Dr Lucy Arnold - talk at The Commandery in October 2023.


The Commandery
The Commandery, Sidbury, Worcester, WR1 2HU


25 Oct 2023


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm



A talk with Dr Lucy Arnold – Is anybody there? The role of clairvoyants in contemporary fiction

Wednesday 25 October, doors open 6pm; talk from 6.30 – 7.30pm | The Commandery

Enjoy a talk by Dr Lucy Arnold in The Commandery’s atmospheric medieval Great Hall on an October evening.

The spirit medium, most powerfully associated in Britain with darkened Victorian and inter-war parlours, is a figure which seems incongruous with a contemporary, largely secular society, and largely incompatible with ‘a culture ruled by hypervisibility.’

However, in recent decades, the figure of the clairvoyant, and the situation of the séance in particular, have become increasingly prevalent within literary and visual culture.

In this talk, Dr Lucy Arnold explores a range of fictional mediums and the messages they convey, seeking to establish what they might communicate about our relationship with the dead, grief and mourning, with modern technology and our intimate entanglements with it, and the figure of the author themselves as a conduit through which the dead might speak.

Refreshments are available.

£7 per person; please book online via the link below.

Dr Lucy Arnold is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature (Contemporary) in the Department of English, Media and Culture at the University of Worcester, UK. She is a specialist in contemporary literature with particular research interests in contemporary gothic, narratives of haunting, contemporary women’s writing and psychoanalytic criticism. The majority of her published work to date has concerned the writing of Booker Prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel, with her monograph, Reading Hilary Mantel: Haunted Decades, published with Bloomsbury in 2019. She is the Principle Investigator of the AHRC-funded research network ‘Haunting Issues: Children, Spectrality and Culture’. Outside of her research and teaching, she is currently exploring the use of psychodynamic theory in higher education teaching. She is currently working on her second monograph project, Little Strangers: The Spectral Child in Contemporary Literary Culture and has articles on the work of Michelle Paver and Jesmyn Ward forthcoming in 2023.

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