Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines January-March 2019

Re-Membering Hospitality in the Mediterranean: Essays in Anglophone Literature, Arts, and Culture
A peer-reviewed edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 1 January 2019

Co-edited by Yasser Elhariry, Isabelle Keller-Privat, Edwige Tamalet Talbayev

Hospitality is a complex, paradoxical concept whose etymology foregrounds an aporia. Derived from hostis, the foreigner and potential enemy, the hospes or host welcomes the guest, implying an intricate relationship between receiver and received, insider and outsider, as well as a compensatory relation since both hospes and hostis derive from the Latin verb hostire: “to treat as equal,” “to compensate,” “to pay back” (Grassi 35). The foreigner shifts from the position of an endangered, alienated subject to one who is included within the protective folds of the polis and the home. In welcoming the other, the host not only shares his home and power, but also entitles the guest (if only temporarily) to his own power as despot—etymologically, “the master of the house who lays down the laws of hospitality” (Derrida 149)—while reasserting his own domination. As a result, the commutative essence of the relationship between host and guest—whereby, as René Schérer argues, the host “acknowledges, through and thanks to the figure of the guest, his own exilic self” (40)—is perpetually jeopardized. In Claude Raffestin’s formulation, “hospitality is a right that warrants the transgression of limits without entailing violence” (166; qtd. Grassi 23).

Indeed, hospitality in the Middle Ages was compulsory as anyone who was sedentary was likely to turn into a pilgrim: vagrants and beggars who transgressed the social order always found a protective threshold and a right of passage in medieval society. Hospitality was the ultimate gift, a gift that transcended the laws and materialized in the food or horses often bestowed upon the guest when he departed. This is what leads Schérer to posit that “hospitality has and is an economy, in the full sense of the word, because it constantly reestablishes the production and circulation of a flux that would otherwise petrify and impoverish itself” (126).

In contemporary society, however, this ultimate gift of the self—whereby hospitality stands out as “more than human, always engaging the divine [since] it is a god who is welcomed, a god bought by gifts, a mysterious Other” (Schérer 129)—is ruthlessly shattered. Developing Derrida’s concept of “hospitality, hostility, hostpitality” (45), Ana Manzanas Calvo and Jesús Benito Sánchez demonstrate that “hospitality […] can cannibalize the Other in a radical act of incorporation that apparently dissolves limits and demarcations” (84). Such is the case in the garden of evil in George Saunders’s “The Semplica-Girl Diaries” (2012), in which inanimate immigrants hanging on a line exemplify the cruel devitalization and “commodification of the Other” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 178). Hospitality violently, albeit surreptitiously, transforms the guest into a ghost, not unlike Oedipus who, Derrida shows, “presents himself as a spectre” (654) in the last abode where he is to be secretly buried.

This process of disincarnation takes the form of fierce linguistic, economic, and political processes of dehumanization, on both personal and state-orchestrated levels. The exiled Egyptian poet Edmond Jabès imagines a dialogue between hostis and hospes in which the latter asks: “What do you come to do in my country?” He insists that “your attachment to my homeland does not justify your permanent presence amongst us […] Stranger, you will always be a foreigner to me. Your place is your home and not here.” Seeking refuge in the hospitality of language, the guest ripostes: “Your country is that of my language” (Jabès 51). Linguistic (in)hospitability harkens to another etymological derivation of the verb hostire in the Latin hostia—the victim meant to alleviate the gods’ wrath. This root gave birth to the French word hostie, whose English translation, wafer, derives from a different origin, but still conveys the same idea: the ultimate selfless gift as a compensation for death and absence through a displaced form of presence.

Such is the ultimate meaning of Oedipus’s cryptic burial in a place where he does not belong and where he is not to be physically located, a place that he nevertheless keeps haunting. Though spectral and intangible, his presence is most acutely real in the very tears of Antigone. Her grief imparts visibility and reality to what is denied any visible existence: “Antigone asks something clear: that he see her at last, […] and see her weep. More specifically: she commands him to see her tears. The invisibility, the placelessness, the illocality” (Derrida 115).

These preoccupations are particularly resonant in the context of the Mediterranean space, where Anglophone writers have often seen a Promised Land that was soon to be denied or corrupted “by the specter of inhospitality” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 55). Whether we think of what Hakim Abderrezak reads as a story of the “Mediterranean seametery and cementery” (149), or of Cypriot artist Christoforos Savva renegotiating “his seemingly marginal positionality” as a modernist and avant-garde artist who disputes Western paradigms of modernity and tradition (Danos 78), we realize that artists and writers embedding their work in the Mediterranean always confront the dialectics of hospitality, and that the stereotyped vision of a fundamentally hospitable Mediterranean is at odds both with ancient laws and modern practices. Lawrence Durrell’s experience of hospitality in the Greek islands, for example, shows a world of “fragmentation, instability, and connectivity […] that opens up new connections” (Keller-Privat 47-48) by shattering and redefining common understandings and practices of hospitality. As “The Middle Sea” or the “Mare Nostrum” which has repeatedly been the stage of strong economic and colonial strife, the Mediterranean powerfully brings to the fore the ontological difficulty that lies at the heart of the praxis and ethics of hospitality. For, as Derrida reminds us, “what is difficult are the things that don’t let themselves be done [faire], and that, when the limit of difficulty has been reached, exceed even the order of the possible” (127). How does the Mediterranean invite us to rebuild new forms of artistic and literary forms of hospitality that challenge these boundaries? Antigone’s tears remind us that “there is no hospitality without memory. A memory that did not recall the dead person and mortality would be no memory. What kind of hospitality would not be ready to offer itself to the dead one, to the revenant?” (144).

Hospitality, therefore, is not a given fact of social praxis, or an innate ethical urge. Rather, it is a way of being in the world that is constantly reconstructed through past narratives, voices, and art works. These reconstructions “recall the dead and the mortal” in order to foster a boundary-crossing impetus that defies the laws. The process of reconstruction takes various forms and crosses linguistic boundaries through the appropriation of the Other’s language, words, and images, forging a committed type of heteroglossy (Paddington). It is always a reconstruction that challenges political and national forms of belonging. How then can the Mediterranean be considered as the ideal locus for re-membering hospitality? How does it operate as a creative node of hospitality that links the sea and the hinterland? How does it implement a radical connectivity between lands and people? How would it corroborate Jabès’s assumption: “Abiding by the unformulated imperatives of hospitality somehow implies learning our dependence upon others” (70)? May we read Anglophone Mediterranean explorations in the poetry, fiction, and travel books it has nurtured as the place where “the boundless hospitality of the book” (67) is redefined and reasserted—remembering and transcending the memory of all those who, in the wake of Odysseus, brought nothing with them but the fluidity of time and space, and the intimate knowledge that we are all transient guests on earth?

Papers may focus on the displacement and resemanticization of Mediterranean and Biblical narratives of hospitality in Anglophone literature and the arts. The Mediterranean may also be envisaged as a locus of displaced, unexpected hospitality for early modernist female writers. Anglophone writers taking shelter in the Mediterranean also experience the “limits of difficulty” in the hospitality they are granted: an indomitable sense of estrangement lies at the heart of a new belonging, notably in works that contribute to the re-membering of a hospitality that is constantly endangered. The specific locations of hospitality—pilgrims’ hospitals, hospices, convents, and, later on, hostels and hotels—also play an important role in the narratives redefining the contours of the Mediterranean, where early travelers navigated between hostility and hospitality, and where modern ones often stand out as precarious guests. The hospitality that writers and artists have sought, received, and rebuilt on Mediterranean shores, particularly in the tightly woven artist colonies that spanned the Near and Middle Easts in the twentieth century, may also be envisaged as a hermeneutic tool for the critique of our present-day “sick hospitality” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 107). From that perspective, the Mediterranean may be considered as the locus of a newly founded commonality whereby, as Andrew Benjamin argues, “centrality would be attributed to relationality. Being-in-common […] marks the primordiality of relationality, and thus what counts as human being needs to be incorporated within a relational ontology” (29).

Historical, mythological, ethnographic, visual, literary, cinematic, and intermedial approaches are all welcome provided that they define and articulate a concept of hospitality, its relation with memory, and the confrontations and reunions that substantiate the emergence and deployment of new forms of commonality within the Mediterranean space.

Manuscripts will be rigorously edited prior to submission to the press. We are also applying for funding for a symposium that will offer all contributors the opportunity to meet at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès in Spring 2020 ahead of publication.

(posted 1 October 2018)


Epistemocriticism of Victorian and Edwardian Literature
Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens 90 (Autumn 2019)
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2019

Issue number 90 of Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens (http://journals.openedition.org/cve) will be entitled “Epistemocriticism of Victorian and Edwardian Literature” and will be published in the autumn of 2019. It is meant as a tribute to Annie Escuret who was professor at Université Paul Valéry–Montpellier 3 for many years and the director of this journal from 1997 to 2013, and it will also stand as a continuation of issue 46, “H. G. Wells : Science & Fiction in the 19th century”, which was edited by Annie Escuret in October 1997, when she took up the direction of the journal and brought it to its renowned standard.

That issue proposed the then innovative approach of epistemocriticism: Eliot, Dickens, Meredith, Hardy and Wells were studied in the light of her favourite contemporary French theorists—Michel Serres, Henri Atlan, Michel Foucault, Michel Pierssens, Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers—as well as that of Anglophone scholars, such as Gillian Beer (Darwin’s Plots), Sally Shuttleworth (George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science), George Levine (Darwin and the Novelists), Gerard Holston (Thematic Origin of Scientific Thought : Kepler to Einstein), or Peter Morton (The Vital Science : Biology and the Literary Imagination). It was thus that issue 46 meant to capture the relationships between science and fiction and more generally the encounters between oeuvres and knowledge. Such encounters are at the core of the epistemocritic perspective which consists in analyzing the uses a text makes of scientific knowledge and how it in turn produces knowledge itself. Indeed, more than any other period in human history, the 19th century witnessed the extensive development of science and literature, with the growth of the realist / naturalist novel, but also the advent and rapidly growing hegemony of a vast number of sciences and a new episteme.

Sciences are certainly many and varied, and to the well-known and established sciences, the 19th century added some of the most illustrious – or notorious – pseudo-sciences, namely J. K. Lavater’s physiognomony, Franz Josef Gall’s phrenology, Cesare Lombroso’s criminal anthropology, as well as graphology, pathognomy, craniology, which were often used to dubious ends. However, this was also a century which most particularly witnessed much more seriously-oriented scientific developments, such as those of economics, thermology, thermodynamics, cosmology, physics, chemistry, electricity, magnetism, geology, biology, psychology, sociology, medicine, heredity, evolutionism, determinism, eugenics, physiology. The 19th century can boast the advent of sciences concerned with the living world, a potentially fertile connecting ground between sciences and literature. Thanks to widespread theories of the living world, cultural representations of living organisms diffused widely and influenced historical, political and social thinkers; simple analogies, such as grafting, invention, cross-breeding are just as many scientific concepts that found their way into the literary works of Victorian and Edwardian authors, who were both witnesses and actors in this most fertile period.

Please send your proposals to Luc Bouvard by January 15th, 2019 at the latest.

luc.bouvard@univ-montp3.fr

Your article may be in French or in English. Please abide by the « instructions to authors » posted on the CVE website at the following address.

https://journals.openedition.org/cve/157 for articles written in French.

https://journals.openedition.org/cve/158 for articles written in English.

