6-7 April 2017 Université d’Artois, Arras, France. Edward Thomas 1878-1917: The Arras Conference

Edward Thomas 1878-1917: The Arras Conference

Université d’Artois, Arras, France. 6-7 April 2017

Adrian Grafe  invite you to take part in an international conference in honour of the centenary of the death of Edward Thomas.

            Born in Lambeth on 3 March 1878, Thomas was killed by a shell at the battle of Arras on 9 April 1917 and is buried nearby at Agny. The centenary of the poet’s death affords an ideal opportunity to revisit Thomas’s work in order to offer new insights into it and reassess its significance.

            All manner of critical, theoretical, prosodic and thematic approaches are welcome. Among possible topics:

  • Thomas’s poetics;
  • his language, diction, prosody and metre;
  • Edward Thomas and Robert Frost; Frost’s point of view on Thomas; questions raised by this articulation of British and American poetry; American readings of Thomas;
  • Thomas and the importance of friendships in poetry;
  • Wales and Welsh influences in Thomas’s poetry;
  • Thomas’s views on/reviews of other poets;
  • Thomas and the construction of war poetry, and the meaning/s of the term ‘war poet’ in relation to Thomas;
  • Thomas and the military; his regiment; the historical and military context in which he lived and wrote;
  • Thomas and the European context (poetry, culture, politics, war);
  • the family constellation in Thomas’s poetry;
  • reworkings of Thomas’s texts in poetry, or musical settings of Thomas’s poems e.g. by Ivor Gurney
  • reception of Thomas’s writing in his lifetime and since; his presence or absence on school curricula; Thomas’s reputation; Thomas’s place in the canon;
  • obituaries of Thomas; anniversaries and commemorations of Thomas;
  • Thomas in relation to the Modernism/mainstream debate;
  • Thomas’s prose and its possible links with his poetry;
  • influences on Thomas;
  • Thomas’s own influence on other poets and writers;
  • genre issues such as ‘pastoral’, ‘post-pastoral’, ‘Nature poet’, ecopoetics, and ‘love poetry’, male and female, gender;
  • the pursuit of the Self and the feeling of being inhabited, if not haunted, by an Other;
  • Thomas’s ‘superfluous man’;


Please send proposals for 20’ papers in English in the form of 200-word abstracts plus brief bio-biblio to the organisers, Adrian Grafe (Université d’Artois; Textes et Cultures research group EA 4028), adrian.grafe@univ-artois.fr and Andrew McKeown (University of Poitiers) andrew.mc.keown@univ-poitiers.fr, by April 15th 2016. A publication is planned of selected papers in the form of essays arising from the conference.






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