Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2019

Illustration and Adaptation
University of Burgundy, France, 10-11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019
International conference organised by TIL and ILLUSTR4TIO
Keynote speakers: Kamilla Elliott (Lancaster University, UK) and Dave McKean (artist, UK)
Illustr4tio’s forthcoming bilingual international conference will deal with the relationship between illustration andadaptation. It aims to allow specialists from different disciplines to compare and exchange on practice, methodology, and theoretical frameworks. Indeed, several fields co exist without necessarily acknowledging advances in their respective domains. If illustration is a legitimate object of study within intermedial studies (Gabriele Rippl, ed., A Handbook of Intermediality, De Gruyter Mouton, 2015), there are few works that investigate the status of illustration as adaptation, with the exception of works like Kamilla Elliot’s Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Kate Newell’s Expanding Adaptation: From Illustration to Novelization (Palgrave, 2017). More generally, the conceptualisation of illustration introduces questions about the relationship between adaptation and intermediality. It can serve as a starting point for the intersection of the two domains, something Lars Elleström calls for in his essay “Adaptation and Intermediality” (Thomas Leitch, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies , Oxford UP, 2017).
We invite specialists and practitioners of illustration, adaptation and intermediality to address the theoretical and epistemological links between their respective objects of study. Papers can make use of recent work on these domains and can deal with the English-speaking world, from the Modern to the Contemporary period, as well as other cultures. We encourage participants to reflect on the following themes and questions in this non-exhaustive
list:
  • Illustration as a form of adaptation: can the example of illustration as an intermedial practice participate in redefining what we mean by adaptation? Conversely, can adaptation theory help reappraise illustration as a subject matter and a field of research?
  • Intersections between the realms of illustration and adaptation: what are the boundaries of the field of illustration? In the wake of Henry Jenkins’s works, how can one theorize the convergence between illustration and adaptation?
  • Transmediation between illustration and other media (texts, painting, graphic novels, comics, video games, theatre, film, television series, documentaries, advertising, etc.): theoretical approaches and artistic practices.
  • Professionalisation of illustrators: what approach to adaptation do illustrators have? How to their briefs or commissions impact the perception of illustration / adaptation? What is the role of art school curriculae in this phenomenon?
Proposals of 500-word total (in French or in English) accompanied by a brief biography (100-
150 words) should  be sent by March 1, 2019 to Sophie Aymes sophie.aymes@u-bourgogne.fr and Shannon Wells-Lassagne shannon.wells-lassagne@u-bourgogne.fr
Notification: early April 2019
The program will be finalised by May 2019.
A volume of selected papers will be published.
Scientific committee: Sophie Aymes (Université de Bourgogne, France), Nathalie Collé (Université de Lorraine, France), Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, France), Xavier Giudicelli (Université de Reims,France), Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University, Canada), Maxime Leroy (Université de Haute Alsace, France), Ann Lewis (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), Gabriele Rippl (University of Bern, Switzerland),Shannon Wells-Lassagne (Université de Bourgogne, France).
Organising committee:
– EA 4182 TIL, Texte Image Langage,Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté
– EA 4343 CALHISTE , Cultures, Arts, Littératures, Histoire, Imaginaires, Sociétés, Territoires, Environnement, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis
– EA 2338 IDEA, Interdisciplinarité Dans les Études Anglophones,Université de Lorraine
– EA 4363 ILLE, Institut de recherche en Langues et Littératures Européennes, Université de Haute Alsace

(posted 11 April 2018)


Short Fiction as Humble Fiction
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-3, France, 17-19 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2019

A conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research),

Keynote speakers

  • Elke D’hoker, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
  • Ann-Marie Einhaus, Northumbria University, UK

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction

The title of this conference may sound like a provocative statement. It may suggest a definition of the genre as a minor one, as has too often been the case in the history of the short story. Yet the conference has another purpose altogether. We would like to shift the perspective and claim short fiction not exactly as a minor genre, but as a humble one. As such, what can short fiction do that the novel cannot? What can it better convey?

We suggest to use the concept of the ‘humble’ as a critical tool that may help reframe and redefine short fiction, a notoriously elusive genre. How do short story writers deal with humble subjects – humble beings (the poor, the marginal, the outcasts, the disabled, etc.) and the non- human (animals, plants, objects), the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the mundane, the prosaic? How do they draw attention to what tends to be disregarded, neglected or socially invisible (Le Blanc) and how do they play with attention and inattention (Gardiner)? How do they contribute to an ethics and a politics of consideration (Pelluchon)? What rhetorical and stylistic devices do they use? What happens when they broach humble topics with humble tools, a bare, minimal style, for instance? How does the humble form of the short story – its brevity – fit humble topics? Does it paradoxically enhance them? Does the conjunction of the two give the short story a minor status or can it be empowering? In other words, should the humble be regarded as a synonym of ‘minor’ or as a quality and a capability (Nussbaum)?

Asking such questions will open a rich debate. How does the humble nature of short fiction connect with the epiphany, the moment of being, the event? If along with Camille Dumoulié we consider that the ethical dimension of short fiction stems from its being ‘a genre of the event’, could a humble genre also be considered an ethical genre? If there is an ethics of short fiction as a humble genre, where can it be located? Since the term ‘humble’, from the Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly,’ itself from humus ‘ground’’ – is often used as a euphemism for ‘the poor’, we can consider its representation of humble characters (as in Joyce’s Dubliners or Eudora Welty’s short stories) as well as the way this genre handles the theme of poverty, of extreme hardship and constructed deprivation (as in Dalit short fiction) or its representations of and reflections on the earth and all that relates to the environment. The theme of the humble is also manifest in its very inclusiveness and openness to the reader, or in the very precarious nature of the genre, in its openness to other genres. Dealing with short fiction as a humble genre will thus lead contributors to take into account its interactions with humble arts and media: the art

of engraving, sketching or photography used in the illustrations of the volumes or magazines in which many modernist short stories were initially published; the radio that broadcast so many short stories, sometimes read by the short story writers themselves, as occurred on BBC4 with, for instance, Frank O’Connor; the web today, with flash fiction online, micro fiction or video performances of short fiction. How do these various art forms and media shape each other and how do these interactions construct short fiction as a humble genre? In other words, how does the motif of the humble morph into an ‘experiential category’ (Locatelli) or a poetics of the humble?

Reframing the humble as an aesthetic category will help reread short fiction and better capture its elusive contours, focusing either on well-known short fiction by famous writers that will be approached from a different angle or retrieving some unfairly neglected texts from oblivion, as, for example, Ann-Marie Einhaus, has started doing in her work on The Short Story and the First World War. Or again, Elke D’hoker’s current work on short fiction and popular magazines.

This conference means to cross national borders and disciplinary boundaries, especially those separating literature and the visual arts or literature and philosophy. The questions asked can be broached through short fiction in English by writers of various nationalities over the 19th and 20th centuries until nowadays. The suggested acceptations of the term ‘humble’ are not limitative but indicative.

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Christine Reynier (christine.reynier@univ-montp3.fr) and Jean-Michel Ganteau (jean- michel.ganteau@univ-montp3.fr) by January 15th, 2019.

A selection of peer-reviewed articles will be published in The Journal of the Short Story in English and Short Fiction in Theory & Practice.

Organising committee:

Lynn Blin, Isabelle Brasme, Jean-Michel Ganteau, Laura Lainvae, Xavier Le Brun, Maroua Mannai, Judith Misrahi-Barak, Christine Reyn

Works cited:

  • E. Bowen, Collected Impressions, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1950, 38.
  • D’Hoker, Elke, and Stephanie Eggermont, ‘Fin-de-Siècle Women Writers and the Modern Short Story’, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 58/3 (2015): 291-312.
  • Dumoulié, Camille, Littérature et philosophie : Le gai savoir de la littérature, Paris: Armand Colin, 2002, 55.
  • Einhaus, Ann-Marie, The Short Story and the First World War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Gardiner, Michael, ‘Everyday Utopianism: Lefebvre and his Critics’, Cultural Studies 18.2/3 (March/May 2004): 228-54.
  • Le Blanc, Guillaume. L’invisibilité sociale. Paris: PUF, 2009.
  • Locatelli, Angela, ‘”The Humble/d” in Literature and Philosophy: Precariousness, Vulnerability and the Pragmatics of Social Visibility’, in The Humble in 19th, 20th and 21st-Century British Literature and Arts, I. Brasme, J-M Ganteau and C. Reynier eds., Montpellier: PULM, 2017, 147-64.
  • Nussbaum, Martha, Creating Capabilities. The Human Development Approach, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
  • Pelluchon, Corine. Ethique de la considération. Paris: Seuil, 2018.

(posted 7 June 2018)


Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in September 2019

Modern Mythologies Conference
Loughborough University, London Campus, UK, 19-21 September 2019
Deadline for submission: May 30, 2019

The Arts in the Public Sphere research group comprises academics working across a range of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences, including literary studies, history, drama, linguistics, semiotics, fine art, graphics, and sociology. It aims to explore from an interdisciplinary perspective the historical and contemporary relation between the artist-as-producer to a variety of public spheres, to investigate how contemporary social groups understand matters of ‘public interest’, and to assess how the idea of the ‘common good’ is approached and represented in the arts, humanities, and the social sciences.

The conference has arisen in response to growing questions about the relationship between cultural mythologies and the Public Sphere. Some of the main issues to be investigated (but not limited to) include traditional and emerging theories of the public sphere, literature and drama as a public art, the politics and language of creativity, the public sphere as a form of narrative, the place and role of religion in a multicultural society, the role of the university in promoting cultural production, and technology’s role in promoting (or prohibiting) the ‘public good’. Participants drawn from a wide international constituency of academics and community partners will debate these questions as well as advise on possible strategies to help ensure the future of contemporary cultural practices that address how to keep the Public Sphere ‘public.’ Discussions will take place in a variety of formats, including panels, workshops, exhibitions, poster presentations, and Q&As.

The conference seeks to create ongoing networks of researchers, practitioners, and professionals in fields related to the question of modern mythologies and the Public Sphere. The conference will offer two opportunities for publication. Contributors may submit material for consideration to a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal CounterText : “Literature in the Pubic Sphere – Now” (https://www.euppublishing.com/loi/count), and a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Humanities on “The Public Place of Drama in Britain, 1968 to the Present Day” (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/Drama).

We invite you to submit proposals for panels, workshops, or posters. We particularly welcome submissions from postgraduate students. 300 word proposals should be submitted simultaneously to the organizing chair, Professor Nigel Wood: n.p.wood@lboro.ac.uk and the conference administrator: Tina Harvey: aed.research@lboro.ac.uk on or before May 30, 2019. Suggestions for panels would be welcome and should be indicated before January 10, 2019.

This conference is supported by the Arts in the Public Sphere Research Group, Loughborough University (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/aed/staff-research/research-groups/artsinthepublicsphere/).

(posted 5 June 2018)


Shakespeare on Screen in the Digital Era: The Montpellier Congress
Montpellier, France, 26-28 September 2019
Deadline for Seminar and Panel proposals; 30 May 2019

Venue: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, site Saint Charles, France

Conference coordinators: Sarah Hatchuel (GRIC, EA 4314, Université Le Havre Normandie) and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (IRCL, UMR5186, CNRS/ Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)

Advisory board:
Sylvaine Bataille, Université de Rouen Normandie, France; Victoria Bladen, University of Queensland, Australia; Claire Cornillon, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, RIRRA21, France; Christy Desmet, University of Georgia, USA; José Ramón Díaz, University of Málaga, Spain; Patricia Dorval, IRCL, UMR5186, CNRS/Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France; Sujata Iyengar, University of Georgia, USA; Pierre Kapitaniak, IRCL, UMR5186, CNRS/ Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France; Ronan Ludot-Vlasak, Université Lille 3, France

Plenary speakers:
Douglas Lanier, University of New Hampshire
Courtney Lehmann, University of the Pacific
Samuel Crowl, Ohio University;
Russell Jackson, University of Birmingham
Judith Buchanan, University of York
Poonam Trivedi, University of Delhi

120 years after the filming of King John by Herbert Beerbohm Tree in 1899, which inscribed Shakespeare on celluloid for the first time; thirty years after the release of Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V(1989), which triggered the fin-de-siècle wave of screen adaptations; twenty years after the publication of Kenneth S. Rothwell’s seminal History of Shakespeare on Screen (CUP, 1999) and twenty years after The Centenary Shakespeare on Screen Conference organized by José Ramón Díaz at the University of Málaga in September 1999, which constituted “Shakespeare on Screen” scholars into an international academic community, time has come to gather together again to reflect on the evolutions of both our objects and methods of study.
The “Shakespeare on Screen in the Digital Era” International Conference invites scholars worldwide to explore the consequences of the digital revolution on the production, distribution, dissemination and study of Shakespeare on screen. Since the 1999 Málaga conference, the rise (and fall) of the DVD, the digitalization of sounds and images allowing us to experience and store films on our computers, the spreading of easy filming/editing tools, the live broadcasts of theatre performances in cinemas or on the Internet, the development of online video archives and social media, as well as the increasing globalisation of production and distribution (raising the question of technological availability worldwide), have changed the ways Shakespeare is (re)created, consumed, shared and examined. Shakespeare’s screen evanescence and his transfictional and transmediatic spectrality have blurred the boundaries between what Shakespeare is and is not, leading us to question our own position as scholars who keep spotting, constructing and projecting “Shakespeare” in audiovisual productions.
We invite seminar proposals (international pairs or trios of convenors are welcome) and panel proposals (featuring 3 short contributions) exploring the screen afterlives of Shakespeare’s works in the digital era all over the world, revisiting the Shakespearean “classics” as they have been re-released in various formats, examining how the technological and aesthetic issues intersect with questions of gender, class, ethnicity and ethics, and interrogating more theoretically what “is” and “is not” Shakespeare on screen. Seminar proposals (including a 400-word presentation and a short bio for each convenor) and panel proposals (including three 300-word abstracts and three short bios) should be sent by 30 May 2018 to Sarah Hatchuel (s_hatchuel@hotmail.com) and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (nathalie.vienne-guerrin@univ-montp3.fr)

(posted 26 January 2018)


Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in July 2019

Understanding (through) Annotations: 15th International Connotations Symposium
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, 28 July-1 August 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2018

Connotations, A Journal for Critical Debate

Credit: Glen Downey, http://www.comicsineducation.com

Explanatory annotations have always had a somewhat precarious and even paradoxical status: with a few exceptions, they have been considered “below” the concern of the theorist and literary critic, while in some sense they have also been considered “above” the sphere of the textual editor, who has eyed their flights of interpretive fancy with distrust. They have been suspected of manipulating the reader in a clandestine fashion while at the same time they have been regarded as a necessity, for they are an essential means of keeping alive many texts of world literature, from Homer to the Modernists, by making them comprehensible and meaningful to readers.

In the digital age, annotations have overcome some of their traditional limitations and perhaps been subjected to new ones. Their precarious status has assumed a new form, as they are now located somewhere between being an explanatory and tool and just serving as the markup of texts. In the latter role, however, they may become a key device for making large corpora answer questions that go beyond the scope of individual texts. All this makes it even more urgent than ever to link theoretical reflexion on annotations with specific analyses and models of best practice.

