University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

Month: October 2013

The novel and the box-set: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton has just won the 2013 Booker prize with what the Guardian terms an ‘innovative Victorian thriller’ (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). Catton is quoted as saying that her novel The Luminaries was  ‘very strongly influenced by long-form box-set TV drama … at last the novel has found its on-screen equivalent’.  But what does it mean to be influenced by box-set TV drama?Just a matter of length? Or is there more to it? Something non-Victorian?

Redell Olsen and Ian Patterson: Poetry Reading 15 October

Redell Olsen and Ian Patterson will read from their work.

Tuesday 15th October, 8 pm. All welcome.

Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English, University of
Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Redell Olsen's books of poetry include: 'Secure Portable Space' (2004);
'Punk Faun: A Bar Rock Pastel' (Subpress, 2012): see also

Ian Patterson's books of poetry include: Time to Get Here: Selected
Poems 1969-2002 (Salt, 2003); and 'The Glass Bell' (Barque, 2009).
see also: <>.

The Poetry of Things 24th October

*The Poetry of Things*

24th  October 3:30-6:30pm,
*Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA*

Join us for an afternoon of poetry readings and discussion as Gillian
Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Sean Borodale and Jo Shapcott talk about their
recent experiences as poets in residence with the Thresholds project in
the University of Cambridge Museums and collections. The poets will be
in conversation with Professors Isobel Armstrong and Steven Connor.
Drinks afterwards.
The Thresholds project coincides with a growing interest in the way that
fiction represents objects and the physical world. Questions are being
asked about how writing mediates objects, the relationship between the
verbal, visual and material and the social life of things. This event
offers an opportunity hear poets and literary scholars consider these
questions and to join in with the discussion!
To read the four poems that will be discussed during this event visit and search under Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz
Dharker, Sean Borodale and Jo Shapcott.
For more information contact Vicky Mills


Clare Hall Literary Talks 2013-1014


Pattern2We are pleased to announce a new series of literary talks hosted by Clare Hall. These will take place once or twice a term, and aim to introduce us to some of the most interesting contemporary British writers.


 All welcome. Bring a friend. Enjoy a glass of wine, a literary reading and talk, and a lively discussion.

For further information please contact Dr Trudi Tate,




  •  Ali Smith, Fri 8 November 2013, 6 p.m.
  •  Francis Spufford, Wed 18 December 2013, 6 p.m.
  •  Suzanne Joinson, Wed 8 January 2014, 6 p.m.
  •  Susan Sellers, Fri 14 February, 6 p.m.
  •  Olivia Laing, Wedn 23 April 2014, 6 p.m.
  •  Rachel Calder, Literary agent, Frid 20 June 2014


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