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Symposia & Seminars

For a poster version of the Call For Papers in .pdf format, please see here.

Medussa pediment from the
Corfiot Temple of Artemis

The Durrell School of Corfu has opened each annual session with a symposium that examines themes of importance to the Durrells and to our world. The first symposium in 2002 took "Understanding Misunder-standing" as its central theme and it included distinguished leaders in politics, economics, the arts and environmental studies among its participants. The 2004 symposium examined "Globalisation and Nationalism."

Keynote speakers have included: Gayatry Chakravorty Spivak, Avalon Foundation professor at Columbia University; Terry Eagleton, professor of Cultural Theory at the University of Manchester; Lee Durrell from the Durrell World Wildlife Trust; David Bellamy, internationally acclaimed ecologist and botanist; Harish Trivedi, professor of English at the University of Delhi; John Brandon of the Asia Foundation; Elemer Hankiss, dean of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; and Marwan Bishara from the American Univerisity of Paris.

The Venetian Winged Lion




23-27 May 2005

Following the success of its 2002, 2003 and 2004 summer sessions, the Durrell School of Corfu announces the program for its 2005 seminar: "Madness and Creativity," to take place at the School's library and study centre on the Greek island of Corfu, May 23-27, 2005.

The DSC invites submission of proposals for short papers (no more than 30 minutes) on any aspect of the subject, with the emphasis on the effects of various forms and levels of madness/mental disturbance in novelists, poets, composers and visual artists.

The format of the seminar will facilitate detailed discussion of each paper with members of the School's faculty, and will therefore permit no more than 5 papers each day. Full texts of presentations must be received at the DSC by 1 May 2005 in order to facilitate circulation to all participants.

A selection of papers and the discussion they inspire will be published by the DSC as part of its Proceedings.

The seminar will feature the participation of Dr Anthony Stevens, the noted British psychiatrist and Jungian analyst, now resident in Corfu, whose books include On Jung (1991), Private Myths: Dreams and Dreaming (1995), Ariadne's Clue: a Guide to the Symbols of Humankind (1998), Prophets, Cults and Madness (2001) and The Roots of War and Terror (2004).

The seminar will include at least one plenary lecture, by the School's Academic Director, Richard Pine (author of Lawrence Durrell: the Mindscape), on "Lawrence Durrell and the Borders of Sanity," and a field class at the White House, Kalami, where Durrell wrote The Black Book in the mid-1930s.

Proposals for papers may focus on:

  • the lives and work of individual artists who are known to have been, or thought to have been, mentally unstable (e.g. Schumann, Balzac, Sade, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Artaud, Virginia Woolf, Strindberg, Plath, van Gogh), or
  • more generally on areas of mental instability such as schizophrenia, obsession, manic depression, or
  • creative works which explore madness and mental health such as Tunc and Nunquam, King Lear, Hamlet, the 'Pope' studies by Francis Bacon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Fine Madness, Rain Man, and A Beautiful Mind.
  • Proposals may also address the topic of whether there is any demonstrable connection between madness and creativity, and whether the quest for identity of a 'divided self' is more profound in creative artists than in others.

Corfu's Asian Art Museum

Corfu's Rue de Rivoli

In absentia presentations are not acceptable.

Proposals should be received at the DSC by e-mail before 1 February 2005, consisting of not more than 2 double-spaced typed pages ([email protected]).

The registration fee for the seminar will be 200 euros for participants (to include costs of field classes) and 250 euros for those who wish to attend and take part in the discussions, but who do not wish to present papers.

The Durrell School of Corfu will not be responsible for any costs associated with travel or accommodation. Intending participants should consult the DSC website (www.durrell-school-corfu.org) for details of accommodation available in Corfu.

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