(posted 29 June 2018)


Our City or An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Leicestershire
Submissions in a book about Leicestershire edited by Jon Wilkins, published by Dahlia Publishing
Deadline for Submissions: 31 January 2019

I was reading my favourite Francophile crime writer, Cara Blacks “Murder in Saint Germain”. Her hero, Aimee Leduc scoots around Paris solving crimes. Paris is the key, the second most important character in her books. Aimee’s partner Rene, mentions Georges Perec and his writing in the story. Perec spent three days in St Sulphice, Paris, watching Paris and its people which resulted in a creative wonder that is “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris”.
Inspired by Perec’s work, I would like to invite writers and non-writers to help craft Leicester’s own version of “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris.”
In particular, I would like to read pieces on the following topics: the city, the county, its people, places of interest, social history, sport or food.
You can use the city as a backdrop for your story, or turn it into the main character. It could be set in the past, present or future. It can be a ghost story set in the city, a short story about your love of Leicester City FC, a poem about one of the green spaces, there are no hard and fast rules, but it must capture the spirit of Leicester or Leicestershire. It should show your LOVE of the city.
Submissions invited include: • Fiction 2,000-4,000 words • Poetry 50 lines maximum • Short Story 2,000-4,000 words • Flash fiction 100-500 words • Creative non-fiction 2,000-4,000 words • Essay 2,000-4,000 words We welcome contributions in your mother tongue, accompanied by an English translation. • Each contributor will receive two complimentary copies of the anthology, scheduled to be published by Dahlia Publishing in October 2019. • You retain individual copyright of your contribution. Please send completed submissions, along with a short bio to leicesterstories@btinternet.com You will be given the opportunity to read your work at the launch event. Deadline for Submissions: 31 January, 2019.
Jon Wilkins

(posted 11 September 2018)


 ‘My Soul is a Witness”: Reimagining African American Women’s Spirituality and the Black Female Body in African American Literature
A special issue of Religions
Deadline: 15 February 15 2019
Edited by: Carol E. Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity, Professor of English and Africana Studies, University of Delaware
Katherine Clay Bassard declares nearly twenty years ago in her formative text Spiritual Interrogations, that in order to more fully consider the multiple ways Black women have spiritually represented themselves as sacred subjects in African American literature, one must consider a variety of religious traditions that help to shape these religious experiences, including but not limited to Christianity, Islamic, African and neo-African traditional religions, among others. More importantly, the practice of examining black women’s intertextuality (what Bassard terms spiritual interrogation) supports ways of reading that provide a richer understanding of the ways in which the sacred and secular, the spiritual and political serve as lens through which to consider African American female subjectivity in all of its nuanced complexity.
This special issue seeks creative and thoughtful essays that explore the ways in which writers reclaim, reimagine, and in some ways create the black female body in African American literature using the theoretical, social, cultural, and religious frameworks of spirituality and religion. Of key importance to this collection is black women’s agency and self-advocacy—acknowledged and affirmed in prose, poetry, essays, speeches, written plays, or short stories. Whether it is Indigo (Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo) conceiving a world with her dolls that shepherds her through her rite of passage to womanhood, Baby Suggs declaring in her “fixing ceremonies” in the Clearing that “in this here place, we flesh,” (Beloved),  Mattie Michael healing herself and other Black women and their communal trauma in her bathing rituals (Women of Brewster Place), or Florence at the altar (Go Tell It On the Mountain), authors have sought to discuss the tensions of a lived and imagined existence pivoting the sacred and secular through concepts such as forgiveness, redemption, political freedom and social liberation, passion, alienation, motherhood, sex, marriage, among others.
If you would like to submit an essay for consideration in this special e-book collection, please follow the special link at the head of this CFP for more information.
Religions is an international, open-access scholarly journal, publishing peer reviewed studies of religious thought and practice. It is indexed in A&HCI (Web of Science), ATLA Religion Database and in SCOPUS, which gave it a Citescore of 0.51 and listed it among the top 6% of the 371 religious studies journals SCOPUS surveyed in 2016. PDF downloads per month = 59,700+/-.
(posted 21 August 2018)

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in November 2019

The Desert and the USA
Université Bretagne Sud in Lorient, South Brittany, France,  21-23 November 2019
Deadline for proposals: 10 February 2019

A conference organissd by The Université Bretagne Sud and the Université Bretagne Occidentale joint research group HCTI (“Héritages et Constructions dans le Texte et l’Image,” EA 4249) in collaboration with the Université Bordeaux-Montaigne and its research group CLIMAS (“Cultures et Littératures du Monde Anglophone,” EA 4196).

We seek papers investigating the link between the USA and its deserts but also with deserts outside American borders.
400-word abstracts as well as brief bio-bibliographies should be sent to the organizing board bFebruary 10th, 2019  
20-minute papers will be followed by a ten-minute discussion period. Papers may be delivered in either English or French.

Organizing board:

Confirmed Keynote: Catrin Gersdorf, University of Würzburg, Germany.

Calendar:
– February 10th, 2019: proposals
– April 1st, 2019: notifications
– July 1st – November 20th, 2019: conference registration (fee: 100€; 50€ for graduate students)

Call for Papers

I was crossing the desert. Smooth. Wind rippling at the window.There was no road, only the alkaline plain. There was no reason for me to be steering; I let go of the wheel. There was no reason to sit where I was; I moved to the opposite seat. I stared at the empty driver’s seat. I could see the sheen where I’d sat for years. We continued to move acros the desert.
Barry Holstun Lopez, Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven, 1976

Let’s just say the desert is an impulse.
Don DeLillo, Underworld, 1997

The desert is a fascinating locus that encompasses contradictory notions and extremes that seem, at first sight, incompatible. It is a place that one would readily call a non-place which may equally be indicative of an end or of a beginning. The desert may feature remains, traces of ruins, of a destruction, or even, of an annihilation that has just occurred. That is the reason why it may adequately depict “an ecstatic critique of culture, an ecstatic form of disappearance” (Baudrillard, Amérique 18) and it befits the apocalyptic event. Conversely, and owing to the same signs granting it its annihilating value, it stands as a form of nothingness out of which something is to be born, a virgin space from which beginning and being born are, in equal measure, just as implicit as dying and disappearing.

The desert also denotes that unformed background enabling all beings and all things to obtain a form of salience and a more singularized existence, highlighted, so to speak, by the surrounding void. In that sense, it can be argued that the desert operates the way a photographic developer does as it increases both being and the relationship to the other as if to single out what matters. It accommodates a form of life that cannot be seen, an ecosystem which is implicit. In that respect, the desert summons our attention and forces us to adjust our eyes to the level of the grain of sand. It explains why other modes of reading are required, as for instance, those of the Native Americans who, inhabiting in the full sense of the word the “Great Desert” that 19th century Euro-American explorers thought they had discovered, refuted de facto the latter’s perception of the American West as an empty, unfriendly and uninhabited place where the Natives had, supposedly, left no traces on the environment. It is interesting to note that for the newcomers reaching those great spaces, “desert” and “wilderness” have in common the fact that they are devoid of any human beings, a convenient definition to dehumanize peoples, appropriate their lands and colonize their homes/habitats. Roderick Nash reminds us that another link exists between the desert and the wilderness: in the 14th century, John Wycliffe “used wilderness to designate the uninhabited, arid land of the Near East in which so much of the action of the Testaments occurred […] Through this Biblical usage the concept of a treeless wasteland became so closely associated with wilderness that Samuel Johnson defined it in 1755 in his Dictionary of the English Language as ‘a desert; a tract of solitude and savageness.’ Johnson’s definition remained standard for many years in America as well as in England” (Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind 2-3). But, this “Great American Desert” was in fact inhabited and marked, that is to say replete with signs and meanings, including sacred ones.

What is usually called “desert” is no common place. Whether located in plains, mountains, barren lands, thick forests or desert islands, deserts are idiosyncratically other. To what processes of (re)semiotization may those different places be subjected when they are approached by artists, or by geographers, botanists, zoologists, sociologists or ethnologists? Do human beings living in such places fare differently from plants and animals that would probably perish in less extreme environments or milieus? Besides, since the first slave and maroon rebellions, US history has shown how space and resistance intricately interconnect, how politics and geography often merge. Are historians, in the wake of Thoreau, led to consider those unpopulated areas as sanctuaries, places of resistance, repositories of freedom and wildness? The desert suggests a “topographical manifestation of difference” (Gersdorf, The Poetics and Politics of the Desert 14) that starkly contrasts with a view of America as a land of plenty or as the Garden of Eden. Attempting to address the desert requires that one be ready to abandon the restricting aesthetic dictatorship of greenness (“get over the color green” Wallace Stegner). Envisaging the desert through an ecocritical lens will enable us to assess it in contradistinction to other ecosystems (ocean, mountain, prairie…) and other places that have become sanctuaries (national parks…) and to no longer consider it as a place defined by lack or deprivation, but as a place governed by satiety and balance, a place where “[t]here is no shortage of water […] but exactly the right amount, a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand” (Abbey, Desert Solitaire 126).

These “arid United States” (Teague, The Southwest ix) also bring to mind the motif of an original tabula rasa whence all forms of experiments may be attempted, all civilization imagined. As the place of “desemiotization” (Bouvet, Pages de sable 15-16) par excellence, the desert calls for the advent of a new world, a new subjectivity, or a new spirituality. Yet, those transformations may sometimes function as utopias or simulacra, for the desert is often perceived as the place where mirages and hallucinations occur. It is indeed “a land of illusions” (Van Dyke, The Desert 2), a locus where sensorial and psychical fabrication facilitate the projection and transference of desires. It is almost in those terms that the yearly event known as “Burning Man” may be interpreted: created in 1986 and taking place in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, “Burning Man” is a sort of pagan summer festival during which a transitory city and its ephemeral community are built only to then vanish without leaving a trace as if everything about it was but a mirage. The desert is also the ideal place to pursue the American dream of the space conquest. A case in point is the Mars Desert Research Station located in Utah which aims at reproducing the extreme living conditions encountered on Mars. The desert thus features both the ruins of our world and the experimental means of anticipating a post-Earth world.

The desert is not only concerned with space, it also evokes time. As it has always been connected to the impossibility of life or the idea of survival, it is intimately linked to death insofar as the horizon of destitution it suggests tends to endow it with a sense of utter and irremediable annihilation. As it presents itself as a place deprived of life, as a “blank spot on the map” (Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge 244), it welcomes all sorts of deadly projections and turns into an ideal terrain for simulations of death and destruction. The Nevada Desert was for a long time used to test the nuclear bomb and is now going to be the site of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. It is also a battlefield where the American army simulates war scenarios. Fort Irwin National Training Center (FINTC), California, for instance, accommodates fake Arab villages and replicates the type of topography GIs and Marines will encounter in the Middle-East.

This conference also provides an opportunity to turn our attention to some of the artistic renditions of the Gulf Wars. In DeLillo’s novel Point Omega, which takes place “somewhere south of nowhere in the Sonoran Desert” (Point Omega 20), the US Mojave Desert is superimposed on the Iraqi desert, the latter being a sort of traumatic and spectral residual trace that the protagonist attempts to repress. Also relevant are the works of the new generation of artists who experienced the war as journalists like Evan Wright or David Abrams, or like former soldiers Phil Klay or Kevin Powers for whom the desert “stretched out on all sides like an ocean of twice burned ash” (Powers, The Yellow Birds 183). The graphic novel (Uriarte’s The White Donkey), television series (Generation Kill, The Long Road Home…) but also the numerous movies dealing with the Iraq wars enable us to study the desert not only as a theatre of operations but also as a place interrogating the concepts of national territories and boundaries.

Proposals from the Early Modern period to the 21st century may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Desert and wilderness
  • Desert, war, armament
  • Desert and the West
  • Desert and city (Las Vegas, ghost towns…)
  • Desert and no-go zone, no man’s land, wasteland, outlaw
  • Desert, retreat, banishment, exile
  • Desert as refuge, resistance, liberty, radical reform (wildness, Thoreau)
  • Desert and the frontier
  • Desert and the Bible, sacredness, asceticism
  • Desert, orient and orientalism
  • Desert and biodiversity
  • Desert and ecocriticism (Mary Hunter Austin, Barry Lopez, Charles Bowden…)
  • Desert and desertification
  • Desert and visual arts: photography (Ansel Adams, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, Robert Adams…); performance; land art; art installation (Wafaa Bilal, Danae Stratou, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Michael Heizer, James Turrell, Walter de Maria, Leonard Knight…); painting (Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Sackrider Remington…)
  • Desert and literature: Native American Literature, Southwestern Literature, Arab American Literature, Chicano-a literature…
  • Desert in films and series: road movies, western, sci-fi, utopias, dystopias, war…

(posted 7 December 2018)


Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures: an Interdisciplinary Conference
Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 22-24 November 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 Mach 2019

Performativity and creativity have often been used vaguely in a number of discourses in cultural studies, economics, political ideologies or advertising. The purpose of this conference is to explore the force of these concepts in pragmatic approaches to cultures and closely related industrial production (“creative industries”), in technological developments connected with performing arts and cultural communication, as well as in commercial entertainment.

In recent approaches, the understanding of performativity has transcended its original linguistic dimensions (Austin, Searle) and their deconstructionist critique (Derrida, Hillis Miller). In our view, it can be better described by studying notions like “fiction”, “play” (Iser), “gender” (Butler), “technology” (Foucault) or “social roles” (Goffman, Ross and Nisbett).