The subject of “Understanding (through) Annotations” is well suited to the programme of Connotations, as it combines the detailed study of individual texts written in
English with wider theoretical perspectives. (For previous examples, see http://www.connotations.de/special-issue). In our 2019 symposium, this means considering concepts of understanding literary texts through annotations, and getting a better idea of what is involved in explaining texts locally. In this way, the Connotations Symposium also contributes to current research on explanatory annotation (see http://www.annotation.es.uni-tuebingen.de/)

We invite papers that are concerned with annotations to specific literary texts written in English and address their functions. Papers may also reflect on the speakers’ own annotation projects, analyse existing annotations, offer suggestions as to a more systematic approach to the practise of annotating texts, and/or discuss historical and theoretical dimensions involved, such as the relation of lemma and context, part and whole, the envisaged reader of annotations, etc.

Please send an abstract (300 words max.) to the editors of Connotations by October 15, 2018: symposium2019@connotations.de

(posted 13 April 2018)

Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines October-December 2018

Representing Trans
One of the three issues of volume 24 of EJES (2020)
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

The editors of EJES are issuing calls for papers for the three issues of the journal to be published in 2020. Potential contributors are invited to submit detailed proposals of up to 1,000 words to the guest editors of the topic they are interested in. The deadline for proposals for this volume is 31 October 2018.

EJES operates a two-stage review process.

  1. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for essays on the topic in question by 31 October 2018.
  2. Following review of the proposals by the editorial board panel, informed by external specialists as appropriate, the guest editors will invite the authors of short-listed proposals to submit full-length essays for review with a spring 2019 deadline.
  3. The full-length essays undergo another round of review, and a final selection as well as suggestions for revisions are made. Selected essays are then revised and resubmitted to the guest editors in late 2019 for publication in 2020.

EJES employs Chicago Style (T&F Chicago AD) and British English conventions for spelling and punctuation.

Call for papers

Guest editors: Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Berlin), Anson Koch-Rein (Grinnell) and Jasper Verlinden (Berlin)

The last couple of years have been shaped by a paradoxical simultaneity of unprecedented trans visibility in the arts and media and of ongoing transphobic violence, disproportionately affecting economically disadvantaged and communities of colour. How can we approach the (international) success of shows such as Transparent, Hit & Miss, Orange is the New Black, Sense8, The OA or the independent film Tangerine (2015), foreign-language Oscar-winner Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman, 2017) or Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story, 2010), and others? How do these visual representations negotiate traditional gendered binaries of the ‘male gaze’ (Villarejo 2016) and the dynamics of trans feminine hypervisibility and trans masculine invisibility? How do these artefacts navigate “the trap of the visual” that offers trans visibility as the “primary path through which trans people might have access to livable lives” (Gossett, Stanley and Burton 2017)? Have we indeed reached a “transgender tipping point” in public and political discourse as the June 2014 heading of Time Magazine, featuring actress Laverne Cox as the first open trans woman on the cover, suggests? What kind of tensions does the mainstream marketability and recognition (e.g. of celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner or Chaz Bono) create?

How do trans visibility and new regulative attempts such as the House Bill 2 (HB2) that gave rise to a new form of ‘bathroom panic’, but also media-savvy counter strategies by trans activists on social media, shape public discourse and how will politics be affected by more trans people running for political office? How does the predominance of US-centred trans representations reflect “the complex global flows of shared subcultural knowledges” (Aizura 2006) and how do they circulate globally and get received, resisted, or repurposed locally? Are there specific national investments in a visibility of legible scripts of trans lives based on identitarian political representation and how does this relate to visual representations of other non-normative forms of embodiment that might not easily fit such narratives?

Topics

The editors invite papers that address trans representations in TV, film, visual art, performance art, video, and social and other media exploring, among others, the following topics:

  • self-representation/trans-produced representations
  • debates about representation, identity, and the conditions of production, for instance, in the call to cast trans actors in trans roles
  • genderqueer and non-binary representations
  • discourses of hypervisibility/invisibility
  • differences in representing trans masculinities and femininities
  • recognition and violence
  • transnational comparisons/US-centrism and postcolonial critique
  • race, class, and intersectionality in trans representations
  • convergences in disability, intersex and transgender studies/activisms

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to all editors by 31 October 2018: Elahe Haschemi Yekani: elahe.haschemi-yekani@hu-berlin.de, Anson Koch-Rein: akr@alumni.emory.edu and Jasper Verlinden: j.verlinden@fu-berlin.de.

(posted 13 March 2018)


Neo-Victorian Negociations of Hostility, Empathy and Hospitality
One of the three issues of volume 24 of EJES (2020)
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

EJES operates a two-stage review process.

  1. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for essays on the topic in question by 31 October 2018.
  2. Following review of the proposals by the editorial board panel, informed by external specialists as appropriate, the guest editors will invite the authors of short-listed proposals to submit full-length essays for review with a spring 2019 deadline.
  3. The full-length essays undergo another round of review, and a final selection as well as suggestions for revisions are made. Selected essays are then revised and resubmitted to the guest editors in late 2019 for publication in 2020.

EJES employs Chicago Style (T&F Chicago AD) and British English conventions for spelling and punctuation.

Call for papers

Guest editors: Rosario Arias (Málaga) and Mark Llewellyn (Cardiff)

What does it mean to be sympathetic to or antagonistic towards our nineteenth-century past? How do we negotiate the territory between self/other, host/guest, stranger/friend?

This special issue explores the concepts of hostility, empathy and hospitality in neo-Victorianism.

The term ‘hospitality’ encompasses the tension between host and other since, as Emily Ridge has recently noted, hospitality “at its very etymological root, harbours an otherness [and] manifests a paradoxical character.” This leads to an ambiguous understanding of the term, opening up this notion to the analysis of contemporary literary and political landscapes. There has been a recent move to address hospitality in Victorian fiction. In Narrative Hospitality in Late Victorian Fiction: Novel Ethics (2013), Rachel Hollander – drawing on Levinas and Derrida among others – has highlighted “an ethics of hospitality, in which respecting the limits of knowledge and welcoming the stranger define fiction’s relationship to both reader and world.” There has been no such critical intervention into the applicability or challenge to such understandings in neo-Victorianism. The aim of this special issue is therefore to examine neo-Victorian representations of ‘hospitality’ in its amplest sense, inclusive of the states of empathy (a term coined at the turn of the nineteenth century) and hostility as staging points on the spectrum of the hospitable as an ethical, political and aesthetic principle. Taking the double orientation of the neo-Victorian mode as a point of departure (cf. Heilmann and Llewellyn; Gamble; Johnston and Waters), we wish to solicit articles that argue that readings of neo-Victorian host-guest exchanges relate to contemporary anxieties about the glocal and the global, about individual and collective identities, and about affect in host-guest interactions.

We welcome essays dealing with literal and metaphorical readings of hospitality, hostility and empathy in neo-Victorian studies. These essays should address not only the home and the relation between domestic and public spheres but also the receptiveness of contemporary fiction and culture to the Victorian past. We are interested in essays that mobilise the ambiguous nature of hospitality, as well as (troubled) host-guest relations, in neo-Victorianism.

Relevant topics in this context might include (but are not limited to):

  • Hospitality as explicated by Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, and concepts such as conditional hospitality and absolute hospitality
  • Hospitality in relation to home/homelessness and domesticity
  • Hospitality as a relationship between host and guest
  • Hospitality to the (Victorian) past
  • Hospitality vs. Hostility and/or empathy e.g. Victorian/Non-Victorian; European/Non-European

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors: Rosario Arias: rarias@uma.es and Mark Llewellyn: LlewellynM4@cardiff.ac.uk

(posted 13 March 2018)


Decentering Commemorations: Literary, Cultural, Historical and Political Commemorations across and beyond the British Isles
One of the three issues of volume 24 of EJES (2020)
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

The editors of EJES are issuing calls for papers for the three issues of the journal to be published in 2020. Potential contributors are invited to submit detailed proposals of up to 1,000 words to the guest editors of the topic they are interested in. The deadline for proposals for this volume is 31 October 2018.

EJES operates a two-stage review process.

    1. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for essays on the topic in question by 31 October 2018.
    2. Following review of the proposals by the editorial board panel, informed by external specialists as appropriate, the guest editors will invite the authors of short-listed proposals to submit full-length essays for review with a spring 2019 deadline.
    3. The full-length essays undergo another round of review, and a final selection as well as suggestions for revisions are made. Selected essays are then revised and resubmitted to the guest editors in late 2019 for publication in 2020.

EJES employs Chicago Style (T&F Chicago AD) and British English conventions for spelling and punctuation.

Call for papers

Guest Editors: Antonella Braida-Laplace, Jeremy Tranmer and Céline Sabiron (Lorraine)

At a time of crisis concerning Europe’s identity and ideals, commemorations are not only intended as a nation-building process. They can also be appropriated by various actors at national, regional, and local levels, such as cultural institutions, political parties and social media. Increasing mobility and instability trigger off tendencies to go back to the past, to search for one’s roots and to emphasise the importance of heritage. Governments and lobbies/corporations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple use landmarks to impose their readings of political, cultural and literary events, while grassroot communities organise their own remembrance events or commemorate differently and sometimes more informally and spontaneously.

The years 2018 and 2019 mark multiple anniversaries that will be commemorated transnationally, including the Armistice (1918) and the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the events of May 1968 in France, women’s suffrage in the UK (1918), the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), the release of the Beatles’ album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) or the Woodstock Festival (1969). This EJES issue explores why and how these historical events, cultural productions and literary figures will be remembered across Europe. It intends to investigate in what ways and to what extent these commemorations are transferred from one cultural space to another, across and beyond the British Isles. It will also examine their transformations in the contemporary digital age and the shift towards new forms of democratic participation.

The editors invite proposals for articles dealing with transregional and/or transnational commemorations. Essays should account for the relationship between two or more regions or countries, one of them being the United Kingdom. Theoretical or practical approaches to the following topics, from different disciplinary perspectives, are welcomed:

  • forms and modes of commemorating
  • commemoration as an expression of soft power or a means of empowerment
  • commemoration and technology in the digital age
  • commemoration and cultural policies
  • commemoration and hyphenated/conflicting identities (bi-nationals, and European nationals) in the UK due to Devolution and Brexit
  • posterity and the literary canon
  • literary and visual adaptations
  • publishing policies
  • commemorations as a way of asserting human rights

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to all three editors by 31 October 2018:
Antonella Braida-Laplace: antonella.braida-laplace@univ-lorraine.fr
Jeremy Tranmer: jeremy.tranmer@univ-lorraine.fr
Céline Sabiron: celine.sabiron@univ-lorraine.fr

(posted 13 March 2018)


Contemporary Literature and/as Archive
Special Issue, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory
deadline for submissions: 31 December 2018

Recent technological and environmental developments have complicated literature’s role as a repository of the past and as the site for the recovery of forgotten voices. In an age of ubiquitous computing and Big Data, digital practices of instantaneous archiving produce the present as much as they record the past. Such technological developments resonate with ecological changes: under the rubric of the Anthropocene, the whole Earth has become an archive of human action; and in the context of the so-called “Sixth Extinction,” many life forms threaten to be obliterated and to only survive in archives. The result of technological acceleration and ecological threat has been a sense of “archive fever” in which we manically record forms of life in the face of their obsolescence.

This special issue welcomes contributions that explore the altered relation between contemporary literature and the archive. Authors are invited to build on recent theoretical reflections on the archive, and on more practical engagements with the archive through new digital methods and the so-called “archival turn” in the humanities and the arts. How do new theories of archives alter the way we understand the relationship between literature and the archive? How do contemporary writers imagine literature’s relation to competing practices of data management? To what extent does the emergence of all-encompassing digital archives affect literature’s engagement with the past? And can a rethinking of archives and databases shed light on recent and ongoing literary developments?

Possible topics include, but are emphatically not limited to:

  • the altered scales of the archive (digital, geological)
  • fictions of extinction (human, nonhuman)
  • archival genres (database, elegy, epic)
  • poetic archives (Goldsmith, Rankine)
  • archiving and curatorship
  • literature as an “encyclopedic” archiving of life (Saint-Amour)
  • the memoir as self-archiving practice (Heti, Knausgaard, Lerner)
  • literary writing and/as geological inscription
  • reading literature as data, reading literature against data
  • literature and other archival media (film, photography)

Submissions must use MLA citation style and should be between 5,000-9,000 words (including notes and works cited). Please direct any questions relating to this cfp to both guest editors, Tom Chadwick (tom.chadwick@kuleuven.be) and Pieter Vermeulen (pieter.vermeulen@kuleuven.be). Submissions should be emailed to litjourn@yahoo.com by 31 December 2018. Please include your contact information and a 100-200 word abstract in the body of your email. LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory also welcomes submissions for general issues.

(posted 1 March 2018)


Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines July-September 2018

Avenging Nature: A Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern and Contemporary Art and Literature
An edited volume
Deadline for chapter proposals: 1 July 2018

Editors: Eduardo Valls Oyarzun, Rebeca Gualberto Valverde, Noelia Malla García, María Colom Jiménez y Rebeca Cordero Sánchez.

At the dawn of ‘ecocriticism’ as a discipline of study within the Humanities, Glotfelty and Fromm (1996), in the first general reader in the matter, defined it as the critical practice that examines the relationship between literary and cultural studies and the natural world. In general terms, during the past two decades, ecocriticism has denounced the anthropocentric and instrumental appropriation of nature that has for so long legitimized human exploitation of the nonhuman world. Exposing the logic of domination that articulates the power relationships that both connect and separate human culture and natural life, recent trends in ecocriticism have raised awareness of the ‘otherisation’ of nature (Huggan and Tiffin, 2015), pointing out the need of assessing insurgent discourses that—converging with counter-discourses of race, gender or class—realize the empowerment of nature from its subaltern position.

But such empowerment of nature requires first that the sundering of the human and nonhuman realms is overcome because, as Kate Rigby explains, only by regaining “a sense of the inextricability of nature and culture, physis and techne, earth and artificat—consumption and destruction—would be to move beyond (…) the arrogance of humanism” (2002, p. 152). Yet, recognizing such inextricable relationship between human and natural entails the ecocritical admission that all works of culture are exploitative of nature. Rigby explains it clearly when she explains that “culture constructs the prism through which we know nature” (p. 154). We comprehend nature when we apprehend the world through language and representation, but nature precedes and exceeds words, it is “real” (1992, p. 32) and separated by an abyss from the symbolic networks of culture that write it, master it, assign a meaning to it and attempt to set it in order.

From this perspective, culture is not exactly the end of nature as much as it is an appropriation and colonization of nature. Culture masters, dominates and instrumentalizes the natural world. But in a time when the “end of nature” that Bill McKibben prophesized in the 1988 has been certified, when we know for a fact that it is indeed a different Earth we are living in because by changing the climate there is not a corner of the planet that has not been affected by our actions, the evidence of global ecological endangerment compels the ecocritical debate to install environmental ethics and concerns at the crux of humanistic research. The critical enterprise is far from easy though. The argument that cultural representations of nature establish a relationship of domination and exploitation of human discourse over nonhuman reality is extendible to the critical task. As humanist critics, our regard of nature in literary and artistic representation is instrumental and anthropocentric. But the time has come to avenge nature—or, at least, to critically probe into nature’s ongoing revenge against the exploitation of culture.

