Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts: Interdisciplinary Conference

***Beyond Genius and Muse: Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts***

Conference date and venue: 18th-19th April 2017, Department of Music, University of Bristol
Deadline for proposals: 16th December 2016
Website and proposal submission:

Prof. Frances Spalding CBE, FRSL
Anthony Payne & Jane Manning OBE

Examining collaborating couples can force us to rethink the paradigms of working relationships in the arts; especially those of the twentieth century, where ideas of genius and muse are in total flux. Whether couples collaborated or hindered each other, what are the means to describe such complex creative partnerships? How can feminism, gender theories, and queer studies help shift perceptions and rediscover hidden powers and intimate connections? What methodologies can we use to research and write about intra-art and interdisciplinary couples? How do such couples perceive themselves and their work? This conference seeks to engage with all kinds of collaborating couples, be it cases where traditional roles are intact, reversed, or changed otherwise.

We invite proposals to the following topics (and others beyond):
Muses vs. geniuses in creative partnerships
Related isms: feminism, modernism, post-modernism, etc.
Queer perspectives
Methodological challenges (biography, comparative biography, life writing, archives and legacies, constructs like Michèle LeDoeuff’s ‘Heloise complex’, etc.)
Challenges in interdisciplinary partnerships/approaches
Collaboration and obstruction in partnerships
Partnerships between creative artists (writers, poets, fine artists, composers, performers, etc.) and ‘enablers’ (editors, gallerists and dealers, critics, conductors, etc.)

Proposals can be for 20-minute individual papers or 90-minute collaborative panels or lecture-recitals of max. 90 minutes. Proposals should not exceed 300 words, biographies (optional) 150 words. Please submit your proposal on the website. If you would like to compete for one of three postgraduate travel bursaries, please identify yourself as a postgraduate student in your proposal.

Conference fees, details on registration and the conference dinner will be posted on the website.

Organiser and Programme Committee
Dr Annika Forkert (Organiser; University of Bristol)
Dr Adrian Paterson (NUI Galway)
Dr Sarah Terry (Oglethorpe University)
Dr Tom Walker (Trinity College Dublin)

Contact: please email