Updated information can be accessed at The Leavis Society’s webpages here.

Leavis and Eliot as Literary and Cultural Critics A 2-day international conference Organised by the Leavis Society in conjunction with the T. S. Eliot Society (UK) Venue: Downing College, University of Cambridge, Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1DQ, UK Dates: 24-25 September 2015

Format: short papers, round-table sessions, interviews, discussions and a postgraduate research-in-progress session. It will include a session in which recordings will be played and compared of Leavis reading some of Eliot’s poems and Eliot himself doing so.

Leavis and Eliot were two of the major literary and cultural critics of the previous century. Leavis was influenced by, and one of the earliest champions of, Eliot. Eliot was also the writer on whom Leavis published the most frequently throughout his career. Their literary relationship, never an easy one, was characterised by shifting personal and critical allegiances. At the same time these were always animated by ‘the common pursuit of true judgment’, Eliot’s phrase which Leavis took with gratitude for the title of his own collection The Common Pursuit. The conference, taking place during the year marking the fiftieth since Eliot’s death, will explore their diverging as well as converging views on literary and cultural issues, and their continuing significance for contemporary debate. Although Q. D. Leavis’s work is not directly considered, it will be raised at several points during the two days, together with her collaboration with F. R. Leavis. Post-graduate researchers writing on Leavis (and in at least one case Leavis and Eliot) will give brief details of their work-in-progress. Students are welcome to attend the conference (reduced rates will apply).

Thursday 24

9:00 Registration & Coffee

9:30 Welcome to the conference

9:40-11:00 Professor Roger Scruton, University of Oxford, author of An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture (Duckworth, 1998)

Break 11:20-12:45 Professor David Ellis, University of Kent, author of Memoirs of a Leavisite (Liverpool University Press, 2013), on ‘Eliot’s modernism’

12:45-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:20 Professor Paul Standish, Institute of Education/University College London, author of Beyond the Self: Wittgenstein, Heidegger and the Limits of Language (Ashgate, 1992), on ‘Absolute pitch and exquisite rightness of tone’ – British Wittgenstein Society Lecture*

14:20-15:40 Recorded readings of several of Eliot’s poems by Leavis and by Eliot himself, followed by Jim McCue, co-editor of the forthcoming first critical edition of the complete poems of T. S. Eliot (Johns Hopkins University Press and Faber & Faber), on the new edition.

15:40-16:00 Tea break

16:00-17:30 Professor Michael Aeschliman, Boston University & University of Italian Switzerland, author of The Restitution of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism(Eerdmans, 1998), on ‘Leavis, Lewis and Eliot’

17:30 Leavis Society Annual General Meeting

Friday 25

9:30-11:00 Professor Stefan Collini, University of Cambridge, author of Introduction to the re-issue of Leavis’s Two Cultures? (CUP, 2013)

11:00 Coffee break followed by Inauguration of The F. R. Leavis Room by the Master of Downing College, Professor Geoffrey Grimmett, with Howard Jacobson and Sir Quentin Blake

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:00 Work in Progress: post-graduate researchers will give details of their research

14:00-15:20 Professor Jeremy Tambling, writer and critic, author of Dickens’ Novels as Poetry (Routledge, 2014) and Dante in Purgatory (Brepols, 2010), on ‘Leavis, Eliot and Dante’

15:20-15:45 Tea break

15:45-17:15 Discussion Panel, with Professor Michael Bell, University of Warwick, author of F. R. Leavis (Routledge, 1988); and Dr Steven Cranfield, Dr Chris Joyce, Dr Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Ian Robinson

17:15-17:30 Closing remarks

~~~~~ A further opportunity to view the Leavis Room exhibition will be available on Saturday 26th September, during the Downing Association weekend. ~~~~~

CONFERENCE FEE

NON-RESIDENTAL CONFERENCE FEE FOR BOTH DAYS OR SINGLE DAYS INCLUDES ADMISSION TO ALL SESSIONS, LUNCH, COFFEE BREAKS, AND CONFERENCE PACK.
RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS overnight accommodation is available in Downing College on a first-come-first-served basis. please see below.

FULL CONFERENCE
NON-RESIDENTIAL
MEMBERS OF THE LEAVIS SOCIETY £ 80
NON-MEMBERS* £ 100
STUDENT £ 50

* Becoming a new Society Member (1 year’s membership benefits) plus conference fee = £105

DAY RATE
NON-RESIDENTIAL
MEMBERS OF THE LEAVIS SOCIETY £ 50
NON-MEMBERS £ 60
STUDENT £ 30

ACCOMMODATION AT DOWNING COLLEGE (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

A limited number of rooms have been reserved for the nights of 23 and 24 September by Downing College. Single Superior ensuite  bedroom  with  breakfast  £102 (inclusive of VAT) per  person per night, on a first-come-first-served basis. Please make early reservation to avoid disappointment. For double room availability please contact the Society Secretary in advance of completing your registration application.

Bed-and-breakfast and hotel accommodation are also available in Cambridge. For further advice go to the Visit Cambridge website to make your own arrangements. The Society cannot offer assistance with these.

Conference registration form. Please download and complete this form and return it by post or email to:
Glenys Willars, Secretary, Leavis Society, c/o 4, The Nook, Great Glen, Leicester LE8 9GQ, UK
Email: contact@leavissociety.com

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