Reshaping Reality –creative work In Progress…

Melissa Shales, University of Essex – Shaping the Continent, Reshaping the Self: travelling and writing about trains

Elaine Ewart, University of Essex – Translating Reality: Heine, Heligoland and the voices of the North Sea

Ruth Raymer, – University of Essex – Wild Voices, Wild Places: writing and walking the landscape.

Penny Simpson, University of Essex – ‘Uncanny geographies’: a presentation of research and a short reading from buried, a practice-based research project exploring the narrating of memory after conflict.

In 2016, doctoral students at the University of Essex Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) created weekly In Progress… meetings, discovering great commonality in learning about and from the work of their peers. This panel is a product of these sessions.
These four women are all reshaping reality by rooting their creative work in fact, seeking their inspiration for creative fiction and non-fiction in a deeply rooted sense of place and history. All will combine critical reflection with readings from their creative works.

Penny Simpson uses an interdisciplinary approach to researching, writing and disseminating a multi-layered archival novel that links the exhumation of mass graves in Spain in the 2000s with experiences in the country’s post-war diaspora and the ‘Indignados’ demonstrations and occupations of 2011.

Ruth Raymer links creativity directly to the natural world as she walks the paths of the Elan Valley in mid Wales, using a psychogeographical interpretation of what it is that makes a space, a place, examining man’s relationship with the landscape, and exploring the Welsh concept of ‘hiraeth’ (a longing for home).

Elaine Ewart creatively explores the interrelationship of language, physical environment and national identity, in relation to the German Romantic poet Heinrich Heine and his connection with the North Sea islands of Heligoland.
Melissa Shales uses her journey along the Cairo to Cape railways to explore and reshape the travel narrative on Africa and her own postcolonial identity as the once outward-focussed literary and mental journey is forced inwards towards the self.

Wednesday 5th July, 5.00