The David Mitchell Conference 2017 was organised by Dr Rose Harris-Birtill from the School of English at the University of St Andrews, and has been made possible by the generous support of the School of English, GRADskills, the Student Project Fund and Special Collections.
Thanks also to the School of English for sponsoring the evening wine reception, and to the Modern and Contemporary research group for providing two postgraduate bursaries for the event.
Meet the team
Dr Rose Harris-Birtill’s current research investigates the Buddhist influences across David Mitchell’s novels, short stories and libretti, identifying a wider resurgence of post-secular ethical worlds in contemporary literature. Her academic publications include “‘A row of screaming Russian dolls’: Escaping the panopticon in David Mitchell’s number9dream” (SubStance, 2015), a book chapter on Mitchell’s writing for opera (David Mitchell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives), a journal article on Mitchell’s rewriting of reincarnation and the Anthropocene (KronoScope), and articles on The Bone Clocks and Slade House. Rose previously worked for five years as a professional writer in London, and holds the International Society for the Study of Time New Scholar Prize and the Frank Muir Prize for Writing.
Dr Peter Mackay has published widely on contemporary poetry, particularly Irish and Scottish poetry. He is the author of a book on the poetry of Sorley MacLean, and has edited collections of essays on modern Irish and Scottish poetry and on Scottish Gaelic literature. Recent essays have been on forms of love poetry, the ‘new nature writing’, poetry of the Second World War and radical 18th century verse; his own poetry has also been published widely in Britain and Ireland. He is currently working on a book on Wordsworth and Heaney, and an anthology of rude and transgressive Scottish Gaelic poetry.
Adam Welstead is a PhD candidate at the School of English, University of St Andrews, specialising in Contemporary British Dystopian Fiction. More broadly, Adam’s research explores the politics of twentieth and twenty-first century literature in the intersections between literature, critical theory and politics. His recent publications include a book chapter on Maggie Gee’s speculative fiction and a journal article on subjectivity and ‘the crowd’ in the philosophical work of Søren Kierkegaard.
Hannah Britton is pursuing doctoral research in the School of English at the University of St Andrews. Her thesis examines Wordsworthian spatial legacies in the poetry of John Keats and Lord Byron. She is interested in Romantic Literature and its legacies and afterlives, spatial poetics, contemporary poetry, and the successful running of conferences.
Éadaoín Lynch is a final year PhD candidate at St Andrews, completing a thesis on the non-combatant poetry of World War Two, focusing specifically on W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Stevie Smith and Dylan Thomas.
Tiana Fischer is currently pursuing postgraduate research in the fields of modern and contemporary literature and culture at the University of St Andrews. Her dissertation investigates the post-feminist poetics of innovative twenty-first-century women poets. Her other research interests include contemporary literature and its theorization, and the nexus between literary and media studies. As of September 2017, she will be a PhD candidate at NUI Galway researching modernist aesthetics of revision, while continuing to pursue her spare-time passion for conference shepherding.