CFP – Reading and Writing in a Participative Culture: A Symposium on the Life and Work of Terry Pratchett

Reading and Writing in a Participative Culture: A Symposium on the Life and Work of Terry Pratchett
Call for papers for a symposium at Dublin City University
Date and Time: 10am-5pm, Saturday, 28 May 2016, followed by a wine reception
Keynote speakers: Professor Farah Mendlesohn (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Professor (Emeritus) Edward James (University College Dublin), Dr Andrew Butler (Canterbury Christ Church, University, UK)

Terry Pratchett was, without doubt, one of the most remarkable authors ever to refrain from trying to write “literature.” In a career that spanned more than four decades, he secured the affection and admiration of legions of readers, prompting them to consider, among other issues, what it might be like to live on a flat world, perched on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, swimming endlessly through space.

Although probably most celebrated for his Discworld series of novels (1983-2015), Pratchett also produced highly acclaimed works for children and young adults, as well as science fiction, and his writings collectively demonstrate both his moral acuity and comic genius. They also reveal, though, what can happen when a truly great writer explores the complex nature of literature and genre, and encourages his readers to do so as well.

In the company of Farah Mendlesohn, Edward James and Andrew Butler, editors of Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature (2004), this one day symposium will celebrate Terry Pratchett’s memory by facilitating a critical discussion of his work and putting forward possible reasons for its appeal and significance. The organizers therefore would like to invite proposals for papers of twenty minute duration devoted to any aspect of Pratchett’s work; possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Issues of genre (novel, comic fantasy, science fiction, detective fiction, crossover fiction, children’s literature, young adult literature, etc.)
  • Intertextuality / allusion
  • Parody / satire
  • The hero/heroine and the heroic
  • Subversion / counter-discourse
  • Terry Pratchett, guilty of literature?
  • The visual (illustration, film adaptations, colour, etc.)
  • Language
  • The readers and Pratchett
  • The critics and Pratchett

Please submit a title and abstract of a maximum of 300 words, along with a short biographical note of up to 50 words, to or by 31 March 2016.