Similarly, creativity is no longer linked with the evolution of closed autopoietic systems (Niklas Luhmann). The conference offers to re-assess the existing notions of autopoiesis in view of the concepts of the virtual/actual (Deleuze, Buci-Glucksman), interface/interfaciality (Latour), media technologies and mediation (in broadest terms, including conflict resolution). It also invites interdisciplinary approaches inspired by the psychology of creativity (Csikszentmihályi), the philosophy, history, as well as the psychological and anthropological aspects of play (Huizinga, Sutton-Smith, Caillois and others).

Performativity and creativity will not be discussed separately, but as two interdependent faculties and agencies. The conference will explore them in diverse theoretical contexts, as well as historically – in the main phases of modernity, including the Early Modern period, Romanticism and its aftermaths, Modernism and avant-garde movements and the present time. Apart from developing and interconnecting the theories of fiction, play, media, political and aesthetic ideologies, as well as the notions of avant-garde and the post-modern, the conference aims to contribute to the exploration of recent socio-economic phenomena, such as the “creative industries”, and trace their historical dimensions. The conference is closely linked to the research in the European Regional Development Fund Project “Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World” (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000734).

300 word abstracts of individual papers (including keywords and a bio-note of 100 words) or panel proposals (including 300 word description of the panel, keywords, bio-note(s) of the convenors, paper topics and university affiliations of all speakers) addressing one or more above issues should be submitted by 1 March 2019 to the following e-mail address: martina.pranic@ff.cuni.cz. The notices of paper or panel acceptance will be e-mailed and further information about the venue, registration, accommodation and logistics will be publicized by 1 June 2019.

Co-convenors:
Professor Martin Procházka, Charles University, Prague
Professor Pavel Drábek, University of Hull

Proposed Paper or Panel Topics

1. Theoretical Aspects
a) Fictions in/and Culture
– Fiction and Play
– Fiction as Performance/Performative
– Fiction as Interface
b) Fiction, Creativity and Technology
– Virtual Nature of Fiction
– Fiction and “Political Technologies of Individuals” (Foucault)
– Imagining Communities: Revisiting Benedict Anderson
c) Performance of Presence
– Performing the Self and the Body
– Performing a Social Role
– Being in a Social Field
d) Propositional Performativity
– The Possible, the Aleatory, the Future
– Modelling the Worlds through Play
– Performance as Negation of Status Quo (carnival, heterotopia, subversion)
2. Performativity and Creativity in Different Periods of Modernity:
Aesthetics, Cultural Theory and History

a) The Early Modern Formation of the Self and the Public Sphere
– Enacting the Social Strata
– Mimetic Desire (Girard)
– Performance as Mediation/Bridging of the Cultural Other (intraculturally, interculturally)
b) Performing One’s World: Performance as Exteriorisation and Interiorisation
c) Autonomy of Artworks from the Renaissance to Romanticism. The Notion of “Heterocosm” and its Development through the Modernity
d) Romantic Aesthetic Ideologies
– in Art and Culture
– in Relation to Radical Political and National Emancipation
– Avant-garde and (Post)Modern Approaches to Performativity and Creativity
e) Performativity and Creativity in Modern Technology and Media Cultures
– the shifting sensorium (Ong): from script and book print, through early modern experiments, to modern VR and AR media
– the “battlefields” of creativity; performativity in the novel territories
3. “Creative Industries”: a Reassessment
a) Historical
– (Early) Modern Theatre and Entertainment Industry
– Film and Popular Entertainment
– Revisiting Guy Debord – The Society of Spectacle
– Changing Functions of Mass Entertainment: From Bear-Baiting to Reality Show
– Virtual Spaces, Second Lives, Games, Avatars and Media Surrogates
b) New Media: Creativity and Entertainment
– Political, Social, Aesthetic and Ethical Aspects
– A SWOT analysis of present-day media culture

(posted 12 November 2018)


Addressing Readers: The Pragmatics of Communication from the First Printed Novels in English to 20th-and 21st-Century Digital Fiction
University Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, France, 28-29 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 20 May 2019

Research lab: EMMA, Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone (https://emma.www.univ-montp3.fr/fr/evenements/addressing-readers-pragmatics-communication-first-printed-novels-english)
Conveners: Virginie Iché & Sandrine Sorlin
Website: https://addressingreaders.wordpress.com

This conference intends to focus on the specific relationship authors and/or narrators entertain with their readers in fictional works from the first novels written in English in the 18th century to 21st-century digital fictions. It is predicated on the idea that fiction is a form of communicative act in the vein of Roger Sell’s works in literary pragmatics (Sell 1991, 2000, 2011) or James Phelan’s (2011: 56, 2017) conception of literature as a “communicative event,” that is “a rhetorical action in which an author addresses an audience for some purpose(s).”

The first English ‘novel’ forms of the 18th century seem to have adopted the conversational mode, with recurrent direct addresses to the readers, meant to lead them through the narrative, to convince them of the (in)authenticity of the stories or to coax them into sharing the authors’/ narrators’ ethical judgment. 19th-century novels still feature many instances of intervening narrators directly addressing the reader, Brontë’s Jane Eyre’s cue “Reader, I married him” being the most famous of the narrator’s felt necessity to confide in the reader at key points of the novel. But as Warhol (1989) indicates, other British and American woman writers (such as Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Beecher Stowe, or George Eliot) longed to engage their readers’ sympathy for the cause of American slaves, working-class poor in Manchester, or middle-class rural folk in England, directly urging them to identify with the real-life characters they were describing. The attempt at persuading can go the other way round with readers trying to deter the authors of serial narratives (such as Dickens or Thackeray) from killing a character for instance (sparing little Nell is a famous plea addressed to the author of The Old Curiosity Shop). In the 20th century, the conversational mode with the reader for whom the piece of work is designed seems to have been dropped, or at least to have persisted in much more concealed ways, as modernist works do not much feature intrusive narrators guiding readers through the narratives.

The primary research questions this conference aims to tackle are the following: is what appears as a progressive disappearance of the explicit communicative framework a reality from the 18th to the 20th century in fiction (written in English)? If so, how to account for the phenomenon? Are there aesthetic and stylistic reasons? Different tastes and approaches to the novel? Have the more and more sophisticated techniques of thought (re)presentation that have been used to reflect characters’ deeply intimate thoughts in (post)modernist fiction for instance, inevitably eclipsed the need to communicate with the reader through a direct channel? Has the reader been at some point (like the author) “refined out of existence” to favour immersion in the story-world and to bring language and/or characters to the front scene? Yet, even in the most language-oriented novel, addresses to the reader are not absent: in Finnegans Wake, Joyce seems to have been keen on leaving the channel of communication open with his readers (Cahalan 1995). Is, as Warhol (1986) intimates, the disapproved “sentimentalism” of the 19th-century “engaging” (rather than “distancing” narrator responsible for its disappearance in literature? Or does it simply reflect one specific historical and ideological moment, direct address in fiction being then the only public forum possible for women to speak “directly, personally, and influentially”?

However, from the 1970s onwards, addressed fiction of old seems to have re-emerged under the guise of second-person narratives (Fludernik 1993, 1994) that make the situation of address “insistent” again. This morphologically explicit address (“you”) seems to become even more “reader-engaging” in 20th– and 21st-century digital fiction that requires some form of participation from the readers (through clicking on hyperlinks or direct input) if they want the story to go on at all (Bell 2014, 2016, Bell & Ensslin 2011, Bell et al, 2010, 2014). Examining second-person addresses in digital fiction may then shed a new light on the type of participation hoped for or required by direct addresses in earlier print fiction. Do print fiction and digital fiction use direct addresses in radically different ways? Do direct addresses in digital fiction signal to the 21st-century reader, already attuned to the many potentialities of digital material, that s/he can have an active role in co-constructing the story or exploiting the glitches of the digital narrative (Angello 2016) or is this type of reader participation only superficially active?

In both print and digital fictions, the reference of this “you” is purposefully confused and confusing (see Bell & Ensslin 2011, Clarkson 2005; DelConte 2003; Gibbons & Macrae 2018; Fludernik 1993, 1994, 1996; Hantzis 1988; Herman 1994; Hopkins & Perkins 1981; Kacandes 1993; Margolin 1986, 1990; Morrissette 1965; Prince 1985, 1987; Richardson 1991, 2006; Sorlin 2014, 2015, 2017) – a far cry from the clear-cut I/you dyad relationship of Henry Fielding’s novels for instance. But can’t we see in the emerging narrative form of “Twitterfiction” (Thomas 2014) for instance a return to a closer writer/reader relationship in the passionate manner of Victorian times, with the 21st-century digital reader becoming an active and indispensable participant in the writing/reading process? Yet, tweeting does allow for immediate replies to the author to a stronger, faster degree, thereby destabilising the author-reader power relationship to an unprecedented level.

These new trends in both print and digital fiction have called for new narratological models of analysis to account for this specific place allotted to addressees in fiction (Fludernik’s “homo- and heterocommunicative” categories in lieu of Genette’s homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narratives for instance or DelConte’s 2003 focus on who is listening rather than who is speaking or seeing have been instrumental in this perspective). Yet, reader-centered theories seem to have sometimes lost sight of the other partner in the communication process, the author and/or narrator. Although authorship/narratorship seems more “diffuse” in odd-pronominal narratives (especially first-person plural novels) or in cybernarration, the relationship should be thought as a joint process. In this respect, fictional interactions could be pragmatically analysed (from the more traditional to the more recent pragmatic trends, namely (im)politeness theories based on face-work in interactions for instance). Few studies have indeed convened (im)politeness to account for communication in fiction (Jucker 2016, Kizelbach 2014, 2017, McIntyre & Bousfield 2017, Simpson 1989 being exceptions) even though the author/narrator does use different speech acts to court the reader, to confide in him/her and establish an intimate bond with him/her or, on the other hand, to castigate or tease him/her (think of John Barth’s famous address in Lost in the Funhouse (1968): “The reader! You, dogged, uninsultable, print-oriented bastard, it’s you I’m addressing, who else, from inside this monstrous fiction”), which implies specific conception, consideration and negotiation of face needs and wants in the communication framework at stake in a particular fiction.

Contributions adopting a pragmatic perspective in the study of the modes of interpellation and ways of engaging the reader in fiction (both print and digital) will thus be most welcome. The following topics and questions may be approached, the list not being exhaustive:

  • a diachronic approach: (R)evolution of the participation framework across centuries?
  • correspondences between 19th-century novels in instalments and early forms of digital fiction?
  • the reader’s actual ‘freedom’ in what seems to be ‘author-controlled’ early fictions and ‘reader-centered’ late-20th– and 21st-century interactive fictions?
  • odd-pronominal narratives blurring the notion of authorship/narratorship (we/they narratives) and readership (you narratives) and/or crossing the frontiers between the actual and the virtual world
  • direct address and gender
  • (author/narrator’s and reader’s) co-construction of faces
  • (im)politeness and the pragmatics of communication in fiction
  • the “interpellated” (Lecercle 1999) or the “positioned” (Stockwell 2013) reader: two different things?
  • (authorial/narratorial) intervention and readers’ immersion in the plot: two opposed modes?
  • addresses in paratexts
  • engaging narrators and readers’ responses to them in different genres (fiction for children or young adults, detective novel, ‘bad guy’ first-person narratives/crime fiction, etc.)
  • the evolution of novel reading (Birke 2016)
  • translation of forms of address

Deadline for submission: May 20 2019
Notification of acceptance: June 20 2019
Proposals of around 300 words to be sent to addressingreaders@gmail.com
Language of the conference: English
Selected papers will be considered for publication
Registration fees : 60€, free for students.

