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Friday, 16 September 2011
Extremity and Excess conference report
Extremity and Excess Conference
2011’s Arts, Media and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference took place in the Old Fire Station building on the 8th and 9th of September. This year’s conference was based around the theme “Extremity and Excess” which, as predicted, drew interesting and varied postgraduate papers from around the world.
With such a wide range of subjects represented – from Japanese erotic horror to counter-terrorism through Victorian criminology and internet spam – debates were lively and truly interdisciplinary.
Interspersed between the panels were three excellent keynote speakers. Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, gave a fascinating paper on kitsch representations of the Holocaust; the debates following which carried on well into lunch. Joanna Hodge, Professor of Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University, contributed a talk on extremity and excription that helped to ground many of the conferences recurring themes philosophically. The conference then concluded with a screening of a documentary by XavierMendik (Director of the Cult Film Archive at Brunel) documentary about Dario Argento’s 1977 film Suspiria, complete with Q&A session chaired by Salford’s own Professor Erik Knudsen.
The thought-provoking papers delivered over the two days shall undoubtedly resonate amongst those who attended for some time to come. Literary interventions included engaging reflections on Shakespeare's twins and Thomas Chatterton's poetics. Meanwhile the panels on visual culture and cinema also featured impressively original contributions and provoked rewarding discussions.
The conference’s convenors will shortly be inviting presenters to submit full-length papers in order to create an edited collection of the conference proceedings for publication.