Future Events

Middlebrow Network

  • No future Middlebrow Network events listed.


  • No future external events listed.

Past Events

Middlebrow Network

  • Elizabeth von Arnim conference

    13th September 2015, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University, UK.

    This conference will re-evaluate the writing of Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941). Von Arnim’s complex, intelligent and witty novels were critically acclaimed and immensely popular during her lifetime, but until recently they have received little academic attention. This conference aims to shed fresh light on the contemporary contexts of von Arnim’s work and the literary hierarchies and values that have shaped her reputation.

    Proposals of 400 words for 20-minute papers should submitted via the website The deadline has been extended to 2nd March 2015.

    Conference organisers: Erica Brown (Sheffield Hallam University), Isobel Maddison (Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University) and Jennifer Walker (Independent Scholar).

  • Inventing the Middlebrow: The Middlebrow in 20th-Century Literature and Culture

     27-29 June 2014, St Catherine University, St Paul, MN, USA.

    Conference co-sponsored by Post-45 ( and the Middlebrow Network.

    This conference takes advantage of this exciting moment in middlebrow scholarship by bringing together scholars from different time periods and national traditions to explore the diverse range of literary production in the twentieth century.

    The programme is available at the Facebook page.  

    Registration is now open. 

  • Culture Wars 1900-1950

    Saturday 14th June 2014, Sheffield Hallam University

    Registration is now open for the conference. Download the registration form.

    This is an inter-disciplinary conference that looks beyond the purely literary to encompass journalism, publishing, libraries, etc. We ask: What was meant by 'culture' in the period 1900-1950? Whose culture was it and did all walks of life have a culture? How was culture contested?

    Draft conference programme.

    In association with the Middlebrow Network and the Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950 Collection at Sheffield Hallam University. This is a  unique resource of over 1000 novels, most in early editions, which reflect the wide range of literary taste in the period. The conference will include a session on the use of the collection as a research resource.

    The call for papers is now closed.

  • Special Collection Reading Groups

    Sheffield Hallam University holds a public reading group on the 1st Monday of each month, looking at novels held in their Special Collection of popular fiction, 'Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950'. All are welcome. Email Erica Brown to take part.

  • Yorkshire Writers 1900-1950

    25th October 2013, 1.30 - 4.30pm, Sheffield Hallam University. Part of Sheffield's Off the Shelf festival of words.

    An afternoon of talks and discussion on popular Yorkshire writers publishing in the early twentieth century. There will be talks on Winifred Holtby by Professor Marion Shaw (University of Loughborough, author of The Clear Stream: The Life of Winifred Holtby); Phyllis Bentley by Professor Chris Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University) on Phyllis Bentley; and Willie Riley (author of Windyridge (1912)) by David Copeland.

    At the end there will be an opportunity to visit Sheffield Hallam University's 'Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950' Special Collection. 

    Places are free but must be booked. Email Erica Brown

  • Sagas, Serials and Sequels

    Our next event will be 'Sagas, Serials and Sequels', on the 14th June 2013, 1.30—3.45 pm at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

    We look forward to welcoming our speakers John and Margaret Crompton, who will be talking on John Buchan and E. M. Delafield respectively. To complete the afternoon, Erica Brown will be speaking on the quintessential saga of the early twentieth century, John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga. To book a free place email Erica

    Full programme and poster.

    This is part of the activities of the Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950 Special Collection.

  • Memories of Sheffield Libraries

    Friday 19th October 2012, 2-4pm. Ecclesall Library, Sheffield.

    A chance to come and share your memories of Sheffield Libraries and see the fascinating 1956 film ‘Books in Hand’. Community historian Mary Grover will present memories of reading 1945-65, gathered in the oral history project ‘Reading Sheffield’.

    The event is organised by Sheffield Hallam University's Readerships and Literary Cultures Special Collection, and is part of Sheffield's Off the Shelf festival.

    Admission is free. To book a place telephone the library on 0114 2037222.

  • Adapting The Constant Nymph: Film and the Bestseller between the Wars

    Friday, 22nd June 2012, Sheffield Hallam University.

    This event is part of the work on the 'Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950 Special Collection', and will include a screening of the 'sumptuous' 1933 adaptation of The Constant Nymph.

  • The Battle of the Brows: Cultural Distinction in the Space Between, 1914-1945

    The 2011 Middlebrow Network conference is in conjunction with the Space Between Society.

    16-18 June 2011, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

  • Readerships and Literary Cultures Special Collection Event

    10th June 2011, Sheffield Hallam University

  • 2009 Middlebrow Network Conference

    The 2009 Middlebrow Network conference Middlebrow Cultures took place at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow on Tuesday 14th - Wednesday 15th July 2009. Further details including programme, abstracts and selected presentations

  • Historicising the Middlebrow conference

    The network was launched at this event, which took place at Sheffield University in July 2008.


  • Ravenstein Seminar 2016: Cultural Hierarchies and Practices of Middlebrow Culture

     27th January (RMa Day), 28th to 29th January (Conference) 2016, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The aim of this event is to explore the (trans)formation of cultural hierarchies in Western literatures during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. More specifically, we want to reexamine the boundaries and interactions between low, middle and high culture, paying special attention to how middlebrow culture developed as a distinct cultural sphere somewhere in between high and low, with its own protocols and practices.

