Invisible Circus

21st and 22nd March 2014
School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

Invisible Circus is the world's first academic conference dedicated to the writing of Jennifer Egan. Winner of multiple awards, including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for the novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, Egan has developed a distinguished body of writing since the publication of her first book, the story collection Emerald City in 1995. Alongside her four major novels Egan has published a substantial amount of non-fiction writing, and won multiple awards for her journalism.

The conference will take place on Saturday 22nd March 2014, with a screening of The Sopranos (a series that Jennifer Egan cites as inspiration for A Visit from the Goon Squad) to take place on Friday 21st March. In addition there will be a separate event on Saturday evening, when Jennifer Egan will read from new work. The screening and Saturday conference are free to attend but registration is compulsory; the Saturday evening reading is a separate ticketed event. Further details are on the programme below.

Please email invisiblecircus2014@gmail.com for further information, or follow @jeganconference on twitter.

The conference is supported by Birkbeck's Centre for Contemporary Literature, the University of Birmingham, and Constable & Robinson. The Saturday evening event, Jennifer Egan in conversation with Professor Sarah Churchwell, has been jointly organised with the Institute of English Studies and Constable & Robinson.

 

Programme

 

Friday 21st March 2014

Free to attend, but advanced registration compulsory. Email: invisiblecircus2014@gmail.com

Room B20, Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

18.00 – 20.00

Screening of The Sopranos (a selection) with introduction by Jennifer Egan, in conversation with Richard House, author of The Kills 

 

Saturday 22nd March 2014

Free to attend, but advanced registration compulsory. Email: invisiblecircus2014@gmail.com

Room B35, Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

09.00 – 09.30: Registration

09.30 – 10.30: Keynote

Dr Stephen J Burn (University of Glasgow), “An Echo. Or an Outline”: Time and Design in Egan’s Post-Postmodern Fiction

10.30 – 11.50: Panel 1: “Stories that Cycle”

Valerie O’Riordan (University of Manchester), Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad: Time as a Structuring Device in the Short Story Cycle

Mary Holland (SUNY), Technology, Time and Realism in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and “Black Box

Adam Kelly (University of York), Fiction in an Age of Artifice: Jennifer Egan’s New Sincerity

Alicia J. Rouverol (University of Manchester), A Visit from the Goon Squad, Altermodernism, and the Literary Experiment

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 13.30: Panel 2: “Looking at You”

Rachael McLennan (University of East Anglia), Bird-Watching: Age and Ageing in Invisible Circus and A Visit from the Goon Squad

Nathalie Aghoro (Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt), “Now Just the Pauses”: Voice, Sound, and Silence in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

Mark West (University of Glasgow), Humility and Utopia: The Invisible Circus and Reinhold Niebuhr

David Hering (University of Liverpool), Replaying History: Experiencing Music in A Visit from the Goon Squad and Eat the Document

13.30 – 14.20: Lunch

14.20 – 15.40: Panel 3 “Emerald Cities”

Ruth Charnock (University of Lincoln), “Excuse me, did I miss it?”: reliving the event in The Invisible Circus

Tony Venezia (Birkbeck, University of London), Surrounded by Ghosts: Metafictional Gothic and Jennifer Egan’s The Keep

Kristen Roney (University of North Georgia), Egan’s Punk Structure in A Visit from the Goon Squad

Martin Eve (University of Lincoln), “Structural Dissatisfaction”: Academics on Safari in Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad

15.40 – 16.00: Break

16.00 – 17.20: Panel 4: “Unpacking Black Boxes”

Pamela Thurschwell (University of Sussex), Facebook Time, Autism Time: Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad

Dorothy Butchard (University of Edinburgh), Jennifer Egan’s technological exotic: framing the unfamiliar in Look At Me and Black Box

Rob Lederer (University of Edinburgh), Egan and the Database

Rex Ferguson (University of Birmingham), The Application of Identification in Look at Me

17.20 – 18.00: Jennifer Egan Remarks and Wine Reception

 

Saturday 22nd March 2014

Jennifer Egan in conversation with Professor Sarah Churchwell

Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, London

18.30 – 20.30

Wine Reception, Public Reading, and Q&A. Jennifer Egan will give a reading and be in conversation with Professor Sarah Churchwell (UEA); this will be followed by an audience Q&A.

 

 

Image by Anthony under a CC BY-ND license.

Author: CCL

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