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Call for Papers | Samuel Beckett and the Anthropocene

Monday, 31 August 2020, 12 – 12:15pm

Call for Papers | Samuel Beckett and the Anthropocene

We are excited to invite contributions to Beckett and the Anthropocene, an online conference hosted by the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies on 4–5 December 2020.
The full Call for Papers can be downloaded here.
The link for submitting an expression of interest is here.

On the heels of the 2019 Paris Workshop/Symposium “Beckett, Phenomenology and Ecology”, we found reason to extend our discussion more broadly to embodiment and ecology, by asking whether and how Beckett’s work might speak to contemporary efforts to assess human accountability and responsibility regarding the condition of our planet. We felt that engaging with the contested term “Anthropocene” would be a fruitful next step to capture the diversity of international work emerging in Beckett Studies in this area.

The decision to design an all-virtual conference in 2020 (and the first event of its kind in Beckett Studies) is motivated by a spirit of experimentation and community. Just as Beckett was attuned to the medium in which he was working, so too must we explore the limits of what is possible online. Shorter panels, more interaction, and frequent breaks will be just some of the ways that we plan to adjust the “standard” conference format, to reflect the lived reality of screen-to-screen engagement. While we will not be able to convene at the same pub afterwards, we will continue to host world-leading keynote speakers (Professor Anna McMullan and Professor Laura Salisbury), stimulating roundtables (The Role of the Humanities in the Anthropocene), and experimental performance suited to the medium. 

We have been motivated to take this leap partly by the coronavirus and considering the health and safety of all in our community, but equally in an effort to match our theoretical commitments with our actions by creating a carbon-neutral conference. We believe that the challenging global context in 2020 still holds potential for high-quality scholarly exchange. We hope that this online event may supplement (rather than supplant) the face-to-face interaction so integral to conferences, symposia, and summer schools, developing a model that could be used in future to share scholarship more equitably and more sustainably.

In that spirit, the conference will be free of charge for all participants, presenters, respondents, and attendees, but places will be limited by the nature of the schedule and format. You may apply 1) to present new research (short-paper format of 10 minutes, pre-circulated to co-panelists), 2) to facilitate a panel (a one-hour session of three papers + discussion) and act as respondent on particular topics, or 3) simply to attend in order to listen and contribute to discussion. All expressions of interest should be submitted to the online form by 31 August 2020. The organisers will evaluate all submissions as a team.

We hope to see you in December. Please write to us at with questions or comments.

Conference Organisers:
Douglas Atkinson (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Amanda Dennis (The American University of Paris)
Nicholas Johnson (Trinity College Dublin)
Céline Thobois (Trinity College Dublin)

Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies
Trinity Long Room Hub
Trinity College Dublin

Room: Online
Event Category: Arts and Culture, Conferences, Lectures and Seminars, Public
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff
Cost: Free
Contact Name: Céline Thobois

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