Nature—a different, humanly modified nature—will remain after the climate change doomsday. Nature precedes our understanding and conceptualization of it, but, despite the unimaginable damage done, it will also survive us when the Earth becomes inhabitable for humans. There will be nature after culture as there is now a rebellious nature that resists in spite of culture. And thus we call for articles that explore insubordinate representations of nature in modern and contemporary literature and art. We press for the need to reassess how nature is already and has been for a while striking back against human domination. We call for scholars from the fields of literary studies, postcolonial studies, art, history, gender and women’s studies, film and media studies, ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, ethnology and anthropology, and other related disciplines to join us in this interdisciplinary volume that will re-examine the intersections of culture and nature in literary and artistic representations and will point out the insurgence of nature within and outside of culture.

Contributors may wish to explore, among others, the following topics:

  • Ecofeminism and gender studies: domination and empowerment
  • Postcolonial and transnational representations of nature as (dis)empowered ‘other’
  • Econarratives of subversion and rebellion
  • Naturalisation of others and otherisation of nature in literature and art
  • Literary and artistic representations of ecocides and ecological crisis
  • Post-pastoral literature and the redefinition of the poetics of domination
  • Social epistemology and ecology
  • Environmental ethics applied to cultural studies
  • Globalisation and global ecological imperilment
  • Eco-social art and literature
  • Post-humanism and ecology
  • Ecotopias in literature, film and television
  • Insurgent nature and the future of humanity
  • Gothic nature and eco-horror in dystopic narratives

Please submit article proposals for the volume tentatively titled Avenging Nature, a Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern Contemporary Art and Literature by July 1st, 2018. Article proposals should include a title, a 500-word summary, author’s name, institutional affiliation, emails address and short biographical note.

Articles will be selected following a blind peer-review process and authors will be notified by October 1st, 2018. Full articles will be expected by March 1st, 2019. The final book proposal will be submitted for final approval to a top-tier publishing house which has already shown interest in an international launch of our volume.

Please send your submission and queries to rgualberto@ucm.es

(posted 16 March 2018)


Cultures and/of Migration
The third issue of VTU Review
Deadline for complete manuscripts: 1 August 2018

The history of migration begins with the origins of the human species. Over many centuries, the movements of people(s) have affected economies, cultures and political structures in a wide variety of significant ways.

We invite contributions from scholars in the humanities and social scientists with an interest in the cultural aspects of migration. We welcome articles from both established professionals and advanced PhD students.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

  • cultural patterns of migration;
  • forced vs voluntary migration;
  • migration and cultural identity;
  • migration and gender;
  • cultures of departure and cultures of arrival;
  • migration and diaspora;
  • migration and memory;
  • migration and language;
  • writing migration;
  • images of migrants in literature, film and the mass media;
  • education and management of the cultural impact of migration.

Inquiries and complete manuscripts are to be emailed to vtureview@gmail.com by 1 August 2018.

VTU Review is a newly established peer-reviewed journal, published in English by St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. The journal comes out twice a year and is published both in print form and electronically as an open access publication.

VTU Review is dedicated to publishing and disseminating pioneering research in the humanities and social sciences for an international audience.

The journal’s inaugural issue is available at http://journals.uni-vt.bg/vtureview/eng/. Its second issue, which focuses on travel and mobility but also includes a Varia section with articles on other topics, is due in May 2018.

(posted 14 March 2018)


Language, Power, and Ideology in Political Writing
Call for Chapters
Submission date deadline: 30 August 2018

Editor: Önder Çakırtaş, PhD, Bingol University
Full chapters due: January 30, 2019

This project tries to produce an outline for the diversification of literature and political writings. The book covers many disciplines ranging from political literature, gender politics, identity politics, minority politics, to ideologized writing, censorship, rhetoric and aestheticism of politics, and gendered literature.

The reasons for the huge achievement of political and ideological writings are many. The first that comes to mind is the intercontinental attractiveness of the source materials from many differing cultures and nationalities, addressing power, autonomy, left/right wings, justice, prohibition, law, censorship, identities, and etc. Politics and political literature studies have emerged as one of the most dynamic areas of scrutiny since the existence of human being. Following in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle, for instance, a number of scholars have explored the function of ideology and politics in culture and social life. Relying on ideological as well as socio-political theories, politics has contributed to cultural studies in many ways: books focusing on direct and indirect politics, gender politics, minorities, exile, identities, censorship, political engagement and leadership theories from the perspective of ideology, philosophy and cultural studies were published, among many other studies that investigate the role of politics in social life. 

Few critics, however, have investigated the intersections of politics and literature in literary texts. George Orwell has famously claimed that “[…] there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” And Jacques ranciere expresses that all literature is political. Then, can we talk about a literature out of politics? Do writers use politics, or are they unaware of outer world? How do the authors make advantage of writing political? What are the disadvantages of political or highly ideological writings? Our study aims to find some explanatory answers to these questions.
Target Audience: The book will be a help for the scholars, academicians, students, librarians studying world literatures. The book will not only contribute to those in the department of any literature, but to those who specifically study politics, international relations, cultural studies, women studies, gender studies and political and ideological studies. As the world and writings get more politicized day by day, this book will benefit from what it includes.

Tentative Table of Contents/Topic Coverage include but not limited to the following titles: 

  • Political Language
  • Politics and Writing
  • Ideological Narration
  • Literature, Ideology and Politics
  • The Literature Today and Censorship
  • World Literature (Including Different Literatures) and Politics
  • Ideology and Writing
  • Minority Literature and the Politics of Identity
  • Gender Politics and Gendered Literature
  • Ideologized Art and Samples
  • Political Writers and Contributions
  • War Politics and War Writings
  • Politics and Prose
  • Politics, Drama and Poetry

Submission Procedure: Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before August 30, 2018, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by September 30, 2018 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters (each comprising at least 8,000 words) are expected to be submitted by January 30, 2019, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions athttp://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write// prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Trust in Knowledge Management and Systems in Organizations. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.
Visit the following link to propose your chapter:

Publisher: This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2019.

Important Dates: August 30, 2018: Proposal Submission Deadline
September 30, 2018: Notification of Acceptance
January 30, 2019: Full Chapter Submission
February 30, 2019: Review Results Returned
March 15, 2019: Final Acceptance Notification
April 15, 2019: Final Chapter Submission

Inquiries: Editor’s Name: Önder Çakırtaş
Editor’s Affiliation: PhD, Assistant Professor, Bingol University (Turkey), Department of English Language and Literature

Editor’s Contact Information
Bingöl Üniversitesi
Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi
Oda No:D2-8 12000 Bingöl/TÜRKİYE
ocakirtas@bingol.edu.tr
cakirtasonder@gmail.com

(posted 21 May 2018)


The Public Place of Drama in Britain, 1968 to the Present Day
A special issue of Humanities
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019

Guest Editor: Dr. Mary Brewer

This special issue of Humanities will focus on British dramatic narratives and performance from 1968 through the contemporary period with the goal of assessing the public place or social function of drama in contemporary British society. The issue aims to assess the key continuities and discontinues in the relation between dramatic narratives and the British public sphere since the theatre revolution of 1968.  More contemporary indicative topics include: the extent to which drama has been relegated largely to the private sphere and revalued as one of many forms of entertainment for which consumers may opt, the extent to which drama contributes to the public sphere today, how the relation between dramatic representational narratives and the public sphere has developed in different directions among the nations and diverse communities that comprise contemporary British society, the state of political theatre in Britain today, challenges/strategies relevant to sustaining a drama that challenges popular preferences, the extent to which drama retains the power to persuade and offer a model for social action, the impact of ‘austerity’ on British theatre, and drama post-Brexit. The editor welcomes contributions on other topics related to British drama and the public sphere.

The issue will build upon some of the frameworks developed for exploring the relation between theatre and the public sphere, most notably Christopher Balme’s 2014 study, The Theatrical Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press), as well as Arpad Szakolczai’s Comedy and the Public Sphere (Routledge, 2015), and Janelle Reinelt in “Rethinking the Public Sphere for a Global Age,” Performance Research, 2011.  In contrast to these publications, it will focus on contemporary drama and performance in Britain, and, while the issue will respond to Habermas’s definition of the public sphere, it will encompass a wide range of definitions of the public sphere.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are fully funded by institutions through the Knowledge Unlatched initiative, resulting in no direct charge to authors. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

(posted 28 May 2018)

Old and New Avenues in Paul Auster’s Work
Revue LISA /LISA e-journal
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2018

https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/9172

François Hugonnier (U of Angers) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (U of Copenhagen), eds.

 4 3 2 1 (2017) marks a new direction in Paul Auster’s work. This coming-of-age novel relates the formative years of Archie Ferguson through four parallel destinies. Delighting in story-telling, it embodies Auster’s notion of the “spectrum of a human being”: four characters, identical in name, body and heredity, four versions of the same weaving an anatomy of ontological plurality. The first page tells the tale of migrant arrival at Ellis Island to where the protagonist’s grandfather, Reznikoff, has travelled after leaving Minsk on foot. His name, which no doubt pays homage to one of Auster’s most influential precursors, deemed insufficiently American, he is advised to call himself Rockefeller, but forgets and is mistakenly transformed into Ichabod Ferguson (from the Yiddish “I have forgotten”). Consequently, the tycoon is dismissed in favor of the literary fathers and the rewriting of founding myths.

Between pastiche and homage, memory and oblivion (the “archive” surfaces in Archie), at the crossroads between the picaresque and the metafictional playfulness of Auster’s early novels, not to mention the darker concerns of his post-9/11 work, where history is obliquely yet systematically inscribed, 4 3 2 1 (released on the eve of Paul Auster’s seventieth birthday) takes on the misleading appearance of a testamentary piece. After writing short poems, essays, novels, autobiographical pieces and movie scripts, Auster now expands the body of his narrative prose with a titan novel that turns on parallelism and counterfactual realities––thus adding a new mode of representation to the literary scene.

Although this exponential narrative unfolds in part along thirty to forty-line run-on sentences, it is paradoxically composed of very short fragments––blank pages, embedded short stories and poems, historical narratives immune to the distortion of fiction. It explores the typically Austerian themes of enclosure, doubles and the process of writing. In this new book, the characters from Auster’s previous novels who attended Columbia in the 60s resurface. Paul Auster’s New York and Paris are mapped out again and again. His early enquiries recur, be they poetic or philosophical, into notions of solitude, loss, love, ambiguity, chance and failure; he probes the boundary between the world and the word, the necessary distancing between the writer and his pen, or else the interiority of literary experience. And so, given that several key elements in Paul Auster’s work are present in 4 3 2 1, it offers the opportunity to look back on his overall achievements.

After a seven-year gap in fiction, Paul Auster has now returned with a tour de force—a family saga, a Bildungsroman quadrupled, an odyssey radically different from his previous work (Ferguson 3 in fact reads Homer’s Odyssey). Meanwhile, Auster has also published two autobiographical books (2012-13) and two outstanding books of conversations, respectively with J. M. Coetzee (2013) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (2017), which focus on the autobiographical and fictional breakthroughs of his multi-faceted oeuvre.

The critical and popular success of 4 3 2 1 calls for a renewed effort to develop Auster studies. Various international projects undertaken since Beyond the Red Notebook (1995) demonstrate that academic interest in his work remains as strong as ever: among the monographs are Aliki Varvogli’s The World that is the Book (2001) and Mark Brown’s Paul Auster (2007). While S. Ciocia and J. A. Gonzáles edited The Invention of Illusions: International Perspectives on Paul Auster (2011), and Arkadiusz Misztal published Time, Narrative and Imagination: Essays on Paul Auster (2015), I. B. Siegumfeldt has been seeking to establish the Center for Paul Auster Studies in collaboration with Paul Auster.

In order to strengthen these advances, we are inviting specialists to contribute to this issue on Paul Auster’s old and new avenues. Abstracts in English or French may address the following aspects, among others:

  • The American canon
  • The French and European heritage
  • Fiction, poetry, essays, autobiographical writings and filmography
  • Jewish-American writing
  • Paul Auster and postmodernism
  • Bildung, filiation, initiation and the picaresque
  • Embedded narratives, scripts, pictures, artworks, poems, short stories, articles and archives
  • Story-telling, tales and myths
  • Trauma, disaster, violence, testimony
  • The process of writing and enclosure
  • Political engagement
  • Poetry and prose studies: rhythm, musicality, breath, syntax
  • Hybridity, formal mutations, translation, trans-media representation
  • Humor and comedy

300-word abstracts should be sent to François Hugonnier (francois.hugonnier@univ-angers.fr) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (siegum@hum.ku.dk) together with a brief bio-bibliographical note before 15 September 2018. Notification will be sent to the participants by 15 October 2018. Completed articles to be submitted by 1st March 2019.

You are invited to read and follow the norms for presentation indicated on the peer-reviewed Revue LISA / LISA e-journal website (< https://lisa.revues.org/159 >), ISSN: 1762-6153, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Revues.org.

FRANÇOIS HUGONNIER is an Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of Angers. He is the author of a dozen chapters, articles and interviews on Paul Auster’s work. His book-length study of Don DeLillo’s Falling Man was published in 2016 (P U de Paris-Nanterre). He is the Editorial Assistant of the Journal of the Short Story in English and a board member of the forthcoming Center for Paul Auster Studies in Copenhagen.

I. B. SIEGUMFELDT is an Associate Professor of English, Germanic, and Romance studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. She is the co-author of a book of conversations with Paul Auster (Paul Auster, A Life in Words: Conversations with I. B. Siegumfeldt, New York: Seven Stories, 2017) and the driving force behind the forthcoming Center for Paul Auster Studies in Copenhagen.

(posted 4 April 2018)

Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines April-June 2018

Science fiction today
ELOPE 15 (1), 2018
Deadline for submissions: 1 April 2018

ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries (http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope) is a double-blind, peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes original research of English language, literature, teaching and translation.

The spring 2018 issue of ELOPE is dedicated to the position and role of speculative fiction and especially science fiction in a world that is increasingly becoming speculative and science fictional. The globalized, digitally mediated nature of contemporary realities and, indeed, individuals, increasingly corresponds to those imagined by the literary cyberpunk of the 1980s – by the movement which with its formal and thematic properties arguably blurred the dividing line between the “mainstream” literary fiction and the science fiction genre. In the first decade of the third millennium, the extrapolations of current technologies and science typically associated with the genre seem to be moving from the temporal to the spatial axis, that is, from the futures far far away to the multiplicity of presents and realities that are parallel to ours. Jaak Tomberg attributes this collapse of futurity to the “cognitively dissonant pace of change in contemporary technocultural society” which renders imagining of ontologically different futures impossible. Approaching the issue from the perspective of postmodern theory, we can similarly ascertain that in a world in which the digital code precedes reality, the present is a priory infused with futurity, and any (literary) speculation cannot NOT be realistic. On the other hand, recent developments in the field increasingly reveal an alternative, radically different approach to futurity. In the 2014 collection of essays on contemporary science fiction SF Now, for instance, contributors acknowledge the prevalence of texts in which the future is a furtherance of the technocultural, late capitalist present; however, with regard to the social, cultural and historical relevance of the genre in the coming years, their focus is directed at the narratives in which the future transcends imaginable possibilities and inspects the potentialities of a different ontological order.

What, then, is science fiction today? What is its role? Has the collapse of futurity onto the present caused an irretrievable convergence of the speculative and the mimetic? How does that reflect on the language used? The stylistic properties? On the ways such fiction is translated? How much sense does it make to treat science fiction – or anything else for that matter – as a genre significantly different from other instances of writing in the context of the postmodern paradigm which fundamentally revels in hybridity? To what an extent do traditional definitions of the genre still apply? What can be considered cognitively dissonant and what can be considered a novum in a world that seems to have no outside? Can there be an outside, and if so what is it (would it be) like? What role can science fiction play in our imaginings of the future? And of our present? What does it have to offer? What can it teach us? These are some of the issues we would like to address in the up-coming issue of ELOPE. The editors warmly invite contributors to submit original research on these and related topics, and to provide insights from as wide a range of perspectives, approaches and disciplines as possible – not only from the seemingly primary domain of literary studies, but also from the perspective of language and translation studies, as well as ELT.

The language of contributions is English. Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length, with an abstract of 150–180 words. They should be submitted electronically, and should conform to the author guidelines (http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope/about/submissions). Any inquiries can be sent to Andrej Stopar (andrej.stopar@ff.uni-lj.si). Submission deadline: April 1st, 2018.

(posted 23 November 2017)


Brexit and the Divided Kingdom
Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of British Cultures
Deadline for proposals; 16 April 2018
Journal for the Study of British Cultures

Although it is yet too early to draw conclusions about the ongoing public debate on Brexit, Britain’s tight vote to leave the European Union has certainly been read as a manifestation of deep divisions across the country. Political scientists Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin claim in “Britain after Brexit: A Nation Divided” (2017) that “for all the country’s political parties, articulating and responding to the divisions that were laid bare in the Brexit vote will be the primary electoral challenge of tomorrow.” The divisions brought into focus since the referendum are indeed manifold: 52% vs. 48%; England vs. Scotland vs. Wales vs. Northern Ireland; city vs. countryside; liberal vs. conservative; old vs. young; high vs. low level of education; affluent vs. poor; professional vs. manual; migrant vs. non- migrant, ‘elite’ vs. ‘the people’, etc. Importantly, these rifts are multi-dimensional, intersectional, and far from neatly binary, as they cut across the political spectrum, uprooting and reorganising traditional allegiances and socio-cultural affinities. The complex motivations behind the Brexit vote thus make visible the need to critically revisit established concepts of social and cultural analysis (such as cosmopolitanism, populism, nationalism, sovereignty, etc.) and to probe their heuristic value for explaining recent social, political, and cultural developments.

This need is also borne out by the multi-faceted and contradictory reactions to the referendum across politics, the media, and culture. Somewhat paradoxically, what seems to unite many of these reactions is a deeply ingrained ‘us vs. them’ mentality. The Daily Mail decried judges who had ruled that parliament as the sovereign must endorse Brexit as “Enemies of the People”, while British author Julian Barnes criticised “an over- confident political elite” in his dissection of Tory party rhetoric for the London Review of Books. Theresa May sought to counter the social rifts in her speech on triggering Article 50 of the EU Treaty by pleading: “So let us do so together. Let us come together and work together. Let us together choose to believe in Britain with optimism and hope.”

Some literary negotiations of the referendum have attempted to represent and give voice to people across the divides. Carol Ann Duffy’s play My Country: A Work in Progress (2017), which is partly based on responses to interviews conducted by the UK Arts Councils in the British regions, includes the perspectives of Leave and Remain voters. A similar plurality marks the mini-plays Brexit Shorts: Dramas from a Divided Nation (2017), created by nine British playwrights and commissioned by The Guardian. Brexit novels such as Amanda Craig’s The Lie of the Land (2017) or Douglas Board’s Time of Lies (2017), by contrast, are satirical projections of an imagined post-Brexit Britain.

Bearing in mind that Brexit will remain an ongoing and dynamic phenomenon, the aim of the JSBC issue on “Brexit and the Divided Kingdom” is to analyse and critically assess the role of the discursive motif of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of the referendum. We are looking for contributions exploring British and European perspectives and we hope to see re-examinations of some entrenched debates about popular culture, media culture, and their relations to power. For instance: to what extent do literary/popular/media/academic reactions to Brexit respond to, and to what extent do they perpetuate divisions? Is the current public debate on Brexit conducive to bridging divides or is such a debate per se impossible in a digital world? Who is (in)audible and (in)visible within the Brexit debates? What channels are used and who are the (intended and actual) audiences? How do the postulated divisions call into question established tools of social and cultural analysis?

We invite contributions on the above and related topics, from cultural and literary studies, but also related disciplines such as political science, media studies, European history and human geography, with a view to national and transnational, present and past constellations, and to fictional and non-fictional materials. Individual contributions must address Brexit and relate it to the following or additional aspects:

  • the employment, construction, and circulation of the tropes of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of Brexit,
  • redefinitions of class, race, gender, age in political/literary/cultural debates about Brexit,
  • Brexit and regionalism,
  • Brexit and nationalism/national identity,
  • academic, media, and/or cultural sector discourses on Brexit,
  • Brexit in literature, drama, and the arts,
  • Brexit in party politics and rhetoric,
  • reactions to Brexit from outside the UK,
  • discourses of populism(s) and elitism(s) in the context of Brexit,
  • Brexit and migration,
  • Brexit and austerity,
  • Brexit and imperial nostalgia,

Please submit abstracts (300 words) and a short bio note by April 16, 2018, to all three guest editors:

Finished papers (5,000 words) will be due by August 31, 2018

(posted 28 February 2018)


Languages and international virtual exchange
European Journal of Language Policy, issue 11.2
Deadline for proposals: 16 April 2018

Intercultural exchange has always been an integral part of language learning. When students come into contact with other cultures they develop both intercultural and linguistic competence as well as a wide range of soft skills that are key to preparing for a globally interdependent world.  However, study abroad is not feasible for all students – the European objective of 20% mobility in 2020 is a long way off. Virtual exchange, “technology-enabled, sustained, people to people education is thus a means of providing intercultural, international experience through online projects in formal or informal settings often for contexts where there is little opportunity for mobility or study abroad.

There is currently a sustained push to support and develop virtual exchange in education across Europe and beyond.  In 2018, the European Commission launched the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative for youth across Europe and the Southern Mediterranean with the intention of expanding the reach and scope of the Erasmus+ programme via virtual exchange. According to the Commission, the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative “is expected to create an engaging and safe online community where young people can participate in facilitated discussions, increase their intercultural awareness and extend their competences“. The target for this initiative is to reach 8000 youth in 2018.

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is just one of a number of initiatives currently supporting online collaboration in higher education (see also the work of UNICollaboration[, the EVALUATE project). In school contexts, forms of virtual exchange have been implemented through eTwinning, a European project which has grown exponentially in recent years, and through the work of international organizations such as iEARN .  Online international collaboration can take many forms – in class to class projects, across or within disciplines, across multiple classes with the support of external organizations, bringing students together or bringing students into contact with the diversity of people and contexts outside educational contexts, in combination with physical exchanges or not.  These diverse approaches to intercultural dialogue offer a way of putting into practice a vision of the learner as ‘a social agent’ by providing safe, constructive online contexts where they can build on their pluricultural and plurilingual repertories. The challenge lies in addressing the issue of language in such a way as to maximise these opportunities and avoid linguistic hegemonies.

This edition thus aims to explore the implications of virtual exchange for language policy. It will have a particular concern for the European context but will welcome insights that can be offered by the experience of other areas of the world.

The journal invites contributions to this thematic number of the journal, planned for autumn 2019. Proposals should be sent in the form of an abstract (up to 300 words) and a curriculum vitae (up to 2 pages) to the Editor, Prof Michael Kelly (M.H.Kelly@soton.ac.uk) by  Monday 16th April 2018. The final length of manuscripts should be +/- 7000 words, including references, and may be written in English or French. Articles will be required by 1st March 2019. All manuscripts will be subject to peer review and authors may be invited to make revisions.

The European Journal of Language Policy/Revue européenne de politique linguistique is a peer-reviewed journal published by Liverpool University Press, in association with the Conseil européen pour les langues / European Language Council. It has appeared twice yearly since 2009, with a record of rapid review and dissemination.

The journal aims to address major developments in language policy from a European perspective, regarding multilingualism and the diversity of languages as valuable assets in the culture, politics and economics of twenty-first century societies. The journal’s primary focus is on Europe, broadly understood, but it is alert to policy developments in the wider world.

The journal invites proposals or manuscripts of articles studying any aspect of language policy, and any aspect of the area of languages for which policies may need to be developed or changed. It particularly welcomes proposals that provide greater understanding of the factors that contribute to policy-making, and proposals that examine the effects of particular policies on language learning or language use.

The journal presents relevant policy documents and reports, particularly where these contribute to debates and decision-making on language policy in Europe and elsewhere. It invites suggestions for such documents.

Articles and other items will be accepted in either English or French. Abstracts of articles will be provided in both languages. Materials may be derived from or refer to texts in other languages. Further details including authors’ guidelines and code of conduct, can be consulted at:

http://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/loi/ejlp

(posted 16 March 2018)


English Studies and Digital Humanities
Representations in the English-Speaking World
Deadline for proposals: 18 April 2018

Representations in the English-Speaking World is the Journal of the CEMRA research group, Grenoble-Alpes University, France

In the last decades, digital Humanities have become ubiquitous both in France and abroad. Manifestoes have been drafted, research teams gathered, chairs created, projects funded. Taking a moment to look back on the transformation of a field whose very definition is itself controversial might thus prove useful. Oxymoron for some, genuine revolution for others, ephemeral utopia, pragmatic choice or inevitable and lasting evolution, the digital humanities are far from a consensual area.

However, at the heart of the various etymological and epistemological debates or sometimes parallel to them, digital humanities’ initiatives have been multiplying and English studies, i.e studies exploring the production and analysis of texts created in English, have been no exception.

Consequently, this issue of Représentations dans le monde anglophone proposes to gather feedback from researchers from the various disciplines of English studies in France and abroad in order to map out this digital migration of contemporary research at the level of its instruments, its objects, its fields of study and its methods (Bourdeloie 2014).

To comply with the editorial line of the journal, this issue aims in particular at carrying out a reflection on the relationship between practices and discourse in the field of the digital humanities. Indeed, in its most frequent representation, research in the digital humanities is associated with notions of modernity, openness, objectivity, reliability, or even representativeness, but this vision coexists with other forms of representations, less canonical and sometimes more critical of the transformations related to this gradual digital migration in science at different stages of the research process, from the generation of corpora to the dissemination of results. Authors are therefore invited to present their projects whilst at the same time assessing their practical experience against their initial representations and expectations.

Please send your abstracts (500 words approx.), in English or in French, before April 18 , 2018 to Geraldine Castel at the Grenoble Alpes university (Geraldine.castel@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr).

(posted 4 April 2018)


Multi/Inter-culturalism and identity negotiation
Summer 2018 issue of the ESSE Messenger
Deadline for submissions 1 May 2018

Identity and the redefinition of identity have become of major significance in the modern world. On the one hand, multiculturalism is perceived as a form of identity politics that tends to advance the interests of particular groups and to determine the cultural values, norms and assumptions through which individual identity is formed. In addition, interculturalism is frequently regarded as a form of acceptance of differences in an atmosphere of interest, tolerance, self-realization, and support for cross-cultural dialogue.
In light of this, the aim of this issue will be to discuss the perceived (im)balance between dominant host cultures and transnational / immigrant cultures and also the ways in which identity may be regarded as a reflexive self-concept, self-image or outer perception derived from gender, cultural, ethnic values, and individual socialization.
The deadlines for submissions is 1 May 2018.
The submissions should be sent to the ESSE Messenger Editor at: esse.messenger@outlook.com
All contributions sent to the ESSE Messenger should observe the ESSE Messenger Editorial Code and Stylesheet.
Details at: http://essenglish.org/messenger/contributors/calls-for-articles/

(posted 16 January 2018)


Negotiating Aging and Ageism in English-speaking Literatures, Theatre and Performance Arts
Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS)
Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2018

Scholars and Ph.D. students in literary, theatre, and performance studies are invited to offer abstracts of prospective papers for a special block of essays Negotiating Aging and Ageism in English-speaking Literatures, Theatre and Performance Arts to be published in the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS), an MLA indexed, JSTOR archived, and ProQuest-available journal of the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. Publication is planned for 2019-2020.

Many societies in the world today are challenged by the phenomenon of an aging population with its special problems and needs. In the last couple of decades, studies of aging have emerged within the humanities assuming that age is as important a marker as gender, class, race, ethnicity and ability for the understanding of communal and personal identity. Critics agree that age is not only a biological fact but is also socially constructed and performative by nature. Valerie Barnes Lipscomb contends: “Because any age can be performed, viewing age as performance contributes to the broadening of the field of aging studies . . . combating the marginalization of criticism regarding either childhood or old age, the ‘marked’ ends of the life course.” HJEAS welcomes proposals of how the joint subjects of age, aging and ageism are negotiated, portrayed and/or represented subversively in literature, theatre, and/or performance arts.

Proposals of about 400-500 words together with a brief CV should be sent to the block editor before 1 May 2018. Contributors will be notified about the decision regarding their proposal by 20 May 2018. Accepted papers are due via e-mail by 1 September 2018 and should follow the house style of HJEAS, conforming to the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook using parenthetical citations keyed to a Works Cited section. Papers should be 6,000-7,000 words. Each paper will be submitted for blind review by two peer readers.

Editor of the special block: Dr. Mária Kurdi, professor emerita, University of Pécs, Hungary

E-mail address: mkurdi@dravanet.hu

Snail-mail address: University of Pécs, Department of English Literatures and Cultures, Institute of English Studies, 6, Ifjúság St, 7624 Pécs, Hungary

(posted 10 February 2018)


History-changing events of the 21st Century in Drama and Fiction
Call for chapters for an edited book ((working title)
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2018

Although only nearly two decades have passed in the twenty-first century, history seems to be moving faster than it used to back in the days. The historical and political events precipitate, the technological advancement seems unstoppable and rather difficult to keep up with, borders are erased or redrawn, the politics of inclusion flourishes in Europe, while America is building a wall to keep immigration at bay and fights a wave of violence which should, at least, prompt them to reconsider the possession of weapons. Russia asserts their power, either through direct involvement or by press and political manipulation in the neighbouring countries. China is the ascending star, the twenty-first century hyperpower, while Europe “is going to have to learn to live with terrorism”, as Francois Hollande, President of France, says. The structure of EU is redefined after Brexit and, foreseeably, after the warning formulated against countries such as Poland, Hungary and, more recently, Romania. And so on.

In this hectic and maddening course of history, what is left of arts? Of literature? Have they lost the battle with reality or are they readjusting to it? Is the elusive postmodernism still on the table, with its many guises and metafictional manifestations or has it paved the way for more straightforward approaches and went to rest in the vault of history of culture? Is realism taking over the cultural paradigms of the new millennium or has it left room for fantasy, dystopias and Sci-Fi to step in and utter well-concealed truths and post truths? Have arts and literature remained representational only or are they trying to climb up the social ladder and acquire more and more socio-political significance? And so forth.

These are some of the questions this book is going to try to answer. The envisaged structure is that of a collection of 10-12 individually-authored chapters, each focusing on events of major importance in the twenty-first century and their reflection in fiction and drama. The papers have to be original, unpublished, and not submitted for evaluation elsewhere. The topics enumerated above are, by no means, exhaustive, yet a connection with the general theme should be obvious.

