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THS 2019 Study Day Call for Papers

November 16, 2018

Category: Featured |



A Thomas Hardy Society Study Day in association with the University of Exeter

Saturday 13 April, 2019 at 10.00am

The Corn Exchange, Dorchester



Trish Ferguson (Liverpool Hope University)

Paul Niemeyer (Texas A&M International University)

Tony Fincham (The University of Kent and The Thomas Hardy Society)

Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter) and Helen Angear (University of Exeter and DCM)


2019 will mark the 145th anniversary of the publication of Far From the Madding Crowd, the novel whose success allowed Hardy to give up architecture and become a full-time writer. In December 1874 The Spectator surmised that 'either George Eliot had written it, or she had found her match'. Hardy's delineation of character was divisive from the outset, R.H. Hutton declared Sargent Troy and Farmer Boldwood to be 'conceived and executed with very great power'; while Henry James memorably stated that 'the only things we believe in are the sheep and the dogs'. It is a tale of sexual hypocrisy, female emancipation and male insanity, yet also contains passages of sparkling wit and humour, the rustics and the rural countryside being 'painted with the pen of a considerable artist' according to one contemporary critic. The Thomas Hardy Society warmly invites proposals for twenty-minute presentations on any aspect of Far From the Madding Crowd which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual double standards

  • Feminism versus misogyny

  • The concept of 'Wessex'

  • Rural values and the organic pastoral

  • Realism within fiction

  • Nature and empathy

  • Science and cosmology

  • Eros and Thanatos

A day designed to appeal to academics and general enthusiasts alike, the Society is once again offering two bursaries of £50 each to students wishing to attend who would otherwise find travel or accommodation costs prohibitive. Please send proposals of not more than 350 words, and no later than 28 February 2019, along with a brief description, if you are a student, of how a bursary would benefit your studies, to Dr Tracy Hayes (THS Student Co-Ordinator and Social Media Advisor) at



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