Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2016

Gender Cartographies: Histories, Texts and Cultures in the Long Eighteenth Century, 1660-1830: 6th Conference of the Aphra Behn Europe Society
University of Huelva, Spain, 5-7 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2016

The Aphra Behn Europe Society invites submissions of papers for its biennial conference, “Gender Cartographies: Histories, Texts & Cultures in the Long Eighteenth Century, 1660-1830”, to be held at the University of Huelva, Spain, from 5-7 October 2016. This conference encourages interdisciplinary approaches to the fields of historical writing andhistoriography, textual studies, and the analysis of culture(s) with especial emphasis onwomen’s writing of the long eighteenth century.
Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Imaginary or geographical spaces in the long eighteenth century
  • Women and the material: intersectionalities of text and object
  • Aphra Behn: her production and literary influence
  • Genre theory, gender, and the canon in the long eighteenth century
  • The culture of sensibility: gender inscriptions in the long eighteenth century
  • Representing the exotic
  • Spaces of intimacy: diaries, letters, memoirs
  • Bodies and sexualities in history, politics and fiction
  • The long eighteenth century now: traces of the past in contemporary literature and culture
  • Women’s journeys: travel narratives and histories of travel
  • Dramatic theory and practice: women as playwrights and critics
  • Performing gender on stage
  • Poetics in the long eighteenth century
  • Gendered approach to language and linguistics: dictionaries, encyclopaedias and translations

The following plenary speakers have already confirmed their participation:
Prof. Sarah Prescott (Aberystwyth University)
Dr. Gillian Wright (University of Birmingham)
We welcome proposals for papers (20 minutes) and roundtable discussions (60 minutes).
Contributors must submit the following information:
About the paper: Full title; A 200-word abstract; Technical requirements for the presentation
About the contributor(s): Full name; Postal address; Institutional affiliation
Abstracts of approximately 200 words must be sent as an email attachment (.doc; .docx; .rtf) before 1 May 2016 to: aphrabehn2016@gmail.com

(posted 25 January 2016)


Shakespeare’s Music in France in the 19th-21st centuries
University of Lorraine, Metz, France, 6-7 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 December 2015

The conference is co-organized by French scholars in English Studies, Comparative Studies and Musicology. We hope to attract a wide variety of participants across the disciplines: literary and cultural scholars, musicologists, musicians, translators/adaptors, artistic directors, artists.
The rediscovery of Shakespeare in the 19th century kindled interest for musical adaptations of his work in France and abroad. The fascination of French musicians for Shakespeare’s drama and poetry since the mid-nineteenth century has flourished into a rich legacy with such major contributors as Hector Berlioz, Charles Gounod, Reynaldo Hahn, Ambroise Thomas, Gabriel Fauré, Jules Massenet, Pascal Dusapin, as well as choreographers. As Julie Sanders points out (Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings), music adapted from Shakespeare also came to involve increasingly elaborate strategies of adaptation and appropriation as well as a wealth of musical genres that ranges from jazz to opera, music-hall, ballet, and incidental music.
We invite papers on all aspects of Shakespeare’s music in France, with a preference for proposals addressing the theoretical concerns which underlie the selective transfer of Shakespeare’s texts into French musical culture.
Possible threads for paper proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Productions of French music based on Shakespeare, in France and abroad
  • Significant contributions to Shakespeare’s musical legacy by minor French composers
  • Musical analysis of individual musical works based on or inspired by Shakespeare
  • The specificity of music adapted from or inspired by Shakespeare in the work of individual French composers
  • The specificity of music adapted from or inspired by Shakespeare in the French musical production of a specific period
  • Appropriations of Shakespeare in French choreography
  • Translations and reworkings of Shakespeare in French librettos and lyrics
  • The generic transformations of Shakespeare’s dramatic and poetic genres in French musical adaptations
    20th- and 21st afterlives (including incidental music, film music, new media) with emphasis on privileged modes of adaptation
  • Musical or choreographic reworkings of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Please send the title of your paper, a 250-300 word abstract in English or in French and a short biography (100 words) by 31st December 2015, to:
claire.bardelmann@univ-lorraine.fr
jean-philippe.heberle@univ-lorraine.fr
fredericsounac@aol.com

A selection of papers will be published in the proceedings of the conference.
Scientific committee
Claire Bardelmann, Senior Lecturer in English Studies, University of Lorraine
Jean-Christophe Branger, Professor in Musicology, University of Lorraine
Pierre Degott, Professor in English Studies, University of Lorraine
Vincent Giroud, Professor in Comparative Studies in Literature, University of Franche-Comté
Jean-Philippe Heberlé, Professor in English Studies, University of Lorraine
Alban Ramaut, Professor in Musicology, University of Saint-Etienne
Frédéric Sounac, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Studies in Literature, University Toulouse 2

(posted 9 October 2015)


Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River: “the many-tongued chorus”
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, 6-7 October 2016
Deadline for Proposals: 30 June 2016

Website: http://conferences.vanessaguignery.com
Contact: vanessaguignery@wanadoo.fr

This international conference seeks to offer new perspectives on Caryl Phillips’s fifth novel Crossing the River. Published in 1993 and the recipient of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1994, Crossing the River weaves together four narratives of forced displacement and throws light on the slave trade in Africa in the 18th century, the journey back to Africa of emancipated slaves from America in the 19th century, the ordeal of a former slave turned frontierswoman and defeated pioneer in the American Wild West and the alienation of an Englishwoman and a black GI in England during the Second Word War. Spanning three centuries and criss-crossing three continents, the novel raises questions relating to identity, belonging, uprootedness, responsibility, loss and nostalgia.

