Schedule Change

We’re sorry to announce that Professor Julie Sanders has reluctantly had to withdraw from this year’s conference and can no longer deliver her closing keynote.

Instead we have organised a Round Table Discussion on the topic of 21st Century Editorial and Developmental Practices and we have lined up some exciting speakers to sit on the panel!

Professor Gabriel Egan

Gabriel Egan is a Professor of Shakespeare Studies and the Director of the Centre for Textual Studies at De Montfort University. He is the author of The Struggle for Shakespeare’s Text: Twentieth Century Editorial Theory and Practice (2010), one of the General Editors for the New Oxford Shakespeare Complete Works and co-edits the journals Shakespeare and Theatre Notebook. Gabriel is currently editing Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona and is the Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded research project “Shakespeare’s Early Editions: Computational Methods for Textual Studies” that will explore the differences between the quarto and Folio versions of his plays to see if they can be quantified and explained in terms of textual corruption and authorial and non-authorial revision.

Lucy Hobbs

Lucy Hobbs is a Research student in the Centre for Adaptations at De Montfort University. She is currently working on her PhD ‘Adapting the Role of M in the James Bond Franchise’. Her background is in commissioning and project managing titles on English and English Literature lists for leading Educational Publishers, having trained as an editor and commissioner at Oxford University Press. She is also Editorial Manager of the A-level magazine, The English Review.

Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker is the programme leader for De Montfort University’s MA in Television Scriptwriting, which he helped to design, and teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at York St John University.  He was the Head of Central Independent Television’s Script Unit and later the Creative Executive of Columbia TriStar Central Productions.  He is an experienced television script editor and is the Vice Chair of Writing East Midlands. Christopher co-wrote The Insiders Guide to Writing for Television with Julian Friedmann, published in 2012. He also produced the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand, Sob Sisters and has developed comedy projects for Carlton and the BBC.


Works in Progress’ Schedule

Works in Progress’ exciting schedule has been finalised!

Registration 8.45-9.30

KEYNOTE 1 [0.09] 9:30—10:30: Dr Adam Smyth (University of Oxford)

Break 10:30-10:50

SESSION 1 10:50—12:10

PANEL 1A [0.09]: People in Progress

Sally King (De Montfort University), ‘Interpret, interrogate and censor: The changing faces and fates of the Cinderella cast’

Jayne Buchanan (Plymouth University), ‘Art History: From Archival Research to Working with Living Artists’

Lucy Hobbs (De Montfort University), ‘The evolution of M – an extensible franchise character’

PANEL 1B [0.13]: Editing

Adrian Osbourne (Swansea University), ‘“Work in Progress”: Dylan Thomas’s “Altarwise by owl-light” in the fifth notebook’

James Monkman (Independent Scholar), ‘Compromised Fiction: The Editing of John Cheever’s “Torch Song” by Gustave Lobrano’

Philip Tromans (De Montfort University), ‘Richard Hakluyt, Editor’

Lunch 12:10-1:10

SESSION 2 1.10-2.30

PANEL 2A [0.09]: Unfinished Business

Kieran Foster (De Montfort University), ‘Dracula Unseen: The Unmade Films of Hammer’

Isobel Clarke (Royal College of Music), ‘“The triumph of an idea and a temperament in perpetual symbol”: Nijinsky’s Tyl Eulenspiegel

Nicola Boyle (De Montfort University) ‘“Sir I perceive you misdoubt my readiness”: an early modern example of the elasticity of deadlines’

PANEL 2B [0.13]: Adaptation

Chloe Owen (University of Exeter), ‘“The form of Faustus’ fortunes”: Dr Faustus as a Work in Progress’

Anupama Basu (University of York) ‘At the Intertextual Confluence: Rethinking Subalternity in Ray’s Adaptations of Tagore’

Sarah Burdett (University of York) ‘“A Strict Adherence to Truth”: Matthew West’s Adaptation of John Edmund Eyre’s The Maid of Normandy

Break 2:30-2:50

SESSION 3 2:50-4:10

PANEL 3A [0.09]: Film Production Practices

Laura Fryer (De Montfort University), ‘Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Merchant Ivory’s collaborative filmmaking, or, Who did what and who cares?’

Tot Foster (Open University), ‘Grassroots’ video in the UK social welfare charity sector – developing a prototype for production’

PANEL 3B [0.13]: Composition

Andrew Raven (Lancaster University), ‘What is Compositional Hermeneutics?’

Megan Beech (University of Cambridge), ‘Process and Progress: Dickens’s notetaking practices and the composition of Our Mutual Friend

Andrew Jeffrey (Sheffield Hallam University), ‘“Most Incomplete”: Maggie O Sullivan’s Body of Work (in progress)’

Break 4:10-4.20

KEYNOTE 2 [0.09] 4:20—5:20: Professor Julie Sanders (Newcastle University) ‘To be continued’

Read Julie Sanders’ abstract

The internationally-renowned Julie Sanders has kindly supplied us with an abstract of her keynote address to Works in Progress delegates, to whet our appetite for the day.

