‘What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English’
2nd International Conference, July 2012, University of Lincoln
‘What Happens Now’ , the 2nd international conference on 21st century writing in English took place 16-18 July 2012 at the University of Lincoln. Organised by Siân Adiseshiah and Rupert Hildyard from English in the School of Humanities, the conference was attended by some ninety delegates from fourteen different countries, including Japan, South Korea, China, India, Canada, USA, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Germany and seven delegates came from Spain (five of whom had come to the first conference in 2010). Sixty two papers were given at the conference, including six from colleagues and postgraduates in the School of Humanities, generating lively debate about what is happening now in 21st century literature. The guest speakers to the conference were the Scottish poet and writer Kathleen Jamie, Tishani Doshi from Madras in India, and Geoff Dyer one of the most innovative prose writers in Britain today. Complementary plenary keynotes were given by Professor Peter Boxall of the University of Sussex and Dr Rachel Carroll of Teeside University, the former a wide ranging discussion of the future of the novel in the wake of postmodernism, and the latter a close study of Julian Barnes’ Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending focussing on disability as an issue in 21st century literature. The conference confirmed the vitality of 21st century literature and the leading role taken by Lincoln in research and debate about this growing area of literary studies. A 3rd conference will take place in 2014.