Contributors are invited to adopt a variety of approaches that will illuminate the main themes, narrative strategies, literary traditions, modes of writing, generic traits, structural principles and any other component of the novel. Proposals may focus on, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

  • Diasporic identities
  • Diasporic writing
  • Exile and unhomeliness (Bhabha)
  • The ethics of responsibility
  • Alternative histories of slavery and colonisation
  • Spatial and temporal crossings
  • Narrative fragmentation
  • Narrative empowerment
  • Intertextuality and literary ancestors
  • Generic hybridity
  • A polyphony of voices
  • Dialogism and pastiche
  • Individual and collective traumas
  • “rememory” (Toni Morrison)
  • “double-voicedness” (Gates) and double consciousness (Du Bois)

Papers will be delivered in French and English. They will be peer-reviewed for publication in the scholarly journal CYCNOS, a publication of the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Récits Cultures Et Sociétés of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Contributors are invited to send a provisional title as soon as possible, and then an abstract in French or English (300 words) along with a short biography (200 words) to Vanessa Guignery vanessaguignery@wanadoo.fr Christian Gutleben Christian.Gutleben@unice.fr and Catherine Delesalle-Nancey catherine.delesalle@univ-lyon3.fr by 30 June 2016.

Scientific and organising committee:
Vanessa Guignery, ENS de Lyon – IUF
Christian Gutleben, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
Catherine Delesalle-Nancey, University of Lyon 3

(posted 11 April 2016)


1916: response, recrimination, rejection, redemption? 10th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Irish Studies Network
Oulu, Finland, 7-8 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2016

‘We see that wonder in your eye. We’ll meet again, we’ll part once more.
The spot I’ll seek if the hour you’ll find.’

Finland’s role in the Easter Rising is one of the more unknown aspects of that bloody week in the GPO and elsewhere. One of the rebels was a Finn. He was a sailor whose name was later recorded in Kilmainham Gaol as Tony Makapaltis, a rather odd name for a Finn but probably a mishearing of Antti (Toni) Mäkipelto. He had knocked on the window of the GPO with his Swedish matelot friend (name unrecorded) and they asked if they could come in and fight the British. Following the poor handling of a rifle Tony was relegated to filling fruit tins at the back of the main post office hall with explosives and pieces of metal, a nonetheless important task; this was a small struggling nation’s small contribution to another small struggling nation. There were others too, including many British-born Irish like the fabled Johnny ‘Blimey’ O’Connor a Cockney electrician, as well as men and women from Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow; a truly international revolution. Karl Radek famously and eloquently described the Easter Rising as ‘the end of a song … a putsch the English government could easily manage’ (Berner Tagewacht, 9th May 1916, translation). Diarmaid Ferriter reminds us of F. X. Martin’s observation that 1916 ‘was imaginatively planned with artistic vision and with exceptional military incompetence. The revolt was staged consciously as a drama’ (in Ferriter, A Nation and not a Rabble, 2015: 150). The Irish narrative of the nation sees it as a baptism of fire, the blood sacrifice necessary for the birth of the modern nation. But maybe it was not at all the event it has been bloated into; did not the real achievement come with the War of Independence 1919-21 with the IRA representing the popular will of the majority of people in Ireland? Was the Rising a disaster doomed to failure even before it had begun; a pointless, vainglorious act of selfishness which served merely to derail the political processes that were then underway? Was Easter 1916 really necessary when the 1912 Third Home Rule Bill was ready and waiting in Westminster? And what of the Catholic church’s take on the rising? Pearse posited it as a blood sacrifice, a martyrdom for Ireland, but leading Jesuit theologian Fr. Seamus Murphy has recently attacked it, saying the Rising “might masquerade in Catholic devotional dress, but its meaning, the master who it served, was not the Christian God” (Guardian, 26.03.16). Politically, did the Rising further alienate and entrench the Unionists of Ireland, creating the groundwork for a Home Rule Ulster in a partitioned Ireland, and leading to eighty years of conflict, slaughter and disharmony? If 1916 gave birth to the runt that is amputated, partitioned Ireland, then 1916 may represent political and social failure. The Ireland that was created in the 26 counties after 1921 was, with all its faults, an object of both fierce loyalty and bitter betrayal, inspiring unfulfilled passion and devotion to a largely unwarranted extent.

Most of the British casualties in the Rising were futilely sustained at Mount Street Bridge in Ballsbridge. Remarkable recent comments by leading Sinn Féin politician Mitchel McLaughlin advocate the need to recognise the British victims of the Easter Rising: ‘I equally acknowledge the need to remember the larger numbers of British army personnel, police and civilians who were also killed that week’ (Belfast Telegraph, 15 March 2016). This is surely a statement which challenges the traditionally entrenched status quo and further endorses the recently promoted and championed archipelagisation of the histories of Britain and Ireland and their deeply embedded interrelationship. Perhaps the time has come to finally confront and abandon Lloyd George’s old trope: ‘There is a fatality which pursues the relations between the two countries and makes them eternally at cross purposes’ (Hansard, HC Deb 22 December 1919 vol. 123, 1187). We would therefore welcome contributions which seek to challenge the accepted mores and traditional interpretations of the Rising, as well as its socio-political and historical consequences. Suggested topics may include but are not limited to the following: narratives of the nation, definitions of national identity, anti-Englishness, and the whole plethora of the varied responses to the uprising both in Ireland and further afield. The conference organising committee will also consider paper proposals on any aspect of Irish Studies.

Abstracts should be max 350 words for presentations of twenty minutes. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 May 2016 and they should be sent to John Braidwood (john.braidwood@oulu.fi). A reply regarding acceptance will be sent within three weeks after the deadline for submission. Abstracts should be succinct and pithy and not merely an extract from the paper itself. Author information should be provided on a separate sheet, including name, affiliation, contact details, title of paper and an author’s bio of no more than 100 words. A selection of papers will be published in book form later.

The dates of the Oulu conference are Friday 07-Saturday 08 October. Arrival 6 October, departure 9 October, as it is two full days; 3 nights. The venue is here http://lasaretti.com/en/, a very pleasant self-contained conference centre/hotel. The whole conference will happen there and it’s an easy ten minute walk to the city centre. Bed and breakfast is 97.90 Euros/night with access to swimming pool, sauna and gym. Participants are advised to stay at Lasaretti. The conference fee will be around 200 Euros, to include 2 x lunch, 2 x coffee/day and sandwiches/snacks x 2/day as well as the conference dinner at http://www.sokerijussi.net/en_index.php. The conference is timed to coincide with Oulu’s famous Irish Festival, now in its eleventh year. See last year’s details here http://www.irkku.fi/?lang=en.

While I am setting up the website and dedicated email address you can contact me at john.braidwood@oulu.fi. Please use the exact subject line of NISN Oulu conference.

(posted 11 April 2016)


Dreaming Asleep, Dreaming Awake
Warsaw, Poland, 7-8 October 2016
New extended deadline for proposals: 10 August 2016

Organiser: Interdisciplinary Research Foundation
Conference website: http://dreams.irf-network.org
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Massimo Schinco, International Association for the Study of Dreams

The notion of dreams and beliefs about them differ considerably across cultures. In certain societies, dreams are generally considered to be unreal figments irrelevant to the important concerns of daily life. In other cultures people treat dreams as important sources of information about the future, the spiritual world or oneself. In some, dreams are considered to be a space for action like waking life, or a means for communication with other people or with the supernatural.

According to Waud H. Kracke, how dreams are dealt within different cultures may be examined from four perspectives: beliefs people hold about the nature of dreaming; conventional systems by which people interpret particular dreams; the social context in which dreams are shared (or not shared) and discussed; and the ways in which dreams are used in practice, especially in curing. In addition, dreams can be interpreted psychodynamically, as expressing the dreamer’s inner wishes, fears and conflicts. Furthermore, scholars and clinicians have refined different forms of dreamworking, especially in groups, in order to appreciate the benefits that the attention to dreams may bring about in the life of individuals and communities.

Dreaming Asleep, Dreaming Awake International Conference aims to spark new conversations about dreams and and their role(s) in cultural, social and personal contexts.
Papers are invited on topics related, but not limited, to:

  • theories of dreaming
  • cultural differences in dreams
  • social embeddedness of dreams
  • dream symbolism
  • interpretation of dreams
  • therapeutic use of dreams
  • dreams and creativity

The conference will bring together scholars from different fields including philosophy, theology, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, history, art, literature, linguistics, etc
The language of the conference is English.
Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 August 2016 (new extended deadline) to dreams@irf-network.org
Download paper proposal form.
Papers presented at the conference will be published in a collected volume.

Registration Fee
Full registration fee: 150 €
Student registration fee: 115 €

(posted 2 May 2016, updated 24 July 2016)


In and outside the frame
University of Pardubice, Czech Republic, 13-14 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 16 June 2016

The Department of English and American Studies, at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Pardubice, Czech Republic is pleased to announce In and outside the frame, its 13th International Cultural Studies Conference & 2nd International Conference on Linguistics and Teaching/Learning English which will take place on 13-14 October 2016.

Papers which employ an interdisciplinary approach are encouraged along with any proposals dealing with the literature or other cultural artifacts of Anglophone nations or communities. Plenary sessions on topics in English linguistics and the teaching / learning of English will also take place.

