Turning Points: Textual Practice and Shared Futures

Peter BoxallLecture Theatre (Conference Room for overflow)

Chair: Peter Boxall, University of Sussex
Drew Milne, University of Cambridge
Caroline Edwards, Birkbeck College, London
Andre Hadfield, University of Sussex

This panel reflects on the publication of ‘Turning Points’ in Textual Practice, since Terrence Hawkes wrote the first Turning Point – the first article, in the first issue in 1987. We have published Turning Points, ever since, as a means of tracing changes in the discipline, of following the ways in which new forms of textual practice emerge, in relation to the shifting political horizon.

The panel brings together three Turning Points, as a way of thinking about how the discipline allows us to think towards shared futures. Drew Milne will discuss the question of solidarity across the biosphere, and what might be understood as the ecological turn in Marxism. He will ask how the inherited hierarchies of struggle associated with class, gender and race are being reconfigured under the sign of climate justice. That is – how might we rewild Marxism and ecopoetics for the coming crises? Andrew Hadfield will explore the relationship between truth and lying in the digital age, and what implications this has for research, publishing and academic standards, especially in terms of the future of English as a discipline. Is the 'democracy of knowledge' compatible with academics acting as the 'guardians of truth', or is this is a false dichotomy? How do conceptions of 'open access' function in such a world? Lastly, Caroline Edwards will reflect on the transformations in our contemporary understanding of utopian possibility. How do emerging literary forms yield glimpses of a newly shared future, redeemed strands of past hopes, and alternative social worlds already alive in the present?

Sun 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm