Uncertainty Symposium: Saturday 11th June 2011

Uncertainty: Theory in the 21st Century

A Postgraduate Symposium

Saturday 11th June 2011

Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG

Keynote speakers: Professor Martin McQuillan (Kingston) and Professor Mark Currie (QMUL)

'Symbol of Uncertainty', John Gilbert

‘The most harrowing contemporary fears are born of existential uncertainty’
– Zygmunt Bauman

We enter the second decade of the 21st Century less certain than ever about who ‘we’ are, where we are heading, or what kind of a society we want to be. This interdisciplinary symposium aims to interrogate the role of theory – literary, political, philosophical and sociological – in an uncertain time. In doing so, it hopes to render the very concept of uncertainty uncertain: that is, to place it under examination in a way that might help us think our way into a more ethically responsible future.


9.00: Registration and welcome

9:50: Opening remarks

10.00: Keynote 1: 'Priority Subjects', Professor Martin McQuillan (Kingston)

11.00: Break

11.15: Panel 1: Rethinking Criticism: Theoretical Uncertainty

  • ‘Uncertainty and Alan Kirby’s digimodernism’, Joe Barton (Newcastle)
  • ‘Theory Without Words: The Invisible Influence of Practical Criticism’, Angus Brown (Oxford)
  • ‘In the key of K: identifying states of knowing and not-knowing in relation to aphoristic and disconnected writing styles’, Naomi Wynter-Vincent (Sussex)
12.30: Lunch (own arrangements)

13.30: Panel 2: Representation and Uncertainty

  • ‘The Ethical Space of Mourning, Post-Terror’, Allan Rae (Stirling)
  • ‘Millennium Approaches: Apocalyptic Representations of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic’, Chisomo Kalinga (KCL)
  • ‘Fear of the Unstageable’, Karen Quigley (KCL)
14.45: Break

15.00: Keynote 2: 'Theoretical Approaches to the Unforeseeable', Professor Mark Currie (Queen Mary, University of London)

16.00: Break

16.15: Panel 3: Beyond Endings: Embracing Uncertainty

  • ‘Environment and humanity: a path towards an uncertain relationship’, Marco Bernardini (Reading)
  • ‘Pataphysics and the Integral Reality of String Theory’, Marc Özses, (Sussex)
  • ‘Towards the End of Now: Obsolescence and Futurity in Literary Study’, Aaron Hanlon, (Oxford)
17.30: Closing remarks and wine reception.

Registration for this event is now closed.