CFPs: REWORKING GEORGIC – University of Leeds, Monday 9th–Tuesday 10th September 2019

Confirmed speakers: David Fairer (Leeds), Greg Garrard (British Columbia), Sue Edney (Bristol)

Including a reading of poetry and prose with Simon Armitage, Helen Jukes, and Jack Thacker

The influence and spirit of ‘georgic’, as a genre or mode – named for Virgil’s Georgics, the primary classical model – can be seen across western art and culture: from medieval and early modern almanacs to eighteenth-century formal georgic poems, from pre-Raphaelite social paintings to the new nature writing of the twenty-first century. Writers and artists have used the georgic mode to explore a broad range of significant themes, including nationhood and empire, industry, the experience of war, the cultivation of the self, and humans’ relationships with the natural world. The importance and richness of georgic as a genre or mode is increasingly recognised by researchers, but it is difficult to define something that has been reworked in so many ways: does georgic have to be didactic? does it have to be about labour, about nature, about agriculture? how is it different from pastoral?

This will be the first conference to focus on post-antiquity uses and adaptations of the georgic mode. It will bring together researchers working across periods and disciplines to analyse how and why georgic has been worked and reworked so extensively, and to develop and celebrate this growing field of study.

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers or for presentations in other formats. We also welcome proposals for pre-formed panels of three or four papers. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Definitions and limitations of the term ‘georgic’

• Georgic’s relation to pastoral and other genres

• Agriculture in literature and the arts, e.g. agricultural life writing

• The political, social, and scientific contexts of georgic

• Ecocritical approaches to georgic

• Global georgics and postcolonial readings of georgic

• Queer georgic and feminist georgic

• Georgic in the visual arts, film, and other media

• The reception of classical models for the georgic

The deadline for proposals is 30th April 2019.

Please send proposals, and any enquiries, to

Conference organisers: Tess Somervell and Pippa Marland

This conference is supported by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.