In April 1981, having devoted considerable time to resolving the technicalities that surrounded his TV play Quad, Samuel Beckett confessed to Ruby Cohn: “Not long back from Stuttgart. Unsatisfactory. Television is beyond me.” Frustrating as it may have been at times, technology held its fascination for Beckett and often became enmeshed with his work. It remained central for him, as it continues to be for researchers and practitioners engaging with his work today.
The conference will explore the manifold intersections of technology with Beckett’s oeuvre throughout the years, and will consider their future trajectories. This includes the development of modern technologies in the fields of communication, broadcasting, medicine, and transportation in the beginning of the 20th century and their influence on Beckett’s early writing; his employment of new media such as film, radio, and television; and contemporary uses of digital, medical, and other technologies in new approaches to staging, performing, and interpreting Beckett’s work in various genres and fields.
Confirmed keynote speakers: Jonathan Bignell (University of Reading), Sarah Kenderdine (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Laura Salisbury (University of Exeter)
Special screening and discussion: Nicholas Johnson (Trinity College Dublin)
Call for Papers: deadline extended until 22 January 2018.