Contributors are invited to submit proposals (500-800 words), outlining their corpus, premises, objectives, methods and prospective bibliography, to oana.gheorghiu@ugal.ro or celia.gheorghiu@gmail.com

Deadline for proposals: May 15th, 2018

Following the editorial review and preliminary acceptance, the selected authors are expected to submit their first drafts by September 11th, 2018. The chapters should not exceed 7,000 words, including endnotes and list of references. Insert in-text references. Chicago Manual of Style is preferred. The drafts will be peer-reviewed and returned with annotations and suggestions to their authors by the end of November 2018.

The final paper is expected to be delivered electronically, as editable document, by the end of February 2019.

(posted 27 February 2018)


Racial Passing: New Historical and Aesthetic Perspectives
Call for articles for a publishing project
Deadline for proposals: 21 May 2018

Proposals should include a 400-600 word long abstract and a short bio-bibliography and should be sent by May 21st, 2018 to Hélène Charlery (helene.charlery@free.fr) and Aurélie Guillain (aurelie.guillain@univ-tlse2.fr). The final versions of the articles should be sent by October 1st, 2018.

Is racial passing really passé? The theme of passing was a popular one in narrative fiction and the cinema until the late 1950s in the United States, especially in the 1920s and 1930s, when the increasingly impersonal character of urban life could make it easier to lie about one’s ancestry—or omit to mention it (Webb 1847, Harper 1893, Johnson 1912, White 1926, Larsen 1929, Hurst 1933, Kazan 1949). In South Africa too, some passing narratives reveal the tensions and dilemmas associated with mixed-race identities (Millin 1924).
The racial impostor who is passing for white is following the rules defining racial and social roles and s/he is simultaneously challenging them, embodying a racial identity that cannot be fixed or even stabilized. Novels and films dealing with racial passing have been the focus of renewed attention since the 1990s with the development of studies of the mixed race category (Sollors 1987, 1997) and the rise of gender studies: Judith Butler’s seminal essay in Bodies that Matter articulated the transgression of racial frontiers with the queering of gender boundaries (Butler 1993) and helped to broaden the implications of the act of passing. Scholarly studies focusing on the shaping of whiteness and “white invisibility” (Dyer 1997, Jacobson 1998) have also deepened our understanding of racial passing. We welcome articles adopting these theoretical angles to interpret fictions that have been little studied or aspects of more canonical works that may have been overlooked.
We also welcome articles raising the question of the ethical and political significance of racial passing. At the turn of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois already regarded those who chose to pass for white as somewhat treacherous individuals who failed to show an oppressed racial group the loyalty it so badly needed, and from the late 1950s onward, overt and collective forms of rebellion seem to have replaced the invisible, solitary transgression committed by the racial impostor. Yet one may ask the question of whether racial passing can be, or has ever been, regarded not only as transgressive but also as subversive, including from a political perspective.
We also welcome articles with a regional or transnational perspective; studies of racial passing and its representations in South Africa or in the West Indies would be of particular interest. Considerations on regional specificities (e.g. the case of Louisiana) are also welcome.
We may also wonder if racial passing has truly become passé. In the United States for instance, after the Loving vs Virginia ruling of the Supreme Court in 1967 (which made the legal interdiction of inter-racial marriage unconstitutional), one could think that racial passing would become a thing of the past. And yet for the last twenty years, many contemporary authors have been reverting to the topos of racial passing – proposing hybridized and highly self-reflective versions of the historical race novel (Senna 1998, Roth 2000, Whitehead 2000, Powers 2004, Wicomb 2006). Some have even captured the comic and aesthetic potential of reverse passing, showing white individuals posing and posturing as black men, with an equally acute sense of historical recapitulation and irony (Mansbach 2005). Contributors are invited to propose either close studies of particular texts or films or more general surveys of the contemporary passing narrative.

(posted 16 March 2018)


Frankenstein Revived: Essays on the International Reception, Translation and Recasting of Mary Shelley’s Novel
A collection of essays
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2018

Edited by Jorge Bastos da Silva (University of Porto, Portugal) and Katarzyna Pisarska (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland)

Upon its publication in 1818, Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus was praised as showing “uncommon powers of poetic imagination” by no less a reviewer than Walter Scott. Five years later, R. B. Peake’s dramatization, Presumption!, was exposed in the press as embodying “the very horrid and unnatural details” of the novel. The rich history of the reception of Mary Shelley’s story over the following two centuries has swayed between the two extremes of fascination and revulsion. Frankenstein and his creature have become a pervasive myth of modernity as Shelley’s work has been translated into many languages and adapted into several media. As the work has been made available in many different contexts and for different readerships/audiences, its motifs have become cornerstones of science fiction, and, indeed, of ongoing debates about the achievements and the ethics of science in general. While revising the classical tale of Prometheus and the biblical story of Adam and Eve, Frankenstein itself has arisen as a powerful narrative paradigm for interrogating the meaning of life, the relationship between humanity and God, the borderline between nature and artifice, the promise(s) and dangers of technology, and a range of other topics.

This peer-reviewed collection of essays aims to examine the international reception and impact of Frankenstein. It will encompass studies of the criticism, the translations and the recastings of the plot, its characters and its themes, as the novel has been adapted into film, the theatre, and comic books. It will also examine other forms of rewriting or recreating, such as prose retellings for young readers, the ways in which Frankenstein has been refashioned in more episodic forms like political caricature, and other aspects of material culture.

We invite contributions of essays (6000-8000 words) consistent with the volume rationale outlined above. Prospective contributors should send an extended abstract (250-300 words) to both editors’ e-mails: jorgebastosdasilva@gmail.com and pisarska77@gmail.com. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 May 2018. Contributors will be notified of editorial decisions before 15 July 2018. Complete chapters should be sent to the editors by 30 November 2018. The collection is due to be published by a global publisher in 2019.

(posted 27 February 2018)


Owen Barfield in Contemporary Contexts: Exploring his Thoughts and Influence
A book to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing UK.
Deadline for submissions of topics/abstracts: 1 June 2018

Editor Contact (for prospective contributors): martin.ovens@univ.oxon.net

The chief purpose of the book is to present fresh scholarship on the work and ideas of the British philosopher, critic and poet Owen Barfield (1898-1997) by addressing the nature, range, potential, application, relevance and significance of his thinking across diverse domains in contemporary contexts.

Called “the first and last Inkling,” “Heidegger disguised as an English solicitor” and “one of the most neglected important thinkers of the twentieth century,” Owen Barfield was an acknowledged influence on several twentieth century figures, including J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Gabriel Marcel, W.H. Auden, Saul Bellow, T.S. Eliot, David Bohm, Howard Nemerov, Walter de la Mare and Harold Bloom.

Reflecting his output, the book contains work by scholars of different disciplines exploring aspects relating to religion/theology, philosophy, literary theory/criticism, economics and science.

Additional chapters are now sought – if you are interested in contributing, please contact martin.ovens@univ.oxon.net for furhter information, or send suggested topics/short abstracts.

Deadline for submissions of topics/abstracts: June 1st 2018

(posted 16 April 2018)


Canada, a refuge from the United States?
Études Canadiennes/Canadian Studies Nr 85, December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2018

http://journals.openedition.org/eccs/

Following the great success of the TV series The Handmaid Tale’s, adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel, this issue of Études Canadiennes / Canadian Studies will explore the way Canada may be perceived as a refuge from the United States, and maybe even as the true embodiment of the American Dream. This issue will welcome papers in the fields of history (for example, on the underground railway or the draft dodgers), of political science (for example, on Justin Trudeau’s Canada as the refuge of American democracy and diversity face to Donald Trump’s United States), of literature and the arts (what type of refuge, if any, do the dystopian works of artists such as Catherine Mavrikakis, François Blais, Yen Chen and others offer?)

The editors would like to receive proposals (250 to 300 words) which provide a working title and a brief overview of the article’s aims, along with a short biographical note (100 words), to be sent to : revueetudescanadiennes@gmail.com
cc to: laurence.cros@univ-paris-diderot.fr

Deadline for submitting a proposal is June 1st, 2018. Selected proposals will receive a go-ahead shortly afterwards. Full articles (about 8000 words) will need to be submitted by September 1st, 2018. After a double peer-review process, selected articles will be published in a printed form in the December 2018 paper issue of the journal, followed by an online publication one year later on http://journals.openedition.org/eccs/

(posted 16 March 2018)


A diachronic approach to Ian McEwan’s fiction : from sensationalism to ethical writing
An edited book
Deadline for proopsals: 20 June 2018

This call is for contributions to an ongoing book project on Ian McEwan’s œuvre. We are specifically looking for chapters that examine the earlier part of his literary output – his stories in First Love, Last Rites and In Between the Sheets as well as his novels and novellas The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Innocent – and some of his more recent work: Saturday, On Chesil Beach and Solar.

Abstracts (approximately 400 words long) should be sent to Drs Armelle Parey (armelle.parey@unicaen.fr) AND Isabelle Roblin (roblin@univ-littoral.fr) by June 20th, 2018 for an answer by July 10th.

If the proposal is accepted, the chapter will have to be sent by October 8th, 2018 so that we can get back to you in January 2019.

(posted 4 April 2018)


Journalism and Experientiality
Thematic issue of Recherches en Communication
Deadline for submission: June 29, 2018

Languages: English and French

Paper submissions are invited for a thematic issue of Recherches en Communication, which will explore the interplay between journalism and experience in narrative and literary forms of journalism.

The double nature of narrative literary journalism-as informational and experiential-has been recognized by leaders in the field for some time. Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and journalism professor Tom French, for one, has described narrative journalism as an attempt to help the public understand news questions from within, by recreating what it feels like to live inside these news questions – be they healthcare, war, or natural disasters. Similarly, writer and former director of the Nieman program on narrative journalism Mark Kramer explains that literary journalism “couples cold fact and personal event, in the author’s humane company,” allowing readers to “behold others’ lives, often set within far clearer contexts than we can bring to our own. The process moves readers, and writers, toward realization, compassion, and in the best of cases, wisdom” (Kramer 1995, 34).

Hence, one could say that the meaning of these journalistic narratives primarily lies in what narratologists call their experientiality, their “quasi-mimetic evocation of real-life experience” (Fludernik 1996, 12). Following Marco Caracciolo (2013), experientiality is understood as both “the textual representation of experience” and “the experiences undergone by the recipients of narrative.” It refers to the way a narrative stimulates different cognitive parameters through which humans engage with real-life experience: embodiment, intentionality, temporality and emotional evaluation. By recreating felt experience and activating these parameters, narrative and literary journalism does not merely try to entertain or move us, but works to deepen our understanding of the news and the world we live in. Monika Fludernik proposes that degrees of narrativity correspond with levels of experientiality (1996, 28), which invites investigation about how readers engage cognitively, emotionally, ethically and politically with narrative and literary journalism.

This thematic issue aims to broaden our knowledge of both the strategies employed by journalists to create vicarious experience for readers within literary journalistic texts, and the way readers process and react to such texts. The differences between reading fiction and non-fiction largely remain to be explored in fields such as cognitive narratology, reader-response theory, neuroscience, psychology, ethnography and literary studies.

In the case of first-hand reporting by journalists, it may also be interesting to question how writing such stories changes the experience of the reporters and how this might become part of the story.

Considering the recent evolutions of journalism, the study of experientiality should not be limited to the written text, but should also concern more innovative forms of narrative/literary journalism, such as multimedia, transmedia and interactive narratives.

For this thematic issue, all submissions investigating the relationship between narrative/literary journalism and experience are welcome. This includes, but is not limited to, papers addressing questions such as:

  • How does experientiality translate in works of literary journalism?
  • How does the experiential dimension of these texts transform journalists’ reporting and writing practices?
  • How do readers actually react to such texts?
  • What is the role of empathy in narrative literary journalism?
  • To what extent can literary journalism generate pro-social behavior?
  • What kinds of expectations do readers bring to this genre and how are these created?
  • Are there qualitative differences between the experience of reading fiction and non-fiction?
  • What kinds of relationships exist between the aesthetic and the experiential in literary journalism?
  • What kind of experience can multimedia, transmedia and interactive journalistic narratives create?

Article submissions must meet the instructions for authors of the journal (http://sites.uclouvain.be/rec/index.php/rec/about/submissions#authorGuidelines) and be uploaded on the journal’s website (http://sites.uclouvain.be/rec/index.php/rec/about/submissions).

(posted 29 March 2018)


Experiments in short fiction: between genre and media/La brièveté et l’expériment: entre genre et media
IL LI 23, Fall 2018
Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2018

Editors : Elke D’hoker and Bart Van den Bossche

Short narrative texts have a long and ancient lineage in the Western literary tradition: from ancient folk tales and myths over fables and novellas to short stories and flash fiction in recent times. Over the course of the centuries, short fictional texts have formed genres and traditions with a remarkable stability, yet at the same time they frequently have been the locus of experimentation, border crossings and generic hybridity, often in tandem with the spread of media and the development of new contexts of publication and dissemination. In modern literature, it suffices to think of the importance of short fiction for the development of fantastic literature, the illustrated prose poems of the Decadents, the short fiction experiments in early 20th-century avant-garde periodicals, or the short stories dramatized for radio in the mid-twentieth century. In recent years, the arrival of new media – websites, blogs, twitter and facebook – have similarly given rise to new experiments in short fiction. Hyper fiction, twitter fiction, microfiction, and nanofiction are only some of the forms that have been developed in response to these new media.

This special issue aims to investigate these and other short fiction experiments as they have emerged since the late nineteenth-century in different literary traditions. It will explore the formal, generic and intermedial aspects of these short fictional texts – from microfiction to the novella – and the way they create meaning. As Paul Zumthor famously argued in “Brevity as Form”, brevity is not just a matter of length. Rather it “constitutes a structuring model” in which formal constraints enable creativity and invention. One of the central questions of this issue is therefore how writers work with the limits imposed by brevity in a variety of genres and forms: from the constraints imposed on newspaper stories to the 140-character limit of the Twitter story, from the generically hybrid novella to the epigram-like microfiction, from Felix Fénéon’s faits divers to Teju Cole’s “Small Fates”. The question how short a story can possibly be has often been debated – think of Hemingway’s famous “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn” – but has received new urgency given the many platforms for nanofiction and microfiction that have emerged in recent years. At the other end of the spectrum, the question of length is also debated with regard to the novella: what distinguishes a novella from a short story and a short novel? And how is the same story changed when its length or format is changed; when it migrates from newspaper story to novella, from serialized Twitter story to complete short story. In this and in many other instances, the contexts of publication also have an impact on short fiction experiments, as these contexts – whether magazine, newspaper, story collection, twitter feed, website or blog – shape the production and reception of short fictional texts to an arguably greater extent than in the case of the stand-alone novel and, hence, need to be taken into account in any study of short fictional texts.

We invite articles addressing these questions in different literary traditions from the late nineteenth century onwards. Articles of about 6000 to 8000 words in length can be written in both French and English. Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2018, but we would like you to get in touch with the editors with a proposal before submitting the full article. Proposals and articles should be sent to Elke D’hoker (elke.dhoker@kuleuven.be) and Bart Van den Bossche (bart.vandenbossche@kuleuven.be). The articles will be sent out for double blind peer review.

