Saturday, June 15, 2019

CFP: Symposium on The Sheik at Birmingham University

100 Years of The Sheik: A Public Research Symposium

12 & 13 September 2019, University of Birmingham, UK

This free-to-attend symposium, open to students, researchers, and members of the public, will mark the centenary of the original publication of The Sheik with a range of panels, workshops, a film screening, and a roundtable on the following broad topics:

  • Critical responses to Hull's novel, its sequels or film adaptation;
  • The legacy of The Sheik for twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular culture;
  • Approaches to (and reflections of) learning and teaching with The Sheik;
  • Parodies, imitations and the desert romance genre;
  • Twentieth and twenty-first-century sheikh-themed romances;
  • Diversity in romance publishing.

Since its publication in 1919, E. M. Hull's The Sheik has been a sensation, shocking and fascinating readers alike. Owing much to the literary traditions of Romantic Orientalism and golden-age women's travel writing, as well as to literary modernism and the crisis of masculinity in British culture in the aftermath of World War One, it is a novel that articulates the tensions and desires of its time. Contemporary critics regarded it as salacious and degenerate, yet its cultural legacy in Britain and North America has been significant and enduring. One hundred years on and The Sheik is considered "the ur-romance novel of the twentieth century" (Regis, 2003, p. 115), while its treatment of gender, sexuality, and race continues to trouble and provoke debate.

The symposium will showcase research conducted by contributors to a special issue of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies on The Sheik due to be published in Autumn 2019. We are also seeking proposals for additional research papers, lightning talks, poster presentations, and roundtable participants. We would particularly welcome proposals from current and recent students.

If you are interested in participating in the symposium, please send a short title and 200-word abstract to Dr Amy Burge by 12 July 2019. Please also direct any queries to Amy:

Provisional symposium schedule:

Thurs 12 Sept
Late morning - Grad Seminar
Afternoon/ evening - Screening of The Sheik (1921) + panel discussion

Fri 13 Sept
10-11:30 - Academic panel
12-1pm - Author panel
1-2pm - Lunch
2-3:30pm - Learning & Teaching panel
4-5pm - Roundtable

Details transcribed from here.

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