CFP – Roald Dahl Centenary Cardiff Conference

Roald Dahl Centenary Cardiff Conference
Cardiff University (Wales, UK) 16–18 June 2016

Keynote Speakers
Professor David Rudd, University of Roehampton
Donald Sturrock, Author of Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl and editor of Dahl’s correspondence

This interdisciplinary international conference, held in the city of Roald Dahl’s birth and childhood in his centenary year, will give further impetus to the substantial critical attention devoted to the author’s work by seeking new ways of understanding his achievement and place in twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture, broadly considered. The emphasis will be on defamiliarizing Dahl in the very act of bringing him “home.” Dahl’s work for children and young adults will, naturally, receive robust attention; innovative cross-disciplinary approaches that encounter his writing through the lens of (for example) illustration, adaptation and performance are particularly welcome. Dahl’s output for adult readers will also be a key focus, as will the need to resist the compartmentalization that sees his books for adults and children as separate imaginative entities. The conference will also consider Dahl’s interventions in other disciplines, from education to medicine, together with his manifold, influential legacies (both enabling and contentious). Discussions of Dahl’s various locations of culture, from Wales to Washington, Tanganyika to Buckinghamshire, Norway to New York, are also sought. The conference will offer opportunities for delegates to visit the places of Dahl’s youth, to examine manuscript and visual material from the archive at Great Missenden, and to enjoy dramatic readings and performances of Dahl’s work.

We invite abstracts for either single, twenty-minute papers or proposals for sessions of ninety minutes (taking either a panel or a roundtable format). In addition, we welcome innovative proposals for session formats, including creative-critical, multi-media and digital approaches.

Topics/areas may include:

  • Dahl’s geographies
  • Dahl and the ghostly
  • Dahl’s influences
  • Dahl in performance
  • Dahl’s impact
  • Dahl and monstrosity
  • Welsh Dahl
  • Dahl and modernity
  • Defamiliarizing Dahl
  • Dahl and sexuality
  • Feminist Dahl
  • Dahl’s manuscripts
  • Dahl in the curriculum
  • Dahl and medicine
  • Dahl and (the Cold) War
  • Visual Dahl
  • Dahl and food
  • Dahl and language
  • Dahl and the family
  • Dahl and childhood
  • Dahl and the environment
  • Dahl and religion
  • Dahl and philosophy
  • Dahl and death
  • Dahl and the non-human

In all cases, please send proposals (300 words for single, 20-minute papers; up to 800 words for 90-minute sessions) to the conference academic committee, as detailed below, by 31 January 2016. For panel sessions, please also include the names and institutional affiliations of all speakers. Please direct submissions to the conference organizers, Dr Catherine Butler and Dr Carrie Smith, by email to: