Plenary Speakers



Professor Greg Clingham (Online)

(The Pennsylvania State University, USA)


Greg Clingham (BA hons, MA, PhD, Cambridge) is Visiting Research Professor at the Humanities Institute of The Pennsylvania State University. For more than twenty years he was Professor of English at Bucknell University, Pennsylvania, and also Director and Chief Editor of the Bucknell University Press. Before that he taught at Fordham University, New York University, and the University of Cambridge, where he continues to be a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. A recipient of fellowships at the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Houghton Library Harvard, Beinecke Library Yale, St. Edmund’s College Cambridge, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Noel Foundation at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, and St. Andrews University, Dr. Clingham has lectured in Japan, China, Singapore, Turkey, Holland, and South Africa, and at various venues in the USA and the UK. The author or editor of fourteen books and dozens of scholarly articles, book chapters, reviews, and notes, Dr. Clingham is a distinguished scholar of eighteenth-century literature, writing on Johnson, Dryden, Boswell, memory, historiography, literary translation, ‘orientalism,’ archives, the history of the book, and matters to do with scholarly publishing. In particular, he is the author of Johnson, Writing, and Memory (Cambridge, 2002), the forthcoming Samuel Johnson’s Interests: Life, Literature, Limits (Lehigh), editor of The New Cambridge Companion to Samuel Johnson (Cambridge, 2022), and co-editor of Oriental Networks: Culture, Commerce and Communication in the Long Eighteenth Century (Bucknell, 2020). Dr. Clingham is presently writing an intellectual biography of Lady Anne Lindsay Barnard (1750-1825) that is also a cultural history of the Cape of Good Hope in the late eighteenth- and early-nineteenth centuries, while also working on Sir George Macartney’s diplomatic papers from China, India, Russia, and the Cape of Good Hope (1760s - 1799). Dr. Clingham is on the Editorial Board of the journal Eighteenth-Century Life, and he is the General Editor of a new series of scholarly books, Eighteenth-Century Moments, with Clemson University Press in association with Liverpool University Press. In 2022, Dr. Clingham’s contributions to eighteenth-century studies were recognized in a festschrift, A Clubbable Man: Essays on Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture in Honor of Greg Clingham, ed. Anthony W. Lee (Bucknell). Website:


Obscure Spectatorship: Lady Anne Lindsay Barnard at the Cape of Hope, 1797-1802


Between 1797 and 1802, Lady Anne Lindsay (1750-1825), oldest child of the 5th Earl of Balcarres, an ancient Scots family, and her husband, Andrew Barnard (1757-1807), an Irish soldier turned civil servant, the son of the Bishop of Limerick, were part of the first, small British contingent at the Cape of Good Hope under Lord George Macartney (1797-98) and Sir George Younge (1799-1801). This was not initially a colonial enterprise, but a strategic military intervention to protect an important trade route to India and China. Britain was at war with France, an ally of Holland, who had been the colonial presence at the Cape since the 1650s.


Lady Anne of course had no official remit at the Cape of Good Hope. But during those five years, she recorded many aspects of life at the Cape — not only about matters domestic, personal, social, and natural, such as one would expect from one on the margins of intellectual and official discourse, but also about governmental, political, historical, and global issues. She did this in extensive, informed, lively and imaginative diaries and journals, written for the entertainment and information of her family, and in long, substantial letters addressed to Henry Dundas, Minister for the Colonies, and an old boyfriend. Most of these documents have been published, though they have left virtually no trace in literary scholarship or political or cultural history. Lady Anne also recorded her experience of people and places in drawings and watercolors, some of them — especially those of enslaved and indentured persons, indigenous women and children, and other people of color — being powerful, transformative, and beautiful. None of her watercolors have ever been exhibited or adequately reproduced, and, like the voluminous prose and poetry in her unpublished archive, all of them remain virtually unknown and invisible to art history and cultural history.


This illustrated talk, which draws on material in archives (both private and public) in Scotland and the Cape of Good Hope, considers some of these watercolors as illuminating, though liminal depictions of Lady Anne’s engagement with race, slavery and cultural difference at the Cape at a crucial historical moment, and in a pivotal geographical location, for the expanding global network in commerce and culture. These watercolors also constitute, I argue, an oblique, critical reflection on the broader British colonial project of which Lady Anne Barnard was inevitably part, but to which she was not wholly sympathetic. At the centre of my consideration of Lady Anne’s watercolors — an artistic form which she had never practiced before her departure for the Cape in her 42nd year, though she had been a prolific amateur sketcher and portraitist in pencil — are their formal, aesthetic and emotional features — their extraordinary use of color, for example. These, I argue, enable (but are not wholly to be equated with) their artistic seriousness and their commanding representations of Blacks at a time when race and ethnicity were usually exoticized in European art. Necessarily selective, my discussion will be historical and comparative, placing Lady Anne’s art in relation to enlightenment thought and to the texts of her own diaries and correspondence, while looking at her different iterations (drawing versus finished watercolor) of certain subjects for what they reveal of her artistic process and intellectual orientation. My discussion will, also, briefly, contextualize Lady Anne’s art in relation to the work of better-known contemporary professional artists, such as Samuel Daniell, who visited the Cape in 1799-1802, and David Martin, the creator of the legendary portrait of Dido Belle with her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray (1778).


