Every year the School of English PhDs host the Bookends conference, a series of talks given by postgraduate students in English, Creative Writing, Digital Arts and Humanities and Film Studies.

The conference is free of charge, and may be attended by any interested parties of any discipline (keep an eye on our social media for further details!).Here is a small sample of papers to look forward to at this year’s Bookends:

Saoirse: “Sheesha”, “Sur‐sha”, “Ser‐sha”
Loretta Goff

Saoirse Ronan has recently been in the spotlight for her role in Brooklyn, racking up award nominations and wins. Like her character in the film, Eilis, Ronan has connections to both Ireland and America. She was born in New York, grew up in Ireland, and now travels between both countries for work, claiming connections to each in interviews. This paper will trace how Ronan’s identity is constructed and shaped in the media of both countries, particularly in regards to nationality.

Teaching slavery by teaching Tarantino?
Caroline Schroeter

Racism based on skin‐color and cultural background has come to a new, highly alerting, peak. We need to find a 21st‐century appropriate way to teach how current day discrimination is often rooted in history.

Thankfully, our cultural media landscape provides us with cinematic slave narratives (e.g. Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave) which have the potential to raise public awareness about the lived experience and legacy of slavery. The future of our social progress lies in the hands of a society that, empowered by education, seeks to engage in critical global citizenship.

The Lessons of Postmodernism in the Age of the Internet
Ciarán Kavanagh

The dawning of the Internet Age has forced an evolution in the reader. We have been forced to adapt, in a Darwinian environment of competing voices, to a near constant barrage of narrative.

Allowing advertising, news media and social media unprecedented access to our attention and lives, we have exposed ourselves to constant ‘story’, and have committed too to the constant narration of our own story. This paper explores the fallout of this uniquely modern phenomenon, contextualising it by the unique lessons of postmodern literature.

The Digital Medievalist’s Toolkit: How to Research Medieval Culture in Today’s Digital Environment
Patricia O’ Connor

“Until now the book or codex form has been one of our most powerful tools for developing, storing and disseminating information” (Jerome McGann).

Since the introduction of computers to the humanities discipline in the 1940s, the humanities have been engaged in an increasingly interconnected and complex relationship with computing. This paper will discuss the respective advantages and limitations of various cutting‐edge digital tools and technologies which have been specifically designed to innovative research in early medieval studies.

Creative Writing Panel
Niamh Prior

The larger part of a thesis in Creative Writing comprises original creative work. In the case of mine this takes the form of fiction. I am writing a series of short stories with interlinking narratives. I also explore the effect of using intertextual material from non‐fiction sources in these narratives. For the Bookends conference I will test‐drive one of these short stories by reading it to an audience.

If you are an MA or PhD student in one of the relevant areas, then you might consider submitting an abstract as per the Call for Papers’ guidelines below.