Contemporary Theory Reading Group – AfroFuturism (22/10/2019)

We began our discussion of Alondra Nelson’s ‘AfroFuturism: Past-Future Visions’ by considering a quote from Ishmael Reed: ‘Necromancers used to lie in the guts of the dead or in tombs to receive visions of the future. That is prophecy. The black writer lies in the guts of old America, making readings about the future.’ Reed’s … Continue reading “Contemporary Theory Reading Group – AfroFuturism (22/10/2019)”

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‘Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers’: Birmingham Literature Festival 2019 (10/10/2019)

Members of CCLC attended a Birmingham Literature Festival event celebrating the recent publication Common People, an anthology of 33 working class writers, edited by Kit De Waal and published by Unbound. The four authors present read segments from their published works in the anthology. Lisa Blower spoke of childhood in Stoke-on-Trent and ‘always being ten … Continue reading “‘Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers’: Birmingham Literature Festival 2019 (10/10/2019)”

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Contemporary Theory Reading Group – Video Games (08/10/2019)

For the first Contemporary Theory Reading Group of the academic year we discussed ‘The Rhetoric of Video Games’ (2008) by Ian Bogost. Bogost begins his article ‘The Rhetoric of Video Games’ by examining Animal Crossing, a quaint, village-based game, where Tom Nook an ‘unassuming raccoon continues to offer renovations’ on a player’s house as they … Continue reading “Contemporary Theory Reading Group – Video Games (08/10/2019)”

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CCLC Autumn Schedule – Weeks 1-6

We’re pleased to release the schedule for the first half of term. More details to come! Email r.sykes@bham.ac.uk to be added to our mailing list.

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Het Phillips, ‘The Possibility Of Evil: Shirley Jackson, True Crime and the Horror of the Everyday’ (13/02/2019)

  The Centre for Contemporary Literature and Culture was delighted to welcome Het Phillips to speak on true crime and its influence on the fiction of horror and mystery writer Shirley Jackson. Phillips traced through Jackson’s fiction a fascination with true crime, which brought her repeatedly back to the thematic influences of several real-life cases. … Continue reading “Het Phillips, ‘The Possibility Of Evil: Shirley Jackson, True Crime and the Horror of the Everyday’ (13/02/2019)”

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People & Pages, Tuesday 26th February (6.30-8.30 pm)

** This is a guest post by Alice Seville, research assistant for the American and Canadian Studies research centre**  As any local taxi driver will doubtless confirm, Birmingham is currently experiencing an era of unprecedented development. Yet with a truly unseasonable hot spell in February (fun for our students on the green heart; disconcerting for … Continue reading “People & Pages, Tuesday 26th February (6.30-8.30 pm)”

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Siblings, Kinship and Allegory in Jesmyn Ward’s Fiction and Nonfiction (04/03/2019)

The evocative and urgent voice of Jesmyn Ward is a significant force in our contemporary movement towards amplifying the existence of black women in the United States. Through a wide reading of her literary works, Arin Keeble continued this project in a compelling and important talk on allegory and its applications, reading into the kinships … Continue reading “Siblings, Kinship and Allegory in Jesmyn Ward’s Fiction and Nonfiction (04/03/2019)”

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CSN Reading Group: Xenofeminism (06/02/2019)

For our latest reading group in the Contemporary Studies Network, we read from Helen Hester’s 2018 book Xenofeminism. The section we examined – her introduction, ‘What is Xenofeminism?’ – is an attempt to conceptualise a new branch of feminism that is emerging from a world of increasing technological complexity. Adapting the digital Xenofeminist manifesto by … Continue reading “CSN Reading Group: Xenofeminism (06/02/2019)”

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