Conference Programme

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Please download the conference programme for the 'A Fantastic Legacy' conference.


Friday 5 September, 2014: Conference sessions at Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books

 9.30-10.10: Conference registration

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Tea & coffee will be provided.

10.15-10.45: Opening speech: Conference organiser Lucy Pearson

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Conference organiser Lucy Pearson welcomes you to the conference.

10.45-11.15: A Literary Life: Laura Cecil

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Laura Cecil, Diana Wynne Jones’ Literary Agent, talks about working with Diana and her place in the literary landscape.

11.15-11.45: Refreshment break: tea and coffee

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

11.45-12.30: Majorie Jones – a woman of her time: Nicholas Tucker

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Children’s literature scholar Nicholas Tucker, a childhood friend of Diana, talks about Diana’s upbringing in the light of parenting practices of the time.

12.30-1.00: A Life in Papers: Hannah Izod

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Archivist Hannah Izod talks about the Diana Wynne Jones Collection, now housed at Seven Stories.

1.00-2.00: Lunch

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Buffet lunch

2 – 3.45: Parallel sessions

Delegates will rotate between three sessions.

Group A: White Gloves; Moving Stories; Talk, read, refresh
Group B: Moving Stories; Talk, read, refresh; White Gloves
Group C: Talk, read, refresh; White Gloves; Moving Stories


Session 1: White gloves

Storylab (Level 6)

Explore Diana’s archive collection, from her childhood notebooks to completed manuscripts.

Session 2: Moving Stories

Robert Westall Gallery (Level 5) & Sebastian Walker Gallery (Level 4)

Enjoy a tour of Seven Stories’ latest exhibition, ‘Moving Stories: Children’s Books from Stage to Screen’, which showcases innovative and influential film and television adaptations inspired by children's books. Watch out for Studio Ghibli material on Howl’s Moving Castle.

Session 3: Talk, read, refresh

Artist’s Attic (Level 7), Book Den (Level 6) & Bookshop (Level 3)

This session is set aside for delegates to network, take time out, and explore Seven Stories. Some refreshments will be available in the Artist’s Attic if you’re flagging.

If you’d like to unwind and read, you might like to curl up in the Book Den, which has cushions, artwork, and a selection of great children’s books. Feel free to take some more time in the exhibition galleries as well.

Take some time to visit the Seven Stories’ bookshop: which has been recognised by the Booksellers’ Association as one of the biggest and best independent children's bookshops in the country. Our staff are passionate about children's books and are only too willing to help you with any book-buying decisions you need to make.

3.50-4.40: Cymru to Chaldea: Special Guest Ursula Jones

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

We’re very pleased to welcome our special guest Ursula Jones, Diana’s sister. Ursula will talk about growing up with Diana and about the experience of completing Diana’s final book, The Islands of Chaldea.

4.40-5.00: Closing speech: Lorna Duncanson

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Conference organiser Lorna Duncanson makes closing remarks for Day 1.

5.00-6.00: Islands of Chaldea: Drinks reception

Artist’s Attic (Level 7)

Join us in raising a glass to Diana and Ursula as we (belatedly) celebrate the publication of The Islands of Chaldea. We will also toast Ursula’s forthcoming picture book, The Princess Who Had No Fortune.  


Saturday, 6 September 2014: Conference Sessions in the Armstrong Building, Newcastle University

9.00 - 9.15: Registration, tea and coffee


9.15 - 9.30: Introduction to Day Two

  Armstrong Building 1.06

9.35 - 10.45: Parallel Session One

Panel 1: Hearing, Speaking, Knowing: Armstrong Building 1.03

Audio-scape: Background Orchestration in Howl’s Moving Castle – Junko Nishimura, Shirayuri College, Japan.

Voice-scape: Vocalising the Characters in Howl’s Moving Castle – Akie Kishino, Japan

Panel 2: Literary and historical traditions: Armstrong Building 1.04

Twisting Words: Medieval Perspectives in DWJ’s Power of Three – Victoria Symons, University College London, UK

The Role of the Fantastic Ancient World in the Work of DWJ – Frances Foster, Cambridge University, UK

"Little do you know I have my trusty mirror": Arthurian refractions and prismatic truths in Diana Wynne Jones’s Hexwood – Molly Brown, University of Pretoria, South Africa

10.45 - 11.00: Break

Tea and coffee

11.00 - 12.15: Parallel Session Two

Panel 3: Witty witches: laughing up a spell: Armstrong Building 1.03

Laughing and Power in Witch Week – Akiko Yamazaki

A Sense of Humour in Fantasy: Laughter and learning in the works of DWJ – Kate Mitchell

Wit and Witches – Diane Purkiss, Keble College,Oxford University, UK


Panel 4: Jones Family Values: Armstrong Building 1.04

The Afterlives of Christopher Chant: Handing Down Formative Trauma in the Chrestomanci Series – Erin Horakova, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Monstrous Mothers and Gumptious Grannies: Female Caregivers in the novels of DWJ – Beth Lockwood, Open University.

Dysfunctional Families and Reconstructive Dynamics in Diana Wynne Jones’s Chrestomanci Novels – Laurel Richards

12.20 – 1.35: Parallel Session Three

Panel 5: Rethinking Narrative Conventions: Armstrong Building 1.03

The Colonisation of Fantasyland – Aishwarya Subramanian, Newcastle University, UK

Genre Bending - Gabriela Steinke, University of Wolverhampton, UK

“[T]he only way to win was to lose”: Relative Heroism in the works of Diana Wynne Jones – Apolline Lucyk

Panel 6: Gods, writers, lives: Armstrong Building 1.04

Negotiating the Goddess in The Time of the Ghost – Dara Downey, University College Dublin, Ireland

Unbound Truth: Feminism, Religion and the Undying in the Dalemark Quartet – Meira Levinson, The Graduate Centre, CUNY, USA

The Fantastic Autobiografictions of War – Urvashi Vashist, UCL.

1.35 – 2.30: Lunch: Foyer

Buffet lunch

2.30 – 3.45pm: Session Four: Some (more) international perspectives

Armstrong Building 1.06

Shark-Infested Custard: On chaos as a force for good in the works of DWJ” – Gili Bar-Hillel, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Love, Sex and Power: Girls, Goddesses and Knowledge  in Three DWJ Novels  – Teya Rosenberg, Texas State University, USA.

Travels, Journeys and Quests: The Nature of Quest in DWJ’s Novels” – Caroline Webb, University of Newcastle, Australia

3.45 – 4.00: Break: Foyer

Tea and coffee

4.00 – 4.15: Plenary Introduction: Armstrong Building 1.06
4.15 – 5.15: Keynote: Catherine Butler: Enchanting Places: Readers and Pilgrimage in the Novels of Diana Wynne Jones

Armstrong Building 1.04

Dr. Catherine Butler, author of Four British Fantasists, will close the conference with a talk on Enchanting Places: Readers and Pilgrimage in the Novels of Diana Wynne Jones.

5.15- 5.45: Questions and Close