Call for Papers! Fireworks: The Visual Imagination of Angela Carter

The Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1PX

in association with The University of the West of England, Bristol and the Festival of Ideas

Monday 9 January 2017

Keynote: Sir Christopher Frayling


2017 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Angela Carter, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, renowned for her novels and adaptations of fairy tales. This symposium coincides with the exhibition, Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter (10 December-19 March 2017), hosted by The Royal West of England Academy and curated by Marie Mulvey-Roberts and Fiona Robinson. Carter worked and studied in Bristol for nearly ten years in the 1960s, where she wrote five novels, including The Magic Toyshop. Appropriately this exhibition takes place in Clifton, where she lived and created her first novel, Shadow Dance, set in the city, which forms part of the “Bristol trilogy”.

Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter focuses on the painters who inspired her and historical and contemporary art which can be seen to parallel her writing. Carter had an extraordinarily visual imagination and this is represented in the exhibition through the juxtaposition of images and her words. Carter’s adept story-telling, accompanied by her captivating graphic imagination, bursts out of the restraints of a single discipline. As she once pointed out: “I feel free to loot and rummage in an official past, specifically a literary past, but I like painting and sculptures and the movies and folklore and heresies, too.” Carter’s subversive, political, radical and highly original work has been an important influence on film-makers, writers and artists. This symposium aims to give new insights into the strange worlds of Angela Carter and pay tribute to her visual imagination, as well re-assessing her impact and importance for the twenty-first century.

The symposium seeks to create dialogue between practising artists, curators, writers, academics and students from disciplines including the visual arts, literature, history, film and media studies. Proposals for papers are invited to reflect on various aspects of Carter’s work: These might include, but are not limited to:

• Visual imagination and inspiration

• Art, poetry, music, film, journalism, translation, theatre, puppetry

• Japanese culture, sexuality, philosophy, radicalism, feminism


250 word abstracts for 20 minute papers by 1 August 2016
should be emailed to Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts at and Dr Charlotte Crofts at

Artists and curators should send proposals directly to Fiona Robinson at