The ‘AWW-STRUCK’ events series and publication, co-organised by Poetics Research Centre PhD researcher Caroline Harris, has drawn together professors, ECRs, PGRs, curators and poets from across the world, with the aim of advancing and expanding Cute Studies in the Arts and Humanities.
A decorative image of the AWW-STRUCK ident with cute cartoon hamster on rainbow wash background.
The virtual day seminar, ‘AWW-STRUCK: Creative and Critical Approaches to Cuteness’ (21 May 2021), presented three panels of papers and a film screening, with speakers from the UK, Japan, Nigeria and Sweden, including four from Royal Holloway. A linked exhibition of visual poetry was curated by RHUL MA Poetic Practice graduate Astra Papachristodoulou on the Poem Atlas online gallery. An AWW-STRUCK book collects together contributions from both.
These initiatives form part of an ongoing collaboration between Royal Holloway and the University of Birmingham, to establish these institutions as a hub for the growing field of Cute Studies.
The seminar was hosted for Royal Holloway by the Poetics Research Centre and co-organised by Dr Isabel Galleymore (UoB), with introductions by Professor Redell Olsen (RHUL) and Dr Megan Cavell (UoB) and match-funding from RHUL’s Humanities and Arts Research Institute and University of Birmingham.
Papers from leading researchers in Cute Studies
The panels began with papers from Professor Joshua Paul Dale, co-editor of The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness (Routledge, 2016), and Professor Lesley Millar, who introduced her exhibition ‘Kawaii: Curating the Japanese Culture of Cute’. Attendees gave highly positive feedback on the seminar’s breadth and importance for their research. One commented: ‘I loved hearing from both academics and poets/artists. The cross-conversation was very stimulating.’ Another said: ‘The atmosphere was really brilliant; participants were genuinely excited to be there, engage, and get into conversation, and the speakers were so passionate about each other’s work as well as their own…’