This Woman's Work: A Kate Bush Symposium

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  • Edinburgh College of Art
    74 Lauriston Place
    EH3 9DF

A two-day conference devoted to the outputs and achievements of Kate Bush, featuring talks, screenings, performances, and cloudbusting.


Thursday 12 December

9.00 – 9.40: Delegate arrival and registration

9.45 – 10.45: Keynote 1: D-M Withers (University of Sussex): Figures, Communities and Concepts: Kate Bush as a Multi-Faceted Pop-Cultural Phenomena

11.00 – 12.00: Panel 1 – National identities

  • Samuel Love (University of Edinburgh): ‘How Beautiful it is, Amongst all the Rubbish’: Kate Bush’s ‘Oh England My Lionheart’ and the Iconography of Englishness
  • Daniel Pietersen (Independent scholar): Two Steps on the Water: Folk Horror in the work of Kate Bush

12.15 – 1.15: Panel 2 – Gender (I)

  • Kirsty Fairclough (University of Salford): The Fine Purple, The Purest Gold: Authorial Connection in the Collaborations between Kate Bush and Prince
  • Alison Mayne (University of Edinburgh): Plucked from Mrs Bartolozzi’s Washing Line: Kate Bush, clothing and exchanging experiences

2.00 – 3.30: Panel 3 – Sensual worlds and art historical perspectives

  • Thomas Houlton (Independent scholar): Bushcraft: Exploring Kate Bush’s Sensual World
  • Molly Gilroy (Independent scholar): ‘Strange Phenomena’: Tracing Surreal Metamorphosis, Ballet and Keys in the works of Kate Bush, Maya Deren and Leonor Fini
  • Sandra Lockwood (Simon Fraser University): Kate Bush and the Romantic Sublime

4.00 – 5.15: Keynote 2: Graeme Thomson (author of Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush) in conversation with author, broadcaster and curator Hannah McGill

Friday 13 December

9.00 – 9.30: Intro: Max Browne, photographer, Shooting Kate in ‘79

9.30 – 10.30: Keynote 3: Ian Cawood (University of Stirling): Lionhearts and Fishpeople: Kate Bush on Stage

10.30 – 11.30: Panel 4 – Gender (II)

  • Levent Donat Berköz (Independent scholar): Swapping Places: Kate Bush’s Masquerade in ‘Running Up That Hill’
  • Usha Wilbers and Lara Severens (Radboud University): Into the Sensual World: Gender Subversion in the Work of Kate Bush

11.45 – 1.15: Panel 5 – Studio technologies

  • Amanda Feery (Independent musician): This Woman's Work: A Composer's Perspective on Vocality and Narrative in the work of Kate Bush
  • Paul Harkins (Edinburgh Napier University): Following the Auteurs: Kate Bush and the Fairlight CMI
  • Laura M. Zucconi (Stockton University): Deeper Understanding: Kate Bush in the Historical Context of Producers

2.00 – 3.15: Keynote 4: Rob Young (Independent author and former editor, The Wire): Sowing the Secret Garden

3.30 – 5.15: Panel 6 – Performance

  • Hannah Buckley and Catriona McAra (Leeds Arts University): Running with Wolves, Somaticizing the Text: Revisionary Feminism and Contemporary Dance
  • Harry Maberly (Independent artist): Kate Bush: Fiction, Fantasy and Fandom


Kate Bush Symposium poster