BrANCA Biennial Symposium 2023: “Refuse/Refusal”

Friday 1 – Saturday 2 December 2023
University of Bristol, UK

Registration is now open for BrANCA’s Biennial Symposium to be held at the University of Bristol and virtually on Friday 1 Dec. and Saturday 2 Dec. 2023.
A provisional programme is available here. ​Please register here. Registration closes on 30th November.
Our symposium theme is ‘Refuse/Refusal’, leaning into the different meanings of “refuse” in its noun and verb forms:

n., waste, debris, trash
v., reject, disavow, disdain, disapprove

: Our host city of Bristol recently brought these double meanings to life. In 2020, Bristol claimed an international spotlight by disavowing Edward Colston, proclaimed in 1895 as one of its ‘most virtuous and wise sons’, as the city’s standard-bearer. After a protracted public heritage battle, Black Lives Matter protestors pulled down a statue of Colston, a 17th-century resident and key member of the Royal Africa Company, who made much of his fortune trafficking captive African peoples to the Americas. Following this act of refusal, protestors then attempted to make his statue literal refuse, by tossing it into the very harbour where he had docked his ships.

As part of the Symposium and to mark BrANCA’s 10th anniversary, we will hold a Plenary Roundtable on Friday 1 December, during which founding BrANCA members and the “first generation” steering committee will share reflections on 10 years of BrANCA, and their thoughts about the current state of play of 19th-century American literary studies in the UK and Europe. Dr. J Michelle Coghlan of the University of Manchester will deliver a Keynote on Saturday 2 December.

This will be a hybrid event to allow participation for those who may not wish to travel.  Registration costs £30 for salaried faculty and is free for all others. If you are not presenting and would like to attend online, registration is also free.

For any queries or accessibility requirements please contact Erin Forbes at:
Information regarding accommodation options can be found here.