Conference 2013: Louis MacNeice at the BBC

BBC © LM portrait 2 copy Louis MacNeice, Radio Writer and Producer: a one-day conference
19 October 2013

Following on from the welcome revival of interest in recent years in Louis MacNeice as writer and producer for radio, as well as a poet, a one-day conference will be held at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on Saturday 19 October 2013.

This occasion will mark both the half-century since MacNeice’s death and also the June 2013 publication of an Oxford University Press volume of eleven of MacNeice’s radio scripts, all of which draw on his interest in Greek and Roman history and literature (link here for further information).

The aim of the conference will be to consider the full span of MacNeice’s career as writer and producer for radio (and, indeed, television) from 1941 to his death in 1963 and it is hoped that an edited volume of essays, also to be published by Oxford University Press, will arise from the conference. In this way the conference seeks to stimulate further work on MacNeice’s important contribution to cultural broadcasting in this period.

The list of speakers and topics follows below. To book a place at the conference, please email Professor Stephen Harrison on The conference fee of £20, to cover coffee, lunch and tea, is to be paid in cash on the day. Please direct enquiries to Dr Amanda Wrigley on

book cover

Dr Richard Danson Brown, Senior Lecturer in English, The Open University
‘Arabesques of Elizabethan Sound in Features and Poetry: MacNeice’s The Death of Marlowe (1943) and “Suite for Recorders” ‘

Professor Hugh Chignell, Professor of Media History, University of Bournemouth
‘ “The Stones Cry Out” (1941): Louis MacNeice’s Broadcasts to America’

Professor Claire Davison, Chair of Modernist Literature, Université Paris 3 (Sorbonne Nouvelle)
‘ “If only we had Alexander”: Impurifying Propaganda in MacNeice’s Alexander Nevsky (1941)’

Dr Peter Golphin, Research Associate, The Open University
India at First Sight: Independence and Partition (1948)’

Dr Paul Long, Reader in Media and Cultural History, Birmingham City University
‘Inventing Sound: MacNeice at Work’

Dr Peter McDonald, Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry, Christ Church, Oxford
‘ “The Solidity of a Dream”: MacNeice, Yeats, and The Dark Tower (1946)’

Dr Simon Workman, Lecturer in English, Carlow College, Ireland
‘ “This chain of simple notes”: Louis MacNeice, Radio, Poetry and the Auditory Imagination’

Mr John Wyver, Senior Research Fellow, University of Westminster; writer and producer with the media company Illuminations
‘Admom and Everyman: Television in Louis MacNeice’s One for the Grave (1958-9)’