The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne is pleased to announce a one-day conference on May 11, 2002, focusing on the work of one of the most important writers of our times, Wilson Harris, and assessing the relationship between individual creativity, cross-cultural imagination and the complex phenomenon of globalisation.
Wilson Harris was born in Guyana in 1921; he worked in the Guyanese interior as a land surveyor until emigrating to Britain in 1959. His first novel, Palace of the Peacock, was published by Faber and Faber in 1960, and it established his reputation as a Caribbean writer with an uncompromising vision of postcolonial freedom. From his earliest work to his latest novel, The Dark Jester, Harris’s fiction and critical writing have offered a profound interpretation of the nature and role of imagination. His work has been praised by C. L. R. James and Homi K. Bhabha. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of the West Indies, the University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Liège.
The conference will be both a tribute to Harris’s extraordinary creativity, and a critical forum where the emergence of a ‘global’ imagination within the context of ‘old’ and ‘new’ empires will be discussed. Wilson Harris will deliver the keynote address. The panel of speakers will include Fred D’Aguiar (University of Miami), Hena Maes-Jelinek (University of Liège), David Dabydeen (University of Warwick), Tim Cribb (University of Cambridge), Louis James (University of Kent at Canterbury), Stuart Murray (Univeristy of Leeds).
The conference day will be preceded by an evening of Caribbean literature in performance on May 10, when leading writers – Grace Nichols, Pauline Melville, David Dabydeen, John Agard and Fred D’Aguiar – will read from their works. We hope it will set the tone for an occasion which will celebrate writing, culture and the critical spirit. The conference is organised by the Department of English and the Postcolonial Research Group.
Ms. Gemma Robinson and
Dr. Pablo Mukherjee
Department of English Literary and Linguistic Studies
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
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