This year’s DH Lawrence, London Calling, will be held in – you guessed in! – London, on the 3rd to the 8th of July. The new call for papers closes on February 28.
About the conference
London played a crucial role in Lawrence’s early life: he taught here, got his first literary breaks here, and even got married here in 1914. It was in London that he met the friends and patrons who launched his career and facilitated his travels, and whenever he and Frieda returned to England, it was to London that they came first.
Lawrence visited London around fifty times – for the first time in October 1908 for his interview for a teaching position in Croydon, and for the last time in September 1926. Over those eighteen years he visited or lived in London in every single year, apart from during his travels in 1920-22.
He saw the city grow from seven to eight million people, and become the metropolis we know today, with its buses, trams, private cars, bridges, Underground stations, West End theatres, and electric street lights. He knew London as it was approaching the historical peak population; this was followed by decline, and which has only just (in 2015) been exceeded.
He knew the London of the Edwardian period, of the War, and of the jazz age. He knew middle-class outer-suburban Croydon, but also some of London’s most fashionable districts, where his friends lived: Hampstead (Edward Garnett, Dollie Radford and Catherine Carswell), St. John’s Wood (Koteliansky), Mecklenburgh Square (H.D. and Richard Aldington), and Bedford Square (Lady Ottoline Morrell).
London was the legal, as well as the literary, artistic and theatrical, centre of England. In 1913 Frieda’s divorce hearing was heard there; in 1915 Lawrence was examined for bankruptcy at its High Court; in the same year The Rainbow was tried at Bow Street Magistrate’s Court; in 1927 David was produced at the Regent Theatre; in 1928 Catherine Carswell oversaw the typing of part of Lady Chatterley’s Lover there; in 1928 Lawrence explained ‘Why I Don’t Like Living in London’ in The Evening News; and in 1929 his paintings were exhibited at the Warren Street gallery and impounded.
Given his hatred of London’s intellectualism and authoritarianism, and his objections to metropolises in general, it is not surprising that much of what Lawrence writes about London is negative. But, as he admitted in 1928, ‘It used not to be so. Twenty years ago, London was to me thrilling, thrilling, thrilling, the vast and throbbing heart of all adventure.’
For such a nodal city – the world’s biggest city, the heart of the world’s biggest empire, and a centre of international modernism – it has a peripheral place in his work and in work about him. But Lawrence could not have become the person and writer he did without having known his native capital city.
The 14th International D. H. Lawrence conference will be held in London at the College of the Humanities, Bedford Square, and nearby venues. It is authorized by the Coordinating Committee for International Lawrence Conferences (CCILC) and organized in collaboration with the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America and the D. H. Lawrence Society (UK).
The conference welcomes papers on topics including but not limited to:
- Lawrence’s experiences of, and/or reactions to, London and its various social groups and geographical districts
- Lawrence’s relationships with individual Londoners
- Lawrence’s interactions with London-based journals and publishers
- The suppression of The Rainbow
- The premiere of David in London
- Lawrence’s exhibition of paintings at the Warren Street Gallery
- Works written by Lawrence while he was resident in London
- Lawrence’s responses to and thoughts about cities in general
Papers are welcome from Lawrence scholars, graduate students, and the public.
Papers should last no longer than 20 minutes, and will be followed by 10 minutes of questions. They will be presented in a panel together with two other papers.
How to submit
If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract of up to 500 words to the Executive Director, Dr. Catherine Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 28th February 2017. Submissions will be assessed by the Academic Program Committee detailed below, and responses will be issued by 15th March 2017.
The abstract should include the following information as part of the same file (in either MS Word or pdf format):
- Your name, postal address, telephone number, and email address
- The name of the institution (if applicable) at which you are registered
- Your CV (1 page condensed version)
- Please indicate if you need OHP or other such media equipment for your presentation.
The Conference Fee is expected to be approximately £280-320 for the week.
The Fee includes payment for attendance at academic sessions, four lunches, all tea/coffee breaks, and two dinners including the Gala Award Dinner on Thursday evening.
The Conference website may be found here.
About the conference committee
International Liaison and Assistant Treasurer
Conference Tour Director
Conference Awards Organizer
President of the DH Lawrence Society of North America
Graduate Fellowships Committee Chair
Nancy Paxton and Betsy Sargent
Academic Program Committee
Australia: David Game, Christopher Pollnitz
Canada: Betsy Sargent, Laurence Steven
France: Ginette Roy
Germany: Christa Jansohn, Dieter Mehl
Italy: Simonetta de Filippis, Nicholas Ceramella
Japan: Masashi Asai
Montenegro: Marija Krivokapic
South Korea: Doo-Sun Ryu
South Africa: Dawid de Villiers
Sweden: Margrét Gunnarsdóttir Champion
USA: Holly Laird, Nancy Paxton