Professor (Emeritus) Andreas H. Jucker

(University of Zurich, Switzerland; President of European Society for the Study of English (ESSE))


Andreas H. Jucker is Professor emeritus of English Linguistics at the University of Zurich. His research interests focus on historical pragmatics, politeness theory, speech act theory, and the grammar and history of English. His recent publications include Politeness in the History of English. From the Middle Ages to the Present-day (CUP, 2020), The Pragmatics of Fiction. Literature, Stage and Screen Discourse (co-authored with Miriam Locher; EUP, 2021), and the handbook Pragmatics of Space (co-edited with Heiko Hausendorf; de Gruyter, 2022). He is currently President of the European Society for the Study of English and Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Pragmatics.



“He shrugged a vague apology”: Pragmatic Ambiguity and Speech Act Theory


Semantic ambiguity is a concept that is relatively well understood, but so far little is known about the concept of pragmatic ambiguity, i.e. ambiguities and fuzziness at the level of pragmatics and in particular at the level of illocutionary force. Since the early days of speech act theory, speech acts have been defined in terms of felicity conditions which decide whether an utterance should be analysed as, for instance, a question, a request or an apology. Indirect speech acts – e.g. requests that on the surface look like questions – were seen as special cases which do not seriously impair the theoretical underpinnings of felicity conditions as diagnostic tools. However, there is an increasing amount of evidence that speech act values are regularly fuzzy, underspecified and ambiguous. Utterances can be laminated, i.e. perform several speech acts simultaneously, they can be indeterminate by leaving a range of different interpretations, and they can be equivocal by avoiding committing the speaker to a specific interpretation. In actual interactions, people often negotiate speech act values (“I want a real apology”; “Is that a compliment?”), which can be seen as problematic failures on the speaker’s side to signal the intended speech act value, or, alternatively, as strategic – and often effective – attempts to leave the precise speech act value underspecified. In this contribution, I want to re-examine and critique some of the basic assumptions of traditional speech act theory and argue for a discursive approach that recognises the inherent fuzziness and ambiguity of speech acts.



Professor Rezzan Silkü -  Professor Talat Sait Halman Lecture

(Ege University, Turkey)


Rezzan Kocaöner Silkü is a professor of English Literature at Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, where she received her PhD in 1996 for her dissertation on Doris Lessing's novels. Her teaching and research areas range from Victorian Fiction to Postcolonial Studies. She has published on George Eliot, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe, Arundhati Roy, Flora Nwapa, Caryl Phillips, and she is the author of Industrialization, Modernity and the Woman Question (Ege University Press, 2004), and The Postcolonial Novel and its Criticism (Ege University Press, 2011). She worked as a division head and a chair at the Department of English Language and Literature, and as a board member for IDEA (The English Language and Literature Research Association of Turkey), and ADIKAM (European Languages and Cultures Research Centre). She is also a member of ESSE (The European Society for the Study of English), IDEA (The English Language and Literature Research Association of Turkey), and ASAT (The American Studies Association of Turkey).


Doris Lessing Reconsidered: Some Thoughts on Environmental Concerns in Lessing’s Science Fiction Novels


… that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way. (Doris Lessing, The Four-Gated City)


Having been acclaimed to be a universally acknowledged author of the British literary canon, Doris Lessing’s works have always been amenable to various readings and interpretations. In her book, Doris Lessing, Elizabeth Maslen remarks that “It is not easy to know where to begin when discussing Doris Lessing’s works, as they cover such a range of ideas and experience […] which the society she writes for is not quite ready to face” (1).


In her realist works of the 1950s, The Grass is Singing and her early novels of The Children of Violence series like Martha Quest, Lessing deals with issues of race and gender; in the 1960s, she wrote her outstanding novel, The Golden Notebook in which she takes marriage, divorce and gender matters to make them central in her discussions to challenge the hegemonic social conventions; in the 1970s, her inner space fiction; The Canopus in Argos: Archives, foreshadowed in The Appendix section of The Four-Gated City came out, and were followed by her realist examples, under the pseudonym of Jane Somers, through which life, death as well as old age problems are depicted, evolving into her late millennial fiction which speculates on some existential questions.


Accordingly, based on Doris Lessing’s understanding of fiction through experimentation ranging from the early realist examples like The Grass is Singing to the postmodernist The Golden Notebook, this paper aims to reconsider her science fiction novels, The Canopus in Argos: Archives, which are also considered to be a natural outcome of her environmental concern as a reaction to the transformation of nature into a kind of macrocosmic dystopia.