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Uplandish: New Perspectives on Northern England’s ‘Wild’ Places (York St John University, York: 30 June 2017 )

Deadline: 31 Mar 2017

Writers in Conversation: David Constantine and A.J. Ashworth: 'Writing and Rewriting the Pennine Moors: Beyond the Brontës'

Keynote Address: Dr David Higgins (University of Leeds, UK): 'Mythologising Malhamdale: Englishness, Sublimity, and Tourism from Wordsworth to The Trip'

Few places in England are as closely associated with wilderness as the moors and fells north of the River Trent. Yet the iconography of this region occupies a central place in the country’s cultural geography, as attested by the many tourists who tramp across ‘Lakeland’ and ‘Brontë Country’ each year. This conference seeks to interrogate the mythologies of England’s northern uplands and to understand the ideological processes that have allowed their material reproduction, many of their less flattering significations and perhaps some of their political potential to remain hidden. The concept of 'wilderness' is currently being subjected to critique within and beyond the academy, in works by popular writers such as George Monbiot (Feral) and William Atkins (The Moor), as well as scholars working at the forefront of ecocriticism and literary geography. Building upon such work, this conference will reexamine the supposedly wild places of 'the North', their significance to culturally-bound understandings of Englishness, and their role in the production of British state ideology, with a more critical eye than has hitherto been the case.

This interdisciplinary conference is open to scholars working in English Literature, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Art History, Fine Art, Photography, Film Studies, Media Studies, Critical Heritage Studies, Geography, Politics and Sociology. Interventions other than traditional academic papers – e.g. short films, photography, artwork and readings – are welcome. Speakers will be allowed 15 mins to present on subjects that might include:

* Contemporary representations of moorland and fells (e.g. David Peace, Sarah Hall)
* The pastoral, beautiful and sublime
* The development and contemporary impact of literary tourism (e.g. Dove Cottage, the Brontë Parsonage Museum)
* Intersections between gender, race, religion and constructions of northern 'wilderness' in contemporary film and literature (e.g. Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights; Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy; Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child)
* Moorland as threat, archive and tomb (e.g. the legacy of the Moors Murders)
* Northern uplands and the 'new nature writing' (e.g. William Atkins's The Moor)
* Ecocritical perspectives on ‘wilderness’
* Patterns of land ownership, agricultural development, gentrification and rural tourism
* Territories of conservation (national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the green belt)
* The consequences of enclosure north of the River Trent
* Border country and Anglo-Scottish relations
* The role of physical geography in the construction of 'the North'
* Legacies of the Kinder Scout Trespass (e.g. the 'right to roam', the development of the Pennine Way)

Please submit a 350-word abstract and 150-word biography for consideration.

Contact details:
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Filed under: Call for Papers - Conferences

Last updated: 19 Mar 2017



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