Cultural studies conference papers may be extended into articles and submitted to the peer-reviewed American and British Studies Annual (ABSA), which has been listed since 2010 in the Czech National Index of Peer-reviewed Academic Periodicals and since 2012 in SCOPUS, ERIH Plus as well as in other academic databases.

The deadline for proposals is 16 June 2016. More information on the conference including the submission form for papers can be found at the conference website http://www.upce.cz/ff/kaa/konference/2016.html

(posted 14 April 2016)


British Theatre in the 21st Century : New texts, New stages, New identities, New worlds
La Sorbonne, Paris, 13-15 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 20 May 2016

A conference organised by Paris-Sorbonne (VALE EA 4085), Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Prismes EA 4398), Royal Holloway (University of London).

Britain in the twenty-first century has seen repeated terrorist attacks, a massive financial collapse, involvement in two controversial wars, the phone-hacking scandal, horrific revelations of systematic child sexual abuse, and continued uncertainty about its relationship to Europe and to the world. On the other hand, this has been the century of gay marriage, Harry Potter, and the London Olympics, all signs of continuing, even growing cultural confidence and social ease.

In the theatre, this has not been an era dominated by a single new movement; instead the last sixteen years have seen a proliferation of theatre forms, from immersive and site-specific theatre to verbatim and documentary drama, from one-to-one performances to a new interest in what, in the UK, are perceived to be European directing and design practices. New work has dominated the repertoire to a level unknown since the nineteenth century. Meanwhile, the National Theatre has radically changed its policy, in part responding to the founding of the National Theatres of Scotland and Wales while numerous theatres compete to discover and develop new and innovative plays and playwrights, companies and directors.

In all these forms and forums, the theatre has reflected – and reflected on – the complicated cultural faultlines that mark Britain in the 21st century, restlessly seeking to find new theatrical and dramaturgical shapes and experiences in which to capture and interrogate our world.

This conference aims to map out the diversity of British theatre in the new century, offering new interpretations of its key writers, directors, companies and productions, with a particular emphasis on the continual evolution of the new play and its relationship to its audiences.

Issues to be discussed will include :

  • Innovations in dramaturgical form and language
  • New engagements with the canon
  • Playwriting and devising
  • Challenges to the new play in theatrical production
  • British identity/identities
  • Attitudes to Europe
  • Britain and globalization
  • The influence of European theatres

Papers on other topics welcome.

Please send abstract and short bio by May 20th to:

(posted 8 April 2016)


New Approaches to Studying Crime Narratives
University of Tampere, Finland, 14 October  2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2016

We invite proposals for paper presentations on new approaches to studying crime narratives. We want to encourage participants to introduce and discuss new methodological and theoretical perspectives on how to study literary, televisual and filmic crime narratives, and also to consider recent developments in the field of crime writing itself. The symposium understands crime narratives in a wide sense, as ranging from detective fiction, spy stories, and thrillers to true crime. The symposium also welcomes proposals focusing on crime narratives from various language areas and cultural spheres. We would like to welcome proposals which address the following topics (however, the list is by no means exhaustive):

  • setting, space and spatiality
  • reconsidering the postcolonial and imperial turns
  • beyond the ethnic boom
  • the crossroads between crime studies and disability studies
  • studies on crime and affect
  • crime fiction and brutality
  • crime fiction and translation
  • crime and transmedia storytelling
  • new generic directions
  • crime narrative, history and memory
  • crime and tourism
  • Nordic noir
  • music in crime narratives

The Symposium’s keynote speaker: Dr Christiana Gregoriou, English Language, University of Leeds, UK.

Participants may contribute with a presentation (20 min + discussion).
Please submit your proposal (max 300 words) and a short biographical statement (including name, email address, institutional affiliation) to maarit.piipponen@uta.fi and tiina.mantymaki@uva.fi as attachments in rtf or doc format by May 31, 2016. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by June 17th, 2016. Participants should register for the symposium before August 22, 2016. The language of the symposium is English.
There is no conference fee, and participants are expected to cover all costs for travel, accommodation and subsistence themselves.

After the conference authors of some selected papers will be invited to take part in a book to be published by an international publishing house.

Organisers:

  • Dr Maarit Piipponen, Degree Programme in English Language, Literature and Translation, University of Tampere, Finland
  • Dr Tiina Mäntymäki, English Studies, University of Vaasa, Finland

(posted 22 March 2016)


The Senses in Motion: Translating the Cinematic Text
Université Sorbonne nouvelle, France, 14-15 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 March 2016

Center for Research in Translation and  Transcultural Communication English/French – French/English (Université Sorbonne nouvelle) Palimpsestes 30 / TRACT Conference 14-15 October 2016It is impossible to envisage audiovisual translation without keeping in mind the senses: “the translator writes for sight and sound, that is to say for a speaker and a listener, not for a reader”. (T. Le Nouvel). Dialogue is meant for performance and representation, whether in Original Version, or in the various kinds of Translated Versions that may be produced (subtitling, dubbing, voice-over, audiodescription or subtitling for the hearing impaired, etc.). This pragmatic purpose leads to yet another dimension, that of embodiment in its primary meaning: the fleshing out of a character by an actor, which is paramount in dubbing. In this, the main issue is the reproduction for a foreign audience of the workings of synchronisation, the original synchresis:

