School of English

Upcoming Conferences at Kent

Shakespeare, Kent and Early Modern Drama

9th and 10th November 2016, University of Kent, Canterbury

Marking the quadricentennial anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this gathering celebrates the many connections found with the historic county of Kent in his works.

Connections to Kent are abundant in Shakespeare’s works. The Earl of Kent, banished yet still loyal to his King, is one of the most important characters in King Lear; Jack Cade, Kent-born and raised, launches his rebellion from the county in 2 Henry VI, where the commons are ‘up in arms’; a wealthy franklin from the area between the North and South Downs, prone to be the victim of highwaymen, is discussed 1 Henry IV; the Bastard character in King John reports that all of Kent but Dover Castle has surrendered to the invading French. Moreover, Shakespeare’s plays were performed on tour in Kent during his lifetime, while the first ever buyer of his Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies was a Kentish man, Edward Dering, who purchased two copies on 5 December 1623.

But Kent also has a wealth of wider connections to early modern drama. Canterbury is the hometown of John Lyly, Shakespeare’s predecessor as a leading dramatist in London, and Stephen Gosson, who first acted in stage plays before gaining notoriety as an anti-theatricalist. However, perhaps the most important connection to Kent is with the shadowy figure of Christopher Marlowe, who was born in Canterbury and a student of The King’s School within the city walls.

Topics for discussion include: locality and regionality; the cultural and literary resonance of Kent as location; authorship and attribution; the works of Marlowe, Lyly and Gosson; new directions for future research.

Speakers include:

Terri Bourus, Gabriel Egan, James Gibson, Brett Greatley-Hirsch, Andy Kesson, Una McIlvenna, Lucy Munro, Michael Neill and Leah Scragg, and there will be a plenary lecture by Gary Taylor on the Wednesday evening.

Click here to download the conference schedule. For more information, please contact Rory Loughnane and Catherine Richardson

Previous conferences 2016

The Day Before O'Hara Died: Frank O'Hara and Friends - A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of the New York Poet, 50 years on

24 July 2016, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH. This one-day colloquium will bring together poets, academics and members of the public to celebrate the life, work and artistic connections of Frank O’Hara, the New York poet, art critic, film maker and curator (at MoMA) who died 50 years ago on July 25th, 1966. Please click here for more information and the Call for Papers. Tickets can be purchased here. Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday May 27th 2016

Writing Buildings

14-16 July 2016. CREAte, the research centre for architecture and the humanities at the Kent School of University, University of Kent, is holding a conference in collaboration with the Architectural Review. Writing Buildings will be a two-day conference on the subject of alternative ways of writing architectural history which will encourage experimentation in criticism through breaking disciplinary barriers. 

Comics Crossroads

26 June 2016, 10am-6pm, Aphra Theatre, University of Kent, Canterbury. Comics Crossroads is a full-day symposium on Comics Studies. The event will feature presentations from leading researchers in comics, cartooning and related disciplines. Please click here for more details.

Cross-disciplinary Phenomenology: A Readiness for the Questionable

24 June 2016, University of Kent, Canterbury. Through cross-disciplinary questioning and discussion, this symposium will discuss and compare phenomenological scholarship and practice across academia and other professions and arrive at a clearer sense of why there is a growing interest in phenomenology in the 21st century. This event is supported by The Faculty of Humanities, University of Kent and Oxford Phenomenology Network. Please click here for more information

Thinking through Fiction

21-22 June 2016, Grimond Building, University of Kent, Canterbury. This 2-day conference will explore the complex relationship between fiction, writing, and thought. For more information, registration and the call for papers please visit the conference webpage. Deadline for submissions is 4th March 2016. This event is mounted by the Centre for Creative Writing at the School of English, University of Kent. The convenor is Amy Sackville (

Bridging the Divide: Literature and Science - Postgraduate Conference

3 June 2016, University of Kent, Canterbury. Organised by the Universities of Kent and Sussex. Keynote speaker: Dr Pamela Thurschwell (Sussex). The relationship between literature and science has been a perennial subject of debate. Is there a divide between these two fields, or are they in fact two sides of one thing? The Universities of Kent and Sussex present a one-day conference aimed at interrogating discourses around this subject. Please click here for the CFP - the deadline for submissions is 1st April 2016.

Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities

21-22 April 2016, Canterbury. An Interdisciplinary Symposium and Workshop, accompanied by an exhibition of Martha Hall’s artists’ books. Organised by the University of Kent and the University of New England, USA, with the support of the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury. Funded by The Wellcome Trust. Please click here for more information.

