25 August 2014

Julie Campbell

A call for contributions
All at the Samuel Beckett Society were deeply saddened by the news of Julie Campbell's death. We invite the many who knew her to contribute their memories to the forthcoming issue of The Beckett Circle.

All reflections are very welcome, and should be sent to samuelbeckettsociety@gmail.com before 20 September.
28 July 2014

Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2014

Online brochure now available

Download this year's brochure.

BBC Radio 3: The Essay

Broadcasting from this year's Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival

Join BBC Radio 3 at the Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, where we'll be exploring the life and work of the Irish literary great, Samuel Beckett. Five authors will be on stage to deliver reflections on Beckett's personality, the themes he explored in his plays, like Waiting for Godot, and the continuing impact of his now-famous work. Those taking part are drawn from the worlds of theatre, journalism, music, photography and literature, and the five talks will be recorded for broadcast on Radio 3's The Essay. Each recording will last approximately 60 minutes, with a chance for questions and discussion.

Essay 1 - Actor, Lisa Dwan, talks about performing Beckett and her encounters with some of the actors most closely associated with his work, including Billie Whitelaw and Barry McGovern.
Essay 2 - Journalist and commentator, Fintan O'Toole, reflects on themes of mortality and death in Samuel Beckett's work.
Essay 3 - Opera director, Netia Jones, explores the relationship between words and music, drawing on Samuel Beckett's play of the same title.
Essay 4 - Beckett expert, Dr Mark Nixon, talks about editing Echo's Bones, the Beckett short story recently published 80 years after it was written.
Essay 5 - Photographer, John Minihan, remembers the time he spent with Samuel Beckett while taking some of the best known portraits of the often reluctant subject.

All information is correct at time of publication. [Read More]

Staging Beckett at the Margins: University of Chester

A new conference website has just been launched

Find out more: http://www.chester.ac.uk/staging-beckett
27 July 2014

South Atlantic Modern Language Associate (SAMLA)

Atlanta, Georgia · 7-9 November 2014

Beckett AND …, session 1

Chair: Katherine Weiss (East Tennessee State University)
Co-chair: Stephen Graf (Robert Morris University)

Panelist 1: Laurens de Vos (University of Amsterdam): “Samuel Beckett and Space”
Panelist 2: Beth Hackett (East Tennessee State University): “ Beckett and Binaries: A Study of "Imagination Dead Imagine"
Panelist 3: Nic Barilar (University of Alabama): “Beckett and Censorship; or, ‘It must mean something, or they wouldn’t take it’”
Panelist 4: Stephen Graf (Robert Morris University): “Beckett and Rudolf Steiner: A Youthful Dalliance or Lasting Influence?”

Beckett AND …, session 2

Chair: Stephen Graf (Robert Morris University)
Co-chair: Katherine Weiss (East Tennessee State University)

Panelist 1: Catherine Mavrikaks (Universite de Montreal): “Beckett and Radio”
Panelist 2: Michelle Rada (Brown University): “Beckett and Anxiety”
Panelist 3: Mariam Galarrita (California State University, Fullerton): “For the Love of Godot, Where Are We?: Burke, Foucault and Beckett's Spatial Art”
Panelist 4: Chris Michaels (Florida State University): “Tragic Necessity in Beckett's Work: Compulsion, Deferment, and Representation”

[Read More]
29 May 2014

Spring 2014 Issue of The Beckett Circle: Now Online

Inside this Issue


President's Address

Call for Papers

Inaugural Conference of the Samuel Beckett Society


Eric Prince, 'A Few Things About Eh Joe'

Theatre Reviews

Matilda Medley 'Oh, it will be a happy day!'
Josh Powell, 'Lisa Dwan, Not I'
Jonathan Heron, '"Words fail": Women in Beckett on the contemporary London stage'
Brian J. McAllister, 'Puppets, Pantomime, and Play'

Conference Reviews

Séan Kennedy, 'MLA Panels 2014'
Nicholas Johnson and Brenda O'Connell, 'Three Dialogues on Enniskillen'
Adam Winstanley, 'Samuel Beckett: Form and History 2013'
Andy Wimbush, 'Beckett at Reading 2013'

New Releases

Book Reviews
New and Forthcoming


Clark Lunberry, '“…In Front of Our Eyes” — Herbert Blau has Died'

Not a Member? Become a Member of the Samuel Beckett Society to access issues of The Beckett Circle.
10 May 2014

The Inaugural Conference of the Samuel Beckett Society

Call for Papers · Phoenix, Arizona · 19-20 February 2015
Design: Rhys Tranter. Photograph: Richard Avedon.
The Samuel Beckett Society announces a Call for Papers for its inaugural conference to be held in collaboration with Arizona State University on 19-20 February 2015. The first conference of the SBS represents the opportunity to bring together new, emerging, and established perspectives on the Beckett’s writing for a sustained exchange of ideas. In recent years, increased attention has been given to the historical, political, and “Irish” dimensions of his work, complementing and sometimes contesting the rich tradition of theoretically driven criticism in Beckett studies. This tradition has continued in new volumes that have reassessed the oeuvre with lenses derived from animal studies, the ethical thought of Emanuel Levinas, and the cinematic writings of Gilles Deleuze, to name only a few examples. The “Beckett and …” phenomenon thus continues apace, as recent book-length studies have coupled the writer with science, the Bible, the modern novel, German literature, Alfred Bion, and Arnold Geulincx. At the same time, a major editorial project has been undertaken to produce a digital archive of Beckett’s manuscripts, accompanied by volumes analyzing the genesis of each text.

