Symposium: Writing, Reading, Rioting (University of Melbourne)
2019 marks two hundred years since the ‘Peterloo massacre’, when cavalry charged a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester. This anniversary offers us an opportunity to look back on the interchanges between text, protest, and repression in the Revolutionary Age, and to bring this historical period into dialogue with the present, where forces of revolution, reaction and resistance continue to be mediated through text: pamphlet warriors have their twenty-first-century counterparts in the media and Twittersphere; rhetorical violence spills over into the streets. Indeed, in the past and present, violence may be used to smother ideas, but it can also promote them; swords, like pens, can be harnessed as a means of communication, with diverse, often horrific, results. Violence of expression, violence against expression, violence as expression: this symposium concerns itself with the porous boundaries between figurative and literal violence – with reading, writing, and, indeed, rioting the riot.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: PROFESSOR STEPHEN BYGRAVE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
As well as a keynote address from Professor Bygrave, this one-day symposium will feature papers on such topics as:
REVOLUTIONARY VIOLENCE AND REVOLUTIONARY WRITING
RHETORICAL USES OF VIOLENCE FROM THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
LITERARY RESPONSES TO VIOLENT EVENTS
TRAUMA, FRAGILITY, AFFECT, MEMORY
Ideally this will be an occasion for discussion, as well as hearing new research. If you’d like to give a paper, please send a title and brief abstract of no more than 250 words by 15 August to Elias Greig and Olivia Murphy.
University of Melbourne