(posted 22 February 2018)


Reference and Referentiality
issue 11.1 of the webjournal L’Atelier
Deadlinef or proposals: 30 June 2018

Additional information about the journal and its editorial policy can be found at http://revues.u-paris10.fr/index.php/latelier

Papers can be in English or in French. Length: 30,000 to 55,000 signs.

Detailed proposals (300-500 words are to be sent to Isabelle Alfandary (isabelle.alfandary@gmail.com) Priyanka Deshmukh (pri.deshmukh@gmail.com) et Juliana Lopoukhine (j_lopoukhine@yahoo.fr) before 30 June 2018.

The full papers will be expected by 15 December 2018.

What, if anything, does literature talk about? Aristotle’s theory of mimesis poses the question of the referential relationship between an object and its representation, between the world and language. If, for Saussure, language puts an end to the world with the advent of the sign, is it still possible to say that writing consists in describing, or even giving shape to the world, to the experience of the world? In literary criticism, the referential prism postulates the preexistence of a stable system of references—places, events, characters, historical and cultural context—as part of the reading pact that the literary text might make use of in order to become the metonymical space of a historical time. But does this referential prism still hold in the face of the radical power of language, and in the face of what this power does to the world?

This issue of L’Atelier not only seeks to examine writing as mediation, as that which happens to the world, and has the capacity to transform or even generate the world, but also as that which is itself created within the world and by the world. One of the goals of this issue will be to think about how the assumption that a literary work mirrors the world is called into question by that which escapes specularity, or in other words, by everything that happens to the text during the process of poiein, by everything that makes the referent disappear, replacing it with an intransitivity or an autotelism of language. Metaphors, images, the figurative, the implicit, translation, polysemy, hermetism, the instability of signs, subjectivity, modality, affect, experience, the indeterminate, the possible, the imaginary, the fabled, are some of the processes or modes that displace the referential system and reveal its illusion.

Above all else, perhaps, the question of referential relation subtends the problem of a relationship to time insofar as the existence of a referential network presupposes the existence of an object prior to writing. There lies between writing and referent a gap that can neither be determined nor overcome—a gap that might perhaps be a difference or a différance, endlessly calling into question the postulate of a stable relationship. This irreducible gap begs the question of how certain literary genres relate to history—for instance, how fiction or poetry singularly record history or displace it. At the same time, it calls for an investigation into the narrow referential relation that characterizes such genres as the realist novel, the naturalistic novel, the historical novel, literature of commitment or dissent, literary reportage, biography, autobiography, or even crime fiction.

To examine referentiality is to rethink the very idea of artistic context, “movements,” or “modes,” and to question the empirical perspective upon which the field of cultural studies relies. More broadly, this issue seeks to question the hermeneutical approaches that favor thematization and a reading of literary texts as documents or as a breeding ground for cultural, historical, and geographical references. It also aims to challenge those approaches for which processes of representation are not so much singular as they are restricted by the context of artistic production, be it that of the avant-garde and that of the most radical modernism.

(posted 29 March 2018)


Feeling British
A special issue of the French Review of British Studies
Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2018

“England has changed. These days it’s difficult to tell who’s from around here and who’s not. Who belongs and who’s a stranger. It’s disturbing.” (Phillips, 2003:3) The first lines of A Distant Shore (winner of the Commonwealth Prize in 2004) written by the British Caribbean scholar Caryl Phillips introduce a debate on the issue of British identity in a context of globalized immigration. The author is a British citizen who left England many years ago to settle in the United States, after reaching the conclusion that he would not find his place in a country riddled with numerous contradictions.

Phillips, who was formerly Professor of Migration Studies at the R. Luce Institute, is also a talented chronicler who frequently contributes to The Guardian. He represents an emblematic example of the cosmopolitan Britishness chosen by some citizens from “selected” immigration backgrounds. All the same, he feels linked to the community of Windrush generation members who participated in the historical effort of reconstruction in England, and whose degree of belonging to the nation has been recently put to the test, as evidenced in the political turmoil created by the latest Home Office scandal.

As surprising as it may seem, this paradox is but an illustration – among others – of the complexity of societal dynamics which influence the diverse political and cultural spheres of the United Kingdom today. It is a central axis of the present project to understand their nature and scope. How can one assess the adhesion of individuals and social groups to the multi-ethnic and multicultural British nation of our times? Where should their identity be inscribed on the canvas of composite identities, some of which might either be regarded as tokens of tolerance and inclusion, or be considered (by others) as potential threats for the cohesion of the nation?

Such questions will probably raise some interest in a community of researchers who are more and more aware of the political, social and economic problems that have affected the United Kingdom for many years and whose evolutions were followed in recent scientific literature (Dunt, I., 2018 ; Clarke, H. D. et alii, 2017, Hannan, D., 2017 ; Espiet-Kilty, R., 2016 ; Révauger, J.-P., 2016 ; Puzzo, C., 2016, among others). These interrogations are all the more relevant as the UK‟s fringe location seems to make Brexit quite a complicated matter. In a more and more globalized context, such notions as „national identity‟ or „frontier‟ shape the orientation of the profound mutations which are transforming the lives of Great Britain‟s and Northern Ireland‟s people. An in-depth study of the consequent transformations impacting the feeling of belonging has become a matter of some urgency.

To penetrate the deepest strata of British identity, we propose to combine the methods of research in civilization with a multi-disciplinary approach. In order to best understand the mutations in identity that have operated since 1948, we envisage relating perceived or established identities with the sentiment of belonging, which is more personal. We will solicit different contributions from the humanities, with a view to anchoring the investigation process in an interdisciplinary praxis. In so doing, we intend to confront social reality, collective representations and institutional discourse so as to attain the most comprehensive vision possible of phenomena related to identity mutation in the United Kingdom. Contributors should feel free to rely on sociological fieldwork data, or to study the general trends of social phenomena which emanate from contemporary British cultural production, in all its diversity.

Contributions might explore how political discourse can reflect the uncertainty generated by the issue of belonging to the national family. This question is at the centre of the current reflection on collective and individual identities in Europe (Balibar, E., 2003); as such it provides food for thought by articulating the debate around a central question: what does it mean to be and feel British today? Such a feeling is liable to cover different semantic nuances depending on the context.

First, it can refer to the Britishness experienced by nationals respectful of laws and institutions who can trace their affiliation to the nation through history and genealogy. In this lot, there are some citizens who belong to old families of British descent whose names, social status and achievements bolster their firmly-rooted feeling of belonging, this mental construction being most of the time ideologically oriented. Then, it can be synonymous with “experiencing the same feelings as the British”, and thus express some form of proximity with the British model, without implying a real kinship. A documentary shot by the BBC in 2015 about the population of young migrants settled in Oldham supports these views. This short film showed that if the majority of Asian residents in this town had no difficulty in saying they felt British they seldom acknowledged living as good neighbours with the British whites of the region, with whom they seem to share very little, apart from a shared access to public facilities. Under such circumstances, the ideal of “building a common house” announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in the aftermath of the 2014 attacks would seem hardly attainable. It even seems reasonable to conclude that multiculturalism and communitarianism may be converging towards the kind of ghettoization (Wievorka, 1998) that by Alibhai-Brown deplores (2003, 2007).

But personal commitment also plays an important part in integration, especially for those who decide to integrate the social fabric against all odds and wring out of their predicament a real success story. This is the case of many Britons of mixed ancestry, or of the proactive hyphenated British driven by the will to overcome ethnic boundaries, like the Minister Sajid David, currently Communities Secretary in Theresa May‟s government. In a gesture reminiscent of Thackeray‟s commitment to Britishness, David proposed the taking of a “British values oath” (Puzzo, 2016) for those who were on the wrong side of the line.
A third possibility is that of cosmopolitanism. The journey of some individuals is, in this respect, quite an enlightening testimony. Phillips, for instance, was born in St Kitts in 1958 and brought to England at “the portable age of twelve weeks” (1987: 2). He belongs to the first generation of migrants who left the Caribbean for Britain at the request of the Colonial Office so that they could reconstruct the country, as early as 1948. They expected to improve their economic and cultural condition. Phillips‟s fiction and essays speak to the hearts and minds of those for whom nations and nationalism represent “dual phenomena, constructed essentially from above, but which cannot be understood unless analysed from below, that is, in terms of the assumptions, hopes, needs, longings and interests of ordinary people, which are not necessarily national and still less nationalist” (Hobsbawm, 1990: 10). Taking the case of second- or third-generation Black and Asian Britons as well as that of continental Europeans settled in England will also throw into relief some meaningful divergences, especially in terms of attitude towards British cultural institutions.

In the light of this, one cannot relate to such concepts as national identity or agency without appraising a cross-disciplinary and contrastive approach of the yearning for belonging, or conversely, of the “shame and rage”1 which inform the identity problems brought to the fore by such thinkers as Stuart Hall, Caryl Phillips, Zadie Smith, Paul Gilroy and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. If some aspects of music, cinema, drama and cultural policy-making, seem to celebrate a positive and inclusive vision of hybridity, the same views are not necessarily as popular in the ultra-conservative political groups that advocate narrow parochialism and present otherness in a threatening light. What, one might ask, is the ultimate frontier between Britishness and otherness? Where is it located?

An interdisciplinary perspective on sociology anthropology and political science seems to offer a good opportunity of handling complex but revealing variations, such as those occurring from one generation to another. Out of this will emerge occasions for innovations in the field of sociocultural interactions. We thus hope to bring in a diversity of historical, sociological, artistic and literary contributions to the debate on the formation of national identity, as well as elements of political science, to explain the processes at work in the mutation of Britishness over the last 70 years. In so doing, we plan on confronting a variety of materials concerning the evolution of interethnic and socio-cultural relations from one generation to another, and expect to take advantage of the plurality of views to study the complexity of identity mutation processes.

The following potential axes of study do not constitute an exhaustive list:

  • the conceptualization of Britishness in the political debate;
  • the formation of new digital identities;
  • the representation of the British Other in essay-writing, fiction and the visual arts;
  • the evolution of the nation-state from a historical perspective;
  • the mapping of geocultural identities in a transnational context;
  • Britain, Europe and the Brexit
  • the place of foreigners in British institutions.

Articles must be between 30 000 and 42 000 signs maximum long (5 000 to 7 000 words maximum including spaces, footnotes and bibliography). They may be written in English or in French.
Deadline for submission of proposals (maximum 500 words): June 30, 2018. Authors will be informed of the decision in July 2018. Articles on selected proposals should be completed by the end of December 2018 for submission to peer review.

Submissions should be sent to: frederic.lefrancois@outlook.fr and john.mullen@univ-rouen.fr

(posted 23 May 2018)

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in June 2019

Stonewall at 50 and Beyond: Interrogating the Legacy and Memory of the 1969 Riots
Paris, France, 3-5 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2018

A conference organised by:
University of Paris-Est Créteil / IMAGER (EA 3958)
Paris-Dauphine University (Paris-Sciences-et-Lettres) / IRISSO

In the night of June 27th to 28th, 1969, gay and transgender patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar in New York, refused to comply with one more among countless occurrences of police harassment. For five days and nights the neighborhood was the theater of a rough confrontation between demonstrators and police. In the following weeks and months, the resulting mobilization reinforced the already burgeoning movement for gay liberation. The first commemoration that took place the very next year, Christopher Street Liberation Day, eventually gave birth to the LGBTQ pride marches that we know today.

The fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall in 2019 is an opportunity to reexamine its legacy and lasting impact on the creation of an LGBTQ movement in the United States and worldwide. This conference aims to interrogate the processes of memorialization and patrimonialization, as well as the political legacy and the cultural and activist representations of Stonewall.

In the United States over this half-century, the riots have acquired a great deal of symbolic strength, growing institutional recognition, and have become incorporated into the national narrative. In 1992, after more than a decade’s controversy in New York about whether that was an appropriate location, a commemorative statue was erected just opposite the bar. In his second inaugural address, in 2013, President Obama characterized Stonewall as a landmark on the path to full equality by likening it to the 1848 Seneca Falls conference, and the 1965 marches in Selma—respectively emblems of the movement for women’s suffrage and the nonviolent struggle for African Americans’ civil rights. In 2016, the site was made a National Monument by the National Park Service. What conceptions and representations of the event underlie these processes of institutional memorialization? And what history is Stonewall thus made to narrate?

A host of factors have been used to both explain the riots and construct the Stonewall myth: the death of gay icon Judy Garland; the militant ebullience of the African American, feminist, anti-war, and New Left mobilizations; the general rebellious atmosphere of the 1960s that encouraged gay, bisexual, and trans men and women to refuse to submit; the recent emergence of a more offensive gay militancy. This conference will be an opportunity to revisit and reconsider the ways in which the works of scholars, both independent and academic (Armstrong, Carter, Duberman, Katz etc.), as well as biographical and autobiographical narratives, have framed and conceptualized Stonewall, in order to examine how they incorporate the voice of protagonists of the riots and of gay liberation.

It is a well-established fact that similar events had taken place before, be it in San Francisco at the 1965 New Year’s ball or at Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966, or in Los Angeles at the Black Cat in 1967 and even as early as 1959 at Cooper’s Donuts (Armstrong and Crage, Bullough, Faderman and Timmons, Stryker). The political and social context, local mnemonic capacities, and varying degrees of frame resonance help explain why Stonewall took precedence over these previous occurrences (Armstrong and Crage). Yet, these explanations do not exhaust the importance of Stonewall in LGBTQ history and historiography: beyond the necessary demystifications, what remains of these riots’ heuristic value and mobilizing power? Why and how have activists in New York and elsewhere appropriated the memory of this event? How does gay liberation relate with lesbian cultures and mobilizations? While the field of LGBTQ militancy is strongly influenced by feminist ideas and mobilizations, how may the legacy of Stonewall differ along gender lines?

The various ways in which activists, commentators, and scholars in the United States write the history of the riots is a reflection of deep-seated tensions within the LGBTQ movement. Whereas many rioters were prostitutes, drag queens, transgender people, and people of color, post-Stonewall movements have tended to whiten, cisgenderize, and masculinize the event, and to disconnect it from its too flamboyant instigators. Witness Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two respectively black and Latina transgender activists, who were on the frontline of the confrontation with the police: for a long time, their role was overlooked and they were physically excluded from annual commemorations as of 1973. Subsequent historical reexaminations, however, have earned them a quasi-heroic stature, a Greenwich Village street being named after Sylvia Rivera in 2005, for example. Should this patrimonialization of the least reputable, least palatable, indeed queerest protagonists be interpreted as recognition or as a cooptation that strips them of their offensiveness?

Stonewall was an act of disobedience and insubordination to the state’s authority, and yet the event has since been reclaimed as the starting point of an assimilationist politics of respectability by the more mainstream LGBTQ organizations in the United States (Human Rights Campaign, National LGBTQ Task Force). Should this be viewed as a tribute, betrayal or hijacking? To what extent do moderate reappropriations of Stonewall result from a conscious strategy of making the riots inoffensive and of minimizing their rebellious contestation of power? The transformation of LGBTQ pride marches into entertaining parades and commodified festivals can also be viewed as a reflection of this reinterpretation. How, concretely, has the understanding of riots driven by the rejection of policing and social control gradually shifted toward homonationalist (Puar) and homonormative (Duggan) discourses? How have post-Stonewall revolutionary agendas been transformed into an identity politics that is premised on conformity and a liberal or neoliberal understanding of diversity (Ward)?

