Venue: School of English

Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Jun 22, 2007 End Date/Time: Jun 22, 2007
Registration Date: Apr 01, 2007
Early Registration Date: Jan 26, 2007
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 26, 2007
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New British Fiction: Innovations in Literature & Criticism

A one-day postgraduate conference, School of English, University of Leeds, 22 June 2007

Looking beyond the legacy of the ‘best young novelists’ of Granta’s lists – writers who, over the last thirty years, have helped to nurture a new cultural politics which engages rather than suppresses difference – this conference focuses on the emerging voices of British fiction and the new critical axes along which we are reading them. What kinds of thematic, generic, and formal tensions are at play in the fictions of post-1990 Britain? How are its writers negotiating cultural identities, new ethnicities, notions of the dissident, the subcultural; what narratives of history, nationness, self are being (re)written? How is contemporary fiction challenging or extending existing theoretical discourses; and how might we, as critical readers, respond? Which texts will we still be reading, theorising, teaching in ten years’ time?

Addressing these and many other questions, this day will bring together postgraduate researchers from across the UK, whose work on contemporary British fiction is revaluating existing critical frameworks. You might want to bring to attention an underrated or emerging literary talent, or the role of small presses; you might shift the focus on more familiar texts; or set out alternative approaches to reading and criticism. We invite text- and/or theory-based papers, but please note that deliberate emphasis is placed here on new writers (i.e., those who have published all or almost all of their work in the nineties and noughties). The conference is designed as a productive forum for the exploration of ideas, and we hope that what will emerge will be the mapping of some of the innovative new directions for 20th- and 21st-century literature studies in the UK.

We are pleased to confirm that the day will feature an opening address by Professor Ed Larrissy, and an evening reading by Ali Smith, whose novels and short stories include, most recently, The Whole Story and other stories (2003) and the Booker shortlisted The Accidental (2004).

Please send a 300-word abstract plus a short bio (including current research, level of study, institutional affiliation and contact details) by January 26th 2007 to conference organisers, Emma Smith and Paul McGarry, at


University of Leeds
United Kingdom