Investigating the dark comedy of comics – a call for papers

A call has gone out for papers investigating the dark humour of comics, which will be presented at a one day event, the Bath Spa University Postgraduate Symposium in May at Corsham Court, Wiltshire, whose guests will include both academics and writers.

The Laughter and Transgression: An Investigation of Dark Comedy event will take on Friday 13th May 2011 at Corsham Court, Corsham, Wiltshire and is supported by the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, Research Centre for Contemporary Writing and The Graduate School at Bath Spa University.

Comic writing and performance often allows for transgression, amorality, surprise, and the creation of alternative worlds. The act of creating dark comedy invokes a desire to shock, enabling disengagement, and thus freedom, from temporal and moral concerns. What are the evolving elements of dark comedy, and what are some of the issues that arise from its expression?

The day will feature presentations by keynote speakers including a well known writer to be announced and Professor Nicholas Royle, Professor of English, University of Sussex – whose books include Telepathy and Literature, After Derrida, The Uncanny and the novel Quilt.

The programme will be finalised by 15 April 2011.

The organisers are inviting abstracts for provocative papers, presentations, and installations for an upcoming one-day symposium on dark comedy, saying the symposium will be informal and cross-disciplinary.

Submissions will be considered from all disciplines within arts and humanities – including creative writing, screenwriting, drama, visual art, and film – as well as the social sciences. Installations can be of any nature; presentations should be 20 minutes in length.

Thematic areas might include modes of expression of dark comedy; the limits of dark comedy and the boundaries between discomfort and laughter; the ethics of laughter, Taboos and censorships; an transgressive narrative voice.

• Please send abstracts of maximum 200 words, and a brief CV, to: Please use this same e-mail address if you would like to attend but not present a paper.

• Abstracts must be submitted no later than Friday 11 March 2011.

(Thanks to Norman Boyd for this item)

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