Guest speakers:
Prof. Alice Bell (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Prof. Jean-Jacques Lecercle (Nanterre University, France)
Prof Roger Sell (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)

(posted 27 October 2018)

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in December 2019

Herstory Re-Imagined: Women’s Lives in Biographical Fiction and Film
Centre for Life-Writing Research, King’s College London, UK, 16-17 December 2019
Deadline for proposals: 21 June 2019

Convenors: Julia Lajta-Novak (Vienna) and Caitríona Ní Dhúill (Durham)

www.herstory-reimagined.net

How do the lives of historical women become the raw material of novelists and filmmakers? This conference addresses the current boom in biographical novels and biopics about women’s lives, encompassing a broad conception of ‘woman’ that includes queer and trans life narratives. Figures as diverse as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, poet Sylvia Plath, surgeon James Miranda Barry, painter Artemisia Gentileschi, and actress Jiang Qing are the subjects of fictions in various formats and degrees of literary ambition, while pilot Amelia Earhart, stateswoman Margaret Thatcher, blues singer Bessie Smith, and first lady Jackie Kennedy – to name just a very few – have been prominently re-imagined on the silver screen. The conference examines the contemporary repackaging of historical women’s lives in narrative genres, exploring possible connections and tensions between these stories and earlier feminist perspectives on ‘herstory’ and women’s (in)visibility.

Scholars of biofiction and film have drawn attention to the ways in which biographical novels and biopics are implicated in the construction of female subjectivity, while the field of life-writing research has seen a rise of interest in questions of gender identity. This conference aims to bring studies of biofiction and biopics into close dialogue with gender-sensitive approaches to biography, so as to shed light on the interactions between life writing, fiction, and dynamics of gender. We are particularly interested in papers that rigorously consider the theoretical questions at the heart of this conference: How do fictions and films about historical women relate to, or challenge, existing theories of women’s biography or gender-sensitive approaches to life writing? What common parameters are available to narrate women’s lives, and how can these be historicised? What does the fictional element contribute to (or subtract from) the image generated of the subject in relation to previous representations? What is the ideological thrust and broader cultural function of these narratives? And how do these re-imagined herstories trouble or confirm the sex-gender systems within and against which they operate?

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, …

  • Notable women in cultural memory: exemplarity and ideological functionalisation of the protagonist/s; if representations of past lives tell us more about views of femininity at the time of their production than in the biographee’s life-time, what need does a novel or film fulfil in its respective present? What narrative/filmic strategies render visible the location of the fiction within a specific culture of gender?
  • Genre and gender: What generic features distinguish biographical or fictional/filmic representations of historical women (plot model, typical features/ motifs/ representational modes)? To what extent do these corroborate or unsettle gendered subject positions? What understandings of life writing, and particularly women’s lives, are encoded in the genres? (e.g. experimental, clichéd, genre fiction, self-reflexive approaches, spot-light approach, collective biography etc.)
  • Postcolonial theory and intersectional approaches: how is the depiction of female subjectivity in biopics/ biographical novels inflected by other categories such as ethnicity, class, or age?
  • Female biopics/ biofiction in the marketplace: the mass-market demand for “real lives”; biofiction/biopics and literary/film awards; biographical fiction and film as media of gendered celebrity culture, commodifying women’s lives for public consumption
  • Reception:What processes of identification are at work in the reception of biofiction/ biopics? How can theories of affect and empathy help to illuminate these? What can reviews of biopics/ biofiction tell us about the discursive construction of gender identity via different modes of reading/ watching biographical fiction and film?

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Diana Wallace, University of South Wales
Dr. Belén Vidal, King’s College London

& reading by acclaimed novelist Patricia Duncker

Conference language: English.

Deadline: Please email your proposal (250w) and a brief bio note (80w) to Julia.Novak@univie.ac.at  by 21 June 2019.

Notifications: 23 August 2019.

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a peer-reviewed collection or special journal issue.

(posted 7 December 2018)


 

 

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2019

“A great community”: John Ruskin’s Europe
Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 7-9 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2019
One of the last of John Ruskin’s books, a collection of articles written between 1834 and 1885, is entitled On the Old Road. From Calais, where the Ruskin family disembarked for the first time in 1833, at the start of their first contintental tour, the road leads south across France and Switzerland and into Italy, coming to its end in Venice where, in 1888, Ruskin wrote the last words in his diary. The route is marked by many milestones in the life of Ruskin, in his thinking and in his work, and crosses numerous frontiers – frontiers that are often barely noticed. In traversing this vast continent, Ruskin puts behind him the narrow confines of Victorian Britain; his work shapes one of the most important founding moments in the constitution of a distinctively European culture and spirit.
This theme is a core concern of a series of recent historical and aesthetic studies which recognise the crucial importance of place, of myth, and of image in the construction of a common European fabric (see Carlo Ossola, Europa ritrovata. Geografie e miti del vecchio continente, Milan 2017; published in French as Fables d’identité. Pour retrouver l’Europe, Paris 2018; and L’Europe. Encyclopédie historique edited by Christophe Charle and Daniel Roche, Paris 2018), and of studies such as Salvatore Settis’s, Architettura e democrazia. Paesaggio, città, diritti civili (Turin 2017) which deal with key questions of cultural heritage in an interdisciplinary perspective and are driven by strong civic ethos.
On the occasion of the bicenternary of the birth of John Ruskin we invite scholars from across the disciplines to re-read his works, from the Poetry of Architecture to the Stones of Venice, the Bible of Amiens, the Oxford Lectures, St Mark’s Rest and Fors Clavigera, works which refer repeatedly to the concept of a «a great European community» (A Joy For Ever, 1857). The conference will thus build on and develop a theme to which the conference John Ruskin and 19th Century Cultural Travel held in Venice in 2008 was dedicated. In carrying forward the work begun there, this new occasion will also offer an opportunity to explore more recent readings and critical editions which have thrown light on little known aspects of Ruskin’s work, focussing new attention on mobility, both intellectual and stylistic as well a geographic. It will we believe prove fruitful to take a view from outside the confines of the nation and time into which he was born, and look at his ideas in this broader, more modern context.
This conference thus invites scholars to discover or rediscover a self-consciously European John Ruskin, and explore the multiple facets and levels – geographical, historical, critical, aesthetic, socio-political, and cultural – of an œuvre which both deliberately challenges disciplinary boundaries and breaks through national frontiers.
Topics may include but are not confined to the following:
HISTORY
– Ruskin’s European inheritance
– Ways in which his works contribute to the construction of cultural identities both national (English, French, Italian etc) and European
– Ruskin’s view of the roles of religions and Churches in the construction of cultural identity
– Modes of circulation within Europe as evoked and described in his works
– The idea of Europe as object of nostalgia, as utopia, as long-term project
– Ruskin’s symbolic representations of European disgregation.
GEOGRAPHY AND LANDSCAPE
– Travel diaries and sketchbooks
– Maps
– Europe in its extra-European relations
– Physical geography: seas, rivers, mountain ranges and valley, forests, palins
– Political geography
– Migrations
– Cultural geography (see Denis Cosgrove’s « John Ruskin’s European Visions », 2010).
ARTS
– The representation of pan-European movements (i.e. Gothic, Renaissance) and styles (Byzantine, Romanesque, Etruscan)
– Re-reading medieval and renaissance painting
– Ruskin’s reception of European literature, of the Bible, of Greek and Latin classics
– Ruskin and his network of friends and contacts in Europe
– Translation of Ruskin’s works, Ruskin and translation
– The European debate on architectural restoration
– The crafts as a model of economic development
– Teaching as a means of transmitting common values.
Organizers : Emma Sdegno, Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2), Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Abstracts of 300-500 words are to be sent to ruskin2019venezia@unive.it
They can be submitted either in English, French, German, or Italian
Deadline for submission: 28 February 2019; Acceptance to be notified by 30 April 2019
For any questions, please contact the organizers at: ruskin2019venezia@unive.it
Scientific Committee
Dinah Birch (University of Liverpool)
Irene Favaretto (Università degli studi di Padova; Scuola Grande di San Rocco)
Sandro G. Franchini (Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti)
Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2)
Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
André Hélard (Classes préparatoires Rennes)
Howard Hull (Brantwood Estate)
Cédric Michon ((Université Rennes 2)
Anna Ottani Cavina (Università di Bologna)
Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Claude Reichler (Université de Lausanne)
Emma Sdegno (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
Salvatore Settis (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Paul Tucker (Università degli studi di Firenze)
Stephen Wildman (Lancaster University)

(posted 7 December 2018)


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)


Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE 2019)
University of Bamberg, Germany, 26-28 September 2019
Deadline for Proposals: 31 December 2018

https://www.uni-bamberg.de/en/eng-ling/biclce-2019/

We are pleased to announce that the 8th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE 2019) will be held from 26 to 28 September 2019 at the University of Bamberg, Germany.

The plenary speakers are:

  • Tony McEnery (Lancaster University)
  • Anne O’Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick)
  • Carita Paradis (Lund University)
  • Javier Pérez-Guerra and Elena Seoane (University of Vigo)
  • Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (Catholic University of Leuven)

The aim of the BICLCE conference is to encourage communication and academic cross-fertilization between researchers working on all aspects of contemporary English and using different theoretical and methodological frameworks. BICLCE provides a platform for work on contemporary varieties of English from various perspectives. Research papers and workshops may address topics in syntax, morphology, sociolinguistics, semantics and pragmatics, discourse analysis, cognitive linguistics, as well as phonetics and phonology. Purely historical work is less suitable at this conference, but papers that draw upon diachronic evidence to support studies of present-day English are very welcome.

We invite abstracts on every aspect of the linguistics of contemporary English for

1.     Full papers (20 minutes),
2.     Poster presentations,
3.     Thematic workshops (featuring up to 6 individual papers).

Please submit your proposals for presentations and posters via http://linguistlist.org/easyabs/biclce2019. The submission deadline is 31 December 2018.

For workshop proposals, please get in touch with the organizers directly (biclce2019.eng-ling@uni-bamberg.de). The submission deadline is 15 December 2018.

The BICLCE 2019 organizing team: Manfred Krug (Chair of English Linguistics), Jenny Herzky, Gabriele Knappe, Katrin Landwehr, Heinrich Ramisch, Katharina Scheiner, Julia Schlüter, Ole Schützler, Lukas Sönning, Fabian Vetter, Valentin Werner

(posted 22 September 2018)

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in July 2019

Aftershocks: Globalism and the Future of Democracy: 6th ISSEI International Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposing a workshop: 31 October 2018

We invite scholars from Social Sciences and Humanities as well as artists and intellectuals from a non-academic background to discuss the dimensions, manifestations, and problems, both theoretical and pragmatic of “Globalism and the Future of Democracy” from multiple perspectives: historical, philosophical, linguistic, cultural, religious, artistic, political, socio-economic and others. Topics for workshop proposals may include: Europe and the crisis of democracy, globalism, and history of thought and society in this continent.
Colleagues interested in chairing a workshop on a topic related to this theme and/or on European Studies more generally, are invited to submit a one-page proposal to: Dr. Edna Rosenthal at: Edna.Rosenthal@smkb.ac.il

The deadline for submitting a workshop proposal is October 31, 2018.

You can also submit individual papers to the planned workshops which are already posted on the website.
This will be the 16th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), founded in 1984 in Bellagio, Italy, by the founding editors of the interdisciplinary journal, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms (Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group).

Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 8 September 2018)


Global Capitalism and its Destitute Masses: A workshop at ISSEI’s 16th Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 29 February 2019

Chair: Royo Grasa, Pilar

The ‘global’ triumph of Capitalism appears to be its annihilation of any alternative discourse. This victory, as Alain Badiou argues in Our Wound is not so Recent, has resulted from the transformation of earlier forms of imperialism into new imperialist practices. While nineteenth-­‐century Western imperialism depended on the nation-­‐ state, its new form depends on the weakening of the nation-­‐state. In the past, European nation-­‐states exerted their power, managing and controlling the resources and peoples of the ‘uncivilized’ colonized countries from their metropolitan centers; but today, according to Badiou, “areas of non-­‐state pillaging” (29), to which the military interventions of western countries in Iraq, Libya, Mali and Central African Republic have given rise, have exposed the imperialist drive to destroy, rather than to manage, other states. Moreover, the economic control previously exerted by the West’s metropolitan centers has been replaced by the unrestrained activities of multinational capitalist companies.

