Rudyard Kipling's experience as a journalist and colonial correspondent honed his distinctive, concise prose style, and it is this pithiness that accounts for his enduring legacy in the twenty-first century as a writer often in support of – but occasionally critical of – first British and then US empires.
At a time when both pervasive imperial nostalgia and movements to decolonise the university are dragging Kipling back into the news, this conference will explore the importance of journalism to Kipling's literary life and, in so doing, ask larger questions about the relationship between journalism, empire, and decolonisation. It will also invite reflections on the continued relevance of these questions in what has been characterised as our "post-truth" era.
This will be a blended conference, offering delegates the option of attending in person (lockdown restrictions permitting) or online via Zoom.
Registration for the conference is £20 (staff/waged) or £10 (student/unwaged) for those choosing to attend in person, a fee that will include tea and coffee, lunch on both days, and two wine receptions. There is no registration fee for those choosing to attend online.
Please indicate in your registration whether you would like to attend the conference dinner on the evening of Thursday 29th October, though do bear in mind that it may not be able to go ahead.
Finally, if government guidelines prevent us from hosting any part of the conference in person, all sessions will proceed online. In this instance, delegates will be reimbursed any fee that they have paid, and they will be sent Zoom login and online attendance details directly.
If you would like more information or have any questions about this conference, please contact Sarah Lonsdale (email@example.com) and Dominic Davies (firstname.lastname@example.org). The most up-to-date version of the conference programme is copied below.
Day 1, Thursday 9th September 2021
09.30-11.00 Keynote 1
Dr Chandrika Kaul
Introduced by Sarah Lonsdale
11.00-11.30 Tea & Coffee
11.30-13.00 Panel 1: Journalism & Fiction
Chair: Andrew Lycett
Madhu Grover, ‘Negotiating with Fiction: Border zones in Kipling’s Early Indian Narratives’
Élodie Raimbault, ‘“Tell it as a lie”: the Ambiguous Blend of Fiction and Journalism in Kipling’s Many Inventions’
Angela Eyre, ‘“Tods Amendment”, the Native-born Child, and Debates Over Tenancy Legislation’
George Simmers, ‘The Fun of Fake News: “The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat” and “Dayspring Mishandled”’
14.00-15.30 Panel 2: Translating Kipling
Chair: Howard Booth
Harish Trivedi, ‘Kipling and the Indian Vernacular Press: Countering The Pioneer’
Mohammad Saleem, ‘Shaking Off the Colonial Burden: Revisiting Resistance Literature in India during British Rule’
Monica Turci, ‘Rudyard Kipling in Antonio Gramsci’s Journalism’
15.30-16.00 Tea & Coffee
16.00-17.30 Panel 3: Empires
Chair: Dr Kaori Nagai
Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar, ‘Opium, Empire and the Orient: Reading Kipling in the Context of Narcopolitics’
John Anders, ‘Kipling’s Early Travel Letters: Journalism and Imagination’
Jaine Chemmachery, ‘Neo-Victorian Kim and Kipling’s enduring presence’
17.30-18.00 Wine Reception
18.00-19.00 Keynote 2
Professor Elleke Boehmer, in Conversation with Dom Davies
19.30 Conference Dinner at Dame Alice Owen, St John Street
Day 2, Friday 10th September 2021
09.30-11.00 Keynote 3
Professor Janet Montefiore
Introduced by Dominic Davies
11.00-11.30 Tea & Coffee
11.30-13.30 Panel 4: Newspapers & their Owners
Chair: Dr Sarah Lonsdale
Aaron Ackerley, ‘Rudyard Kipling, the Press Barons, and Visions of Empire’
Howard Booth, ‘Rethinking Kipling’s First World War propaganda: the case of France at War’
John Radcliffe, ‘Kipling and Beaverbrook, a friendship lost’
David Richards, ‘Kipling and The Friend: Boers, Badges and Bibliography’.
14.30-16.00 Panel 5: Kipling’s Literary Legacy
Chair: Dr Dominic Davies
Minna Vuohelainen, ‘Rudyard Kipling’s Imperial Gothic short fiction and the periodical press’
Jill Didur, ‘Reimaging Kipling: Mixing Fiction and Journalism in The Kipling File’
Sarah Lonsdale, ‘Feminist Parodies of Kipling’s Poetry’
Gary Enstone, ‘Living with Rudyard Kipling and his legacy in a 21st Century World’
16.00-16.30 Tea & Coffee
16.30-18.00 Keynote 4
Professor Harry Ricketts
Introduced by Jan Montefiore
18.00 Closing Wine Reception
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