Such competing narratives oppose each other in controversies surrounding the cultural representations of the event, for example in the movies by Nigel Finch (1995) and Roland Emmerich (2015). These productions not only triggered heated debates on their failure to sufficiently or truthfully represent certain protagonists, but also raised the question of who has legitimacy to produce the memory of Stonewall. Witness the 2017 controversy between Reina Gossett and David France about their respective documentary movies, Happy Birthday Marsha! and The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, when the former accused the latter of using her original research without her consent and without giving her credit: this dispute has further thrown into light the question of who owns activist archives. When Stonewall is featured in popular culture, through songs, comic books, live-action or animation television and online series, are these debates part of the conversation—whether it be in a parodic, satirical, hagiographic or commemorative way?

Critiques of the commodification of LGBTQ culture and memory, however, should not detract attention from the central role played by commercial venues such as bars, nightclubs, and bathhouses in the development and persistence of queer communities (Chauncey, D’Emilio, Escoffier, Kennedy and Davis, Rupp and Taylor, Tamagne). These businesses used to thrive in the queer neighborhoods of major urban centers, but have gradually receded following changing patterns in LGBTQ sociability and new waves of gentrification (Ghaziani, Giraud). They nonetheless continue to be of paramount importance for LGBTQ people from less metropolitan areas or who belong to ethnic and racial minorities (Mattson). How to eschew the frequent male-centeredness of discourses on commercial social venues? What different meanings do these venues have for LGBTQ men and women? The 2016 Orlando killing and the persistence of homophobic and transphobic violence are reminders of the continuing relevance of communitarian spaces for the nurturing of LGBTQ collective identities and mobilizations. Can there be a new Stonewall? In what ways do LGBTQ commercial venues continue to be political, possibly infrapolitical (Marche, Scott) spaces, in the United States or elsewhere?

Stonewall is indeed also mythic because its fame has exceeded US national borders, in part due to the combined geopolitical and economic strengths of the United States’ soft power and entertainment industry, which have succeeded in globalizing American cultural models. That is why this conference aims to look beyond the United States in order to address the worldwide reception and influence of Stonewall, and the circulation, translation, importation, reappropriations, and sometimes rejection of LGBTQ communitarian practices and cultural models that originate in the United States and the legacy of its gay liberation movement. How has the memory of the riots crossed borders? How has it impacted, or failed to impact, nascent or already existent movements? In what ways do power hierarchies of gender, race, and class weigh on LGBTQ activists’ representation and practice of the occupation of public spaces? Do the initiators of similar events in other countries invoke or reclaim those of New York? Does Stonewall’s notoriety “colonize” the memory of movements born outside the United States (Altman, Adam, Duyvendak and Krouwel, Encarnación, Prearo)? Does the Stonewall myth contribute to the globalization of queer sexual identities (Altman, Binnie, Puar, Drucker)? Are circulations within the global North driven by the same forces as those between the United States and countries of the global South?

Far from proposing a univocal, teleological celebration of the “birth” of the contemporary LGBTQ movement, this conference aims to offer a critical, objectivizing examination of Stonewall, in a context of enduring hostility to sexual and gender minorities in the United States and throughout the world. Submissions based on empirical data (archives, interviews, ethnographies, literature, cinema, popular culture) and with a comparative or intersectional approach will be especially welcome. Scholars from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences (cultural studies; foreign languages, literatures, and cultures; geography; history; political science; sociology) may submit.

See the conference website.

Keywords:
Assimilation; commercial venues; homonormativity; intersectionality; LGBTQ; liberation; pride marches; memorialization; social movements; patrimonialization; resistance.

When and how to submit:
Paper submissions in French or English (c. 500 words) with an explicit presentation of the methodology and data, and a brief biographical note (5 lines) should be uploaded by October 15th, 2018, at: https://stonewallat50.sciencesconf.org.
Selected speakers will be notified by November 15th, 2018.

The conference will take place at the universities of Paris-Est Créteil and Paris-Dauphine, France, on June 3rd–5th, 2019.

Contact and information: stonewallat50@gmail.com.

(posted 23 June 2018)


Women Who Made History: 3rd International Conference on Arts and Humanities
Nicosia, Cyprus, 4-7 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

The 3rd International Conference on Arts and Humanities is an event organized by the International Centre for Studies of Arts and Humanities (ICSAH) and the Dante Alighieri Society Nicosia that aims to explore the topic of women who made history. The conference will be held on 4-7 June 2019 at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.

We warmly welcome all papers broadly relevant to the subject without predefining chronological and territorial limitations, as the major goal of the conference is to address questions that involve more than one research field and promote multidisciplinary dialogue and cooperation. The papers will be published online and in a dedicated volume of Conference Proceedings.

We invite proposals which study all aspects of women in literature, art, history and philosophy in order to highlight the variations, similarities and particularities of the figure of the woman in different cultural and disciplinary contexts. We encourage also papers that accentuate the conception, meaning and symbolism of the woman as an icon and a force that transcends the barriers of time, and embraces the very essence of the human being.

About ICSAH. The International Centre for Studies of Arts and Humanities is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the research, study and education in a vast range of disciplines in the fields of Arts and Humanities. The mission of the organization is to:

  1. Promote the worldwide understanding, study and teaching across a range of disciplines of the Arts and Humanities.
  2. Provide additional forums for the exchange of ideas regarding Arts and Humanities in schools, Universities, libraries, museums and other contexts.
  3. Support the interchange of research and the scholarships of knowledge, teaching and service in the Humanities through conferences, publications and relative activities.

Submission rules: To submit a proposal for a paper of approximately 20 minutes, please send an abstract of 350 words or less to icsahcy1@gmail.com by April 30th, 2019. The proposed contributions should not have been previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere. Abstracts should include a title, a summary of the presentation, name of the author/s, institutional affiliation, email, and the language of presentation.

Conference languages: English, French, Italian

Venue : University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitissas Avenue, Engomi, Nicosia 2414, Cyprus

For further information about the conference, please see our website at:  http://icsah.eu

Please address any further enquiries to: icsahcy1@gmail.com and icsah.eu@gmail.com

(posted 19 June 2018)


Reenchanting Urban Wildness: To Perceive, Think and Live With Nature in its Urban Environment
Perpignan, France, 11-14 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2018

An international Conference under the aegis of the CRESEM, UPVD

Guest Writers

  • Belinda Cannone, French writer, sponsor of the PUP (Presses Universitaires de Perpignan), author of S’émerveiller, 2017.
  • Nathanael Johnson, American journalist and writer, expert in nature in cities and environmental issues, author of Unseen City The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness, 2016

Keynote Speakers

  • Nathalie Blanc, Geographer, French CNRS Supervisor, urban nature expert
  • Serenella Iovino, University of Torino, Italy. Ecophilosopher, New Materialism and Environmental Humanities expert
  • Anne Simon, CNRS Research Director, Head of the Animots program, zoopoetics expert

This international conference comes as an offshoot of a previous ecopoetics conference on “Dwellings of Enchantment: Writing and Reenchanting the Earth,” which took place in Perpignan in June 2016 (with three collective volumes on their way to being published). While this first event successfully brought together many academics and writers from various backgrounds, countries and disciplinary fields, it appeared that the call for papers attracted studies mostly concerned with dwellings of enchantment outside of cities. From there sprouted the notion that, while humans’ intra-connections with their natural environments outside of densely populated areas were indeed of essential concern, it may be just as necessary and urgent to reconsider the many entanglements between human and non-human naturecultures within urban and suburban milieus. For, as opposed to what modernity has often wrongly entailed, nature does not evolve solely starting on the outskirts of our urban dwellings, but has instead become an integral part of the daily lives of a majority of humans, living in densely populated areas. As over half of humanity now resides in urban places––a tendency that has been predicted to keep growing on the increase––, nonhuman life forms have simultaneously been coevolving with us in environments that can no longer be conceived of as antagonistic to the notion of nature. In more or less visible ways, vegetal, animal, elemental, and microbial agencies have followed the roads we have paved, adapting to and, in turn, shaping our shared urban habitats, sometimes even encroaching upon the more intimate dwelling places of our bodies.

If so-called moderns seek shelter in the notion of a civilized dwelling place keeping wilderness at bay, such an anthropocentric vision remains blind to the hardly controllable coexistence of myriad life forms within our gridded, sometimes walled or gated, shared, urban and suburban pluriverses. Suffice it to mention the pullulating of coyotes in North American suburbs, of spotted hyenas in Ethiopian cities, of foxes in all European metropoles, of raccoons in Parisian forests, of parakeets vividly coloring the sky in Brussels, of Geckos nesting on the walls of our homes in Spain and India––or in Perpignan for that matter––and the less glamorous domestic intrusions of cockroaches, ants, or other insects in our urban ecosystems to heal from the delusional idea of a dichotomy separating humans and cities from nonhumans and natural environments. Moreover, while some of these feral animals tend to first be considered as a pestilence or jeopardy, in many cases local communities have been finding ways to reconsider the potential intra-actions between various populations – whether they be part of the vegetal, animal or human worlds – in ways forcing humans to adapt to nonhuman agencies, and reciprocally. As for plants, the wild proliferation of weeds, the cultivation of city parks, balconies, greenways, gardens etc. has made these vegetal populations ever-present in our quotidian commutes, walks, leisure, workplaces, etc.

With a one-day conference held in Perpignan in May 2017 and exclusively devoted to “Vegetal Life in its Urban Milieu,” this new international event builds further on previous research, seeking to extend the enterprise of re-enchanting the complex, often invisible relationships between humans and non-humans that germinate from specifically urban worldings.

If the organizers themselves mostly specialize in ecocriticism and ecopoetics, we would like to encourage transdisciplinary dialogues, and therefore invite academics and artists across a wide range of disciplines to come together and advance current research and thinking on the hidden wonders of urban ecosystems (urban planning, biology, anthropology, ecology, botany, geography, sociology, entomology and ornithology, history, philosophy, visual arts, and academics of the inherently transdisciplinary fields of ecocriticism, ecopoetics, zoopoetics, ecopsychology). The scientific committee will particularly, yet not exclusively, welcome papers addressing some of the following issues:

  • Magical realism as an artistic mode particularly apt to reveal urban wonders
  • Postmodernism and the rewriting of myths about urban culture
  • How material ecocriticism or new materialism have been sowing seeds for new ecopoetic paradigms to envision the products of our naturecultures as co-produced songs
  • The role of urban planning in re-enchanting humans’ conception of nature in cities
  • The enchantments of old cities compared with those of newer cities
  • Community and grassroots initiatives to reweave naturecultural fabrics
  • Ecofeminist practices, rituals and thought in urban settings
  • Ecospsychology as a way of repairing human connections with their environments
  • The latest developments in ecosophy and what light it sheds on an ontology of urban co-dwelling
  • Postcolonial urban populations and their relationships to urban wildness
  • Multicultural cities’ melting pots and plants
  • Waste theory and production in urban areas
  • Plant communication in urban ecosystems
  • What biosemiotics teaches us about urban wonders
  • Urban sources of food (Ava Chin, the New York Times“urban foraging” blogger and the author of a book called Eating Wildly)
  • Health issues and urban nature
  • The conceptual implications of the word “feral”––referring simply to that which has broken free from human domestication, a term that was applied first to animals and now to plants as well––with no exact translation in other European languages such as French or Dutch (George Monbiot, Feral, 2013)
  • Education about nature in urban settings
  • Urban naturecultural art forms (graph, dance, music, etc)

Scientific coordinator: Bénédicte Meillon, University of Perpignan

Organizing committee: Margot Lauwers, University of Perpignan, France; Bénédicte Meillon, University of Perpignan, France; Claire Perrin, University of Perpignan, France; Caroline Durand-Rous, University of Perpignan, France

Scientific committee: Pascale Amiot, University of Perpignan (Irish Studies and Ecopoetics), Anne-Laure Bonvalot, University of Montpellier (Hispanic and Portuguese-language Ecocriticism and Ecofeminism), Françoise Besson, University of Toulouse (Anglophone ecopoetics), Marie Blaise, University of Montpellier (Francophone Ecocriticism), Anne-Lise Blanc, University of Perpignan (Francophone Ecopoetics), Nathalie Blanc, CNRS, Paris (Urban Geography, Environmental Humanities), Clara Breteau, (CNRS UK, University of Leeds, Environmental Humanities), Isabelle Cases, University of Perpignan (British History and Culture), Joanne Clavel, Danse Researcher, University Paris 8, Doctor in scientific ecology, Nathalie Cochoy, University of Toulouse (Anglophone ecopoetics), Aurélie Delage, University of Perpignan (City planning and Urbanism), Jocelyn Dupont, University of Perpignan (American Literature and Cinematographic culture), François Gavillon, University of Bretagne Occidentale (Anglophone Ecopoetics), Bertrand Guest, University of Angers (French Ecocriticism), Daniel Finch-Race, Durham University (Francophone ecocriticism and ecopoetics), Karen Houle, Guelph University, Canada (Philosophy, ecocriticism, ecopoetics, ecopoetry), Thibault Honoré, University of Bretagne Occidentale (Fine Arts), Serenella Iovino, University of Torino, Italy (Ecophilosophy, New materialism), Edith Liégey, National Museum of Natural History (Ecology and contemporary arts sciences), Margot Lauwers, University of Perpignan (Ecofeminism, anglophone feminist ecocriticism), Bénédicte Meillon, University of Perpignan (Anglophone ecocriticism and ecopoetics, American Short Story, Magical Realism), Serpil Opperman, Hacettepe University, Turkey (Ecocriticism, New materialism, ecofeminism), Stéphanie Posthumus, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (Francophone ecocriticism and ecopoetics), Jonathan Pollock, University of Perpignan (Ecopoetics, ecophilosophy, Shakespearean wild), Thomas Pughe, University of Orléans (Anglophone ecocriticism and ecopoetics), Sylvain Rode, University of Perpignan (City planning and urbanization), Anne Simon, CNRS Research Director, Head of the Animots program, zoopoetics expert, Scott Slovic, Idaho University, USA (Ecocriticism), François Specq, ENS Lyon (Anglophone ecocriticism)

The conference will take place in English and French. Communication proposals are to be sent as abstracts (300-400 words), with a brief bio-biblio note (5-6 lines) to ecopoeticsperpignan2018@gmail.com, before October 1st, 2018. Feedback from the scientific committee will get sent by mid November 2018.

Internet site and contact information
Ecopoeticsperpignan.com page dedicated to the event: http://ecopoeticsperpignan.com/conference-2019
Contact email address : ecopoeticsperpignan2018@gmail.com(

(posted 12 February 2018)


‘Because of Her?’: Women and the Shaping of Canada
Bordeaux, France, 12-14 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 20 June 2018

Keynote speaker: Lori Saint Martin, UQAM, Institut de Recherches et d’Études Féministes

The Interuniversity Center for Canadian Studies in Bordeaux (CECIB) will host the annual conference and symposium of the French Association for Canadian Studies (AFEC) from June 12 to June 14, 2019 in Bordeaux, to the role of women in the construction of Canada.