Contemporary globalized capitalism moves in two apparently contradictory, yet interdependent, directions: on the one hand, capital moves and extends across nations; on the other, most of the profits thus obtained are concentrated in the hands of a very small number of companies. The result of this has been an accelerating and deepening inequality in the global distribution of resources. Badiou distinguishes among three groups in the world today: (1) the “planetary oligarchy” owns 86% of global resources; (2) the “middle class” owns 14%; and (3) the “destitute mass”— constituting 50% of the world population—owns 0% (32-­‐33). Those in the third group count for nothing: their lack of resources prevents them from playing one of the two roles defined by the market: employee and consumer. The destitute mass includes the most precarious people of society, namely, but not exclusively: Indian Dalits, Indigenous peoples, refugees, so-­‐called ‘economic migrants’ or any forcefully displaced people. As Serena Parekh claims in Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement, the displaced are subject to two types of abuse –legal and political. The legal abuse is entailed by the loss of their political community and citizenship; and the deprivation they suffer as a result of their exclusion and neglect in the countries in which they seek refuge. To use Michel Agier’s term, they are the undesired “remnants” of the Western state.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the scholarly, literary and artistic responses to the precarity of these destitute people; to explore the challenges they face, and how they cope with them. What vision of democracy and globalization do they offer? Can human rights play an effective role in a globalized world? What measures should the EU adopt as an ethical and proper response to the global humanitarian crisis? Do the narratives about and by the destitute offer an alternative discourse to global capitalism? To what extent does their use of innovative and/or canonized genres differ from the rhetoric of fear and hate often used by populist and nationalist parties and mass media discourses?

We welcome papers which engage with, but are not limited to, the following areas of interest and research:

  • Migration Studies
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Dalit Studies
  • Human Rights Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • World Literature
  • Gender and Queer Studies
  • Trauma Studies
  • Ethics Studies
  • Memory Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Transmodernity/Transmodern Studies

Please send proposals (a 300-­‐350 word abstract) to Pilar Royo Grasa, by 28 February 2019, at prg@unizar.es.

Works Cited

Agier, Michel. Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government. Translated by David Fernbach. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2011.
Badiou, Alain. Our Wound is not so Recent: Thinking the Paris Killings of 13 November. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016.
Parekh, Serena. Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement. New York: Routledge, 2017.

The ISSEI conferences offer a forum for academics from different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines to share the fruits of their work and to keep track of new intellectual trends and research in areas of study other than their own. They enable participants to keep abreast with new developments in current-day Europe where the forces of nationalism, unification, globalism, and the impact of a rapidly changing world shape and reshape academic practices. Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 9 November 2018)


New Feminisms in a Transnational and Transmodern World: A workshop at ISSEI’s 16th Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2019

Chair: Pellicer‐Ortín, Silvia, University of Zaragoza, Spain, spellice@unizar.es
An increasing number of scholars have described the new global reality as transmodernity: “an umbrella term that connotes [today’s] emerging socio‐cultural, economic, political and philosophical shift.” It is, moreover, “essentially postpatriarchal in a sense that women’s visions and intuitions are to be recognized as indispensable in order to invent together innovative urgent solutions” (Ateljevic, 2013: 201, 203). Contemporary feminists Myra Marx Ferree and Aili Mari Tripp argue that gender should play a more significant role in the globalised world because “globalization can work to women’s advantage… but also unleash forces of inequality that will further disadvantage women.” “[F]eminism in the twenty‐first century has unmistakably global dimensions but is also ever less obviously one, single movement. Diversity and differences, not only by race and class but also in national culture and policy, shape the interests that women define as their own” (Ferree and Mari, 2006: 22, vii).
Among the great variety of feminist trends, transnational and intersectional feminisms deserve special consideration. Transnational feminist critiques of race and gender have connected Western feminist perspectives with those in other parts of the world. Their central claim is that gender‐based subjugation cannot be separated “from other forms of geopolitical, colonial, and material economic, racial, gender, and sexual oppression” (Blackwell, Briggs, Chiu, 2015: 7). Thus “transnational activism brings feminists out of their local contexts to work across national borders, and feminist discourses, such as the definition of women’s rights as human rights, travel from the international level where they were first formulated to offer new leverage to local activists” (Ferree and Tripp, 2006: vii–viii). Transnational feminism draws on the “rightsbased approach” to study how global processes affect women’s lives. Similarly, intersectional feminism focuses on the study of the repression of women in terms of the social constructions of female identities: not only gender but also class, religion, sexuality and race. It stresses “the importance of attending to the multiple social structures and processes that intertwine to produce specific social positions and identities” (Anthias, 2012: 106).
This workshop will explore textual and artistic representations of transnational and intersectional feminisms, together with other feminist theories (material and corporeal, ecofeminism). It is often by and through women’s artworks that transnational, hybrid, and marginalised female identities can acquire a distinctive voice, foster new bonds, and further the struggle for social justice. We welcome papers that explore the ways in which artworks present, articulate and redefine concepts of femininity and feminism in a transmodern world.

Suggested topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Transnational Feminism
  • Ecofeminism, gender and sustainability
  • Postcolonial and anti‐racist feminist theories
  • Postfeminism and Fourth Wave Feminism
  • Material Feminism, New Materialisms and Corporeal Feminism
  • Posthumanism and Feminism
  • Transcultural and transnational construction of female memories and identities
  • Gender, Travelling Bodies and Border Theory
  • Affectivity, Mobility and Feminism
  • Cosmopolitanism and Feminism
  • Migration across Europe: Trans‐European female identities
  • Feminism and Science Fiction
  • Utopias, Dystopias and Feminist Studies

Please send proposals (300‐350 word abstracts) to Silvia Pellicer Ortín by February 28,
2019 at spellice@unizar.es. Participants will be accepted by March 15, 2019.

Works Cited
Alexander, M. J. Pedagogies of Crossing: Mediations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memories and the Sacred. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
Anthias, F. “Transnational Mobilities, Migration Research and Intersectionality.” Nordic Journal of Migration Research 2.2 (2012): 102–10.
Ateljevic, I. “Visions of Transmodernity: A New Renaissance of our Human History?” Integral Review 9.2 (June 2013): 200–19.
Blackwell, M., L. Briggs, and M. Chiu. “Trasnational Feminisms Roundatble.” Frontiers 36.3 (2015): 1–25.
Ferree, M. M., and A. M. Tripp, eds. Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights. New York: New York University Press, 2006.
Rodríguez, Magda, and Rosa María. “Transmodernidad: un nuevo paradigm.” Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso‐Hispanic
World 1.1 (2011): 1–13.

The ISSEI conferences offer a forum for academics from different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines to share the fruits of their work and to keep track of new intellectual trends and research in areas of study other than their own. They enable participants to keep abreast with new developments in current-day Europe where the forces of nationalism, unification, globalism, and the impact of a rapidly changing world shape and reshape academic practices. Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 9 November 2018)


Private sector involvement in the provision of public network services: ensuring accountability in a complex environment
Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France, 5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2018

Conference organised by the CREC[1] at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle University and LLSETI[2] at Savoie Mont Blanc University

Venue Maison de la Recherche, Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France

The failure of Carillion, a multinational conglomerate providing a wide range of public services, in January 2018 has raised significant issues of public accountability. How was it possible for such a large company and government contractor to go into compulsory liquidation, despite concerns having been raised about its finances as early as 2015? Why were the firm’s financial weaknesses not exposed and acted upon, notably by the regulators? Why did public organisations and officials continue to pass the company contracts?

The Carillion incident represents just one instalment in a litany of scandals affecting private providers of public services at a considerable loss to the public purse. The UK government’s bail-out and then renationalisation of the Stagecoach/Virgin East Coast rail franchise for passenger transport has also been highly controversial, while the flagship project of creating a high-speed rail link between London and the north of England (HS2) risks huge cost over-runs. Atos, Capita and G4S have come under public scrutiny for failing to adequately fulfil their contracts, accused of incompetence and fraud.

This one-day conference seeks to examine the challenges faced by public regulators and the political institutions in guaranteeing the accountability of public network services which have been privatised in the UK. They are therefore exposed to private producer interests, but still provide essential public services to society and the economy. Moreover, these sectors entail massive public investments in long-life infrastructures. Yet the technological and business environments of these industries may also change rapidly, entailing huge risks of inefficient or erroneous investment. Furthermore, since the privatisation of many parts of these industries from the 1980s onwards, and the move to new public management in general, the proliferation of actors involved and the complexity of management and service delivery systems have grown substantially.

The conference aims to examine the experiences of British utilities and network services whose future ownership and management are once again being called into question. Specifically it will discuss challenges in the electricity, gas, water, fixed-line telephony and rail sectors. The conference will seek to identify the cross-cutting causes of accountability failure and examine the possibilities for strengthening political governance mechanisms capable of pursuing the public interest.

Conference papers will be published on-line in the Revue française de civilisation britannique (https://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/). This is a peer-reviewed journal, and allows for fairly quick publication and dissemination via Internet.  Articles are published in English and French.

Please send proposals for a communication (300 words and a short biography) to Emma.bell@univ-smb.fr by 31 January 2019.

Confirmed Speakers:

Laurie Macfarlane: Laurie Macfarlane is a Head of Public Finance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and Economics Editor at openDemocracy. Prior to this Laurie was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Laurie is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing, which was listed by Financial Times as one of the best economics books of 2017.

Steve Tombs: Steve Tombs is Professor of Criminology at The Open University. He has a long-standing interest in the incidence, nature and regulation of corporate and state crime and harm. He has long worked with the Hazards movement in the UK, and is a Trustee and Board member of Inquest.

Organisation Committee: Emma Bell (Université de Savoie Mont Blanc), Clémence Fourton (Université de Caen Normandie), Nicholas Sowels (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Scientific Committee: David Fée (Paris III), Janet Newman (Open University), Lucie de Carvalho (université de Lille)

[1] Centre for British Studies: http://www.univ-paris3.fr/centre-de-recherches-en-civilisation-britannique-crec
[2] Research Laboratory on Languages, Literature and Society: Cross-border and International Studies: http://www.llseti.univ-smb.fr/

(posted 7 December 2018)


Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture: Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s 11th Annual Conference
Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London, UK, 8-10 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019

Keynotes:

  • Chris Louttit, ‘Capturing the Spirit of Bohemia: The Life of the Artist in 1860s Popular Fiction’
  • Beth Palmer, ‘Sensation Fiction and the Theatre: Braddon, Boucicault and Matters of Adaptation’
  • Christopher Pittard, ‘Vanishing Points: Sidney Paget, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sherlock Holmes’

Exhibition: ‘Late-Victorian & Edwardian Paperback Fiction’, curated by John Spiers

Reading Group: ‘Altered States of Mind and Body’, hosted by James Green and Henry Bartholomew

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular.

The organisers invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation on the topic of ‘Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture’ and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which might address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, panels of three papers affiliated with an organisation or a group of scholars and non-traditional papers/panels, on topics which can include, but are not limited to:

  • Altered states of mind, drugs, séances etc.
  • Truth, secrets and lies; different perspectives (sex, gender, race/ethnicity, class, profession)
  • Mind over matter: resistance, heroics, resilience
  • Physical matter: material culture, objects and things, thing theory
  • Geography matters: transport, place and space, organisations, institutions and buildings
  • Exploration, mapping, urban and imperial knowledge
  • Illness of the mind and body, including disability studies
  • Household matters: economics and budgets, food, family life, scandals
  • Business matters: global economy, trade, partners, shipping, deals
  • Spiritual matters: different religions and practices
  • Educational matters: school system, education, teachers/teaching, education Acts
  • Archival matters: collections, museums, personal papers
  • Genre matters: transforming genres, writing practices, co-authorship, publishing practices, syndication, neo-Victorianism
  • Historical matters: reforms, parliamentary Acts, debates, events
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to Victorian popular fiction and culture
  • Teaching Victorian popular fiction and culture

Special topic panels: following our successful formula, we are continuing the special panels which will be hosted by guest experts; therefore we especially welcome papers about the following topics:

  • Topic 1: ‘The Spirit of Exploration in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Minna Vouhelainen
  • Topic 2: ‘Matters of the Mind in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Valerie Fehlbaum
  • Topic 3: ‘Matters of the Home in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Jessica Cox

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, a 50 word biography and your availability over the conference dates in Word format to Drs Janine Hatter, Helena Ifill, Jane Jordan and Erin Louttit at: vpfainfo@gmail.com

Deadline for proposals: Friday 1st March 2019

Website: http://victorianpopularfiction.org/vpfa-annual-conference/

(posted 12 November 2018)


Frames of Mind: International Conference on (Neo)Victorian Studies
London, UK, 9-10 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 10 February 2019

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

The Victorian Era was a complex period marked by prosperity and wealth. It was a world characterised by speed and compression of time and space, a world radically different from anything ever known in the past. The exceptional times of national growth and global expansion had a huge impact on the life of the nation and the rapid advances in science and technology facilitated the access to information, which triggered a revolution in the human mind as it increased self-awareness and self-confidence, and stimulated the spirit of (ad)venture.

