The recent USS Strikes were a phenomenal call to arms in the academy. On the picket lines, in teach outs, in the pub warming up later, all sorts of colleagues spoke to each other, some for the first time. A great feeling of what the university should, and could, be was generated. I am using the phrase ‘fill the seats’ #filltheseats, to try and keep this momentum going in my daily working life.

While we’re on strike, we made connections, we we’re networking. Not in the sense of a smarmy business meeting where every participant wants to see only a personal profit margin. But in the sense that we created new networks for the dissemination of knowledge, support, and curiosity. We want to know what our colleagues are working on, to know what they know, and to ensure that this information, this research, is reaching those who need it and want it.

So, here’s a list of CfPs, and events, closing in March/April 2018, or occurring then, that you might have missed out on knowing. Let’s fill their seats, and keep the connections live. Please help me add to this list!

War and Peace in Victorian Popular Culture – VPFA annual conference, CfP deadline extended 23rd March

The Business of a Woman’s Life: female authorship, celebrity and fandom – event 26th March, tickets on sale.

African Studies Association of the UK annual conference – CfP Deadline 30th March

International Workshop on Women in the History of Science, Philosophy and Literature – CfP Deadline March 31st

Crime Fiction or Fact: Blurring the Boundaries 1680-1880 – CfP Deadline 31st March

Satire: Deaths, Births, Legacies – CfP Extended Deadline 6th April

Modernist Afterlives of Eighteenth Century Thought – event, 13th April

Objects and Properties: generating dialogue, CfP Deadline April 15th


We need to show up to each other’s symposia, to promote each othe’rs conferences, to fill those seats. Listen to the work of the grad students, and find out what’s coming next. Go to a lecture you wouldn’t usually attend, and find out that your work connects to a whole new field you barely knew about.

If this sounds like more work, no, it’s the work we should always be doing. With solidarity, we can push back against the aspects of the work we perhaps should not be doing (how many metrics can we complete??), and against the amount of work. There are enough potential employees out there to do the work. We have ECRs champing at the bit for contracts. The union is strong, as long as our connections to each other, and our shared vision, are strong.


My fantastic Colleague son the picket line at Reading