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English Research Seminar Series

Propositions: Performing Desire in Public

open book on table

As part of the English Research Seminar Series (2017-18), Dr Amy McCauley presents: 'Propositions: Performing Desire in Public'

  • From: Wednesday 25 October 2017, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 25 October 2017, 2 pm
  • Location: 101, Mary Ann Evans, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
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Event details

As part of the English Research Seminar Series (2017-18), Dr Amy McCauley presents: 'Propositions: Performing Desire in Public'.


Propositions is a collection of fragmentary essays examining aspects of desire, shame, rage and grief. The book considers the extent to which our 'personal' narratives can be viewed as retrievable or separate from wider myths and narratives around gender and sexuality. Do we 'become' structures of feeling, or do structures of feeling 'become' us?

Propositions is devised as a performing text, both on and off the page. The book uses a variety of voices and personae, and weaves aspects of personal recollection with elements of critical thought. Dr McCauley invites you to consider the following questions:

Is a ‘private’ self possible? Can we speak in voices which are not in some way already inherently ‘public’? How might a writer tackle ancient and contemporary myths around ‘femaleness’, desire, sexuality and the performing body? Do we ever stop ‘performing’ (as bodily forms, forms of language, gendered forms and sexualities)?

Accompanying the texts are a series of images. Documents from feminist artists are juxtaposed with scans of items from the writer's personal life: diary entries, photographs, found objects, notes on dreams and private correspondences. This suggests new ways of 'reading' and interpreting the relationship between 'public' myths and 'private' experience.


Amy McCauley recently completed a PhD at Aberystwyth University and won a Northern Writers’ Award (2016). She works as Poetry Editor for New Welsh Review and as Editor of Creative Response for the feminist visual arts website MAI Journal. She is interested in trans-genre writing, auto-frictions and feminisms. Amy’s first collection of poetry ‘Oedipa’ will be published by Guillemot Press in 2018.

For any enquiries please contact the Research Office by email, or by telephone on +44 (0)115 848 2301.

Location details


101, Mary Ann Evans


Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
NG11 8NS

Past event

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