Dr Eleanor Beal

Lecturer in English Literature, Manchester Metropolitan University, Executive Director of English: Shared Futures 2022

English: Shared Futures 2022

The English: Shared Futures 2022 Conference took place in Manchester 8th-9th July 2022. Hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, and the University of Salford, the conference was attended by around 300 delegates with over 70 panels, sessions and readings led by academic and educational professionals, authors poets and teachers working in the field of English Studies.

The conference celebrated the discipline’s intellectual strength, diversity and creativity and explored its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world. A series of cultural fringe events, funded by Arts Council England, celebrated the diversity of Manchester’s writing, publishing, performance, libraries and projects beyond schools and universities.

Death and The Sacred Symposium 2019

Is there a correct way to memorialise someone after they have died? Why do myth and mystery attach themselves to places of remembrance, like graveyards? And how does our relationship with death in society shape our popular and creative culture? These were just some of the questions and themes encountered in a fascinating day-long symposium ‘Death and The Sacred’ at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday 22 March 2019.

This symposium focussed on literature, arts and practice where individuals, groups, artists and writers explore a range of topics and themes deemed sacred and their interaction with death. Across all religions and cultures, death and dying has always loomed over sacred sites, texts, practises and journeys, and death has always commanded ritual and sacred attention. The theme ‘death and the sacred’, therefore, provided a fruitful topic for thinking about how the uniquely ordained, set aside, extraordinary features of particular locations and sites, bodies, practises and belief systems are influenced, reformed and repurposed by death.

Death and The Sacred Symposium 2019

Along with considering the sacred nature of death, the symposium incorporated the contemplation and discussion of such issues as the dialogue between humanity and spirituality in the face of increasing globalisation, materialism, communication, consumerism, science and technology.

This interdisciplinary symposium aims to explore, analyse and debate the relationship between death and the sacred in art and narrative.

Manchester has a rich literary tradition, as home to some exceptional and high-profile poets, a thriving poetry and spoken word scene, award-winning publishers and writing development agencies and libraries which place writing and community outreach at the heart of their work. This heritage is represented in Manchester’s designation as an UNESCO City of Literature in 2017.

In 2017, Manchester was welcomed into the Creative Cities network as a City of Literature. UNESCO Cities of Literature are awarded the title based on their dedication to pursuing excellence in literature locally and work together to promote new national and international links.

Further information

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English: Shared Futures aims to celebrate and explore the discipline’s intellectual strength, diversity and creativity and explore its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world. This summer will be hosted by by Manchester Metropolitan University, the University…