University of Suffolk treat for Agatha Christie fans

Jamie Bernthal-Hooker. Photo: University of Suffolk.

Fans of Agatha Christie are in for a treat next month when experts on the Queen of Crime gather for an afternoon symposium to celebrate the launch of the new Centre for Culture and Heritage at the University of Suffolk.

“Dig It! Unearthing Agatha Christie’s Crime Fiction Legacy” will be held at The Hold, in Fore Street, Ipswich on September 21. 

Open to the public and with University of Suffolk student discounts available, the event will celebrate all things Christie, featuring guest speakers, a panel and a question-and-answer session.

Speakers will consider the huge influence and continued impact of Christie’s crime fiction including unforgettable characters such as Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot and the inimitable Miss Marple.

Overseeing the afternoon will be Jamie Bernthal-Hooker, visiting fellow at the University of Suffolk, and an international recognized authority on Agatha Christie.

He said: “At long last, we are taking Agatha Christie seriously in universities. The world’s most popular writer is endlessly fascinating, with new depths and angles emerging all the time. I am so excited to be bringing together experts for a range of conversations that showcase the enduring legacy of the undisputed Queen of Crime.”

Jamie will chair a question-and-answer session with the speakers and audience at the end of the afternoon.

Kicking off the event will be Carla Valentine, curator of Barts Pathology Museum and author of “Murder Isn’t Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie” with a talk entitled “Agatha, Bernard and Crime: The ABC of Murder”.

Next up will be Dr Benedict Morrison, lecturer in literature at the University of Exeter and contributor to the Bloomsbury Handbook of Agatha Christie.

His talk is entitled “A Glorious Gamble: Agatha Christie and the Theatre”.

The day’s final speaker will be Sarah Martin  PhD researcher at the University of Chester, and co-organiser of the Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Crime Conference.

She will be speaking on “The Fabulous Flapper: Psychogeography and the Female Detective.”

Dr Amanda Hodgkinson, associate professor English and Creative Writing at the University of Suffolk said: “For all those who love a good Agatha Christie mystery, this afternoon symposium considers the huge influence and continuing impact of Agatha Christie in Crime fiction and across scholarship in the wider world, in often unexpected ways. Our three distinguished speakers will offer new insights into Agatha Christie and her life as a writer.

“The event marks the launch of the University of Suffolk’s Centre for Culture and Heritage which will lead on contemporary research in the arts and humanities, promoting heritage and culture that inspires, enriches and improves our individual and community wellbeing.”

Andrew Marsh, owner of the ever-popular Dial Lane Bookshop, in Ipswich, will be at the event with a Pop-up book store, selling a wide range of crime and detective novels including copies of historian Lucy Worsley’s new Agatha Christie book “A Very Elusive Woman”.

Tickets are £30 and include afternoon refreshments available from Dig it! Unearthing Agatha Christie’s Crime Fiction Legacy Tickets, Wed 21 Sep 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

For student discounts go to Dig it! Unearthing Agatha Christie’s Crime Fiction Legacy (student booking) Tickets, Wed 21 Sep 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

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