‘To be continued’

This talk will attempt a creative and playful approach to the concept of work in progress that itself presents projects not yet fully realised, adaptations in the process of becoming, a repertoire in the making, and scripts in development. The intention will be to explore the value and purpose of engaging with theatre work from its earliest inception in order to interrogate the creative process, and the ways in which theatre work is always an example of adaptation in process. What adaptation studies and academic work, not least editorial but also critical, might gain from engagement and collaboration with theatre companies will be a major focus: in terms of the so-called ‘finished product’, production or performance,  but also with ideas half-formed, those set aside in the process of rehearsal, and those which emerge after the official first night reviews. In the course of the discussion, I will suggest that not only is all theatre work adaptation in process but also that adaptation criticism is in this respect always unfinished, open-ended, subject to review ….

The raw material for this talk is itself part of a collaborative endeavour with Lorne Campbell and Northern Stage in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and I am grateful to them for the inspiration and the opportunity.

Find out more about Lorne Campbell and Northern Stage here and here.

Registration is now open

Registration for this year’s conference, Works in Progress, is now open. We have exciting papers on literature, history and music as works in progress, and two exceptional keynote speakers, Professor Julie Sanders (Newcastle) and Dr Adam Smyth (Oxford).

Click here to register. The schedule will appear here soon.

Congratulations to our speakers!

Congratulations and thanks go to those selected to speak at this year’s GradCATS conference, Works in Progress. For the second year running we received a substantial number of exciting proposals and will have the privilege of welcoming some very talented postgraduate researchers to De Montfort University.

Information on registration, travel and accommodation will appear here soon, as well as the day’s schedule. Please share the details of our conference with anyone who might be interested in attending.

Professor Julie Sanders confirmed as our second keynote

It gives us great pleasure to announce Professor Julie Sanders as one of our keynote speakers for this year’s conference, Works in Progress.

Professor Sanders’ work is an extraordinary mix of leading publications on early modern literature and adaptations studies. Her oeuvre includes but is hardly limited to the monographs, Caroline Drama (1999), Adaptation and Appropriation (2006), Shakespeare and Music (2007), The Cultural Geography of Early Modern Drama, 1620-1650 (2011) and  The Cambridge Introduction to Early Modern Drama, 1576-1642 (2014). She has worked extensively on Ben Jonson, and has edited Jonson’s The New Inn and James Shirley’s The Bird in the Cage.

Her international reputation is buttressed by her appearances on BBC Radio 4’s prestigious ‘In Our Time’, where she has been invited to speak on pastoral literature, Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedy, the history of metaphor, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, and the metaphysical poets.

We look forward to welcoming Professor Sanders to De Montfort with great excitement!

Dr Adam Smyth announced as keynote speaker

We are delighted to announce that Dr Adam Smyth of Balliol College, Oxford, is our first confirmed keynote speaker for this year’s conference, Works in Progress.

Even if Adam’s work was limited to Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and George Herbert on the one hand, and early modern diaries, commonplace books, jokes and almanacs on the other, it would constitute a fabulous and fascinatingly diverse body of work. But that’s not all: Adam has written monographs on early modern autobiography, seventeenth-century miscellanies, and has co-edited a book on the history of book destruction. The destruction, cutting, pasting, recycling and remaking of books is indeed just another of Adam’s great interests. This long list of research expertise is not exhaustive and you can learn more about Adam here. We also recommend the podcasts he has hosted on the history of the book, which includes an interview with one of last year’s keynote speakers, Professor Ian Gadd. The podcasts can be found here

Adam’s keynote talk is one not to be missed!


2016’s CfP

CFP: Works in Progress

All texts and artworks will have at one stage been a work in progress, despite the tendency to value them as cultural artefacts once they are deemed finished and made available for consumption. Redrafting and editing are processes which strive towards a “final” product, meaning their publication often results in the loss or occlusion of multiple ancillary versions. Such materials are important to our understanding of how texts and works are shaped and reshaped, and by whom.

The second annual Graduate Conference for Adaptation and Textual Studies (GradCATS) aims to explore the significance of alterations and decisions made during the construction, editing or reproduction of all kinds of creative works, including manuscripts, printed books, films, television programmes, music, photographs, dances, and paintings. We are open to a consideration of “works in progress” on a broad scale, from planning documents, drafts, cut or unfinished materials, through to republications, reproductions and adaptations. Proposals for 15-20 minute papers and panel sessions are welcome from postgraduate students working in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Republications and revisions of texts
  • Unfinished works, extra-textual materials or marginalia
  • Adaptation and translation as rewriting
  • Editing and production theory and practices
  • The status of proposals, abstracts, pitches and film, television and radio treatments
  • Revisions which are arguably regressive or which are for private consumption
  • How the commodification and publicity of a work affects its final form
  • How conflict between collaborators affects the finished product
  • Methodology behind the search for “lost” or discarded versions or editions
  • Artists, writers, performers or sportspeople themselves as works in progress
  • Works that depend on audience participation and feedback

Proposals of up to 250 words should be submitted online here by Friday 15th April 2016. Alternatively, email them to

The conference on “Works in Progress” will take place on 7th July 2016 at De Montfort University, Leicester.