Humanities Research Centre Annual Report 2005-2006 Conferences, Lectures and Seminars

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Humanities Research Centre

Annual Report 2005-2006

Conferences, Lectures and Seminars

In the course of the academic year, the Centre organised and supported a variety of conferences and events:

Intellectual Diasporas/Departures

Organised by Dr Kate Astbury (French)

12th – 13th September 2005

Carlos Monsiváis – a round table discussion on Contemporary Mexican Cinema

Organised by Professor John King (CAS)

Wednesday 28th September 2005

Henry Green, 1905 – 73 A Centenary Celebration

Organised by Professor Jeremy Treglown (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Friday 28th – Saturday 29th October 2005

Trouble in Paradise? Ecocritical Responses to the Contemporary Caribbean

Organised by Erin Somerville (CTCCS)

Saturday 26th November 2005

Writing The Other America: The estuary of the Americas in the literary imagination of the Caribbean and Latin America

Organised by Michael Niblett and Kerstin Oloff (English/CTCCS)

Saturday 25th February 2006

Virtue and Vice

Organised by Dr Elizabeth Clarke (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Saturday 8th April 2006

Ignacio Durán, cultural attaché, Mexican Embassy,

introduced a screening of Luis Buñuel’s "Los Olvidados"

Americas Research Seminar

Monday 24th April 2006

Writing Class: Representations of Working – Class Spaces in Modern Britain

Organised by Nicola Wilson (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Saturday 6th May 2006

Between Peterborough and Pentecost: Nonsense Literature across Space and Time

Organised by Dr Carlo Caruso and Dr Elisabetta Tarantino (Italian)

12th – 13th May 2006

Mcdowell – between Wittgenstein and Hegel

Organsied by Professor Michael Luntley (Philosophy)

13th – 15th May 2006

Mario Vargas Llosa at Seventy

Organised by Professor John King (CAS)

Saturday 20th May 2006

4th Warwick Symposium on Parish Research

Organised by Dr Beat Kümin, Dr Peter Marshall and Dr Penny Roberts (History)

Saturday 20th May 2006

National Postgraduate Analytic Philosophy Conference

Organised by Professor Bill Brewer (Philosophy)

30th June – 2nd July 2006
Dickens and the French Revolution: Crowds and Power

Organised by Professor Colin Jones (History)

14th – 15th July 2006

The 14th Donald Charlton Annual Lecture was given by Professor Sigrid Weigel on 16 February 2006. Her talk was well attended and provoked a lively debate.

The 2005-2006 HRC Visiting Fellow, the Argentine writer and academic Professor Tomás Eloy Martínez, unfortunately had to postpone his trip to Warwick only a few days before he was due to fly to the UK on 30 January 2006. He underwent major surgery in New York and we send him all our good wishes for a complete recovery. We hope to welcome him at Warwick sometime in the 2006-2007 academic year.

The Interdisciplinary Research Seminar

This year’s seminar organised by Dr Liz Barry (English) and Dr Rachel Moseley (Film & TV Studies) entitled ‘A Cultural History of Celebrity’ focused on the much-discussed modern phenomenon of celebrity. It brought together ideas of celebrity, heroism and the icon in intellectual and cultural life and in popular culture. It challenged the familiar narrative of the displacement of heroism (active, socially useful, respected) by celebrity (passive, parasitical, despised) in modern life, and to interrogate its terms and assumptions. It also examined the impact of celebrity on cultural production, considering the public figure of the artist and the intellectual and exploring how their renown may not just follow from their work but also shape and direct it.

The series involved intersections between many different disciplines, such as those of history, cultural studies, film and television studies, literary criticism and art history. Invited speakers included Ludmilla Jordonova, Steven Connor, Uta Kornmeier, Stephen Cheeke and Su Holmes, and subjects included Nelson and heroism, Byromania in the early nineteenth century, Madame Tussauds and the waxworks museum, and the phenomenon of celebrity publications such as Heat magazine.
Doctoral Fellowships
This year the Centre was able to sponsor three (internal) Doctoral Fellowships. The Fellows contribute to the life of the HRC by organising a one-day postgraduate interdisciplinary conference and are given financial support for their PHD dissertation research. The fellowships were awarded to:
Erin Somerville (CTCCS)

Trouble in Paradise? Ecocritical Responses to the Contemporary Caribbean

Nicola Wilson (English)

Writing Class: Representations of Working – Class Spaces in Modern Britain
Michael Niblett and Kerstin Oloff (English/CTCCS)

Writing The Other America: The estuary of the Americas in the literary imagination of the Caribbean and Latin America
All these conferences attracted important national and international participants and were very successful.

