The Errant Castle Symposium

Saturday 29 April 2023, 11:00am to 4:13pm


Lancaster Castle (the University Suite), Lancaster, United Kingdom, LA1 4YD

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Families and young people, Postgraduates, Prospective International Students, Prospective Postgraduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info


Event Details

The Errant Symposium will explore post-criticism, aka creative-critical writing.

‘Subjects that have long been investigated and appropriated by scholars need to be emancipated from the forms in which such scholarly acquisition took place if they are still to have any value today.’ -- Walter Benjamin (1931)

After nearly 100 years since Benjamin wrote these words, this emancipation is finally afoot. It goes by various names: post-criticism, creative criticism, or simply creative-critical writing. Whatever its name, it is an act of reading that does not confine itself to conventional scholarly modes; it is an act of reading, rather, that foregoes the ‘intellectual honesty’ of the replicable, linear exposition of thoughts and arguments that Theodor Adorno once claimed ‘usually amounts to sabotage of thought’.

This development represents, we believe, the most dramatic turn within literary studies for decades, for it heralds a mode of criticism that is itself literary: here, the critic may argue by alluding, digressing, ironising, dialoguing, inventing, hesitating, etc—all modes of writing that we have come to expect from literature, and which we can now begin to expect from literary criticism.

Queries to

Confirmed speakers: Professor Simon Palfrey (Oxford), Dr Niall Gildea (Lancaster), Dr Elina Mikkila (Lancaster)

Professor John Schad (Lancaster) will also be in attendance.

Contact Details

Name John Schad