University of Sussex
March 24, 2011 – March 26, 2011
Picture this: postcards and letters beyond text invited researchers, creative writers, visual artists, publishers and curators to come together to consider letters and postcards from a range of critical perspectives, and through creative practice. We welcomed broad explorations of postcards and letters – as mediated exchanges, dramatized inscriptions, and treasured material objects – as well as close attention to epistolaries that break into drawings, photographs or other media.
The conference hosted panel presentations, keynotes, discussion and other forums and investigated: letters and postcards as embodied, inhabited objects, including in museums and archives; postal delivery systems and diaspora; reciprocal relations between verbal and visual arts; and mutating epistolaries in fiction, from the eighteenth century to contemporary novels and through recent theorizations.
Our innovative mixed-media Postcards Competition, run in collaboration with the publishers Myriad Editions, invited experimental interaction between the verbal/written and the visual and with the postcard form. We also hosted a Research Skills seminar at Brighton Museum, Creative Practice Workshops to broaden our explorations and a Careers Round Table. All aspects, including the post-event reviewing process, were designed to make the conference particularly welcoming for early-career postgraduate researchers.
Keynote speakers: Ann Dumas (Curator of The Real Van Gogh, Royal Academy); Professor Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex); Professor Marcus Wood (University of Sussex).
The Postcards Competition was judged, in correspondence, by Nicola Barker, whose latest novel Burley Cross Postbox Theft (2010) is a wickedly comic novel in letters.
Conference registration closed on the 17/03/11.
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Organizers: Katie Reid and Bethan Stevens
Committee: Nicola Ashmore, Robin Bagon, Naomi Booth, Martin Eve