Arts Faculty Research Committee

The Arts Faculty Research committee met twice during the 2005-06 year.  Its wider activities focused in particular on three areas: the visit to Warwick of Philip Esler, the new chief executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council; the drafting and approval of a research strategy document for the Faculty; and a joint away-day organised with the Social Studies Research committee to encourage cross-Faculty interdisciplinary collaboration.  The Esler visit, at which several staff presented findings from their AHRC-funded research projects, was a substantial success: the Director of Research Support Services, Kate Hughes, subsequently learned that Professor Esler circulated an 18-point document at the AHRC prompted by issues raised by staff and postgraduate students at Warwick.  The Faculty's new research strategy document has now been circulated to the new Vice Chancellor, and provided the basis of the Faculty's reconfigured research web pages over the summer.  The away day, jointly organised by Margot Finn, Richard Higgott, Nickie Mukkle and Liese Perrin, has initiated preliminary collaboration for a number of grant applications, to the Mellon-Sawyer programme and the Leverhulme Trust.


The 3rd issue of the HRC Newsletter was published. The Newsletter showcases research being carried out by the arts and humanities community at Warwick as well as advertising forthcoming HRC events. It is mailed out to the arts and humanities departments of every major UK HEI as well as other arts organisations and many overseas institutions.

Future Projects
Humanities Research Fund
We have managed to secure funding from the Centre to re-launch this fund from October 2006. Guidelines for applications to the fund have been sent out to departments and we are confident that the small grants that we can award will play a significant role in promoting research in the faculty.
The 15th Donald Charlton Lecture will be given by Professor Gerald Martin, University of Pittsburgh, in January 2007. Gabriel García Márquez has called Professor Martin his ‘tolerated’ biographer and Professor Martin will be talking about the pleasures and pitfalls of writing the biography of perhaps the world’s best known novelist.
The first Callum MacDonald lecture, organised by the Department of History, will be given by Professor Alan Trachtenberg of Yale University on 23 January 2007. His lecture is entitled, ‘Noir Decade: Cultural Perspectives on the 1940’s’.
The HRC Visiting Fellow for 2006-07 will be Professor Gary Radke of Syracuse University, New York State. Professor Radke, one of the leading authorities on the art of Renaissance Italy, will give a major public lecture in the Arts Centre as well as contributing to teaching in the History of Art Department. His visit chimes with a year of activities to celebrate forty years of Warwick in Venice.
Forthcoming Conferences include the 2005-2006 Doctoral Fellowship winners
The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity

Organised by Zoe Brigley & Jonathan Morley (English/CTCCS)

Saturday 18th November 2006

Marketing the Movies: Promotion, Advertising and Film Studies

Organised by Christopher Meir (Film & TV Studies)

Saturday 24th February 2007

Spooked: Cultures of Intelligence in Britain 1945 – 2006

Organised by Christopher Moran (History)

Saturday 12th May 2007

Next year’s Interdisciplinary Seminar Series, organised by Jennifer Smyth (History) will focus on visual culture in the Americas.
Visual Cultures of the Americas: Comparative Contexts
In this seminar series for 2006-2007, internationally renowned scholars and filmmakers from across the UK, Mexico, and the United States will discuss a range of topics on the past and present contexts of North and Latin American visual cultures. The eight seminars will consider issues spanning nineteenth-century images of Native and African Americans and their dissemination in the Americas and Europe to the history of mixed-race identities to the future of Latin American cinema. The series will offer the possibility of rethinking concepts like race, gender, modernity, historical representation and national identity as well as uniting some of the most important new historical research and ideas about contemporary filmmaking. We are planning an edited collection of the papers in 2008.

The participants are drawn from across the spectrum of humanities research: History, Film Studies, History of Art, English and Comparative American Studies, and the inherently interdisciplinary character of the series will undoubtedly attract an equally diverse audience of Warwick faculty and students.

Autumn Term Programme

  • November 21, 2006: Nicola Miller, University College, London

Images of the United States in 19th-Century Argentina and Europe

  • December 5, 2006: Diane Negra, University of East Anglia

Race and Hollywood Cinema

Concluding remarks

The HRC has had another successful year and we will continue to foster and encourage research in the faculty in the variety of ways outlined above.

John King (CAS) continues as director and Margot Finn (History) continues as

Chair of the Arts Faculty Research Committee.

Dr Liese Perrin from the University’s Research Support Services continues to be closely involved in all our activities and initiatives, providing invaluable support at all levels.
The bedrock of the Centre is our secretary/administrator, Sue Dibben, whose unrivalled enthusiasm; energy and efficiency ensure the delivery of such a rich programme.

John King, HRC Director, 2005-2006

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