Writing the Brontes 200 Years After: A Symposium

18 March 2016, 4-6pm, Keynes Lecture Theatre 3, University of Kent, Canterbury. Organised by the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture to mark the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, the symposium will work around the idea of what it means to "write" the Brontës nowadays: main challenges, questions without an answer, the reliability of the many biographies that have been published, theories and hypothesis about a literary family whose life remains a mystery in many senses. For further information please contact Raquel García-Cuevas at

Early English Drama and Performance Network Symposium

18th March 2016. The Early English Drama & Performance Network (EED&PN) will be hosting its first postgraduate and early career symposium. The day will comprise of a series of talks and workshops that cover topics tailored to doctoral and early-career researchers in medieval and early modern drama.
Session topics will include, for example, practice-based research, tips for producing successful funding applications, avenues for publishing, techniques for teaching early drama, and using medieval and early modern archives. Scholars, researchers, and professionals who have successfully researched, produced, and taught early drama will lead the sessions. The symposium will conclude with an open space session that will allow the participants to continue to discuss the day’s topics and to raise any further issues relevant to the field and its future directions.

Medieval English Theatre Meeting: Transnational Drama

19th March 2016. Medieval English Theatre is a society which exists to promote interest in and study of early theatre both within and beyond the academic community. Since 1979 it has published an international refereed journal, Medieval English Theatre, now one of the leading publications on medieval and Tudor theatre up to the rise of the commercial playhouses and the suppression of the civic religious drama.  Every year Medieval English Theatre runs a conference meeting around the last Saturday in March, each time at a different venue and on a different topic in the study of early theatre. This year the Medieval English Theatre Meeting on Transnational Drama will be hosted by Clare Wright at the University of Kent. More Information:

Previous conferences 2015

Victorian Modernities

25-27 June 2015. Co-sponsored by the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture (University of Kent) and the Dickens Project (University of California, Santa Cruz). Please click here for more information. Registration for this conference can be completed here. Click here to download a PDF of the draft programme.

Spinning Stories: Literature, Gender, Politics

Friday 19th June 2015, Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, ‘Spinning Stories: Literature, Gender, Politics’ is a special one-day conference, to be held in honour of Professor Jan Montefiore on the occasion of her retirement. Keynote speakers: David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) and Professor Laura Marcus. Click here for more information.

Meta-Play: Early Modern Drama and Metatheatre

13-14 June 2015, Grimond Lecture Theatre 2, University of Kent, Canterbury. Please visit the conference webpage for more information.

Subverting the State: The Postcolonial Predicament

Hosted by the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, 22nd May 2015. Website:

Victorian Travel and Imperial Spaces

15-16 May 2015, Victorian Travel and Imperial Spaces is an interdisciplinary postgraduate symposium examining the relationship between the Victorian and the postcolonial notion of imperial space, as defined by travel. This event will put in conversation scholars from a wide range of disciplines (history, literature, cultural studies, critical theory) and will seek to breach the gap between colonial and postcolonial discourses on imperialism. Supported by the School of English, the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture, the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and KIASH. Please click here for the Call for Papers (deadline 28 February 2015) and for further information, please visit our website:

Global Realism: Capital, Empire, and the Politics of Form

Friday 24th and Saturday 25th April 2015, Keynes Lecture Theatre 5, Canterbury Campus, University of Kent. Please click here for more information.

Cross-Channel Modernisms Symposium

Saturday 4th April 2015, 9.30am-6.30pm at University of Kent’s Paris Campus, Reid Hall, 4 Rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris. Launch event of a new cross-channel collaboration in modernist studies between the University of Kent, University of Glasgow and Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3. Click here for more information.

Filmic/Poetic Conference

Friday 13 March 2015. Please click here for the Call for Papers and here to view the poster for the event.

Previous conferences 2014

Victorian Sustainability

British Association for Victorian Studies conference, hosted by the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Kent, Canterbury, 4-6th September 2014. Deadline for submissions is 31st March 2014. Please click here for more information.

Liminal Time and Space in Medieval and Early Modern Performance

An international, interdisciplinary conference, hosted by the School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, 5-7th September, in association with the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Creative Writing, the Kent Institute for the Advanced Studies of the Humanities and the Society for Renaissance Studies. Click here for more information.


Home|less was a Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference that took place on the 20th and 21st June on the University of Kent, Canterbury campus. Please click here for more information.

Fear and Loathing: Phobia in Literature and Culture

University of Kent, 9-10th May 2014, presented by the Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Writing. Deadline for submissions is 31st January 2014. Please click here for more information.

Mediterranean Fractures: Postcolonial Displacements, Political Insurgencies

A 2-day symposium presented by the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, The University of Kent, Canterbury on on 2-3 May 2014, in collaboration with the Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century, University of Kent and Associazione Italiana di Studi sulle Culture e Letterature di lingua inglese (AISCLI). Please click here for more information.

Vox 2014: Voice, Unvoice & the 'Doing' of Text

'Say it is through chants that writing entered the people' - Peter Gizzi

The UK's first undergraduate creative writing conference, with critical and creative papers addressing the impact of voice in globalised societies, held on the Canterbury Campus, Tues June 3rd 2014.



School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 07/11/2016