Conference Programme



9.00 – 10.00    Registration and Refreshments (Entrance & Quad)

10.00 – 10.15  Conference Welcome (The Chapel)

10.15 – 11.15 Keynote Lecture (The Chapel)

Professor Marianne Thormählen, Lund University

“Horror and disgust”: Reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Chair: Professor Stephen Regan, Durham University

11.30 – 13.00 Panel Sessions 1

1A. “Vulgar” Victorians (Williams Library)

Chair: Sophie Franklin

  1. Ceri Hunter: “Rude-bred kindred”: Rethinking Cousin Marriage in Wuthering Heights
  2. Ann Erskine: Reappraising the “repulsive vulgarity” of Jane Eyre
  3. Jo Waugh: “My Accent? My Gender? My Size?”: “Coarse” Brontës in To Walk Invisible (2016)

1B. Reappraising Religion (Brewis Library)

Chair: Marianne Thormählen

  1. Catherine Paula Han: Coarseness & Christianity: Recent Re-Readings of Anne Brontë’s Life and Art
  2. Timothy Gao: Playing God in the Brontë Juvenilia
  3. Angharad Eyre: “I am a very coarse commonplace wretch”: Understanding the Brontë Sisters’ Coarseness within Victorian Evangelicalism

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch (Dining Hall)

A chance to view the William Weightman exhibition, courtesy of The Brontë Society

14.00 – 15.30 Panel Sessions 2

2A. Branwell: The Coarser Brontë? (Williams Library)

Chair: Samantha Cummings

  1. Kimberley Braxton: “I fear you will burn my present letter on recognising the handwriting” – The Many Personas of Patrick Branwell Brontë in His Epistolary Writing
  2. Catherine Rayner: The Tenant of Wuthering Heights
  3. Pam Lock: “[A] morbid love of the coarse, if not of the brutal”: Making Drunkenness Public in Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

2B. “A law unto themselves”: Coarse Identities (Brewis Library)

Chair: Christine Alexander

  1. Emma Butcher: “Those Black Rascals Fought like Devils”: Racism and Coarseness in Charlotte and Branwell Brontë’s Early Battle Writings
  2. Laura Varnam: Coarseness, Identity, and Understanding in Daphne du Maurier’s The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë

15.30 – 16.00 Refreshments (Quad)

A chance to view the William Weightman exhibition, courtesy of The Brontë Society

16.00 – 17.00 Break

17.00 – 18.00 Guest Speaker (The Chapel)

Robert Edric, author of Sanctuary (2014)

Chair: Dr Claire O’Callaghan, Brunel University

18.00 – 18.30 Poetry Reading (The Chapel) – in partnership with the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, Durham University

18.30 – 19.30 Wine Reception (Quad) – supported by the English Studies Department, Durham University

18.45 Reception Welcome (Quad) – Professor Simon James, Head of the English Studies Department, Durham University

19.30 Dinner (Dining Hall)



9.00 – 9.30      Registration (Entrance & Quad)

9.30 – 10.30    Keynote Lecture (The Chapel)

Dr Sarah Wootton, Durham University

“a faded, hollow-eyed vision”: Violent Self-Erasures in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette

Chair: Professor Fiona Robertson, Durham University

10.30 – 11.00 Refreshments (Quad)

11.00 – 12.30 Panel Sessions 3

3A. Queering Coarseness (Williams Library)

Chair: Catherine Paula Han

  1. Caroline Baylis-Green: Overcompensation, Coarseness, and the Closet in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
  2. Louisa Yates: The Erotic Makeover: Politics and Economics
  3. Claire O’Callaghan: “He is rather peculiar, perhaps”: Jane Eyre in a Queer Context – Reading Mr Rochester’s “Coarseness” Queerly

3B. Under the (Coarse) Influence (Brewis Library)

Chair: Pam Lock

  1. Lucy Sheerman: “Gross flattery”: Branwell’s Search for the Worth of Words
  2. Ann-Marie Richardson: “I must bring my pen to order!”: The “Unladylike” Writings of Maria Brontë, née Branwell, and How this Demonstrative Conduct Influenced the Works of Her Daughter, Emily Brontë
  3. Hannah Pyle: The “Coarse” Influence of James Hogg (1770 – 1835) on the Works of Patrick Branwell Brontë

3C. “Morbid, coarse, repulsive”: Charlotte Brontё’s Jane Eyre (The Chapel)

Chair: Debbie Whittaker

  1. Jessica Cox: The Ungentlemanly Mr Rochester: Reading Jane Eyre through Charlotte Brontё’s (Anti) Hero
  2. Helena Habibi: “The volume was flung, it hit me”: Coarseness in the Bird Imagery of Jane Eyre
  3. Alison McManus: Setting, Subversion and Symbiosis: Jane Eyre’s Legacy of Ambivalence


12.30 – 13.30 Lunch (Dining Hall)

A chance to view the William Weightman exhibition, courtesy of The Brontë Society

13.15 – 14.30 Cathedral Tour – meet in the entrance lobby of St Chad’s College

13.30 – 14.30 Branwell Brontë Book Club (The Chapel)

Come along for a discussion of Robert Edric’s Sanctuary (2014)

14.30 – 15.00 Refreshments (Quad)

A chance to view the William Weightman exhibition, courtesy of The Brontë Society

15.00 – 16.30 Panel Sessions 4

4A. “Coarseness of diction and even of sentiment” (Williams Library)

Chair: Kimberley Braxton

  1. Sophie Franklin: “Ay, ay, divil, all’s raight! We’ve smashed ’em!”: Translating Coarseness and Decoding Violence in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley
  2. James Quinnell: “It is well that he does remain there”: Joseph and Wuthering Heights
  3. Amber Pouliot: “Swallow it”: Fantasies of Incest in Brontë Biographical Fiction and Drama [via Skype]

4B. Writing Coarsely (Brewis Library)

Chair: Anghared Eyre

  1. Amber Regis: Through a glass, coarsely: Reading Brontë Prefaces
  2. Lucy Hanks: Reading Coarseness between the “Marks”
  3. Drew Lamonica Arms: “I may have gone too far”: Reappraising Coarseness in Anne Brontë’s Preface to the Second Edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

16.30 – 17.00 Closing Remarks from the conference organisers (The Quad)

17.00 Conference Ends