University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

Month: May 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

Ali Smith’s new book, Shire

shireJust out  –  Ali Smith’s new book Shire (with photographs and design by Sarah Wood) mixes fact and fiction, biography and autobiography, to pay tribute to Helena Shire, Spenser scholar and Fellow of Robinson College, and the poet Olive Fraser.

‘Loving Film Theory’ and ”Loving Television Theory’

Tuesday, 11 June 2013
17:00 – 19:00
Location: CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground Floor

Alison Fornell (MPhil Candidate, Screen Media and Cultures, University of Cambridge)
Loving Television Theory, Investigating the Scandinavian Crime Series “The Bridge”


Professor Amelie Hastie (Prof of English and Film and Media Studies, Amherst College)
Loving Film Theory, Experiencing Audiard’s “Rust and Bone”

More details

Contemporaries Critical Slam

small critical slam

12th JUNE  5-6.30pm

English Faculty, 9 West Road, G06-G07

Granta’s recently released issue 123 (The Best of Young British Novelists 2013) makes implicit but nonetheless bold claims about the nature of contemporary writing in Britain. Through its selection of the ‘best’, it suggests what we should value, who we should watch, and what aesthetic and thematic trends ought to be singled out as the most interesting issuing from the country’s current writers.

But do we agree? Is Granta’s ‘best’ really Britain’s? Do the authors selected tell us anything novel about the state? Does the selection represent ‘Britain’ in any meaningful way?

Join us for wine, snacks and a ‘balloon debate‘ on Granta issue 123.

Over the course of the evening, we will discuss the works collected in the issue, tackle the categories ‘Best’, ‘British’, and perhaps even ‘Young’, and discuss the shape and nature of contemporary writing in Britain today.

Join the not-so-polite debate.

Copies of Granta 123 are available to borrow or buy at a reduced rate from the desk at the English Faculty Library.

To register for the event email your name and affiliation to:

contemporaries at


 For more discussion see our ‘Conversations‘ page


Shifting Territories: Modern and Contemporary Poetics of Place

A conference to be held at the Institute of English Studies, Senate House, the University of London on 22nd and 23rd March.

Poets and Keynotes:

  • David Morley (Enchantment, The Invisible Kings) – Poetry reading with images
  • Eóin Flannery (Oxford Brookes University) –  ‘Listen to the Leaves: The Ecologies of Contemporary Irish Poetry’
  • Jo Shapcott (Of Mutability, Tender Taxes, My Life Asleep) – Poetry reading
  • Steven Matthews (University of Reading) will run a training workshop on modern and contemporary poetry research.

Immediately following the final panel sessions of Day 1 of the conference, British Academy Literature Week, in association with the Institute of English Studies and the Royal Society of Literature, presents:
Alice Oswald (A Sleepwalk on the Severn, Woods etc., Dart) – Poetry reading: 6.00pm
Hugh Haughton (University of York) – ‘Poetry and Rivers’: 7.00pm

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