An Overflow of Meaning: Reading and Re-reading Hilary Mantel - Virtual Conference

Thu., Oct. 14, 2021 | 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Huntington Zoom event (PDT)
Event Notes: 
Free with reservation
Add to Calendar 10/14/2021 08:00 AM 10/14/2021 12:30 PM America/Los_Angeles An Overflow of Meaning: Reading and Re-reading Hilary Mantel - Virtual Conference Visit page - The Huntington - Huntington Zoom event (PDT)

Hilary Mantel, whose literary archive is held at The Huntington, is one of the most critically acclaimed authors working today. Her unprecedented double Booker Prize wins for Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies combined with sell-out West End and Broadway stage adaptations and award-winning television dramatizations brought her unquestionable public prominence. But Mantel's Tudor novels constitute only one element of a writing career, which has spanned nearly 34 years, troubled myriad genres, and explored multiple forms. "Reading and Re-Reading Hilary Mantel" constitutes the first international conference on Mantel's work and seeks to act as a "state of the field" event, bringing a diverse range of Mantel scholars together to consider the complex presences and resonances of Mantel's work in the 21st century.

The event will be held online via Zoom. Zoom link will be sent to attendees in registration confirmation email. This event will be recorded.

Image credit: Hilary Mantel by Clare Park©

Conference Schedule


8 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle, The Huntington

8:15 a.m. - Session 1: Mantel: Interdisciplinary Approaches
Moderator: Lucy Arnold, University of Worcester

David Kenny, Trinity College Dublin 
“ʽWords, words, just words’: Mantel’s vision of law and language in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy”

Lucie Bea Dutton, Independent Scholar
“She is Embroidering her Thoughts with Helen Barre’s Needle: Stitching the Cromwell Trilogy”

Peggy Ellsberg, Columbia University
“Reanimation and Revision in Wolf Hall: Hilary Mantel’s and Hans Holbein’s Portraits of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More”

9:45 a.m. - Break

10 a.m. - Session 2: Writing the Marginal
Moderator: Ginette Carpenter, Manchester Metropolitan University

Eileen Pollard, Manchester Metropolitan University
“The Giant, O’Brien: Neglected, Historical Novel”

Terri Baker, Mount Royal University
“A Middle Eastern Jane Eyre”

Lucy Arnold, University of Worcester
“Nightmares about Fossils: Spectral Children and Intergenerational Trauma in the Work of Hilary Mantel”


8 a.m. - Ben Miles: In Conversation

9 a.m. - Session 3: Making History
Moderator: Mokshda Manchanda, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Kevin Gallin, Duke University
“Staging the World: Wolf Hall, the Historical Novel, and the Global Nation-State”

Eleanor Byrne, Manchester Metropolitan University
“The Sense of an Ending: Reading Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light and Ali Smith’s Summer during a pandemic”

Matthew Hart, Columbia University
“Such a Person: The Historical Novel and Contemporary Space”

10:30 a.m. - Break

10:45 a.m. - Session 4: True Stories: Mantel and Non-Fiction
Moderator: Eileen Pollard, Manchester Metropolitan University

Ginette Carpenter, Manchester Metropolitan University
“Haunted House or A Place of Greater Safety?: Retrospective Display in Mantel Pieces”

Mokshda Manchanda, Ambedkar University, Delhi
“Past, Present and Absent: Memory and Chronotope in Hilary Mantel's Giving Up the Ghost”

Neil Vickers, Kings College London 
“Hilary Mantel and Psychiatry”

12:15 p.m. - Closing Remarks
"There are no endings’: Where Now for Mantel Studies?"