Created in response to the Interesting Conference’s cancellation, on 9th May 2015 the Boring Conference will mark its fifth anniversary with organiser James Ward once again ‘[celebrating] the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked – subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating’.
Past audience members have been treated to tantalisingly damp-squibbish topics – yellow lines on the road, the Comic Sans font and Eric Clapton’s bookshelf just some examples – from a roster of speakers including Jon Ronson, Adam Curtis, Helen Zaltzman and John Grindrod.
I’ll be appearing briefly to speak about fictitious entries in dictionaries; playing to a sold-out audience of 400 seats, as reported in The Independent you may expect talks about the Casio watch favoured by Osama bin Laden, gasometers and a taxonomy of British earthquakes.
I popped up on the excellent fortnightly podcast The Allusionist this week to muckrake dictionaries and spread dissent. Many thanks to producer and presenter Helen Zaltzman for providing an opportunity to chat about my PhD research (and for her decision that Fleetwood Mac and poodles should feature in the segment). You can hear my quavering, surreptitious tones by clicking the image below:
The Allusionist, available on iTunes and elsewhere as part of Radiotopia from PRX, is a great resource for all things language and etymology-related with previous episodes featuring the history of the bra, the Finnish radio station that broadcasts bulletins in Latin and the various hierarchies of swearing: recommended listening.
Alongside poets and practioners Jen Calleja, Rebecca Perry, Jörg Piringer, Max Höfler, Ann Cotten, Esther Strauss, James Wilkes and Robert Herbert McClean, I’ll be reading work with Feinde as part of SJ Fowler‘s ongoing Enemies project.
It’ll all be taking place on May 12th 2015 in the Austrian Cultural Forum by Hyde Park. Do come along for the evening to hear the visiting Austrian poets before they head up to Edinbugh for the UNESCO European Literature Night.
Video and image courtesy of the Enemies Project.
Just a quick mention that the film ‘126’, mentioned here, was recently featured as part of the V&A’s most recent Friday Late series ‘Queer and Now’. As per the Victorian and Albert museum’s dedicated Lates page, ‘from the fringes of the underground to the drag divas taking over the mainstream, this is a world where pretty much anything can be “queered”. Join us as we turn a queer eye on the Museum; challenging traditional gender roles and exploring the diverse worlds of alternative history, art, design, performance and politics.’
A pleasure to pop up, however virtually and fleetingly, during this programme of music, performance, debate and on-site midst-the-statues haircuts in one of my favourite museums: thanks to curator Sean Curran for organising. Photos of the event, featured above, all taken from the Friday Lates’ dedicated Flickr stream.