Department of Music

Back Page

Retrieving the 1940s
Leeds, April 2002


A two day conference to be held at

The School of English, University of Leeds, UK

April 6th and 7th 2002

The 1940s have been a neglected decade in literary history, stranded between the
end of modernism and the emergence of post-war literary movements and
categorisations. This conference aims to revisit and re-evaluate the literature
and film of the 1940s, to situate them in a wider cultural history, and to
consider the ways in which the 1940s have been constructed and remembered. We are
interested in exploring commonalities and idiosyncracies, new directions and
continuities, across national and generic boundaries, in 1940s literature and
film. Specific areas of discussion might include, but are certainly not limited

(trans)formations of taste and readership
literary communities
literature of political commitment
crises of faith
economics and sociology of publishing
construction of 'English' literature & criticism
the role of literary magazines
war films and war writing
film noir and literary adaptations
American 'message pictures'
science fiction and fantasy
film musicals

in and around the work of: 

Nelson Algren * Jean Anouilh * WH Auden * Simone de Beauvoir * Samuel Beckett *
Elizabeth Bowen * Bertold Brecht * Albert Camus * Truman Capote * Frank Capra *
Joyce Cary * Jean Cocteau * Ivy Compton Burnett * Marcel Carne * Noel Coward *
Keith Douglas * Sergei Eisenstein * TS Eliot * William Empson * William Faulkner *
John Ford * Robert Frost * Henry Green * Graham Greene * Robert Hamer * LP Hartley
* Howard Hawkes * Lillian Hellman * Ernest Hemingway * Hermann Hesse * Alfred
Hitchcock * John Huston * Aldous Huxley * Humphrey Jennings * Arthur Koestler *
Christopher Isherwood * Nikos Kazantzakis * Philip Larkin * David Lean * FR & QD
Leavis * Rosamund Lehmann * Carlo Levi * CS Lewis * Malcolm Lowry * Rose Macaulay
* Norman Mailer * Thomas Mann * Maurice Merleau-Ponty * Arthur Miller * Vincente
Minnelli * Kate O'Brien * George Orwell * Alan Paton * Mervyn Peake * Cole Porter
* Anthony Powell * Powell and Pressburger * Ezra Pound * Otto Preminger * VS
Pritchett * Ayn Rand * Carol Reed * Rodgers and Hammerstein * Roberto Rossellini *
Antoine de Saint-Exupery * George Santayana * Jean- Paul Sartre * Upton Sinclair *
Stephen Spender * CP Snow * Christina Stead * Gertrude Stein* John Steinbeck * Jan
Struther * Dylan Thomas * JRR Tolkien * Evelyn Waugh * Orson Welles * Patrick
White * Billy Wilder * Tennesee Williams * Angus Wilson * Richard Wright

Abstracts of 300 words to be submitted by September 7th 2001.

For further information contact the organisers by email: 

Fiona Becket (; Ingrid Gunby (; Tracy
Hargreaves (

or by post at The School of English, University of Leeds, LEEDS