The Centre hosts workshops, seminars, conferences and public lectures, including an Annual Lecture, to address matters of interest to comparative literature in its broadest sense.

We are delighted that Marina Warner has agreed to give the Centre’s inaugural Annual Lecture, Viral Spiral: Multiple Shape-shifting from Ovid to Covid. (This event had been postponed and a new date will be announced in due course).

In the meantime, please see below all of our upcoming and past events, including those for our event series, ranging from Classical Reception (‘Sing in Me, Muse’) to auto/biographical fictions and autofictions (Auto / Bio / Fiction), to Postcolonial Theatre and early modern ‘Spectacular Orientalism’

A range of further events are being planned in conjunction with theatres – notably our partner the Gate Theatre – museums and galleries, in the UK and abroad, as well as with the Borough of Lewisham, London Borough of Culture 2022.

Our members belong to a range of networks and societies (for example, LINKS, the London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies; EAM, the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies; MDRNOut of the Wings, the theatre collective of translators and theatre-makers; the Carl Einstein-Gesellschaft / Societé Carl Einstein; and many more), and regularly participate in or organise events with these networks.

All events and activities prioritize diversity and inclusivity, which is central to our ethos.

We pay special attention to the support of graduate students and early-career researchers. In particular, as members of networks such as LINKS, CHASE, Mnemonics, and the Emerging Translators Network, our staff regularly offer graduate and early-career training events.

Upcoming events & current event series

Annual Lecture:

Postponed to a date TBC (in person and online)

Marina Warner, Viral Spiral: Multiple Shape-shifting from Ovid to Covid

A group of metamorphoses in myths and legends features gods and in between creatures, who are not quite divine and not quite mortal either,  who can change their shape multiple times. For example, Mestra, the daughter of Erichsychthon, is given this gift by the gods when her father sells her, and she is able to elude the clients he panders her to.

Marina Warner will explore stories of multiple transformations in and out of different bodies, and reflect on their significance in relation to today’s concerns with fluid identities and interspecies contact and contagion.

Click on the event title to find out more and book to attend in person or online. Booking is free but required.


27-28 April 2023 (online)

Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe II: Asia and the Far East (C16th-C18th)

The second ‘Spectacular orientalist’ conference, organised by the CCL in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research.

Following the success of the first Spectacular Orientalism conference in June 2022, largely devoted to the Ottoman Empire and the image of the Turk, it is our hope that papers for the follow-up conference will focus more specifically on Asia and the Far East. These two further days of talks and discussion will explore new perspectives on the representation of the Orient in early modern European art and performance in a period that witnessed the founding of the first Christian mission in Japan by the Portuguese (1549), the establishment of the English, Dutch and French East India Companies at the turn of the seventeenth century, the rise of European travel to Persia under the Safavid dynasty and the resulting spate of publications.

Click on the event title to find out more. Deadline to submit a paper proposal: 17 December 2022

Event Series:

The CCL Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2023: South Asia and the Diaspora (online)

The talks in this series include:

Jerri Daboo, The Performance of Adaptation as a Postcolonial Strategy, Thursday 11 May 2023.

The development of the movement of British South Asian theatre offers a way to examine how diaspora communities create new forms of performance in response to their positioning…. Read more and book


Prarthana Purkayastha, Bazaar Art, Bazaari Women: Nautch, Bibis and Courtesans in Nineteenth Century Kalighat Paintings (Bengal), Thursday 18 May 2023.

This talk examines in parallel both visual and textual narratives that crafted fictions of erotic nautch dancers in nineteenth-century Bengal. The paintings analysed here were produced by indigenous artists in Bengal in the bazaars of Calcutta in the period 1870-1890, and are now renowned internationally as Kalighat art….  Read more and book


Sudip Chakroborthy, Performance and the Quest for Identity among Communities of Bangladeshi Heritage in the UK, Thursday 25 May 2023.

My current practice research seeks to decode and encode questions of identity among twenty-first-century communities of Bangladeshi heritage in Glasgow, Scotland. I seek to understand how their history of involvement as Lascars (South Asian sailors) in British merchant ships in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been memorialised by local communities….  Read more and book

Click on the series title for more details and to register.

Event Series:

Auto / Bio / Fiction

Convened by Lucia Boldrini (Goldsmiths), Natasha Bell (Goldsmiths) and Lucia Claudia Fiorella (University of Udine, Italy) and starting in Autumn 2022, Auto / Bio / Fiction will include talks, seminars, roundtables, readings, reading groups, book launches and live book reviews.

Our speakers are critics and practitioners. Our aim is to put in dialogue (and possibly in dispute) different interpretations and practices of biofiction, autofiction and neighbouring genres and art forms, and discuss the questions raised by these forms and their critical and textual encounters.

Upcoming events in this series include:

8 June 2023 (online), Auto / Bio / Fiction in Practice: A Symposium. The series concludes with a half-day symposium dedicated to the practice and practice-led research of autofiction, biofiction and other literary forms worrying the boundaries between truth and fiction, life and art, self and character. Deadline to submit presentation proposals: 3 April 20-23. Read the Call for Papers and find out more about the Symposium.


To be rescheduled due to UCU strike action 9 February 2023, 5.30pm UTC (online), Guido Mazzoni, “Like everyone else. Annie Ernaux’s The Years” and Jarred McGinnis, “Alchemizing the self for fiction” – Read more and book to attend….



Seminar Series: The London Beckett Seminar

The London Beckett Seminar meets eight times a year, and brings together national and international scholars, researchers, postgraduate students and the general public to discuss issues arising from the prose, theatre and poetry of Samuel Beckett that pertain to aspects of literary, philosophical and historical analysis with particular attention to translation studies, performance and practice, digital humanities and visual cultures. Inherently interdisciplinary in approach, the seminar has established a vibrant research network for postgraduate students, early-career researchers, and established academics on a national and international level.

Find out more about the 2022-23 programme and how to register…

Event Series:

Sing in me, Muse: The Classical, the Critical, and the Creative

A Series of talks, workshops, readings, discussions on the social, political and cultural relevance of the classics to our times.

This series of Classical Reception Studies events, starting in Autumn 2022 and convened by Isabel Hurst and Lucia Boldrini, will bring together scholars and students from a variety of disciplines with creative writers and other artists, to examine how the literary and material cultures of ancient Greece, the Near East and Rome have been adapted and rewritten at later times and other places.


This series has concluded for the 2022-23 academic year but we’ll be back in Autumn 2023, and was can already announce one of the seminars:

Rescheduled to 2 November 2023 (due to UCU industrial action on the original date of 16 March 2023) (in person and online), Barbara Graziosi, ‘”The chancy story of the Phoenician woman”: Reading Homer with Virginia Woolf’.
Based on Virginia Stephen’s notes on the Odyssey, Barbara Graziosi offers a new reading of chance, fate, and marriage in the Homeric poem and in Stephen’s first novel, The Voyage Out, written shortly before she married Leonard Woolf and became known as Virginia Woolf. Find out more…

Find out more about the full series and watch recordings of past events (when available)….


Past Events