It is synchresis that allows dubbing, post-synchronisation and sound effects, and gives these operations such enormous scope. Thanks to synchresis, there are dozens of possible or admissible voices for a single onscreen body and face. (M. Chion)

Adaptation is carried out to help express an author’s voice but also for performance by an actor, who transfers verbal elements into voice and inscribes them in the fabric of the movie. This results in a dichotomy for the foreign viewer: “Dubbing is what makes voices and bodies simultaneously present and absent – the voice of the dubber and the body of the actor are present onscreen while the dubber’s body and the actor’s voice have disappeared” (F. Berthet). The cinematic text is conveyed both by body language and voice. The audiovisual translator works for an author but the voice actor will be the one conveying the target text to its final audience : “even though a voice may be inscribed in diegesis, even though it is visible onscreen thanks to the face using it to speak to another character, it comes out of the film and speaks directly to the viewer.” (D. Sipière). This results in a double utterance.

Hence, the viewer’s active cooperation is necessary for the reception of a translated film. He/she will be sensitive to authenticity in the rendering of dialogue, whether in dubbbing or in the original sound/subtitle dyad. Such authenticity is paramount in shaping the audience’s appraisal of the film’s quality (L. Perez-González) The conjunction of aesthetic and economic consequences makes the translation of sensory impressions more than a hermeneutic question.

In other forms of audiovisual translation, the question of the senses is also important: subtitling exerts extra pressure on the eye as the viewer is required to read a text and view pictures simultaneously, which entails a specific relation to the images:

The audiovisual translator already faces a temporal constraint at the time of writing, as his work must be inscribed in a flux of pre-existing images whose sequence he is absolutely unable to alter. (R. Lambrechts)

The translator is placed in the midst of a complex chain that ranges from the writing of a text in another language to its reception in the movie theatre and includes multiple partners liable to have an impact on the sensory dimension of the translated film: the author, the dubbing director, the actors, and the audience.

Contributions on audiovisual translation and its various techniques are invited on the following topics amongst others:

• the specificity of orality in film writing and sound production
• the constraints of sound/image synchronization in a dubbed version and its consequences on the cinematic text.
• managing and transfering the original vocal landscape (rhythm, sounds)
• translating the non-vocal and/or non-verbal meaning on screen
• transfering onomatopoeia, song(s)
• sensory specificities of a musical film translation
• comparing sensory constraints for the spectator of a dubbed vs subtitled version
• the interaction between vision and sound in subtitling
• the specifics of subtitling for the hearing impaired in compensating for auditory deficiencies and audio-description in compensating for visual impairment
• the relationship between the original image and its audio description for the visually impaired
• comparison between film sub-titling and sur-titling at the theatre or the opera
• translating “on the edge of meaning” : interjecting, cursing, etc.

Finally, papers/articles might also address another form of translation, intralinguistic, adapting literary texts for the screen: how does a film transcribe visually and sonically for the viewer what the initial author created in written form for the reader?
Proposals (a half page in English or in French) plus a short CV should be sent, by 31 March 2016 at the latest to Frédérique Brisset (frederique.brisset@univ-lille3.fr) and Bruno Poncharal (bruno.poncharal@orange.fr).
http://www.univ-paris3.fr/activites-scientifiques-tract-69438.kjsp?RH=1320253174947

(posted 29 January 2016)


Climates : what’s the weather like in Anglophone literature & arts
Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris 3,  France, 14-15 October 2016
Deadline for poposals: 31 March 2016

Venue:   Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris 3, 5 rue de l’Ecole-de-Médecine, 75006 Paris

“Yes, the newspapers were right : snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves…» (J. Joyce, “The Dead”). Rain or shine, wind or snow in a literary text or a painting are enough to affect our perception of the world, by what one might call a climatic affect (see a phrase like “cold weather affected crops”), an “emotion” (J. Darras, “the emotion of water”), a sense of what the weather has to report, at a given moment of time. A work of art does not only reflect a given epoch, or a Zeitgeist, it affects it: « Where, if not from the Impressionists, do we get those wonderful brown fogs that come creeping down our streets, blurring the gas-lamps and changing the houses into monstrous shadows? […] At present, people see fogs, not because there are fogs, but because poets and painters taught them the mysterious loveliness of such effects », famously declares Vivian in Oscar Wilde’s essay “The Decay of Lying” (Intentions, 1891), in what sounds like an aesthetic manifesto.

