writing . culture . location

"Once we accept the actual configuration of literary experiences overlapping with one another and interdependent, despite national boundaries and coercively legislated national autonomies, history and geography are transfigured in new maps, in new and far less stable entities, in new types of locations. Exile, far from being the fate of nearly forgotten unfortunates who are dispossessed and expatriated, becomes something closer to a norm, an experience of crossing boundaries and charting new territories in defiance of the classic canonical enclosures..." - Edward Said

Trans-Scriptions is a seminar series established to bring together creative writers and academics to explore issues of writing, culture and location. The series first ran in 2005-07 and offered discussion plus readings from contemporary writers. Those seminars were part of a widening panorama of research projects that were focused in regions as geographically and culturally diverse as the UK and Africa. A new Trans-Scriptions series ran in the academic years 2007-08 and 2008-09, supported by the Faculty New Developments Fund and constituting an important element in the activities of the recently established Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research.  Further funding has been granted by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Seminar Series Fund for a further Trans-Scriptions series, 'Cultural Tension and Creativity,' which ran 2009-2011.


Trans-Scriptions June 2011: Travel, Writing, and the Ethics of Observation

hanson1Travel, Writing, and the Ethics of Observation, a Workshop and Seminar at Lancaster University, was held on Thursday June 16th. This free one-day event featured:

Morning Workshop: Travel, Writing and the Ethics of Observation: This practical workshop, led by Harry Whitehead and Corinne Fowler, will invite participants to explore the ethical implications of their own chosen mode of writing about travel.

Photographic Exhibition: 'Haiti: Beyond the Rubble': A projected exhibition of Richard Hanson’s images taken in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Panel Discussion chaired by Professor Graham Mort: Presentations by Dr. Harry Whitehead, ‘Faking the Facts in The Cannibal Spirit’; Richard Hanson, ‘Haiti Beyond the Rubble’; Dr. Corinne Fowler, ’ Travel writing, fiction and affection: the case of Paraguay’

Read full details of the conference.


March 2011: Two Trans-Scriptions Events


Distinguished Guardian international journalist Gary Younge spoke about his new book 'Who Are We: and why should it matter in the 21st century?' on March 8th at a lunchtime seminar in IAS organised by the centre for Transcultural Writing and Research. The event was chaired by Dr. Lindsey Moore and led to a wide discussion about culture and identity attended by about 60 members of staff and students.  Download the poster for the Gary Younge event.


Points of Departure.  Bermudan Novelist Angela Barry read from her novel 'Goree: point of departure' on March 16th IAS MR2/3. She was joined by Jeremy Poynting to discuss 25 years of production from Peepal Tree Press and the event was chaired by Professor Roger Bromley, author of 'Narratives for a New Belonging'. Download the poster for Points of Departure.



gorettiMay 2010: Goretti Kyomuhendo reads at 'Africa: Cultural Translations'

The 'Africa: Cultural Translations' Conference took place from 21-22 May 2010 at Lancaster University.  It was organised by Lancaster University African Studies Group in association with Trans-Scriptions and the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research.  One of the main events on the afternoon of the first day way a reading by Goretti Kyomuhendo and a discussion with Graham Mort in the Chair.  Click here for photographs of the event.  Click here to read the whole of the Conference Programme. 


JeremieTrans-Scriptions June 2009: Regarding War: Image/Text

The 2009 Trans-Scriptions event brought together a photographer, a filmmaker, a contemporary writer and a literary critic to discuss the themes of conflict, displacement and alienation in the context of the Centre’s Regarding War project. The day had as its starting point the Centre's online Regarding War exhibition, which contains images by photographer Richard Hanson and textual pieces written in response to those images by novelist Fadia Faqir. The conference included an exhibition of Richard Hanson’s photographs, a creative writing workshop run by Graham Mort and the work of two filmmakers who are exploring similar themes, Dictynna Hood and Sami Khan.  Click here for a full report of the June 2009 Trans-Scriptions event.

Trans-Scriptions May 2008: Migration, Memory & Mood in 'Multicultural' Britain

FadiaThe Centre's 2008-09 series of Trans-Scriptions began with an event held in County South Lecture Theatre, Lancaster University, on 1st May 2008. "Migration, Memory & Mood in 'Multicultural' Britain" brought together a contemporary writer, a sociologist and a visual artist and filmmaker to discuss the themes of migration, memory, and mood in 'multicultural' Britain. Dr Anne-Marie Fortier opened the programme with a paper on recent constructions of multicultural Britain. This was followed by a talk and reading given by the novelist Fadia Faqir and by Zineb Sedira talking about her photography and filmmaking. The event was well-attended and there was a lively discussion of the issues raised. Click here for more details and photos of 'Migration, Memory and Mood'.

Trans-Scriptions 2005-07

The organisers of the first series of Trans-Scriptions events were Dr Graham Mort and Dr Lindsey Moore, and in mounting the series the Department of English & Creative Writing collaborated with Litfest and was supported by Lancaster University Friends Fund and Lancaster City Council.



The first three events in the Trans-Scriptions series took place between December 2005 and May 2007:

Trans-Scriptions December 2005: Retrospection

'Retrospection' took place at the Storey Institute on Wednesday 7 December 2005. The focus was on writing and critical/theoretical approaches that have developed in relation to decolonisation and might be defined variously as post-war European, postcolonial, Black British, British-Asian, first or second-generation migrant writing. Retrospection featured two talks by postcolonial critics on Black British & Caribbean writing and two readings by well-known contemporary writers - Booker-nominated novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah and Iranian poet Mimi Khalvati. This was a free event which tested University's ability to involve a public audience in academic debate and celebration of contemporary literature.

Click on the links below to see clips and images from the 'Retrospection' event:

By the Sea

Retrospection December 2005

The Chine


Trans-Scriptions March 2006: Anticipation: Multiculturalism, Conviviality, Commonality or Compulsory Adaptation?

'Anticipation' took place at the Storey Institute, Lancaster, on 15th March 2006. The event involved bringing writers, academics and publishers into dialogue, celebrated new creative work through readings and explored the potential for dialogue between creative and critical writing in the context of journal production, and between writing and a broader socio-political context.

Trans-Scriptions May 2007: Open Day inaugurating the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research

31st May 2007, Institute for Advanced Studies: Critic, poet and novelist David Dabydeen was the main speaker at this all-day event, the last in the Trans-Scriptions seminar series, which has brought together creative writers and academics to explore issues of writing, culture and location.

Open Day



Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research, County College, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK