Child Be Strange

A Symposium on Penda’s Fen

Saturday 10th June 2017, 10am–5pm, with a public screening at 6:20pm

NFT3, BFI Southbank, London

Click here for BFI programme and booking.


09:30 registration and coffee

10:00 welcome from organizers

10:05–11:25 panel 1: Landscapes

Roger Luckhurst: Penda’s Fen, Eeriness and the Polytemporal 70s

Adam Scovell: A Sacred Demon of Ungovernableness: Penda's Fen and Folk Horror

Jamie Sherry: “I am mud and flame!”: Adolescence and Hybridity in the Liminal Spaces of Alan Clarke’s Penda’s Fen

Beth Whalley: “The flame still flickers in the fen”: Wetlands, Modernity and the Anglo-Saxon Past

Chair: James Machin

11:25–11:30 comfort break

11:30–12:50 panel 2: Histories

Carl Phelpstead: Before England: Mercian Identity in Rudkin and Other Writers

David Ian Rabey: Making Space for the Shadows: Penda's Fen, tradition and legacy

David Rolinson: I append the map: a documentary history of Penda’s Fen

Craig Wallace: The “old, primeval ‘demon’ of the place opening half an eye”: Penda’s Fen and the legend of the sleeping king

Chair: Carolyne Larrington

12:50–14:00 lunch (own arrangements)

14:00–15:20 panel 3: Portraits

Will Fowler: Dredging the Splintered Light: The Multiple "Unburyings" of Penda’s Fen

Yvonne Salmon: Penda's Fen and Contemporary Occulture

Daniel O’Donnell Smith: Between the Slits He Sits: The Material Ontology of Penda and the Frame

Andy Smith: “Which shall prevail?” Doppelgängers and Duality in the work of David Rudkin

Chair: Matthew Harle

15:20–15:40 coffee

15:40–16:20 Closing plenary: Gareth Evans, Carolyne Larrington, and Roger Luckhurst

16:20–17:00 David Rudkin Q&A, with Ian David Rabey



Malvern Hills

Image by gailhampshire, used under a CC BY 2.0 licence.


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