13-15 September 2018 • Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague

About the Conference

In April 1981, having devoted considerable time to resolving the technicalities that surrounded his TV play Quad, Samuel Beckett confessed to Ruby Cohn: “Not long back from Stuttgart. Unsatisfactory. Television is beyond me.” Frustrating as it may have been at times, technology held its fascination for Beckett and often became enmeshed with his work. It remained central for him, as it continues to be for researchers and practitioners engaging with his work today.

The conference will explore the manifold intersections of technology with Beckett’s oeuvre throughout the years, and will consider their future trajectories. This includes the development of modern technologies in the fields of communication, broadcasting, medicine, and transportation in the beginning of the 20th century and their influence on Beckett’s early writing; his employment of new media such as film, radio, and television; and contemporary uses of digital, medical, and other technologies in new approaches to staging, performing, and interpreting Beckett’s work in various genres and fields.

We also welcome theoretical discussions of the interplay between writing, media, and technology in the context of Beckett’s work, as well as reflections on the advent of the post-human, hypermedia, and cyber spaces in the 21st century.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Jonathan Bignell (University of Reading)
  • Sarah Kenderdine (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)
  • Laura Salisbury (University of Exeter)

Special screening and discussion

  • Nicholas Johnson (Trinity College Dublin)

Call for Papers

We encourage submissions focused on, but not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Technology in Beckett’s work
  • The influence of technologies on Beckett’s formal and thematic innovations
  • Political and military technologies in Beckett’s work
  • Performance technologies and institutional relations
  • Beckett in the cyber age, post-humanism, hypermedia
  • Digital Beckett – digital humanities and Beckett in digital media
  • Beckett and technē – philosophical and theoretical approaches

Abstracts up to 300 words and a short biography should be sent to beckettprague2018@gmail.com by 22 January 2018. Inquiries can be made at the same e-mail address.

The conference venue is fully accessible and we will make our best efforts to accommodate special requests. If you have any questions regarding accessibility at the conference and in Prague in general, please contact us.

Organising Committee:

  • Einat Adar
  • Galina Kiryushina
  • Mark Nixon
  • Ondřej Pilný

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Irish Studies, Charles University, Prague.

Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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