Forthcoming Events

The Centre for the Novel is collaborating with colleagues in LLMVC to offer three free online events as part of the Being Human Festival 2020.

Systems_Theory New music ensemble Ensemble Thing will present a streamed online performance of Systems_Theory, a meditation for cello, electronics and video performed by Emily De Simone. November 14, 18:00 pm - 19:30 pm.

What does the Fox Say? A family-friendly video and walk featuring local storyteller Grace Banks and based in Sunnybank Park, with the option to take part in a photo competition. Access in your own time and complete the walk with your household. Available from 12-29th November 2020.

Alternative Aberdeens An online creative writing workshop and in-conversation event with published authors and spoken word artists. You can attend one or both parts. Saturday, 21 November, 2020, 16:00 – 19:30.

Reading Groups

A number of reading groups are being held within the school open to all that are interested. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, meetings are currently held via Microsoft Teams, and you can email the relevant contact person shown below to be added to any of our sessions.


Centre for the Novel Reading Group

We choose books on a month-by-month basis. If you would like to suggest a book for the reading group, or be added to the CfN mailing list, please email or find us on twitter at @CentreNovel.


  • Wednesday 28th October, 2pm - The Woman of Colour

As part of Black History Month we'll be reading the anonymous The Woman of Colour an eighteenth-century epistolary novel featuring a Jamaican heroine who travels to Britain.

You can join the Teams meeting here


  • Wednesday 25th November, 3pm - Rosewater

This month we'll be reading sci-fi set in Nigeria, Rosewater by Tade Thompson.

You can join the Teams meeting here.


Climate Change Fiction Reading Group

These will be held on a Tuesday at 4pm, unless otherwise indicated, and you can contact Dr Timothy Baker,, for details.


Proust Reading Group

We are reading Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. You are welcome to join at any point. Please contact Dr Áine Larkin,, for more details.


Literature in Translation Reading Groupst

Please contact Prof Andy Gordon,, for more details.

Previous texts: Fumiko Enchi, Masks. Mercè Rodoreda, In Diamond Square


Playreading Group

Please contact Prof Andy Gordon,, for more details.


Past Projects and Events

  • Annual Public Lecture: Prof Jenn Ashworth, September 25th 2020
  • "Disaster - Victorian Narratives of Environmental Catastrophe", Online Session, August 25th 2020. Steve Asselin (Brandon University), Ailise Bulfin (University College Dublin) and Matthew Crofts (University of Hull)
  • Postponed - 'Conquistadora! Love and Conquest in Isabel Allende's Inés of my Soul', University of Aberdeen 18th March 2020. Professor Jeanette King
  • "Windows on Research", University of Aberdeen 13th November 2019. Dr Áine Larkin, Dr Sarah Sharp and Dr Dan Wall
  • The Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture 2019, University of Aberdeen, 5th March 2019. Professor Deborah Denenholz Morse, College of William & Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia): 'Burning Art and Political Resistance: Anne Brontë’s Radical Imaginary of Wives, Enslaved People, and Animals in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)'.
  • "Women, Science, Narrative: Writing Female Experience in a Scientific Age" Workshop, University of Aberdeen, May 2015.
  • 'An International Conference at the Centre for the Novel'. Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen, 6-9 April 2017. Plenary Speakers: Oliver Kohns, University of Luxembourg, Randall Stevenson, University of Edinburgh, Steven Trout, University of South Alabama
  • 'Will Self in Conversation with Alexandra Lewis', Aberdeen's headline event for the UK's first Being Human Festival, November 2014.
  • The Real Thing: Henry James and the Material World: Sixth International Conference of the Henry James Society, Sir Duncan Rice library and King’s College Conference centre, University of Aberdeen, 16-19th July 2014.
  • Wednesday 19 March 2014, 6pm: Alan Spence, Zen and the Art of the Novel, Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, MacRobert Lecture Theatre, King's College. Admission Free. Further information.
  • 11 October 2012: Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, James Naughtie, 'An Age for Dickens?'
  • 08 November 2012: Michael Slater, 'An Attempt on the Life of Charles Dickens'
  • 24 March 2012: Novel Approaches: A Workshop for Teachers of English
  • Dickens in 2012: A bicentenary programme of lectures, film screenings and performances, May to November 2012
  • 29 November 2011: Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, Sophie Hannah 
  • 15 May 2011: A conversation with Margaret Atwood at the Word Festival
  • 19 Match 2011: Jane Austen Enters the Marketplace: A Bicentenary Celebration
  • 20 April 2010: Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, Janice Galloway
  • The Novel and Its Borders. International Conference, 8-10 July 2008. Speakers: Terry Castle, Ian Duncan, and Jonathan Lamb
  • 20 April 2009: Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, Michele Roberts
  • 18 March 2008: Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture, John Mullan
  • 5 May 2007: Popular Dickens. Speakers: Malcolm Andrews, John Drew, Juliet John, Michael Slater, Grahame Smith
  • 10 November 2006: Henry James and the Art of the Novel. Speakers: Philip Horne, Tessa Hadley, Oliver Herford, Matthew Rubery