Correspondence and Community

Mathias Hall, Bangor UniversityThursday 5 July 2018, 08:45–19:00
The Epistolary Research Network (TERN) seeks to bring into discussion those involved in the study of letters and letter writing, as well as those participating in the creation or preservation of letters and epistolary collections. We are delighted to present its inaugural event, a one-day symposium on the theme of Correspondence and Community, held at Bangor University on 5 July 2018.

The event will feature a series of papers addressing the theme of ‘Correspondence and Community’ through a broad range of disciplinary, historic, and geographical lenses. Community here refers to the linking of groups or individuals who share common interests or facets of identity. A keynote talk by Dr Hannah Tweed (University of York) will draw on research in the fields of Medical Humanities and Digital Studies to illuminate the significance of correspondence in digital communities. Further papers will address such topics and themes as family letters, business correspondence, literary exchange, and the creation of community across social, cultural, and geographic borders. We are delighted to welcome researchers from across the world and look forward to a full day of presentations and discussion.


8:45-9:10: Registration

9:10-9.20: Opening Remarks

9:20-10:40: Panel 1: Households, Families, and Isolation

  • Ali Claire Flint (University of Derby), Symbiotic relationships in nineteenth-century epistolarity
  • Amanda Kelly (Kent State University), Pliny the Younger’s Letters Concerning Slaves and Women
  • Sindija Franzetti (Uppsala University) “Dear …”: In Search of Meaningful Human Connection
10:40-11:00: Morning coffee break

11:00-12:20: Panel 2: Building Communities Across Different Geographies

  • Gordon Tait (Hull University) The Corresponding Silences of Joseph Skipsey of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Karin Koehler (Bangor University), ‘Newspapers, Working-Class Verse and the Postal Service’
  • Millie Schurch (University of York), Elizabeth Montagu and Eighteenth-century Epistolary Geographical Knowledge
12:20-13:20: Panel 3 Secret Business
  • Jessica Davidson (Oxford University), ‘I write to engage my standing as usual’: Stallholder letters from Bristol fair, 1810-1835
13:20-14:20: Lunch (provided)

14:20-15:20: Panel 4 Gender Identity and Community
  • Francesca Battista (University of Vienna), Gender as Category of Identification in Medieval Model Letters and Handbooks of Letter Writing?
  • Linda McGuire, Cicero’s women: a female community within The Letters to Atticus
15:20-15:40: Afternoon coffee break

15:40-17:00: Panel 5: Community and Emotional Connection
  • Kalina Sobierajska (University of Wrocław), Kinship Across Borders: Analysing Letters as a Vital Nexus of Transnational Family Relations
  • Heather Moser (Kent State University), Let it Be Known the Stories are True: Don’t Touch the Rocks!
  • Carol Acton (St Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo), Negotiating war: epistolary communities and emotional support in the First World War
17:00-18:00: Plenary
  • Hannah Tweed (University of York), ‘Don’t Read the Comments? Disability Rights and Online Communities’
18:00: Wine reception

19:30: Informal Conference Meal