The principal focus of 2013 conference was on the work of J.M. Coetzee, Graham Swift, and John Berger, and also on a range of literary and dramatic events, contexts, and developments. Other writers that were included in discussion were: Angela Carter, Roy Fuller, Rose Tremain, Hilary Mantel, Anne Stevenson, Maggie Gee, James Ellroy, Cormac McCarthy, Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Caryl Churchill, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Peter Brook, Jacques Lecoq, Brian Friel, Peter Shaffer, Woody Allen, and The Wooster Group. Considering these writers the participants of the conference attempted to answer the following questions: Where were drama and theatre headed? Whither Scottish literature? The sonnet? The short story? Text-oriented studies?
Derek Attridge, John Bowen, Stanley E. Gontarski, and David Kennedy were among special guests of the conference.
The format of the three-day conference was innovatory. The morning sessions were given over to traditional sessions consisting of twenty-minute papers with time for questions and discussion. In the afternoons there were seminars on Coetzee’s The Life of Michael K, on Swift’s Waterland, and on Berger’s “Boris.” Each discussion was moderated by an expert in the field, and invited speakers addressed one of the keynote texts. In the evenings, the plenary guest speakers gave lectures of substance related to the conference topic.
The conference was organized by the Institute of English Studies, University of Gdansk and the University of Salzburg: Prof. David Malcolm, Dr Tomasz Wiśniewski, Dr Monika Szuba, and Dr Wolfgang Görtschacher.
The conference in 2012 focused on the stage activity of the theatre company Complicite. Papers and lectures related to the dialogue between the work of the group and literary works. A special theme of the conference was the prose of John Berger (in the plays The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol and Mnemonic ), and works by such authors as: Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, Haruki Murakami, William Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Eugene Ionesco, Torgny Lindgren, JM Coetze , Daniil[D1] Charms, and G. H. Hardy. Taking into account the subjects of previous festivals, special attention was also devoted to the analysis of Complicite’s performances, which are inspired by Samuel Beckett (Fin de Partie), Bruno Schulz (The Street of Crocodiles), and Mikhail Bulgakov (Heart of a Dog and The Master and Margarita) .
Douglas Rintoul (longtime associate of the group, currently, the artistic director of the theatre company Transport) conducted a three-day theatre workshop. Other guests of the conference were Professor Paul Allain (University of Kent, Canterbury) Professor Dan Rebellato (Royal Holloway, University of London), and Professor Stanley E. Gontarski (Florida State University).
The conference was organized by the Institute of English Studies, University of Gdańsk, and the University of Salzburg: Prof. David Malcolm, Dr Tomasz Wiśniewski, Dr Monika Szuba, and Dr Wolfgang Görtschacher.
The conference in 2011 focused on contemporary and modern poetry. The theme of the conference was contemporary poets’ return to poets of the first half of the twentieth century: Yeats, Eliot, Pound, H.D., Carlos Williams, Moore, Zukovsky, Cummings, Auden, Trakl, Benn, Rilke, Brecht, Tuwim, Leśmian, and others. There was a special interest in both discussions of borrowings, reworkings, rejections, and disputes, and in contemporary English, German and Polish poetry.
The speakers and poets who participated in the conference were: Derek Attridge, David Constantine, Helen Constantine, Michael Edwards, Jacek Gutorow, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Antoni Libera, Dorothy McMillan, Jakobe Mansztajn, Stanisław Modrzewski, Michael Parker, and Piotr Sommer.
The conference was organized by the Institute of English Studies, University of Gdańsk and the University of Salzburg: Prof. David Malcolm, Dr Tomasz Wiśniewski, Dr Monika Szuba, and Dr Wolfgang Görtschacher.
Conference/ Seminar 2010
The conference/seminar in 2010 was entitled “Back to the Beckett Text”. The main objective of the project was to provide opportunities for an international exchange on the present state of research on Beckett’s oeuvre. “Back to the Beckett Text” concentrated on text-oriented studies of individual texts (English/French versions, but also translations into other languages), and selected periods and genres.
Professor Enoch Brater of the University of Michigan, former president of the Beckett Society, offered the keynote paper to the seminar. Other invited plenary speakers were Professor H. Porter Abbott (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Professor Stanley E. Gontarski (Florida State University). Additionally, the delegates were invited to compare their interpretations of Beckett’s Company during one session of a round-table discussion.
The organizers of the seminar were: Prof. David Malcolm and Dr Tomasz Wiśniewski (University of Gdańsk).