Jun 28

Literature and Music Research Group Symposium on Words, Music and Silence

Friday, June 28, 2024 - 10:00 to 19:00

Bournemouth University

In partnership with University Music, Bournemouth, The Open University Literature and Music Research Group are organising a one-day symposium on the theme of Words, Music and Silence, which will take place on Friday 28th June, 2024 at Bournemouth University (BH12 5BB). The day will conclude with a lecture recital exploring words, music, silence and disability given by the concert pianist Duncan Honeybourne, whose career has been shaped by his autism. 

Previous Events

Book launch - Tobias Smollett After 300 Years

8th February 2024

Tobias Smollett After 300 Years offers a collection of essays on one of the great literary figures of the eighteenth century: the Scottish writer, Tobias Smollett (1721–1771). Join the contributors to the book as they take this opportunity to reflect on Smollett’s life, writing and reputation.

Words, Music & Silence – The House of Life

29th September 2023

This lecture recital will consider Ralph Vaughan Williams’ settings of 6 sonnets by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1904). The first of these to be composed was 'Silent Noon’; singer Julia Hollander and pianist Peter McMullin will focus on this song, its relationship to the rest of the cycle and especially the theme of silence. They analyse the ways Vaughan Williams’ music depicts silence, and consider the role of Rossetti as both painter and wordsmith: calling on both our listening and our (silent) visual powers.

Remembering Literature in Everyday Life Workshop

30th March 2022

The workshop will include an introduction to the READ-IT reading toolkit, a technical overview, with a Q&A and an opportunity to engage with the chatbot and share reading memories. OU academics Dr Shafquat Towheed, Senior Lecturer in English, and Dr Alessio Antonini, Research Associate for STEM, are working alongside Dr Velna Rončević and Luka Ostojić from The University of Zagreb in Croatia.

Online conference: Reading for/and Escape

17th March 2022 to 18th March 2022

Explore reading for escape as an instrumental practice, as well as reading and escape as a series of cultural or personal associations in this free online conference.

Reception Studies and the History of the Book seminar (Oslo University 21-22 October 2021)

21st October 2021 to 22nd October 2021

The Centre for Ibsen Studies, University of Oslo, is hosting the 2nd international Seminar on Reception Studies and the History of Book: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 21-22 October 2022 and there will be Open University participation in the event.

Stephen Colclough Lecture, Bangor University

30th June 2021 all love to talk about a good book, but what about the books we hate, or refuse to read? How do we register negative responses to books? In this lecture, ‘Evaluating Negative responses to reading, in life and in fiction’, Dr Shafquat Towheed will be answering some of these questions. The lecture is free to attend.

Conference: Tobias Smollett at 300: the work of writing

13th May 2021 to 14th May 2021

This year marks the three-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Scottish writer Tobias Smollett (1721–1771). The conference will be hosted by the Institute for English Studies, online via Zoom, in two sessions on 13 and 14 May 2021. The event is free to attend but you will need to register. For full details about the programme, including paper abstracts and speaker biographies, see the conference website

To register, follow the link to the IES booking form.

OU English & Creative Writing colleagues at the Belfast Imagine! Festival

23rd March 2021

English and Creative Writing colleagues Dr Shafquat Towheed, Dr Maya Parmar and Dr Heather Richardson are taking part in an event, ‘Reading in the Pandemic’, as part of the Belfast Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics. The event is sponsored by The Open University in Ireland and is one of 115 included in the festival.

Conference: ‘The Reader in the Book: Books, Reading and Libraries in Fiction’

18th March 2021 to 26th March 2021

OU English researchers will participate in an online conference, ‘The Reader in the Book: Books, Reading and Libraries in Fiction’, organised by the Institute of English Studies, Senate House London, and hosted via Zoom on 18, 19, 25 and 26 March 2021

Not another Zoom call: Making theatre in the time of Covid

16th March 2021 to 17th March 2021

Join us for two lively lunchtime panel talks about performance in These Strange Times. Meet UK and international artists who have been adapting their work in response to the pandemic, and share in a broader discussion about the role of live performance and remote performance.

​Open to anyone who makes, studies or enjoys theatre. The event is Free, but booking is required

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