2nd October 2023 by

Ekphrastic Encounters (Oct 18th / Dec 6th)

Ekphrastic Encounters is a newly established inter-disciplinary discussion and research forum that will examine and debate the encounter or exchange between word and image using a reciprocal and inclusive model of ekphrasis.

The first two meetings of the forum will explore and debate the complex and contested interface between word and image from a variety of positions and perspectives.

1. Ekphrasis As Political Encounter
  • Discussion to be led by John Fagg, Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Culture
  • Wednesday October 18th 2 – 4pm Lecture Room 7 Arts Building
2. Can Images Be Ekphrastic?
  • Discussion to be led by Sophie Hatchwell, Associate Professor in History of Art
  • Wednesday December 6th 1 – 3pm Lecture Room 6 Arts Building

About Ekphrastic Encounters

The meetings will have a round-table format with participants (either in person or on-line) able to share and debate their critical observations and reflections. Full details of each meeting together with selected materials for discussion will be circulated in advance. A third meeting on Wednesday November 15th is in the discussion stage.

From January 2024, the forum will move to a series of themed meetings to be introduced by one or more post-graduate researchers. Various topics have been suggested – including ‘the ekphrastic tendency in contemporary fiction’, ‘the creative interplay between text and book illustration’, ‘visual art forms that embody text’, ‘new thinking on the paragone’ – but other subjects will undoubtedly emerge as the forum develops. Consideration is also being given to organising a symposium with guest speakers at the end of the year.

The forum plans to involve post-graduate researchers and interested members of staff from a range of disciplines and departments. Currently the forum has representatives from English Literature and from Art History, Curating and Visual Studies but links are being made with Film and Creative Writing and English Language and Linguistics. And it is hoped that representatives from other departments and disciplines will attend in due course.

If you would like to know more and if you want to be included on our emailing list then contact Jon Stevens on jxs1209@student.bham.ac.uk

Ekphrastic Encounters is administered by a planning group, whose members are Harry Jones (PhD Eng Lit), James Rodker (PhD Eng Lit), Lucy Shaw (PhD History Of Art) and Jon Stevens (MA by Res Eng Lit). The group is supported by John Fagg and Sophie Hatchwell.