« It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather ; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm”, Samuel Johnson writes in The Idler (24 June 1758). Alexandra Harris’s recent book, Weatherland, highlights the fact that, in a country famed for being “obsessed with the weather”, can be traced and recorded a history of those climatic affects which are related to, and conveyed by artistic modes of representation. Works of art indeed provide weather modes which influence our perception of landscape and the world. A tempest-tossed, wrecked ship, from Shakespeare to Dickens (via Defoe), Wuthering Heights, thunder and lightning pealing in the Swiss Alps in English romantic poetry or Frankenstein, snow or rain falling over Wessex in Thomas Hardy’s novels or poems, Constable’s Cloud Studies in the 1820s, J.M.W.Turner’s gorgeous sunsets or storm-pieces in the 1840s, calms and typhoons in Joseph Conrad’s sea stories, the monsoon in R. Kipling and post-colonial texts, the Victorian fog over London in Dickens, Conan Doyle or R.L. Stevenson, are so many modes imprinting their effects and affects into our sensitive perception. John Ruskin’s essay “The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century” (1884) characterizes the Victorian era, which introduces industrial pollution into the pastoral landscape, as marking a shift from one mode of wind and clouds to another (“This wind is the plague-wind of the eighth decade of years in the nineteenth century”), may constitute a landmark for us to grasp those problems which plague and challenge our own time: see contemporary artists like Mark Leonard, whose paintings are related to, and echo Constable’s (Yale Center for British Art, 2013), as do Marina Abramovic’s Cloud with its shadow (2015), or Alison Moffett’s The Impossibility of Cloud (2014).

Ruskin’s fears were justified. Today, when our relationship with nature is declined along the paradigm of “natural catastrophes”, an “elemental philosophy” seems to inform our relation with the world and what the weather is like: “With some patience, fortune, and persistence, we might be able to rediscover and recover a more lasting connection with the elemental world and in the process find our place — reside in our own element or elements — within the bewildered and bewildering beauty everywhere around us” (David Macauley, Elemental Philosophy, 2010).

Abstracts (15 lines at most) should be sent by 31 March 2016 to the two co-convenors: Catherine Lanone (Paris 3) catherine.lanone@univ-paris3.fr and Jean-Pierre Naugrette (Paris 3) jeanpierrenaugrette@gmail.com

(posted 24 March 2016)


Writing herself in the World:  Women’s autobiography and relationship to the world
University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, France, 14-15 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2016

Research group FAAAM

“Our sweetest existence is both relative and collective, and our true self does not reside solely within us,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques. If autobiography is indeed the reflective act of a remembering self, this self is never an isolated subject and the world is never only a mere stage set for reminiscing. Sociologist Maurice Halbwachs wrote, “we never remember alone.” Are not the interior and the exterior worlds simply two faces of the same reality? Annie Ernaux, who borrowed Rousseau’s phrase in her Journal du dehors/ Exteriors, introduces herself as “crossed by people and their existence like a whore,” since her relationship to the world is not only an objective of her mind, but a physical and erotic link too. Relying on Nancy Chodorov’s argument that feminine personality tended to define itself in relation and connection to other people more than masculine personality did, Mary Mason (1980) stressed that female identity was grounded in relationship and produced textual representations that contrasted with masculine self-representations. In her seminal essay, “Women’ Autobiographical Selves, Theory and Practice”,  Susan Stanford Friedman, who posited that women had more flexible ego boundaries, laid emphasis on women’s relationality and community, as demonstrated by African American female autobiographies.
In How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves (1999), Paul John Eakin encourages us to demystify the self-referential narrative seen as autodiegetic, where the first person subject would first and foremost refer to itself. Eakin states that the first person of autobiography is truly plural in its origins and subsequent formation. He proposes the terms “relational self” and “relational life,” arguing that all identity is relational and all self-writing is at the crossroads of biography and autobiography, which positions the narrating subject in a larger context—that of the family, the community and the ethnic group. A writing of inwardness may also be perceived as an inscription of otherness and of “formerness.” To write is not only to become an individual, but also to recognize the presence of others in the making of the self.
Autobiography, which is traditionally associated with a certain subjective idealism, is not expected to fully engage with the world, while memoirs, a genre preferred by Anglo Saxon women, position the writing subjects in a larger environment. As Nancy Miller insisted, memoirs do not draw a clear line between the public and the private since emphasizing the role of the outside world amounts to some socio-political, cultural or ethical risk. It means inhabiting and reappropriating the public space, becoming visible, sharing one’s experience and offering a reflection on history and society.  For Helen M. Buss, memoirs are not only representations of women’s personal lives but also of their desire to repossess important parts of our culture, in which women’s stories have not mattered.
From this perspective, the autobiographical project is akin to sociology or history, which it completes without replacing. What historical value  can we attribute to autobiography? What is the relation between autobiography and cultural memory? Between autobiography and counter-memory? Autobiography and photography?
Beyond the traditional (written) forms of autobiographical narrative, we are interested in other, more contemporary, forms of autobiographical projects.

