Leavis at York

Saturday 16 October 2010, 10.00AM to 6.00pm

Here, bearing the name of the historic city, ancient second capital of England, is this convincing evidence of modern skill, modern and humane architectural intelligence, and modern resources, seeming, on its beautifully landscaped site, to grow in its modernity out of the old Hall, the old lakeside lawns and gardens and the old timbered grounds.  It is easy to see that … the idea of the university as I have been insisting on it isn’t merely mine.

F. R. Leavis,  Nor Shall my Sword (1972), p. 193 – dedicated “To the York students who gave me a new Blake with clean margins to write in.”


10 .00: Registration & coffee

10.30:  Welcome by Professor David Attwell, Head of the Department of English and Related literature; followed by Professor John Roe on the F. R. Leavis Fund, for student bursaries (the legacy of the former F. R. Leavis Lectureship Trust Fund established at Cambridge). 

  • Opening speaker: Professor Jeremy Tambling (Manchester): ‘Remembering F. R. Leavis’
  • Michael Caines (Assistant Editor, TLS): Leavis on T. F.  Powys; 
  • Dr David Gervais (Honorary Fellow, Reading; co-editor, Cambridge Quarterly): Leavis and French literature;   
  • Heward Wilkinson (UKCP): The later Leavis on Yeats: why he chooses ‘Among School Children’, and omits ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’.

 1.00:  Buffet lunch - resume at 1.50 pm.

  • Professor William Baker (Northern Illinois) will give a progress report on revisions to the Leavis bibliography
  • Dr Edward Greenwood (UKC): ‘Leavis and Four Quartets: some philosophical issues’; followed by
  • Dr Richard Storer (Leeds Trinity)  playing and commenting on a recording of Leavis (1970s) reading from and talking about Eliot’s poetry;        
  • Dr Chris Joyce and others: Leavis’s interest in Polanyi and in questions of ‘thought, language and objectivity’ and his observations on ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophy

3.45: Tea

  • Dr Peter Sharrock (SOAS): on being  taught by FRL and QDL;
  • Dr Steven Cranfield (London South  Bank): ‘Less Cambridge, more York: Leavis’s later ideas about the university’;
  • Dr Jonathan Brockbank (York): on his father’s friendship* with FRL;
  • Professor John Roe and Dr Miles Layram (York): the Leavis-Brockbank letters (recently discovered letters from Leavis to Philip Brockbank,* first head of English at York).      

6 pm:  Closing remarks.

Most talks will last for approximately 15-30 minutes, with as much time as possible allowed for questions and discussion.  The day is intended to stimulate discussion and exchange in an informal atmosphere, so it is as much about participation and dialogue as about listening.


Domestic arrangements

Refreshments and buffet lunch will be provided.


To book a room, please contact:

Matthew Kilburn
York Conferences
The University of York
Tel: 01904 328431
email: mjk502@york.ac.uk

Overnight accommodation is available on campus. Single and twin en suite rooms are available in Wentworth College.  Singles are available at £39 per night b&b + VAT;  twin rooms will be quoted on enquiry.  There are also number of rooms in Franklin House, mainly single en suite, with a small number of double en suite rooms. The rates are £39.50 and £64  + VAT respectively, but without breakfast.  Availability is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.   

Parking can be pre-purchased from the conference office for a reduced price of £3 + VAT per day. 

Note: If you intend to come to the Vice-Chancellor’s reception on Friday evening, 15th October, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/frleavis or, if unable to use this link, contact Sarah Phillips, sarah.phillips@york.ac.uk.

 For conference queries, please contact the convenor: chris.joyce.1969@pem.cam.ac.uk

Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

Admission: £25

Email: chris.joyce.1969@pem.cam.ac.uk