    The seminar is organised by the Dutch Research School for Literary Studies (OSL), in collaboration with the NWO project group 'Dutch Middlebrow Literature' (University of Groningen/Radboud University Nijmegen/Open University in the Netherlands).

    Speakers include: Nicola Humble (University of Roehampton), Chris Baldick (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and Tom Perrin (Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama).

  • Crossing the Space Between, 1914-1945

     17-19 July 2014, Institute of English Studies, London. 

    The 16th annual conference of the multidisciplinary society, The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945.

    The conference will explore the notion of 'crossing' − whether of oceans, borders, classes, genders, disciplines or genres − as it relates to literature, art, history, music, theatre, media, and spatial or material culture in any country between 1914 and 1945.

    Full details here.

    Abstracts of no more than 300 words along with a short biographical statement to Nick Hubble at by 2 December 2013.

  • Agatha Christie: Crime, Culture, Celebrity

    A one-day symposium at the University of Exeter, Monday 14 April 2014
    Presented in collaboration with the Crime Studies Network. Confirmed keynote speakers:
    • Professor Sarah Street, University of Bristol
    • Dr Merja Makinen, Middlesex University

    Author of over eighty mystery novels, Agatha Christie was the best-selling writer of the twentieth century. Her detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are iconic and her play The Mousetrap is the longest-running in history.This one-day conference is the first in Britain to engage with Christie’s life, work, and popularity. An interdisciplinary event, Agatha Christie: Crime, Celebrity, Culture seeks to unite researchers across the humanities with an interest in this writer’s work, life, and her afterlife in TV, film, and, popular culture.

    Please email an abstract of 250 words with a short biographical note to, no later than Friday 29 November 2013. Please direct any queries to the same address.


  • Marginalised Mainstream: Fading and Emerging

    The second Marginalised Mainstream conference will be 12-13 September 2013 at Senate House, University of London.

  • Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1896-1962) and working-class women’s writing

    A centenary celebration on Saturday 7th September 2013 at the Working-Class Movement Library, Salford, UK. For details see the attached call for papers or contact Nicola Wilson, University of Reading at

  • Barbara Pym Centenary Conference

    This one-day international conference will celebrate the achievement of Barbara Pym in the year that marks the 100th anniversary of her birth. 12th July 2013 at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

  • At Play in the Space Between, 1914-1945

    The 2013 Space Between society conference will take place 20-22 June 2013 at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois. Proposals are due December 7, 2012.

  • The Marginalised Mainstream

    8-9 November 2012, Institute of English Studies, University of London

  • Space and Place in the Middlebrow: 1900-1950

     Institute of English Studies, University of London, 13-14 September 2012

  • Mass Observation Anniversaries Conference

    To mark 75 years of Mass Observation and 30 years of the Mass Observation Project there will be a conference at the University of Sussex, 4-6 July 2012.

  • Material Cultures in the Space Between 1914-1945

    The 2012 conference of the Space Between Society will take place on 14-16 June 2012 at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

  • Postgraduate conference: The Popular and the Middlebrow: Women's Writing 1880-1940

    12th April 2012, Newcastle University, UK

  • Nostalgia in the Twenty-First Century: ESRC Seminar Series

    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2010-11

  • Researching Popular Fictions: Method, Practice and Resonant Themes

    Conference organised by the Association for Research in Popular Fictions, 19-20 November 2011, Liverpool John Moores University

  • The Popular Imagination and the Dawn of Modernism: Middlebrow Writing 1890-1930

    15-16 September 2011, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Keynote speaker: Professor Ann Ardis (University of Delaware).

  • Glasgow School of Art Study Day

    This study day took place on 6 May 2010, with speakers Dr Lawrence Napper and Dr Will May. Dr May's presentation 'Books are a load of crap: Reading Society in Postwar Britain' can be accessed here.

  • International Penguin Conference

    University of Bristol, 29 June - 1 July 2010.

    In 2010, Penguin Books will be 75 years old and Puffin Books will be 70 years old. Organised by the AHRC Penguin Archive Project, the International Penguin Conference is occasioned by these two anniversaries of what is arguably the most distinctive and the most significant publishing house in the twentieth century and beyond.

  • The Space Between

    University of Portland, Oregon, 17-19 June 2010.

    The society's 2010 conference is on the theme 'Belief and Disbelief in the Space Between, 1914-1945'.

  • Modernist Studies Association

    MSA 11: The Languages of Modernism - Montréal, Québec, Canada, November 5-8, 2009.

    Network members presented a panel: "The Middlebrow Lexicon" and led a seminar: "Middlebrow/Modernist" at the 2009 MSA. An account of the seminar discussion can be downloaded.

  • F Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference

    Baltimore, Maryland, 30 September - 3 October 2009.

    Network member Sharon Hamilton presented "Fitzgerald's Smart Set Fiction: The Stories F. Scott Fitzgerald Wrote for the New Yorker of His Day."

  • Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

    Network members presented three panels at the 2009 conference in Toronto: "Domestic Professionals: the shifting status of authorship, childcare and interior design in interwar Britain"; "The News in Luscious Form": Magazines, Urban Circulation, and Cultural Hierarchies in New York, 1910s-1930s; and "Repossessing the Transatlantic Middlebrow."

Arts and Humanities Research CouncilUniversity of Strathclyde Sheffield Hallam University

Copyright University of Strathclyde | Terms Of Use and Cookies | Login