Several themes may be explored:

  1. The autobiographical narrative as testimony/reappropriation/intervention: how do women participate as witnesses of their time? What narrative strategies do they use to combine/separate/mix individual and collective discourses, private and public discourses? How do women write narratives of historical events or of “conditions of being”? Specific genres such as war stories or slave narratives could be studied.
  2. Autobiography and ‘postmemory’ (Hirsch): when second or third generations recount the trauma (war, exile, decolonization, poverty) endured by previous generations in diasporic memoirs, or working class memoirs (Jeanette Winterson, Carolyn Steedman).
  3. The places of memory: what is the relation of women’s autobiography to space-time? How is the place of memory represented (cf the garden world of Jamaica Kincaid in My Garden (Book))?  What role does it play in the construction of the narrative identity in narratives of exile and of migration, such as ethnic culinary memoirs (Myriam’s Kitchen)? How are the conditions of being part of several worlds and of the postcolonial self expressed?
  4. Autobiography in the world’s web:  the Self in the virtual world. Do on-line journals increase our connectedness to the world or do they leave us more isolated?
  5. Autobiography and the image of (the self in the) world: the referentiality of images tested against writing (photographs inserted into the autobiographical text as visual transmission / mediation between the self and the world, graphic memoirs, etc…); the  intersection between personal, political and photographic autobiographies (Jo Spence)

Papers will be given in English (preferred language) or French
200-400 word abstracts (and short bios) to be sent by June 15th 2016 to the co-organizers:
Claire Bazin cbaz1@wanadoo.fr  and Corinne Bigot corinne.bigot@wanadoo.fr

(posted 2 June 2016)


Mythology and Folklore
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Bucharest, Romania, 15-16 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2016

The series of specialized conferences of mythology and folklore continues in Bucharest this year as well, under the patronage of The Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, where we genuinely await your attendance. We propose generous themes which include:

  • Ancient mythology and its reverberations in modernity
  • folklore and authored literature
  • the actuality of myths

The abstracts containing the titles of the presentations, written in English (max. 200 words), followed by 5 keywords, of a bionote of approx. 7-8 lines and by an email address will be sent no later than October 1st 2016 to the email address of the conference: mythology.folklore16@gmail.com.
The languages of the conference are: Romanian, English and French.
If approved by the scientific committee, you will be notified no later than October 5th.
In extenso papers (max. 10 p.) will be sent to the email address of the scientific board until July 1st 2017. These will be published in the conference volume.

The participation fees are the following:

  • professors, associate professors, CSI, CSII: 20 euro
  • lecturers, assistants, CSIII, research assistants, PhD holders, pre-university teachers: 15 euro
  • M.A. students and PhD students: 10 euro

The information concerning the payment of participation taxes, as well as the board of the scientific committee will be communicated in the second call for papers which will be sent after September 25th 2016.

The style sheet will be communicated to the participants after October 16th 2016.

Organizing committee:

  • President: Lector univ. dr. Maria-Luiza DUMITRU OANCEA
  • Vice-president: Prof. univ. dr. Ramona MIHĂILĂ

Programme administrators:

  • Prof. univ dr. Ana-Cristina HALICHIAS, Prof. univ. dr. habil. Ileana MIHĂILĂ
  • Secretaries: Drd. Nicolae-Andrei POPA, Dr. Mihai SALVAN

(posted 20 June 2016)


Social Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing. The SIforAGE International Conference: Envisioning a New World
Barcelona, Spain, 19-21 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2016

The SIforAGE Project – Social Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing for Sustainable Economic Growth (7th Framework Programme of the European Commission) – has focused mainly on strategies for: healthier ageing; societal participation and inequalities; policy-making for ageing communities; services and new technologies for elderly people; social innovation programmes; decision-making, training, and ethics; the presentation and distribution of innovative, ageing-related products, measuring social impact of research on ageing; service solutions for elderly people; and cultural and literary creativity as innovation for social change.

The SIforAGE research results, together with the findings of researchers presenting papers at the Conference, will provide a vision of the nature of society and the quality of life to be expected in the near future – a new world, a new reality – at a time when global, generational imbalances are on the brink of further aggravation.

The Conference convenors welcome proposals for paper and poster presentations on these and related topics. Abstracts (max. 300 words), together with a short bio (max. 200 words), should be sent as email attachments to conference@siforage.eu by 30th April 2016.
Please see the SIforAGE International Conference website for details.
The SIforAGE website: http://www.siforage.eu

(posted 9 November 2015, updated 16 April 2016)


English-speaking towns/cities: memoirs and narratives
Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France, 20-21 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2016

An international conference organized by CIEREC EA 3068

Guest speakers:
Joan Beal, University of Sheffield, England
Jane Stuart-Smith, University of Glasgow, Scotland

The focus of this conference is the linguistic manifestations of urban identities in the English-speaking world and the various changes they have undergone. The aim is to study the linguistic features typically associated with towns/cities and the artistic representations of urban language.

Submissions may consider traditional and/or modern manifestations of language and language usage in specific urban areas. The concepts of linguistic identity and of the linguistic imaginary may also be explored, particularly in the way that they define the relations of individuals with their languages/varieties and their linguistic communities. Synchronic and diachronic perspectives are welcome, across all fields of linguistics.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of areas that may be addressed:

      • How do towns/cities speak? How do towns/cities sound?
      • How can the plurality and diversity of towns/cities be heard? How can individuals be heard in towns/cities?
      • How do the language practices of urban areas connect speakers locally? How do these practices connect speakers to other times or places (be they spatial, temporal, imaginary, constructed or reconstructed)?
      • What contact phenomena best define towns/cities today/at some point in the past?
      • What artistic signs bear testimony to the linguistic features of urban areas? Presentations may address the representations of towns/cities in literature/films/plays/on television/in urban art and design, etc. They may explore how these representations allow for a construction or reconstruction of urban identity, and how they bear witness to a change in the “narratives” and in the imaginary of towns/cities.

