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Telling Tales, Writing Stories

Image of The Storyteller by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Friday, September 9, 2016 -
9:30am to 7:30pm
Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG
Seminar Room


This interdisciplinary colloquium brings together scholars and practitioners from the fields of English, African, Arabic, and classical literatures, as well as from the realms of performance poetry and the modern novel, to explore the multiple ways in which stories have been told from antiquity to the present day.  We will consider the connections - and disjunctions - between the diverse modes and genres that have been used to weave narratives around the world and throughout history.  From the spoken word to the written, from danced performances to bardic recitals, from dub poetry to the big screen of cinema, narrative is at the heart of artistic forms, illuminating the cultures which produce them and the audiences that consume them.

The colloquium is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust.  Tickets are free, but please book your place here.


9.30am Coffee and pastries

Panel 1: Chaired by Stephen Harrison

10.00 Rosalind Thomas (University of Oxford): ‘Performance literature and story-telling in the Greek world: some thoughts on method and theory

10.45 Jeff Opland (Rhodes University): ‘Three very different careers: the Xhosa poets Mqhayi, Mgqwetho and Yali-Manisi

11.30am Break

Panel 2: Chaired by Oliver Taplin

11.45 Marina Warner (Birkbeck): ‘Stories without Borders: Voices on the Move

12.30 Fiona Macintosh (University of Oxford): ‘Telling Tales with the Body

1.15pm Lunch

Panel 3: Chaired by Ed Dodson

2.15 Louisa Layne (University of Oxford): ‘“The Bard of Brixton and the Bard of Salford”: Linton Kwesi Johnson’s interaction with John Cooper Clarke

3.00 Henry Stead (Open University): ‘The Only Tone for Terror: Tony Harrison and the Film Poem

3.45pm Coffee

Panel 4: Chaired by Justine McConnell

4.00 Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS): ‘The Erudite Concubine: Class, Gender and Genre Boundaries

4.45 Elleke Boehmer (University of Oxford): ‘Eavesdropping or Broadcasting – how to tell stories in the dark

5.30 Closing remarks and discussion

6pm Drinks

6.30pm Performance by poet Caleb Femi

Contact name: 
Justine McConnell
Open to all