Save the date: Collaborating Couples, Bristol, 18-19 April 2017

An interdisciplinary conference entitled Beyond Genius and Muse: Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts will be hosted by the music department of the University of Bristol in 2017. Put the date in your diary now!

About the conference

Common perceptions of the artist still picture a lonely genius in a room of their own, writing, painting, or composing great works in isolation while amanuenses or, more likely, their wives take care of worldly matters. Conversely, cultural history can sometimes cast artists as vessels floating on a tide of external events. Reality is more complex, especially in the twentieth century: here, the pace of change in societal and relationship dynamics render both these imaginary positions problematic. Re-imagining collaborating couples can force us to rethink the paradigms of working relationships in the arts.

Whether couples collaborated or hindered each other, what are the means to describe such complex creative partnerships? How can feminism and new theories in gender and queer studies help shift perceptions and rediscover hidden powers and intimate connections? What methodologies can we use to research and write about intra-art and interdisciplinary couples? How do such couples perceive themselves and their work?

Whether in cases where traditional roles are reversed or where their intactness poses limitations to research, this conference seeks to engage with all kinds of collaborating couples.

Organising committee

Dr Annika Forkert (Organiser; Music, University of Bristol)
Dr Adrian Paterson (English, NUI Galway)
Dr Sarah Terry (English, Oglethorpe University)
Dr Tom Walker (English, Trinity College Dublin)

Further information will be hosted here and on the conference website as more details become available. Watch this space!