Call for Papers: HG Wells: From Kent to Cosmopolis

Andrew M. Butler asks me to draw attention to this conference, and who am I to refuse an ex-Vector editor?

H.G. Wells: From Kent to Cosmopolis
An international conference to be held at the Darwin Conference Suite, University of Kent at Canterbury, England
July 9-11, 2010


The conference marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the H. G. Wells Society in 1960 together with the centenary of Wells’s comic masterpiece The History of Mr Polly. It will take place in what Mr Polly found to be the ‘congenial situation’ of Canterbury, the Kentish cathedral city within easy reach of Folkestone and Sandgate where Wells lived in the early twentieth century and wrote some of his best-known works.

We shall examine Wells both as a novelist formed by local circumstances of his time and place, and as a thinker and social prophet who remains intensely relevant today. We aim to discuss Wells’s links to modern science fiction in all media, his imagining of worlds to come, his political, social and ecological expectations for the 21st century, and his success as an artist and controversialist both then and now.

We invite proposals for papers on all aspects of Wells’s life and writings: his science fiction, his novels and short stories, his political, sociological and autobiographical works, and his contributions to education, journalism and the cinema. In keeping with the conference title ‘From Kent to Cosmopolis’ we hope to attract contributions which relate the local to the universal in his writings and/or look at Wells’s achievements in relation to wider cultural, historical, temporal and spatial perspectives.

250 word abstracts for 20-minute papers should be sent by 1 March 2010 to Andrew M. Butler and Patrick Parrinder at

Priority booking for the conference at bargain rates is available up to 30 June 2009. Contact the Hon. Treasurer, Paul Allen, at

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