With the array of work now being done in the field, we would like to provide a forum for various perspectives to meet, interact, and shed light on one another. The conference organizers welcome paper submissions that seek to move Beckett studies forward along one of these many axes, particularly contributions that locate their positions in relation to broader developments in the field. Specific topics might include, but are not limited to, longstanding concerns about Beckett’s relationship with philosophy, modernism, or postmodernism; or more recent interest in the digital humanities, historicist criticism, or emerging theoretical fields. The conference program is already taking shape: Professor David Lloyd will deliver a keynote address; ASU will present a concert featuring pieces associated with Beckett and his work; and a roundtable session will focus on Beckett and the digital humanities. There will be no parallel sessions, but rather a series of three-presenter panels, to facilitate in-depth engagement and discussion. To be considered for a 20-minute presentation, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to the organizing committee (Patrick Bixby, Gregory Castle, Seán Kennedy, and Mark Nixon) at beckettconference2015@gmail.com by July 15, 2014.

All delegates speaking at the conference must be members of the Samuel Beckett Society; the SBS will offer a bursary to pay travel expenses for one graduate student. Visit our conference website at: http://links.asu.edu/beckett2015. Follow us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/beckett2015.
6 May 2014

London production of Waiting for Godot

Arcola Theatre, London · 7 May - 14 June 2014

From godotarcola.com:

Two washed-up young drifters wait by the road for a man they’ve never met, hoping against all proof that now, as night closes in and their patter runs dry, they may finally catch a break. Over the bare horizon, a figure leads another on a leash. Can this be what they are waiting for? Totally Tom, Edinburgh comedy favourites and stars of Live at the Electric, bring sharp-eyed, contemporary character-comedy to this timeless vision of life as a horrifying joke.

TOTALLY TOM (Tom Stourton and Tom Palmer) made their name with the hit viral video, High Renaissance Man before being nominated for Edinburgh Foster's Comedy Award in 2011. Stars of BBC Three’s Live at the Electric and E4's Comedy Lab, they continue to perform sell-out shows across the country.

Simon Dormandy directs. He has worked with Cheek by Jowl, the RSC, the Donmar and the Royal Court. In March 2014 he will direct the UK premiere of von Mayenburg’s Eldorado at Arcola. [Read More]
25 April 2014

Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies 2014

5pm on Tuesdays in Trinity Term, 2014. University of Oxford
Design: Rhys Tranter
The University of Oxford has announced the speakers for this year's Samuel Beckett Debts and Legacies series:

Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies 2014 
University of Oxford

5.30pm on Tuesdays in Trinity Term, 2014.
New Seminar Room, St John’s College, Oxford.
Attendance is free and open to all.

29 April — Dr Erik Tonning
(University of Bergen, Norway)
“‘Friendship of this world is fornication against Thee.’ Rereading Beckett on Saint Augustine.”

6 May — Dr David Tucker
(University of Chester)
“‘That first last look in the shadows’: Beckett’s Legacies for Harold Pinter.”

Thursday 15 May — Dr David Cunningham
(University of Westminster)
“What is Quad about? Beckett and the Literal.”

20 May — Dr Adam Winstanley
(University of York and Queen Mary, University of London)
“‘I feel / I feel it's coming’: Beckett, Dostoevsky and Epilepsy.”

27 May — Dr Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield
(University of Reading)
“Wandering the archive of wandering.”

3 June — Dr Conor Carville
(University of Reading)
“Beckett, ‘Formes’ and Fascism.”

10 June — Dr Rhys Tranter
(Cardiff University)
”Late Stage: Trauma and Subjectivity in Samuel Beckett's Not I

17 June — Half-Day Postgraduate Symposium, followed by: Dr Matthew Feldman (University of Teeside) “Beckett’s ‘late style’ and the influence of radio adaptations.”

You can find out more by visiting the official Debts and Legaces website. [Read More]
7 April 2014

Staging Beckett at the Margins

University of Chester, 11-12 September 2014
Samuel Beckett. Photograph: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images
Call for Papers – Staging Beckett at the Margins

Staging Beckett is a three year collaborative research project undertaken by the universities of Chester, Reading, and the Victoria & Albert Museum which started in September 2012, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project explores Beckett’s impact on British and Irish theatre practice and cultures while also looking at how Beckett has been staged internationally, and it is compiling a database of professional productions of Beckett’s plays in the UK and Ireland.

Our second conference, to be held at the University of Chester, 11-12 September 2014, will focus on perceived notions of Beckett at the margins, on productions staged outside London and other major theatrical centres. What has the impact of Beckett’s drama been upon regional, small national, touring and marginal theatrical practices and cultures? What is at stake when staging Beckett in marginal cultures or lesser-known geographical areas? How does Beckett’s work move from a country’s capital city to its regions? Does Beckett’s work speak to national, or local, cultural contexts? How does it fit within established theatrical, cultural and economic infrastructures?

We are keen to hear from academics and practitioners interested in how Beckett has been, or might be, staged in areas beyond the major theatrical centres of London, Dublin, Paris, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, etc. Issues to consider might be, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Theatre and local politics
  • Cultural marginalisation
  • Small-scale productions
  • Amateur productions
  • Planned productions that failed to be realised
  • Festivals
  • Beckett in Scotland
  • Beckett in Wales
  • Beckett on tour, nationally and internationally
  • Beckett as a marginal author
  • Beckett and subaltern cultures
Please send proposals of c. 150 words to stagingbeckett@chester.ac.uk by 31 May 2014. [Read More]