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Previous Events

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

Helena book launch invitation

11th November 2020

The event is open to all and will include a welcome from the Executive Editors of the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh, as well as from Alexander Waugh, Evelyn’s grandson and General Editor. There will be a Q&A with Sara, and the opportunity to hear from other editors working on the series. We hope to hear from Waugh himself too, in a recording of him reading from the book he said was his best – and was also the only one of his own works that he read aloud to his children.

Bookshelves in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic conference - Registration now closed

3rd November 2020 to 4th November 2020

Organised by the History of Books and Reading (HOBAR) research collaboration, this conference invites proposals from researchers in all relevant disciplines (book history, literary studies, publishing studies, cultural studies, anthropology, visual and material culture, librarianship, digital cultures etc).

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