Centre for Studies in Literature

Framing the Self

Postgraduate conference 2010

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr Sarah Churchwell (University of East Anglia)

Identity remains one of the most central and most contested concepts in circulation today. No individual or group can escape the question of identity in a range of categories be it gender, class, nationality or race. Yet, an understanding of one’s ‘self’ in relation to these somewhat rigid categories is problematic and as a result representations of identity are continually plagued by an irresolvable sense of unease and anxiety.  

This symposium provided a stimulating environment for postgraduate students and other researchers to present work and discuss key ideas centred on the anxieties of modern identity from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

If you have any queries or require further information, please e-mail: cslpgconf@port.ac.uk.


  • Dr Sarah Churchwell, University of East Anglia
    Keynote Lecture –‘Made- up People’
  • Adam Bargroff, University of Leeds
    John McGahern’s literary communities and the identity politics behind revisionist historiography.
  • Alison Lutton, University of Oxford
    The paratextual self: Sophie Calle, Paul Auster and the construction of (extra) literary identity.
  • Katrina Morgan, University of Portsmouth
    “English in taste, in words and intellect”: the politics of identity in the Irish national school books.
  • Timothy Bell, Queen Mary College, University of London
    Making friends with furniture: atavism and aestheticism in David Storey’s Radcliffe
  • Peter O’Rourke, University of Leeds
    “I was talking about myself!”: the invention of identities in Thomas Kilroy’s ‘The secret fall of Constance Wilde’.
  • Lindy Moore, Independent Speaker
    Isabella Fyvie Mayo and “Edward Garrett”: literary, economic and political uses of pseudonym.
  • Rebecca Roberts-Hughes, Kings College London
    Free love and erotic identity in D H Lawrence.
  • Antoinette Curtin, Trinity College Dublin
    Identifying ugliness in Victorian Britain.
  • Rifat Mahbub, University of Stirling
    The problem of becoming a women: Tony Morrison’s The Bluest Eyes and Judith Butler’s theory of ‘gender performativity’.
  • Lori Comerford, University College Dublin
    Seeing is deceiving: sensation fiction and the opacity of identity in Mary Cecil Hay’s Old Myddelton’s Money.
  • Clare Reed, University of Reading
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the mainstreaming of Jewish lesbian identity.
  • Jennifer Nicholson, Royal Holloway, University of London
    Identifying false identities: Wilkie Collins and the problem of white-collar crime.
  • Hsiu-yu Chen, Durham University
    “The will to power”: Thomas de Quincey and the writing of the self.
  • Alan Dolphin, University of Kent at Canterbury
    The last anxiety.
  • Claire Heaney, Queen’s University, Belfast
    ‘The person I then was’: Writing the (autre)biographical self in J M Coetzee.
  • Andrew Branch, University of East London
    Remade and Remodelled: identity and the uses of popular music.
  • Rebecca Gill, Newcastle University
    A relational self: Sindiwe Magona’s To my children’s children (1991) and Forced to grow (1992).
  • Jonathan Evans, University of Portsmouth
    Translation’s Identity: equivalence and intertexuality.
  • Stephanie Yorke, University of Oxford
    The slave narrative tradition in Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes
  • Katharine Easterby, University of Liverpool
    Towards a pathology of male narcissism in the 1890s.
  • Clara Neary, Queens University Belfast
    Experimenting with identity in Gandhi’s The Story of my Experiments with Truth. (1927)
  • Ellie Cope, University of Hull
    Pathologising the marginal man: George Moore’s John Norton and the turn- of- the- century psychology.
  • Tyleen Kelly, University of Oxford
    How used ‘you’ is: an expansive pronoun in A Small Place.
  • Kees De Vries, Bangor University
    A postmodern celebration of the anxious self: self- realisation in the works of Oscar Wilde.
  • Allard den Dulk, University of Amsterdam
    The psychopath’s diary: American Psycho as a kierkegaardian portrayal of the aesthetic destruction of the self.
  • Naomi Jayne Garner, University of Oxford
    “Alien and orphan in her native land”: exile and identity in Frances Burney’s The Wanderer (1814).
  • Xavier Aldana Reyes, Lancaster University
    Diaries of the haunted: structures of identity in Chuck Palahniuk’s postmodern gothic.
  • Loree Westron, University of Chichester
    ‘Indianness’ and identity in the novels and short stories of Sherman Alexie.
  • Leif Bull, Goldsmiths College, University of London
    Visual Media and the contaminated subject in the work of Richard Yates and David Foster Wallace.
  • Madhu Krishnan, University of Nottingham
    ‘Nwanne di na mba’ – or ‘One’s brother could come from a different land’: race, hybridity and the radical ambivalence of identity in Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
  • Martin Hall University of Hull
    Cross-dressing in crises: identity anxieties in the films of Roman Polanski.
  • Jonathan Buckmaster, Royal Holloway, University of London
    As if the principal streets were a great theatre: identity as performance in Dickens’s memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.
  • Kim Wiltshire, Lancaster University
    From loser to dick power: how a crises in gender identity leads to misogyny
  • Oliver Tearle, Loughborough University
    ‘That stranger- himself’: Arthur Machen’s ghostly identities.
  • Lizzy Finn, University of Leeds
    Melissa Lucashenko’s exploration of queer indigenous identity in Steam Pigs (1997)
  • Jayne Thomas, Cardiff University
    Revealing the self – epiphany and the anxieties of identity in the Victorian period.