Anna Mendelssohn Symposium

The Anna Mendelssohn Symposium brought together students, academics, friends, poets and supporters of the poet, activist and artist Anna Mendelssohn to discuss her legacy and its implications for the poetics and praxis of resistance. The symposium was supported by Sussex’s Centre for Modernist Studies and Birkbeck’s Contemporary Poetics Research Centre.


Panels comprised of post-graduate students, early career researchers, thinkers outside academia and established scholars provoked an engaged and wide-ranging discussion of Mendelssohn’s work. Topics of discussion included the work of resistance; the other; and the politics of reading and performance.

Dr Sara Crangle’s keynote discussed the figure of the accursed poet, and gender politics.


Professor Carol Watts, in discussion with Dr Crangle, closed the symposium.


The symposium culminated in a series of poetry readings by Eleanor Careless and Vicky Sparrow, Verity Spott, Jennifer Cooke and Rod Mengham.


These readings were followed by an original performance of Mendelssohn’s play ‘There Was A Great Ripping Up Of Romance Occurring’ by Lisa Jeschke and Lucy Beynon, who deftly transported the text into contemporary contexts with an extraordinary backdrop featuring the faces of controversial political figures.


Keynote: Dr. Sara Crangle, ‘Anna Mendelssohn, la poétesse maudite’

Papers given:

Lotta Thießen
‘Incarcerated Subjectivity and Revolutionary Imaginary: Anna Mendelssohn’s Implacable Art and the relation between transgressions of the poetic and the juridical subject

Jo Borden
‘LA LUTTE CONTINUE // the struggle continues’

Albinia Stanley
‘Anna Mendelssohn’s Affective Labours’

Dr. Luke Roberts
‘Fear of Retribution’

Dr. Calum Gardner
‘‘Posies for sophists’: Anna Mendelssohn, Veronica Forrest-Thomson, and Poetry as Anti-Knowledge’ 

Dr. Jon Clay
‘The Vital Delirium of Anna Mendelssohn’s Poetry’

Florence Uniacke
‘Controlling Trauma: Writing, drawing and the location of  ‘elsewhere’’

Dr. Joe Luna
‘Poetry and Despair – On “1:3ng”’ 

Verity Spott
‘Abjection & the Horrific Subject in Anna Mendelssohn’s Poetry’ 

Prof. William Rowe
‘Reference and resistance in the work of Anna Mendelssohn’

Andrew Duncan
‘Blank Measures’

Prof. Keston Sutherland
‘Free Dissociation’



4th February 2017
University of Sussex
Fulton 104
Keynote Speaker: Dr Sara Crangle
Readings by Ian Patterson, Rod Mengham, Verity Spott, and Jennifer Cooke
Performance by Lisa Jeschke & Lucy Beynon


For full details of this event and for the Call for Papers please visit the Anna Mendelssohn Symposium website. This event is organised by Eleanor Careless and Vicky Sparrow.