While Canada is adopting a ‘feminist international assistance policy’ to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in order ‘to reduce poverty and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world,’ time is ripe to examine facts and issues related to women and their (somewhat underscored?) contribution to the construction of Canada. Borrowing from the ‘Women’s History Month in Canada’ hashtag #Because of Her (with the addition of a question mark to interrogate the statement) the conference will address the multifaceted role played by women themselves in Canada’s past, present and future history, their evolving status over time as well as what women and the femine have inspired in the collective and individual imaginary. The approach will be diachronic, dealing with the lands encompassing present-day Canada through the ages, and transnational, exploring the interrelations between Canada and women from within and without, including Native women, settlers, migrant women and travellers, whatever their nationalities or origins, provided their connection with what is known today as Canada can be evidenced.

We invite papers exploring: demography, migrations, matrimony, family life, education, work, health, ageing, spirituality, artistic creation, sports, Indigenous women, Canadian feminism as activism or theory (among others). Experts in women’s studies and gender studies are welcome as well as academics in all fields of studies such as history, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, health studies, philosophy, religion, cultural studies, environmental studies, law, economy, political science, literature and the arts.

Proposals may be submitted individually or as a panel (group of 4 papers on a common theme), in English or in French. A Word file containing an abstract of 400 words and a short biographical note of 100 words should be sent by June 20, 2018 to Marie-Lise Paoli (Équipe de Recherche Créativité et Imaginaire des Femmes-ERCIF, E.A. CLARE, Université Bordeaux Montaigne): Marie-Lise.Paoli@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr

(posted 26 March 2018)


Speaking in Tongues: Celebrating Walt Whitman in Translation
Université Paris-Est Créteil, France, 13-14 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2018

When Rubén Darío published his sonnet entitled “Walt Whitman”[1], in 1888, he started a tradition that has been continuing for over a hundred years and that—witness Laurent Galley’s recent “Ode à Walt Whitman”[2]—is still going strong in the twenty-first century. From García Lorca’s “Oda a Walt Whitman” to Jean Sénac’s “Paroles avec Walt Whitman,” from Pessoa’s unfinished “Saudação a Walt Whitman” to B. Alkvit-Blum’s “Dayne grozn,” Whitman, more than any other English-language poet before or after him, may be said to have attracted a considerable number of direct responses from poets not writing in English. The editors of the seminal Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song analyze Whitman’s attraction to English-language poets as follows: “Most of the poets who address Whitman do so to satisfy a gnawing urge to talk things out with him, to relieve the itching of his words at their ears.”[3] For those not using English, however, their fascination with Whitman’s verse seems in great measure to have resulted from more or less accurate perceptions of his representativeness as an American, his claim to be read as an advocate of political and artistic internationalism, his innovative poetics, and, for a sizeable number of them, his ground-breaking queerness. Appearing to take at face value Whitman’s only partially-realized “absorption” of his poetry by his country[4], they have frequently invoked him as America made flesh, appearing in so doing to equate the flesh-and-blood author of Leaves of Grass with the ubiquitous “rough” present in many poems.

Just as Whitman’s verse has been drawing poetic responses from around the world for over 160 years, foreign translations of his poetry started to be published relatively early in his lifetime, first in reviews appearing in literary journals, then in book form. The former practice started in France, with a text by Louis Étienne appearing in 1861 in La Revue européenne. Étienne counterbalanced his indictment of Whitman with a generous selection of lines translated into French. Germany toed the line with Ferdinand Freiligrath’s contribution to the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, in 1869, and Italy, somewhat later, in 1879, with Enrico Nencioni’s piece in Fanfulla della domenica. These paved the way for book-length translations of all or part of Leaves of Grass, usually in its final, so-called “Deathbed” version. The publication history of these translations—continuing to this day—has been complexified by the publication of competing versions, along with the translation of once-neglected earlier editions of Leaves of Grass. On the other hand, this history reflects the upheavals in linguistic geopolitics, with translations into the major European languages gradually cohabiting with translations into the Asian and African languages they had once eclipsed in the countries their speakers had colonized[5].

This conference would like to celebrate the bicentennial of Whitman’s birth in truly plurilingual fashion and give maximum space to his poetry in languages other than English, while, for the sake of communication, speakers will be expected to give their papers in English. Among the many issues which could be addressed, separately or jointly, the following will be of particular interest:

  • the practice of writing poems addressed to or dealing with Whitman in languages other than English, and their dialogue with their literary and cultural environments;
  • the role played by translations in the reception of Whitman’s work in specific countries and cultures;
  • the impact of Whitman’s poetry (in English or in translation) on the development of non-English speaking poetry;
  • the possible interaction between Whitman translations in different languages;
  • the practice of retranslation;
  • the dissemination and teaching of Whitman in academic environments outside English-speaking countries;
  • research on Whitman in non-English speaking countries.

Speakers willing to take part in this conference are invited to send a two-hundred word abstract by September 15, 2018, to Éric Athenot (athenot.eric@orange.fr) and Graciela Villanueva (graciela.villanueva1@wanadoo.fr)

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[1] Rubén Darío, “Medallones”, III, in Azul [1888], Madrid: Biblioteca Edaf 276, 2003, pp. 199-200.

[2] https://blogs.mediapart.fr/laurent-galley/blog/310313/ode-walt-whitman

[3] Jim Perlman, Ed Folsomn and Dan Campion (eds.) Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, Duluth: Holy Cow! Press, 1998, p. 23.

[4] The 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass famously concludes with the idea that:” The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.” (Walt Whitman, Preface to the 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass, Sculley Bradley & Harold W. Blodgett, eds. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1973, p. 731).

[5] A complete translation of Leaves of Grass into Arabic was published in Baghdad in 1976 (cf. https://iwp.uiowa.edu/whitmanweb/en/writings/song-of-myself/resources). For translations into Farsi, Malay, Kurdish, Khmer, and a few other languages, see the Walt Whitman Archive (https://iwp.uiowa.edu/whitmanweb/en/writings/song-of-myself/about).

(posted 16 March 2018)


Place and Placelessness in Postcolonial Short Fiction
Montpellier, France, 13-15 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 September 2018

An International Conference organized by Etudes Montpellieraines du Monde Anglophone (EMMA), Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 and LCE, Université Lumière Lyon 2

Venue: Site St Charles, Université Montpellier 3

The unprecedented development of the short story in the literatures that emerged in the former colonies of the British Empire has by now become a well-researched literary fact. Postcolonial critics have teased out the relationships between a genre long regarded as a minor one (at least before its Modernist canonization) and the marginal positions of writers who came to the short story as a creative terrain to experiment with spatial compression and the startling insights it affords, from Joyce’s “scrupulous meanness” to Gordimer’s “flash of fireflies.” In postcolonial literatures – using the plural is the least one can do to call attention to the multiple realities the field comprises – the short story seemed a genre well suited to the expression of minor voices. The perspectives of the disenfranchised (all the more so when they were women, children or marginal individuals) came to embody different forms of subjugation in spaces striated by the political and geographical lines inherited from the colonial past. In the context of the colonial appropriation of indigenous places, the short story has also been claimed as a privileged site where to question the erasure of toponyms, nomadic routes, sacred grounds and the sense of place that pre-colonial forms of spatiality sustained. An interest in the archaeology of place is thus recurrent in postcolonial short fiction, where it meets with an interest in the successive forms of displacement and replacement that put a strain on the articulation between space and place in postcolonial contexts.

What becomes of these aspects when set in relation to the transformations postcolonial studies are now undergoing as a field of investigation disrupted by dynamics that conjugate the global and the local, challenging national and regional borders as well as the identity formations they buttress? Bruce King, after a life-long engagement in the field, recently published From New National to World Literature: Essays and Reviews (2016) in a collection that places the “emphasis on contesting definitions of ‘diasporic’ or ‘postcolonial’ writing, ‘transnational’ or ‘transcultural’ literatures and ‘world’ literature as used by writers, critics and thinkers,” thus inviting a “reconsideration of the boundaries that divide and the intersections that link these related fields.” King’s volume nevertheless sticks to a geographical grouping in sections (African literature, West Indies, Internationalizing British Literature […] Muslims and Pakistan) that grow increasingly porous while drawing attention to the mobilities that transform place, make it “portable,” as it were, as is the case in the latter category where Islam features as a form of emplacement in its everyday rituals, even in extra-territorial contexts.

Against the encroaching development of “non-places” (as described, famously, by Marc Augé), the short story can be regarded as a site of resistance with its particular ability to inscribe places, but also a space in-between where language relates place through the specialization of a common, international language. English as a world language can then become reinvented as place-specific through subtle forms of localisation that enable recognition and territorialisation. But the desire to reclaim place may also actively involve placelessness rather than reject it. Placelessness is then not to be conceived as the negation of place, but as a disruptive force that challenges the fiction of stability and property (“qui piétine les semblants du propre” in the words of Michel de Certeau) – a “making it strange” of place that posits it as the product of constantly shifting relations and exposes the fiction according to which place could be disengaged from its inscription in a signifying process. Placelessness thus reinstates the possibility of a becoming of place, place as event, not least through the mapping of a place of enunciation.

Short fiction, with its “limited” scope, does not only steer clear of the totalizing temptation of narrative, but often builds itself around an event, something that “takes place” and yet cannot necessarily be traced, circumscribed or fixed. Compression and formal tightness also challenge realistic protocols and question the illusion of verisimilitude that fiction may yield. This opens cracks, fissures in the referential process, or interstices between well-bounded territories where meaning is allowed to circulate. Whether we connect this with differance and dissemination (Jacques Derrida, Homi Bhabha) or with indifference (Jacques Rancière), placelessness is at the heart of a process of reconfiguration or reinvention that is made all the easier by the plasticity of short fiction and a “lack” of definition that turns it into a privileged field of experimentation. As it asserts the need to revisit places, the postcolonial short story can be seen as claiming the inevitability of place (place as incontournable in the words of Edouard Glissant) whilst preventing it from becoming a territory – a fine example of what Glissant calls “an open island”.

We invite submissions in English for papers that will not exceed 30 minutes in length, allowing time for discussion. Your proposals (giving the title of the paper, a 300-400 word abstract and short bio-bibliographical profile) should be sent no later than 1st September 2018, preferably by email, to Claire Omhovère (claire.omhovere@univ-montp3.fr) and Pascale Tollance (pascale.tollance@univ-lyon2.fr). The participants will receive notification of the acceptance of their papers by 30th October 2018.

The conference organisers: Claire Omhovère (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3/EMMA), Pascale Tollance (Université Lumière Lyon 2/LCE)

(posted 16 March 2018)


Recycling Woolf
Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France, 27-29 June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2018

An international conference organised by IDEA, with the collaboration of : Institut des Textes et de Manuscrits Modernes, The Italian Virginia Woolf Society, Société d’Etudes Woolfiennes

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Brenda Silver (Dartmouth College, USA)
Jean-Pierre Criqui (Centre Pompidou, France)

Invited artists:
Kabe Wilson
Anne-James Chaton

Has Virginia Woolf become, just like Shakespeare, one of those literary icons that pervade popular culture, alongside Marilyn Monroe or Lady Di? Monographs such as Brenda Silver’s Virginia Woolf Icon or recent fictional productions such as Anne-James Chaton’s surprising novel Elle regarde passer les gens (adapted for the stage under the title Icônes) seem to suggest so.

Woolf’s transformation into an icon, object, and by-product leads us to acknowledge the shift in her status as a writer: she no longer embodies just a national writer, but transcends geographical borders and has become a figure from a little-known past that people imagine and reimagine without necessarily reading her works. In this process of iconisation, the authorial figure is recycled and begins new lives in new referential spaces, as it is appropriated by popular culture, marketed and commercialised. The contemporary biofictions that use the figure of Virginia Woolf and turn her into a character are a perfect example of this practice. Participants could start by discussing the notion of recycling an authorial figure, by defining and analysing its features, and establishing whether it is a culturally grounded notion, that is to say whether it varies according to the cultural environments in which it takes place. Participants could further point out the specificity of recycling the figure of Virginia Woolf, compared to other literary figures who have undergone the same process of iconisation, or, on the contrary, who have not been assimilated by popular culture.

The process of recycling an authorial figure not only alters his or her cultural status but inevitably impacts his or her oeuvre and the way we read it. On the one hand, it raises questions about how these transformations modify the reception of an author’s work. In what ways does such a revision of the status of the author imply a fresh rereading of his or her œuvre? On the other hand, it questions the manner in which an author’s oeuvre is appropriated. Does the notion of recycling apply to an author’s work just as it applies to authors themselves as cultural products? And if so, how is it different from rewriting, adaptation or transposition? Could we therefore apply the notion of recycling to Woolf’s oeuvre? And how does high culture react to the fact that Woolf is being recycled in today’s popular culture? Participants are invited to address the contemporary transformations of Woolf’s oeuvre within their specific epistemological contexts.

The notion of recycling is intrinsically linked to our contemporaneity, but also to Woolf’s practice in her own time of dealing with various discarded literary scraps. As a journalist and an essay writer, Woolf was interested in the “waste” of literature, in “minor” writers left out from the literary canon, or in “Bad Writers”, as the title of one of her essays attests. Could we thus envisage Woolf as a recycler?

Here are a few indicative potential approaches that could be considered:

  • How can we theoretically define literary recycling? What gestures, logic, intertextual and hypertextual practices does the notion of recycling involve (as compared to rewriting, adaptation and transposition)? Does recycling cover forms of reusing and misusing that are typically contemporary? Is recycling only a cultural notion or could it also become a useful tool for critical theory? Is there a particularity to the recycling of Woolf’s oeuvre compared to that of other modernists or other iconic literary figures?
  • How is Woolf’s oeuvre recycled on the stage and on the screen today? How is Woolf’s authorial figure resurrected, renewed, re-imagined, used or represented in biographies, biofictions and biopics? What are the cultural and literary stakes of recycling the figure of the author? How is the author’s oeuvre also transformed in the process of authorial recycling?
  • Could recycling (of Woolf’s authorial figure and her oeuvre) result in creating cultural and media by-products? Does the process of transforming Woolf into a cultural icon involve perpetuating stereotypes or recycling her myth over and over in the contemporary imagination? From this perspective, is recycling a matter of popular culture or “cultural vulgarity”? In a globalised cultural context, is the Woolfian oeuvre and her authorial figure doomed to be recycled?
  • What characterises and motivates Woolf’s gesture of recycling literary “waste” and authors rejected from the literary canon? How can this gesture allow critics to define, specify or displace the notion of literary recycling?
  • Finally, the participants could approach the notion of recycling Woolf’s oeuvre from a genetic and editorial perspective and question the production and reproduction of her work. Do her preparatory notes and drafts also pertain to the logic of recycling? How does Woolf recycle her own avant-texte?  Why, when, and how do publishing houses, with their specific editorial policies and marketing strategies, decide to recycle outdated editions and reissue new editions of Woolf’s work? Are these initiatives guided by commercial impulses or sound scholarly initiatives, and do they reflect the readers’ needs?

Participants are free to generate and answer their own set of questions related to the notion of recycling and Woolf’s work.

Please submit 300-word proposals for 20-minute presentations to Monica Latham, Caroline Marie and Anne-Laure Rigeade at recycling.woolf2019@gmail.com
Proposals for panels are also welcome.
Deadline: November 30th 2018.

 (posted 4 May 2018)