International conference will celebrate experimental author

Heike Salzer, senior lecturer in dance pictured in conversation with Wayne Sleep in 2009

Heike Salzer, senior lecturer in dance pictured in conversation with Wayne Sleep in 2009

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

ARTISTS, writers and researchers are coming to the North-East to celebrate the work of one of the 20th century’s most experimental authors.

French author Georges Perec is famous for his playful and experimental approach to writing - his most celebrated novel was written entirely without the letter ‘e’.

Species of Spaces: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Georges Perec, is an international conference which will take place at Teesside University on March 28 2014.

Speakers include Canadian sound poet Christian Bök, Kate Briggs from the American University in Paris and Victoria Hunter, Chichester University.

Specially commissioned choreography inspired by the work of Georges Perec will be performed by Rebecca Camilleri and Nicola Rayworth.

The conference, sponsored by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), is a collaboration between researchers in English, dance, design and fine art in Teesside University’s institute of design, culture and the arts.

Rachel Carroll, principal lecturer in English, said: ‘This is a really exciting event – Perec has been a creative inspiration to so many and this is a unique opportunity to explore his legacy.’ Simon Morris, senior lecturer in fine art, added: “Georges Perec suffered from writer’s block and only by using a self-imposed literary constraint was he able to liberate his imagination. His use of constraints as a creative tool provides artists with a means to overcome the terror of the freshly primed white canvas.”

Georges Perec’s collection of essays, Species of Spaces, has inspired new creative work from Teesside students, ranging from graphic design to dance performances.

Heike Salzer, senior lecturer in dance, said: “It is fascinating how Perec’s work has inspired a transdisciplinary collaboration. Students and staff have been able to look beyond their own areas and enjoy entering the unknown spaces.”

To find out more or book a place, email

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