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Conference Review: MSA 2019

Upheaval & Reconstruction: The Modernist Studies Association (MSA) 2019 Annual Conference, 17-20 October, Ryerson University, Toronto

Aoiffe Walsh, Yan (Amy) Tang, Farah Nada, and Sean A. McPhail

With 7 pre- and post-conference workshops, 26 seminars, 22 roundtable discussions, parallel sessions boasting an incredible 96 panels, museum and gallery tours, 2 plenaries, performances, film screenings, book launches and awards and a poetry evening, the Modernist Studies Association (MSA) 2019 Conference was a jam-packed 4 days, to say the very least. Below, 4 PhD students report on their experience of the conference, providing you with different threads of thoughts and highlights to reflect on what’s been at stake.

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Conference review: Surrealisms

 Margaux Van Uytvanck, Université Libre de Bruxelles

The International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) held its second annual conference at the University of Exeter from 29 to 31 August 2019. The ISSS was founded in 2018 to promote the study of Surrealism and encourage exchanges between scholars of the movement. The inaugural conference of the ISSS took place in November 2018 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and, following its success, expectations were high for this year’s conference, the first one to take place in Europe. Felicity Gee (University of Exeter), the conference organiser, brilliantly met (and surpassed) these great expectations by offering a fascinating programme of panels at the university’s Streatham Campus, in association with a digital exhibition, a film programme, and a gala evening at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.

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Conference Review: Palimpsests: The V International Flann O’Brien Conference

Andrew Ferguson, University of Maryland

2011 marked the centennial of the birth of Brian O’Nolan, known more formally under his pen names Flann O’Brien, Myles na gCopaleen, and a host of others, including undoubtedly some yet to be discovered. The First Century of Flann was celebrated with a symposium convened by the International Flann O’Brien Society, with subsequent conferences following every two years. The 2019 event was the fifth of these and the first to be held in O’Nolan’s Dublin—in the O’Brien Centre for Science, even, at his alma mater of University College Dublin (albeit on the suburban Belfield campus rather than among the pubs of his student days, and the O’Brien in question is Irish billionaire Denis, a person rather less worthy of dedicated study).

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