Friday, June 20, 2008

CFP: Jack Kerouac, Kerouac’s On the Road and the Beats

Following up on our spring sequence of posts on The Beats (conveniently collected here), we'd like to help announce a two day conference to be held at the University of Birmingham in December. Scholars will meet and give papers on aspects of the Beat Generation with a particular focus on Kerouac's novel On the Road. But perhaps even more enticing is that the original scroll manuscript of that novel will be present in Birmingham as well, in a rare European visit (the scroll has mostly been on display in US cities). I am very excited to finally get to see the Holy Grail of Beat artefacts up close. My paper, btw. will probably investigate Neal Cassady, the real life model for the novel's protagonist, con-man, Holy Goof, culture hero, Dean Moriarty...

Here is the CFP in its entirety:

A two day conference at the University of Birmingham UK

(Thursday 11 December 2008 and Friday 12 December 2008)

Marking the fiftieth anniversary of On the Road’s publication in the UK, in 1958 (following its 1957 publication in the US). The University of Birmingham has arranged for the 1951 original typescript manuscript of On the Road - the world-famous scroll of 1951 - to come to the Barber Institute at the University during December 2008 and January 2009. A series of events is planned to celebrate this, including a Film Event (during the evening of 11 December) timed to coincide with this two-day conference, which will likely include the UK premiere showing of One Fast Move and I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur, produced by Jim Sampas.

The conference will take as its focus the ‘Beats’ and their relations to On the Road and its themes - travel, jazz, sexuality and gender, rebellion, disaffiliation and alienation, class and ethnicity.

Plenary speakers will include Tim Hunt, Matt Theado and Oliver Harris

Please do come along to this exciting event and - if you wish - deliver a paper.

CFP: If you want to deliver a paper please submit a title for your paper and an abstract of between 100 and 250 words for consideration to: by 31 October 2008