On the other hand, the extreme individualism of the age generated questions, doubts and inner conflicts that nurtured self-indulgence and intemperance. Charles Dickens captured the contradictory nature of the Victorian times in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The same dual attitude is obvious in the new Millennium, when the economic, social, political, ideological and cultural changes has generated an ethos of individual dispersion and indecisive oscillation between progress and decadence, optimism and depression, hope and cynicism. In Britain, as everywhere else in the world, the schizoid nature of the present has created poles of objectivity and subjectivity that need re-engagement with a specific set of long-lasting values. Thus, the appeal to challenge the current state of affairs by returning to the insular sensitivity, ambition and intelligence forged by the Victorian period is not suprising, as there is an urgent need to reinterpret and reposition its essential concepts and notions from the perspective of the new insular realities.

As 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, the main objective of the conference is to bring together all those interested in exploring the intersections between their professions and/or interests and some distinct aspects of Neo-Victorianism, the aesthetic movement based on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the cultural framework shaped between 1837 and 1901.

The event will focus on building and strengthening the dialogue with the past, extending it beyond Queen Victoria’s 63 years of reign to the 21st-century aspects of British identity in terms of national loyalty and individual relevance.

Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

  • Victorian principles and practices – continuity and disruption
  • the Industrial Revolution and individual freedom
  • the Victorian novel: adaptations and variations
  • the Dickensian formula of neo-realism
  • the Victorian Romance
  • Victorian poetic emotions
  • Victorian anxieties and insecurities
  • the Victorian Debate: civil society and gender justice
  • women of distinction: reformers, activists, campaigners, environmentalists and Educationalists in the Victorian era and after
  • the legacy of Queen Victoria: between potent imperialism and postcolonial nostalgia
  • the Neo-Victorian ethos: re-visiting Victorian and Edwardian values in the new Millennium
  • Victoriographies and 21st-century reinterpretations
  • (Neo)Victorian philosophies: from Utilitarianism to Steampunk
  • (Neo)Victorian science, technology and religion: idealism and wisdom
  • morals and morality: affections, devotions and abjections
  • (Neo)Victorian poetry: science and sensibility
  • decadent generations: from Oscar Wilde and Algernon Swinburne to Will Self and Joe Stretch
  • public and private realms: fashion, design and architecture
  • patterns of pastimes and entertainment: the public house, the theatre, the music hall, The circus
  • Victorian and Neo-Victorian representations in the arts
  • (Neo)Victorianism in cinema and television
  • Victorian and Neo-Victorian visions of London

The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals with a particular interest related to the conference topic. We invite proposals from various disciplines including history, sociology, political studies, anthropology, culture studies and literature.

Proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 February, 2019 to:
neo-victorian.studies@lcir.co.uk. Download Paper proposal form.

Standard registration fee – 140 GBP
Student registration fee – 120 GBP

Conference venue:
Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX
Valentines Mansion, Emerson Rd, Ilford, IG1 4XA

(posted 12 November 2018)


The Influence of the Long Eighteenth Century upon Balkan Identities in the Feminine: a panel at the International Congress on the Enlightenment
Edinburg, Scotland, UK, 14-19 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 13 January 2019

Please send a title and an abstract (maximum 2000 signs with spaces). Contact email address: mmudure@yahoo.com

Chairpersons:

  • Michaela Mudure, Babes-Bolyai University, Romani
  • Ileana Mihăilă, University of Bucharest, Romania

This panel relies on notion of “the long eighteenth century” as defined by the British historian Frank O’Gorman in his seminal essay which analyzes the evolution of historical and political events particularly in British history between 1688-1832. It is known that the expansion of conventional historical periods goes hand in hand with the recourse to strategies that denounce the bias towards national limits. The emphasis on divided cultural systems and cultural Othering is replaced in contemporary research on the eighteenth century and not only with translational approaches. The “translation” of the (luminaries of the) Enlightenment in the Balkans is an extremely rich process that can be inspirational in assigning cultural specificity and more theoretical density to the study of the margins of Europe.

Our panel will emphasise particularly women’s contribution in this area because there is a general deficit of knowledge about women’s lives and their implication in the history of the Balkans. The emphasis on education, the translation of Enlightenment authors, the promotion of the cult of reason as well as of other ideals of the Enlightenment in the Balkan cultures coincide with a very strong tendency towards autonomy and independence in the Balkan political life. The Enlightenment did not constitute only the ideology backing the constitution of the American colonies that became independent during this period, it also inspired the peoples of the Balkans in their fight for independence and consolidation of that independence. The consequence was that the Enghlightenment subsided in the Balkans much longer and in forms different from its traditionally acknowledged Western parameters. The feminists. the women’s activists, and the women writers from the Balkans were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment which spread beyond the strictures of traditional historical periodization.

(posted 7 December 2018)


MLA International Symposium:  Remembering Voices Lost
Lisbon, Portugal, 23-25 July 2019
Deadline for submissions : September 21, 2018

In the face of resurgent social, political, and religious instability, it seems urgent to recuperate the “lost voices” of humanity: those that have been buried or forgotten and those that have been marginalized or othered on the grounds of their perceived foreignness.

The 2019 Modern Language Association (MLA) International Symposium, taking place in Lisbon, Portugal from 23 to 25 July 2019, calls for paper and session proposals that place humanities at the center of world affairs, bringing lost voices to the forefront as an act of resistance.

The conference will feature the following formats:

  • panel sessions and discussions
  • paper sessions composed of 3–5 individual papers
  • roundtable conversations including 3–6 participants

We invite proposals for any of the above formats. Sessions will be ninety minutes long, including time for discussion. The conference languages will be English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

Paper proposals should include the paper title, a brief abstract, and the speaker’s institutional affiliation (if any).

Proposals for panels and roundtables should contain the above items as well as a session chair, abstract, and title.

Please use the MLA International Symposium’s submissions portal to submit your paper, session, or roundtable proposal(s). All submissions must be received by 21 September 2018, and participants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 3 December 2018.

Learn more, including how to submit your paper, session, or roundtable proposal, at https://symposium.mla.org/lisbon/remembering-voices-lost/

All submissions MUST be received by 21 September 2018.

email contact of symposium: symposia@mla.org

Upcoming dates

  • Deadline for CFPs on September 21, 2018
  • Registration opens on December 1, 2018
  • Acceptances and rejections sent to proposers on December 3, 2018
  • MLA International Symposium in Lisbon on July 23, 2019

(posted  21 August 2018, updated 4 September)


Understanding (through) Annotations: 15th International Connotations Symposium
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, 28 July-1 August 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 31 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.

We particularly invite graduate participants to submit a proposal; there will be a prize (travel bursary) awarded to the best essay.

Please send an abstract (300 words max.) to the editors of Connotations by October 31, 2018 (new extended deadline): symposium2019@connotations.de

(posted 13 April 2018, updated 24 September 2018)

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

Nature, environment and environmentalism in Ireland
Spring 2019 issue of Etudes Irlandaises
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2018


Identifying Ireland with nature has been a commonplace for so long that their complex relationship has become obscured and now calls for renewed examination. Essentialist tropes positing Ireland as a refuge of authenticity and wilderness in the Western world have endured from the colonizer’s naturalizing discourse to British conservationism and now strive in the Irish tourism industry. The Celtic Tiger years successfully relied on, and reflected, a dual picture of global business attractiveness and unspoiled nature, promoting the pure waters of Green Erin—together with its fiscal leniency—as the ideal setting for pharmaceutical and IT companies and a unique location for salmon fishing. Only after the fall of the Celtic Tiger did another landscape begin to emerge: that of a dilapidated, polluted environment, symbolized with striking effect by the mushrooming “ghost estates” that now scar the Irish countryside and suburban areas. Such visions of the New Ireland reflect the concrete, geographic impact of post-industrial late capitalism, thus placing Ireland onto a global map of environmental crises and largely debunking a myth that is still desperately advertised by the national tourism industry today.
All consumers of the Irish landscape and its natural resources—foreign tourists and nationals alike—share an ambivalent attitude towards Irish nature, which can be traced back to the colonizing process. The colonizer went through a symbolic process of dehumanization in order to reduce natives to mere parts of the landscape—a landscape whose ownership by the colonizer was posited as a natural process of history. For the colonized Irishman, symbolic humiliation was a prelude to the confiscation of natural and agricultural resources and the alienation of cultural heritage, epitomized by the brutal overhaul of toponymy and subsequent destruction of the symbiotic link between place and language. In such a context, it is no surprise that, according to Hilary Tovey, the early ecological activism of 1970s Ireland largely considered environmental degradations in terms of damages inflicted by outsiders and denounced the globalized avatars of British capitalist imperialism rather than homegrown policies.
One can indeed legitimately ask if and how Irish artistic and cultural production has become a fertile ground for critical and retrospective reflection on Ireland’s ambiguous relationship with its “nature” understood as a form of congruence between its identity and its environment. Thus the mythical status of the West, the central question of land ownership but also the puzzling under-representation of the sea given Ireland’s insular status constitute so many aspects of a national ecopsychology (Theodore Roszak) that transpire in artistic productions.
Literary form is of course essential here and Seamus Heaney asked the fundamental question in this respect in “Known World”: “How does the real get into the made-up?” The idea that one of art’s functions should be to probe the link between form and material reality seems to interrogate the notion of the arbitrariness of the sign inherited from the linguistic turn in critical studies. Thus the question of the representation of the material environment also becomes that of the materiality of the work of art itself, which opens new perspectives for a neo-materialist study of Irish cultural production. This is especially perceptible in artistic performance or in the new travel diaries (see for instance Garrett Carr’s The Rule of the Land, 2017), the ultimate goal being to wonder whether beyond their mimetic function of representation, literature and poetry can make Ireland a habitable place.

Contributions are welcome (but by no means limited to) the following issues:

•    Literature and environment in Ireland
–       fauna and flora
–       representing the ecological crisis
–       writing as a technology or tool
–       ecology and literary form
–       Textual materialism
•    Irish environment and visual arts: from mimesis to Land Art
–       Ecology and performance; theatre and activism
•    The Great Famine (1845-51) as environmental disaster
•    The environmental effects of the Celtic Tiger
•    Environmental Policies, economic and social stakes
•    Environmental justice
•    The environmental impact of colonization
•    Irish nature and nationalism
•    Irish environmentalism
•    Ecocriticism and postcolonialism
–       green capitalism and nature, conservationism and “development”
•    Toponymy as the memory of place

Please send your articles by 1 October 2018 (new extended deadline) to:
catherine.conan@univ-brest.fr et flore.coulouma@gmail.com.

Articles should be submitted with an abstract and a list of key words.
Cf http://journals.openedition.org/etudesirlandaises/2729

(posted 28 July 2018)


Language Contact Phenomena
Winter 2018 issue of The ESSE Messenger
New extended deadline: 15 October 2018

The multilingual context we live in leads to constant interaction between languages. As a result, there are various language contact phenomena that have become common practice among speakers and that are constantly shaping the individual’s language use and identity.

This issue of the ESSE Messenger invites scholars to send their articles on topics related to micro-sociolinguistics (borrowing, code-switching, translanguaging, polylingual languaging, metrolingualism, translingual practices), macro-sociolinguistics (language shift, language maintenance), and how these phenomena influence the speakers’ linguistic practices and identity.

