The Samuel Beckett Society announces a Call for Papers for its inaugural conference to be held in collaboration with Arizona State University on February 19 and 20, 2015. The first conference of the SBS represents the opportunity to bring together new, emerging, and established perspectives on the Beckett’s writing for a sustained exchange of ideas. In recent years, increased attention has been given to the historical, political, and “Irish” dimensions of his work, complementing and sometimes contesting the rich tradition of theoretically driven criticism in Beckett studies. This tradition has continued in new volumes that have reassessed the oeuvre with lenses derived from animal studies, the ethical thought of Emanuel Levinas, and the cinematic writings of Gilles Deleuze, to name only a few examples. The “Beckett and …” phenomenon thus continues apace, as recent book-length studies have coupled the writer with science, the Bible, the modern novel, German literature, Alfred Bion, and Arnold Geulincx. At the same time, a major editorial project has been undertaken to produce a digital archive of Beckett’s manuscripts, accompanied by volumes analyzing the genesis of each text.
With the array of work now being done in the field, we would like to provide a forum for various perspectives to meet, interact, and shed light on one another. The conference organizers welcome paper submissions that seek to move Beckett studies forward along one of these many axes, particularly contributions that locate their positions in relation to broader developments in the field. Specific topics might include, but are not limited to, longstanding concerns about Beckett’s relationship with philosophy, modernism, or postmodernism; or more recent interest in the digital humanities, historicist criticism, or emerging theoretical fields. The conference program is already taking shape: Professor David Lloyd will deliver a keynote address; ASU will present a concert featuring pieces associated with Beckett and his work; and a roundtable session will focus on Beckett and the digital humanities. There will be no parallel sessions, but rather a series of three-presenter panels, to facilitate in-depth engagement and discussion. To be considered for a 20-minute presentation, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to Patrick Bixby, Gregory Castle, and Sean Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1, 2014.
All delegates speaking at the conference must be members of the Samuel Beckett Society; the SBS will offer a bursary to pay travel expenses for one graduate student. Visit our conference website at: http://links.asu.edu/beckett2015. Follow us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/beckett2015.