Brief Encounters ISSUE 2: Cover Page Competition

*DEADLINE 5pm 14th August 2017*

'You've been a long way away...Thank you for coming back to me.'

Spoken by a very ordinary middle-class husband, these final words from David Lean’s 1945 Brief Encounter mean more than he does. Laura, his wife and the story’s heroine, has been ‘a long way away’, fighting her emotions against a backdrop of engine oil, conductors’ whistles and Rachmaninoff – but only really in her mind. The affair at the centre of Lean’s film is purely emotional, a missed connection on the train to suburban Milford. For all that, it is a ‘brief encounter’ that will mark her forever.

The postgraduate peer-reviewed journal Brief Encounters takes its title from Lean’s film, to think about different kinds of ‘encounter’ in the academic world. The word’s original meaning is combative, conjuring up blazoned knights in armour – ‘a meeting face to face, a meeting (of adversaries) in conflict; a battle, a skirmish’. However, it can also suggest more positive ideas: as for Brief Encounter’s Laura and Alec, an ‘encounter’ can be ‘an amatory interview’, perhaps rather more transformative than its transience might suggest. ‘To encounter’, meanwhile, might be the vague, almost accidental ‘to meet, fall in with’ or the more forthright ‘to face resolutely’, which brings us back to the battlefield. Academics might sometimes feel that they are engaged in a ‘skirmish’, whether literal or metaphorical, with the ideas put forward scholars of the past or present. But we all hope for a happy or transformative encounter, in the library, archive, or conference room: small moments that might change our perspectives altogether.

For its second issue, Brief Encounters is seeking artwork on the theme of ‘brief encounters’ to adorn its cover.

‘Artwork’ might mean drawings, photography, paintings, collage, prints, textiles, graphics, mixed-media (as long as it can be rendered 2D). We would also prefer that (since we took our inspiration from David Lean) the submissions be in monochrome.

If you’re not inspired yet, take a look at issue 1, which included ‘encounters’ with everything from tube maps and nightcore to tomb effigies and skateboards.

We particularly welcome submissions from CHASE-funded or affiliated students, though (in keeping with our open-access ethos) applications are open to all.  The winning entry will receive a full credit on the front of the journal, and anywhere else the image appears, together with a link to your website.

Please submit your masterpieces as high-resolution image files to by 5pm on 14th August 2017 to