More information on the Messenger website: http://essenglish.org/messenger

(posted 1 October 2018)


Configuring non-Linearity: A Reassessment of Nadine Gordimer’s Art
41.2, Commonwealth Essays and Studies
Deadline for proposals: 30 October 2018
Alongside her developing a forceful “art of the present moment” (Gordimer 1968 15), Gordimer’s writing is nonetheless haunted by the ghostly traumas of a colonial past and “always in some way in dialogue with an absent future” (Clingman 13). This resonates in new ways a few years after her death as post-apartheid South Africa continues to undergo major social, economic, political and cultural changes. Incidents and accidents, interruptions and disruptions take place on the full range of scales in her works, from the intimate to the national, from the individual to the global. While all chronological (let alone teleological) timelines also appear fractured in Gordimer’s oeuvre, some reconfigurations of linearity find their way in, making for patterns which radiate at all other levels: spatial, ideological, narrative and metafictional, among others. In other words, the irruption of violence in the diegesis can also be read as reiteration, but also possibly as a (tragic?) means towards a new order. Such literary moments of non-linearity and reconnection are crucial to a consideration of how the South African author intended to intervene in the world she depicted, and to how transformative and performative her writing may be in its re-casting of different modes of fissured agencies. Calling attention to such processes as linkage and re-connection is also a way of considering anew the “interregnum” in and on which she dwelt (see Gordimer 1988), a space-time where destruction rules but where odd collocations emerge where and when least expected. Likewise, unusual reconfigurations can be witnessed at temporal but also narratological levels, suggesting possibilities for meaning to circulate again.
This issue of Commonwealth Essays and Studies is meant as a timely re-assessment of Gordimer’s literary experimentations and innovations in relation to her writerly commitment. Foremost among these concerns we wish to address and qualify the category of realism often used to describe Gordimer’s fictional aesthetics, and which in fact often tends to morph into fables and fantastic tales, into postmodern narrative unreliability and satirical irony. The notion of linearity also enables an investigation of the act of reading Gordimer, a writer who tended to favour such potentially fragmented forms as the collection of essays or of short stories. Such a wide variety of texts, spanning different genres, is testimony to Gordimer’s diverse political and aesthetic engagements and invites reflection on epistemological construction.
We invite articles addressing aspects of her work from a wide range of critical viewpoints, and are particularly interested in innovative approaches to her oeuvre (which might include trauma studies, queer and/or feminist, decolonial, transcultural/transnational readings).
Abstracts (150 words) and a short bio-bibliographical note must be sent by July 31st to Kerry-Jane Wallart (kjwallart@yahoo.fr) and Fiona McCann (mccannfiona@gmail.com). Final articles (6000 words, see CES stylesheet: http://www.univ-paris3.fr/commonwealth-essays-and-studies-16669.kjsp) must be submitted by October 30th, and will be blindly peer-reviewed. The issue will be released in May, 2019.
Stephen Clingman. ‘Nadine Gordimer: A Writing Life’, in A Writing Life, Celebrating Nadine Gordimer. Ed. Andries Walter Oliphant. London: Viking, 1998. 3-18.
Nadine Gordimer. ‘The Short Story in South Africa’, in The International Symposium on the Short Story, Kenyon Review XXX (1968): 457-463.
—-‘Living in the Interregnum’, in The Essential Gesture: Writing Politics and Places. Ed. Stephen Clingman. London: Cape, 1988.
(posted 29 June 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)


Approaches to the Literary Animal
An edited volume of collected critical essays
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

Submissions are sought from academics, scholars, research aspirants and animal advocates.

The rise and expansion of Animal Studies over the past decades can be seen in the explosion of various articles, journals, books, conferences, organisations, courses all over the academic world. With the publication of Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation in 1975 and Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights in 1983, there has been a burgeoning interest in nonhuman animals among academics, animal advocates, and the general public. Interested scholars recognise the lack of scholarly attention given to nonhuman animals and to the relationships between human and nonhuman, especially in the light of the pervasiveness of animal representations, symbols, and stories, as well as the actual presence of animals in human societies and cultures.

Animals abound in literary and cultural texts, either they are animals-as-constructed or animals-as-such. However, we can approach any literary text from a theoretical lens where the representation of nonhuman animals is the main operative analytic frame. In literature nonhuman animals are given the titular role, they carry symbolic function, they speak human language and so on. But these create problematics and bear the politics of representation.

Proposals for articles on topics relevant to this collective volume may include, but are not limited to:

Theoretical Background

• HAS or CAS or Anthrozoology
• Animals and Animality Studies
• Animal Studies and Ecocriticism
• Animal ethics and rights
• Darwinism
• Posthumanism
• Womanimalia (woman = animal)
• Animal alterity
• Animal Ontology
• Postcolonial Animal
• Domesticated animal
• Meat eating, fishing and farming

Textual Readings

Contributors have the liberty to choose literary texts for their case study, but the papers must theorise the significant presence of nonhuman animals in the selected texts. Photo-essays are also welcome.

Papers should be around 3000 words following the latest MLA style sheet and must have abstract of 250 words with keywords, relevant endnotes, references and authors’ bio-note. Papers will be scrutinised thoroughly and checked for potential unethical practices. Selected papers will be collected in a book (with ISBN) to be published by a reputed publisher.

Submission Deadline: 31st October 2018

Submit to the Editor Krishanu Maiti here: studiesanimal@gmail.com

(posted 30 July 2018)


Aesthetics and Terrorism
A special volume of Contemporary Aesthetics
Deadline for full articles: 31 October 2018

Guest Editor Dr. Emmanouil Aretoulakis
Contact: emmareto@enl.uoa.gr.

Terrorism is unfortunately ubiquitous in the contemporary world. In the post-9/11 era, so-called “political violence” in the form of state or anti-state activity has placed itself at the very center of international politics and policies. But, of course, terrorist violence is not a recent phenomenon; rather, it has always preoccupied the minds of authorities, shattered the every-day routines of citizens, victimized thousands of people, but at the same time intrigued or even fascinated humanity with its unpredictability and suddenness. Through this lens, it is not paradoxical to admit that terrorism looms large in the artistic, literary, and philosophical imagination, and also in aesthetic debates. Although it may at first sound oxymoronic to articulate the concepts of terrorism and aesthetics in a single breath, not only is extreme political violence against (usually) non-combatants relevant to aesthetic matters and preoccupations, but it turns out that there may even be a structural link between the two. Aesthetics, here, does not necessarily hinge upon the question of beauty or artistic representation, but is more broadly defined as aesthetic experience understood as sense perception. In such a context, aesthetic sensibility has a lot to say about how terrorism is represented, employed, disseminated, reproduced, or even opposed.

The relationship between aesthetics and terrorism has generated considerable interest, and three articles on the subject have already been published in Contemporary Aesthetics:

  • “Aesthetic Appreciation, Ethics, and 9/11” by Emmanouil Aretoulakis (Vol. 6, 2008)
  • “Art, Terrorism and the Negative Sublime” by Arnold Berleant (Vol. 7, 2009)
  • “Terrorist Aesthetics as Ideal Types: from Spectacle to ‘Vicious Lottery’” by Marshall Battani and Michaelyn Mankel (Vol. 15, 2017)

In light of this interest, Contemporary Aesthetics invites original, innovative, full-length articles that explore the connection between aesthetics and terrorism or terror across cultures, ages, genres, or discourses. CA welcome submissions on topics related (but not limited) to the following:

  • Aesthetic Theories, Political Violence, and the Philosophy of Terror
  • The Aesthetics of Suicide Attacks/Terrorism and the Body
  • The Politics of Aesthetics (or Aesthetics of Politics) in Terror(ism)
  • Radicalization as an Aesthetic Posture
  • Post-9/11 Political Discourse and Aesthetics
  • Ethics, Aesthetics, Narrativity in the Media Communication of Terror
  • Terrorist Discourse and the Sensorial Aspects of Terrorist Communication
  • Terrorism through the Perspective of Art (in its widest sense)
  • Morality, Ethics and Aesthetics in the Artistic Representation of Terror
  • Terrorism as Theatre/Performance
  • Society and the Cultural Imaginary of Terrorism
  • Counter-Terrorism, Law and Aesthetics
  • Urban Defense, Architecture and (Counter)Terrorism
  • Terrorism, Aesthetics and Ecological Consciousness
  • Postcolonial Aesthetics, Imagination and Terror
  • Religious (or not) Terrorism and the Aesthetics of Pain/Suffering
  • Aesthetics, Terror, Culture, and the 21st Century

Length: maximum 7,000 words, including abstract and notes. Only electronic submissions are acceptable. Deadline for submitting the full article and a short CV is October 31, 2018.

The article should be attached (as a word document) to your e-mail and sent to the guest editor, Dr. Emmanouil Aretoulakis emmareto@enl.uoa.gr.

For submission guidelines, see:  http://www.contempaesthetics.org/pages/guidelines.html

(posted 23 August 2018)


Student Empowerment: Reflections of Teachers and Students in Higher Education (working title)
An edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 5 November 2018

The focus of this volume is to present chapters on student empowerment by both teachers and students in higher education. We would like all the authors to engage with two critical aspects: reflection and student empowerment.

For teachers:

The aim of the chapters in this volume is for teachers to draw on their own experiences and reflect on the various ways in which they have provided support for their students to encourage them to be the best that they can be and to set them up for success. Teachers in primary and secondary education are continuously engaged in reflecting on their teaching practice. Most keep some kind of journal or teaching portfolio in which they document what went well and what could be done better next time. This type of practice provides teachers with an impression of their growth over time, which results in viewing teaching as an ongoing process that involves inquiry, experimentation and reflection. For academics teaching in higher education, formalised reflection is not usually customary. This does not mean that academics don’t reflect on their teaching practice, but simply that this is not something which they regularly document or are expected to document as part of their continuous professional development.  One of the primary aims of this volume then, is to encourage academics to reflect on their teaching practice and consider ways in which they have empowered students.  Questions that may be addressed in the chapters include: What inspired you to take this approach? What, if anything, was unique about your approach? What was the outcome, for you and your students? What’s next – will you continue the same approach or have you reflected some more and are planning further revisions? Or maybe your plan is to try something entirely new? Was this practice shared with your colleagues –formally or informally? How did you disseminate this information, if at all?

For students:

The aim of the chapters in this volume is for students to look back on the various strategies employed by their teachers in higher education, which led to an increase in their confidence and eventual success. Students in all levels of education rarely consider the reason behind a particular approach being used in the classroom.  This is most likely because this is something that is not expected of them. One of the primary aims of this volume then, is to encourage students in Higher Education to reflect on a teaching approach used by a specific teacher and consider ways in which this has led them to be empowered. Questions that may be addressed in the chapters include: In what ways have you been empowered in higher education? How did this take place? Who was it that empowered you? What did you appreciate about their approach? How did this empowerment affect you – what was the outcome for you and the individual that empowered you? Did you use this strategy in your other courses? Have you used this approach elsewhere outside of academia?

Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:

  • Designing and planning learning activities
  • Creating a conducive learning environment
  • Methods of teaching and/or supporting students
  • Activities and/or techniques used to support student learning
  • Formal/informal formative and/or summative assessment strategies
  • Innovative ways of providing feedback

Submissions are invited from teachers and students in Higher Education.  Co-Authored papers written by teachers and students are particularly encouraged.

Deadline for abstract submission: 5 November 2018

Abstracts can be submitted by completing the online form available at https://bit.ly/2oSRoOy

(posted 1 October 2018)


Borders and Spaces in the English Speaking World
RANAM 52, to be issued in June 2019
Deadline for proposals: 20 November 2018

In the age of globalization, the concepts of borders and spaces have taken new significances. Globalization implies economic and cultural deterritorialization and the consequent issue of the intensification of social relations. But globalization paradoxically generates renewed interest in borders and an anxious desire to stabilise definitions of spaces, as exemplified by the thousands kilometres of border walls built in the world since 2000.

Discourses on borders are fraught with political implications, as borders circumscribe particular spaces, making them concrete, and contributing to a sense that their identities can be delimited and differentiated from those of other spaces. Borders imply power relations, control and sovereignty and therefore participate in processes of stabilisation of space, population, and imagined identities. Setting borders does not only lead to the fencing of territories, it also means organizing spaces through regulations, codes and norms, highlighting the extent to which delineated spaces are social and cultural constructs that shape the way identities are conceived and understood.

Borders however embody the problematic aspect of space division, as they also connect spaces, being points where the known and the other, the recognised-as-familiar and the conceived-as-alien, intersect. Borders are ever permeable, though to various degrees. As a consequence, spaces can be defined not as fixed entities, but as living organisms that are constantly being redefined by means of discourses, political agenda, media representations, literature and art. RANAM 52 will focus on a number of questions linked to current reflections on borders and spaces. How do cultural and artistic productions contribute to the creation of spatial and political borders? Literature and art being themselves institutionalized spaces regulated by social and generic norms, how do they reflect or revisit the concept of borders?
RANAM 52 invites contributions on historical, geographic or artistic issues related to borders and spaces and also on the way political and aesthetic borders and spaces interact.

Submissions should be sent to Jean-Jacques Chardin (chardin@unistra.fr), Anne Bandry (bandry@unistra.fr), Fanny Moghaddassi (f.moghaddassi@unistra.fr) by 20 November 2018.

