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.
Marina Warner gave the Centre’s inaugural Annual Lecture, Viral Spiral: Multiple Shape-shifting from Ovid to Covid on 12 October 2023. Look out for the announcement of our next Annual Lecture!
Below you can find information on our other 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 the London Beckett Seminar.
After the two “Spectacular Orientalism” conferences in 2022 and 2023, in April 2024 we’ll turn to comparative perspectives on Work and Smell – and in May 2024, to Maryse Condé and Caribbean Crossings (/Maryse Condé – Traversées caribéennes). In June, a soirée on Olympoetics, in conjunction with the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, will both recall and reflect on the London Olympics of 2012 and celebrate the Paris Olympics of this year, critically and poetically.
More events are being planned and will be announced as soon as details are finalised.
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; MDRN; Out 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.
Convened by Lucia Boldrini (Goldsmiths), Natasha Bell (Goldsmiths) and Lucia Claudia Fiorella (University of Udine, Italy) and running since Autumn 2022, Auto / Bio / Fiction includes 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.
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, running since 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.
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.
Conference: Work and Smell: Comparative Perspectives (25 April 2024, online)
The scope for autonomy at the workplace has an important influence on attitudes towards democratic participation, and the methodical comparison of the ways in which societies conceive of working worlds is of vital importance for a critical understanding of the international nexus of work. Literature contributes to the cultural repertoire of imagery that underpins conceptions of work. Comparative literary studies dedicated to motifs of work-related smell deserve to be developed further, as they throw into relief social and cultural similarities and differences between attitudes towards work and related smells. The conference, organised jointly with the Decadence Research Centre, aims to investigate literary depictions of smell pertaining to work-specific contexts from comparatist angles, or in different cultural contexts that invite comparison. Click on the Conference title for the Call for Papers, to find out more about the conference and to register to attend.
Conference: Maryse Condé and Caribbean Crossings (10 May 2024, in person)
A celebration of the work of Maryse Condé in the Caribbean context, jointly organised by the Centre for Comparative Literature and the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, with the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. This conference will examine how crossings manifest themselves not only geographically, but in multiple intersecting ways in Maryse Condé’s works. The conference will also honour her remarkable oeuvre by exploring its interconnections with, and impact on Caribbean literature, theatre and thought more broadly. The notion of ‘crossing’, which features in the title of one of Condé’s novels, Crossing the Mangrove (1989), will guide enquiries and debates over the course of our conference. Examining how Condé’s works move across and between different aesthetic, linguistic, cultural, geographical, historical and ontological sites, this conference welcomes contributions on all Caribbean literatures in the expanded sense – including theatre and performance – in French, English, Spanish and Creole. To find out more, read the call for papers, and see the programme, please visit the conference’s webpage.
THE CCL POSTCOLONIAL THEATRE SERIES
This series takes place in May, online. The May 2024 programme will be announced in early 2024.
Click below for information and view recordings of the previous series:
Olympoetics: Bodies, Minds, Athletics and Aesthetics (12 June 2024, from 5pm, in person)
A creative & critical soirée, jointly organised by the Centre for Comparative Literatureand the Goldsmiths Writer’s Centre.
The evening will start with a talk on ‘Olympoesis: Revisiting Public Poetry at the 2012 London Games’ by Dr Michael Simpson, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the CCL, and will be followed by readings and/or performances of creative writing, in poetry or prose.
Click on the event title for a call for creative Writing contributions and more information on the event.