(posted 29 June 2018)


Restoration Fiction (1660-1714)
A special issue (n°79) of The Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses (RCEI)
Deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2018

The Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses (RCEI) seeks contributions for a special issue (nº 79) on “Restoration Fiction (1660-1714),” to come out in November 2019. The literary period to be examined under the title of ‘Restoration’ is not confined to Charles II’s reign but covers the age of the later Stuarts, which proved a period of great narrative experimentation and generic instability.

As guest editor, I wish to encourage scholars and PhD students to submit innovative contributions on the prose-fiction in English during the later Stuarts. RCEI/79 monograph section aims to further examine not only the production of narrative and generic experimentation, but also the ways in which this corpus of texts responded to the political, philosophical, religious, social, moral and cultural challenges during these decades of intense transformations. Suggested topics include, though not limited to, the following:

  • The politics of fiction in the late seventeenth-century.
  • Restoration society, debates, controversies and conflicts in fiction.
  • Ethic and morality in the late seventeenth-century fiction.
  • Strategies of ideological persuasion in the Restoration fiction.
  • Printing and publishing in the late seventeenth century.
  • Authorship, gender, and anonymity.
  • Ways of reading Restoration fiction: Readership and critical reception.
  • Late seventeenth-century translations. Transnational novel/fictional relations.
  • Prose fiction as part of an individual author’s production.
  • Restoration critical debates on prose fiction.
  • Prefatory and peritextual material.
  • Genre hybridity.
  • Narrators, style, and language.
  • History, pseudo-history, and roman à clef.
  • Types and characters.
  • Restoration prose-fiction and other (verbal/non-verbal) genres.

Detailed abstracts in Word format (up to 1,000 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to Tomas Monterrey (jmonterr@ull.es) by 30 November 2018. On acceptance, full length essays (7,000 or 8,500 words, following MLA Style guidelines) should be submitted before 31 May 2019. Decision on acceptance of contribution is subjected to a double-blind peer-review process. RCEI/79 will be released in November, 2019.

Journal websites:

http://publica.webs.ull.es/publicaciones/detalle/revista-canaria-de-estudios-ingleses/rcey-revista-canaria-de-estudios-ingleses/

http://publica.webs.ull.es/publicaciones/lista-volumenes/rcey-revista-canaria-de-estudios-ingleses/

(posted 13 July 2018)


Beyond Rubashov: Arthur Koestler’s Lesser-known Fiction and the Genre of the Novel
Contributions are invited to an edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 23 December 2018

Arthur Koestler, the man, has been in the forefront of academic interest in the past twenty years. In this period, three critical biographies have been published in English alone, another three in Hungarian, two in German, one in Spanish, and another one in French, in other words, on average, one volume every second year. While this is a luxurious situation few other authors can claim, the fact remains that although Koestler was a writer who wrote seven novels and a play, six volumes of autobiography, and more than twenty book-length works of non-fiction, the last book in English devoted to his oeuvre was published in 1984. In terms of academic articles and book chapters, the situation is hardly any better. In terms of his fiction, with the exception of a handful of recent texts (Steen 2009; Weßel 2014; Vernyik 2016a, 2016b; MacAdam 2017), all that has been published in English in the last thirty-five years is limited to discussions of his most successful novel, Darkness at Noon (1940).

Yet, the topics discussed in his other novels could not be any more up-to-date and relevant: terrorism, massive migration, espionage, rape trauma, war trauma, the crisis of faith, the role and responsibility of intellectuals in major international crises; propaganda and fake news are all hot issues, thematizing daily news, political debates, and everyday discussions alike. In other words, Koestler’s novels are just as topical as they were at the time of their publication, if not more so. Thus, even for this reason alone, they would warrant meticulous scholarly analyses and a reintroduction into public discourse.

Beyond this, however, these books are also poignant love stories, journeys into the human mind and soul, dramatic renditions of the central dilemmas of human existence. They are written in a unique and personal style and have captivating plots. In addition, they are inhabited by characters who are unique and intriguing, yet, at the same time have a reference and validity beyond their specific context. In other words, these books are not only topical and interesting, but also literary works of art.

The planned volume is thus looking for proposals of book chapters on Arthur Koestler’s fictional works excluding Darkness at Noon (1940), focusing either on specific novels or comparative treatments of topics, features or symbolism in a range of his literary texts. The aim of the volume is to situate Koestler’s fiction in the Euro-American tradition of the novel, paying attention to its subgenres, historical, political and geographical variations. Thus, prospective authors should focus on one, or ideally more, of the following issues, either in terms of Koestler’s fiction in general, or in relation to specific novels:

  • The Modernist, the Postmodernist and the Anti-modernist Novel
  • Realism(s) and the Novel
  • The Bildungsroman
  • The Philosophical Novel
  • The Campus (or Academic) Novel
  • The Psychological Novel
  • The Historical Novel
  • Classical and contemporary influences and parallelisms (e.g. Conrad, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Hamsun, Hemingway, Huxley, Kafka, Kisch, Maupassant, Melville, Németh, Orwell, Proust, Silone, Tolstoy, Waugh, Zola)
  • The Political Novel

Chapter proposals of approximately 350 words, along with a 150-word bio-note, should be sent to the editor, Zénó Vernyik (zeno.vernyik@tul.cz) by December 23, 2018. Decisions about proposals are sent by January 6, 2019.

(posted 7 December 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)


Reading Love with Murdoch: Philosophy and Literature in the Work of Iris Murdoch
A special issue of the journal SLI: Studies in the Literary Imagination, 2019
Deadline for abstracts: 3 September 2018

As Iris Murdoch notes in a journal entry in 1976, “[…] love is the only subject on which I am really an expert.” A special issue of the journal SLI: Studies in the Literary Imagination in 2019 will be dedicated to a commemoration of the centenary of her birth and the twentieth anniversary of her death. The issue invites a re-reading of Murdoch’s well-known philosophical works Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953), The Sovereignty of Good (1970), The Fire and the Sun (1977), Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992), and Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature (1997) vis-à-vis her 26 novels. It will focus specifically on an examination of the problem of love and its vicissitudes as depicted in Murdoch’s oeuvre.

For the neo-Platonic philosopher Murdoch, the highest love is in a sense impersonal, achievable only in the forms of art through an engaged attention, a selfless contemplation, and imagination. On the other hand, she admits that there is a significant disturbance caused by the egos involved in the day-to-day human relations. As she argues, “The individual is contingent, full of private stuff and accidental rubble, and must be accepted as such, not thought of as embryonic rational agent, or in terms of some social theory.” (“Morals and Politics”)

The papers selected will explore the ways in which Murdoch’s novels touch upon both aspects by engaging in a dialogue between the philosophical understanding of the selfless love and the “rubble” of the egotistic love. If in Murdoch’s philosophy love is a movement towards the absolute Good, love in her novels is invariably depicted as a series of moral choices towards the knowable goodness.

Please send an abstract (up to 500 words) and a current cv to artemis.r@unic.ac.cy by September 3, 2018. Notification of accepted proposals will be sent by the end of September. Complete papers (approx. 6000-8000 words) will be due by March 15, 2019. For further inquiries, please contact Dr Rossie Artemis at the email address above.

(posted 5 July 2018)


Lesbian Politics, Feminist Theory
A special issue of Feminist Theory journal
Deadline for articles: 14 September 2018

Ilana Eloit and Clare Hemmings, Department of Gender Studies, LSE

Our aim for this special issue proposal is to explore the importance of rethinking feminist politics and feminist theory from a lesbian perspective. While lesbian politics and experiences are often erased or euphemized in the history of feminism, we argue that this absence can be considered an instance of feminist “haunting,” which Avery Gordon has characterized as the “something-to-be-done”: an unresolved feminist contradiction which has not only impacted the way feminist theory is framed but also how feminist stories have been and are being told. However, as Gordon has noted, “the ghost demands your attention” (Gordon 2011, p. 3). We will be asking in this special issue: What happens when lesbian haunting is taken seriously as a starting point in feminist theory and histories of social movements? What changes (or stays the same) when we foreground lesbian theories within variously located histories of feminism, and what changes (or remains) within lesbian theory as well when we de-centre its white and Anglophone canon? What challenges does the (re)centring of lesbian traditions propose to the histories we tell, our canons of thought, or the dominance of certain theoretical strands, as well as what we think of as feminism?

When Monique Wittig, one of the founders of the French Women’s liberation movement, wrote in 1980 that lesbians were not women, she provided a dramatic counter-response to second-wave feminism’s approach to lesbianism according towhich “feminism [was] the theory and lesbianism the practice” (Atkinson inRichardson 1998, p. 282). Indeed, Wittig’s intellectual gesture disrupted such a feminist ordering of things by elevating lesbianism to the status of feminism’s theory. Despite this, while feminism’s roots in women’s social movements of the 1970s are consistently returned to in accounts of the past, there is no such parallel emphasis for lesbian theory. How did lesbians’ experiences then produce a new lesbian standpoint and how might this relate to arguments about inclusion or exclusion in the present? How does what we thinking of as ‘lesbian’ change when we think with and through the related and coextensive hauntings of trans*, black, decolonial, working class or other marginal threads within a theoretical or political canon? How do these interrelated hauntings challenge stable definitions of what a lesbian archive is and who its subject is? And lastly, what kinds of solidarities between feminist and lesbian movements and theories emerge when we think in complex ways about the multiple hauntings that are constitutive of that relationship?

We welcome articles of up to 8000 words or more experimental pieces (including poetry, photography, stories, polemic) of up to 5000 words from a wide range of disciplines or inter/disciplinary perspectives. The deadline for work is Friday 14th September 2018 and pieces should be sent to i.m.eloit@lse.ac.uk and c.hemmings@lse.ac.uk in the first instance. If you are planning to submit, please look at the Feminist Theory formatting guidelines to ensure your writing conforms to house style.

(posted 17 July 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)


Putting the Imaginative on the Map: Teaching Science Fiction and Fantasy in the EFL Classroom
An edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2018

Prof. (i.V.) Dr. Christian Ludwig, University of Education, Karlsruhe
Dr. Elizabeth Shipley, University of Education, Karlsruhe

There is a growing body of science fiction and fantasy literature in popular culture as well as an increasing interest in science fiction scholarship in various disciplines. However, teachers at all levels from primary school to university still seem to be reluctant to make use of science fiction and fantasy texts in the EFL classroom in spite of the fact that science fiction and fantasy texts offer students the opportunity to explore some of the major political, social, and environmental issues of the 20th and 21st centuries and to take a critical look at human history. The aim of this edited volume is, therefore, to offer an EFL methodology perspective on the topic at hand and shed light on the manifold opportunities this fascinating and multifaceted genre has to offer.

We invite contributions by scholars and practitioners alike adding to the academic discussions revolving around classic as well as contemporary science fiction and fantasy literature. All contributions should have a clear didactic focus, carving out the pedagogical potential of the genre and showcasing literary works and films that make a case for studies of established authors as well as new or neglected authors and texts. Possible topics to be discussed could, among others, include:

  • alternative history
  • world building
  • utopian and dystopian societies
  • gender
  • social and political criticism
  • environmental issues
  • first contact
  • artificial intelligence, the posthuman
  • the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic
  • mono- and multilingualism
  • military conflicts
  • religion
  • human rights
  • technology, digitalisation

In order to make this edited volume attractive to teachers, curriculum designers, and teacher trainers of English as a Foreign Language at all levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary), all chapters should clearly highlight the didactic potential of the genre and provide suggestions for using the text(s) in question in the EFL classroom, for example, including:

  • reader-response criticism
  • differentiated approaches to literary texts and films
  • creative writing approaches
  • cooperative and collaborative approaches to reading/viewing in the classroom
  • use of digital technologies
  • development of students‘ audio-visual competence
  • inter- and transcultural as well as global learning

Drawing on a broad understanding of literature, this volume aims at providing new perspectives on science fiction and fantasy literature and intends to demonstrate how the literature classroom can take advantage of these texts. Therefore, traditional text types, such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, picturebooks, and political speeches, are as welcome as new innovative forms of literature and media such as graphic novels, films, blog entries, and vodcasts.

Please send abstracts (no more than 200 words) for contributions to the editors by 15 September 2018. Contributions should be handed in by 15 June 2019.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:
Christian Ludwig (ludwig@ph-karlsruhe.de) & Elizabeth Shipley (shipley@ph-karlsruhe.de)

University of Education, Karlsruhe

(posted 30 July 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)