Each talk will be 30 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Anonymous abstracts (300 words maximum), along with a separate document containing the author’s name and affiliation, should be sent, before 30 April 2016, to the following e-mail address: olivier.glain@univ-st-etienne.fr
Deadline for abstracts: 30 April, 2016
Notifications of acceptance: 30 June, 2016

Contact: Olivier Glain : olivier.glain@univ-st-etienne.fr
Language of the conference: English
The conference proceedings will be published (1 volume)

Scientific committee: Joan Beal (University of Sheffield), Anne Béchard-Léauté (Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne), Rémi Digonnet (Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne), Olivier Glain (Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne), Vincent Hugou (Université François Rabelais de Tours); Manuel Jobert (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3), Sylvain Navarro (Université Paris 7 Paris Diderot), Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow), Stephan Wilhelm (Université de Bourgogne), Gabriela Zapletalova (University of Ostrava)

(posted 23 January 2016)


Controversy in Linguistics and Language Studies: Linguistics Beyond And Within 2016
Lublin, Poland, 20-21 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2016

linguistics-beyond-and-withinBuilding on the success of the previous conferences, the Institute of English Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, is organising the 4th meeting of Linguistics Beyond And Within – International Linguistics Conference in Lublin. The conference, to be held on 20-21 October 2016, will be hosted by the Department of Applied Linguistics, the Department of Theoretical Linguistics, the Department of Contrastive English-Polish Studies and the Department of Celtic Studies. This year the talks will be guided by the following leitmotif: Controversy in Linguistics and Language Studies.

As previously, we would like to invite scholars with innovative approaches to linguistics viewed from a range of intra- and interdisciplinary perspectives. We wish to encourage all linguists representing various theoretical models and practical applications to present their contributions during both oral and poster sessions in the following research areas:

theoretical linguistics

  • phonetics & phonology
  • morphology
  • semantics
  • syntax

corpus studies

applied linguistics

  • language teaching & language acquisition
  • pragmatics
  • discourse analysis
  • translation studies

socio- and psycholinguistics

Each paper presentation in an oral session will be scheduled for a 20-minute talk followed by a 10-minute discussion. Poster sessions will last about 45 minutes when the authors are required to be present and ready to answer questions from participants passing by. The poster format is 100x70cm (vertical orientation). The language of the conference is English.

Abstracts of no more than 400 words (including references) should be sent by 30th June 2016 in .doc format to our e-mail address: lingbaw@gmail.com. It is expected that any paper presented at LingBaW 2016 is original and has not been previously presented or published.
In the body of the email, please include the following information: title of paper, name of author, scientific degree, affiliation, research area (one from the abovementioned) and form of presentation (speech / poster).
Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please do not put your name on the abstract itself.
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15th August.

Call for workshop proposals
The upcoming edition of the LingBaW Conference will also host two thematic workshops up to a limit of ten papers plus one slot for an introductory paper by workshop convenors.
The deadline for the submission of workshop proposals is 31st May 2016.
Each workshop proposal must include the title, a 500-word abstract that summarizes the theme and goals of the workshop and the names, affiliations, and contact details of the workshop organizers. The proposal should also contain a list of five prospective participants. It should also indicate any special requirements you might have in terms of equipment.
Workshop organizers are responsible for advertising the workshop, organizing the reviewing process, and running the workshop.
Conference fee: The conference fee is 300 PLN (€80) and includes conference materials, reception, refreshments and publication of the proceedings.
Proceedings: The preliminary deadline for submission of completed papers is 31st January 2017.

Conference website: http://lingbaw.webclass.co/

Contact: lingbaw@gmail.com

(posted 18 March 2016)


Postcolonialism, Postcommunism and Postmodernism
Krakow, Poland, 20-21 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 10 August 2016

Website: http://postpostpost.ug.edu.pl
Organizers: Professor Wojciech Owczarski – University of Gdansk (Poland), Professor Paulo Endo – University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
InMind Support
Venue: The Campanile Krakow Hotel, Sw. Tomasza Street No. 34, Krakow
Deadline for proposals: 10 August 2016
Contact: wowczarski1@tlen.pl and postpostpost@tlen.pl

In our postmodern world there are a lot of questions that should be re-considered and re-defined. What does it mean to fight against colonialism and racism in the world of migration crisis and xenophobic attitudes towards minorities? What does it mean to be a postcommunist country in the face of the common nostalgia for order and rules? How is it possible to have a national identity being aware of the relative character of every national feature?

We want to examine the notions of postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism as thoroughly as possible, from many perspectives and in variable aspects: in politics, society, psychology, culture, and many more. We also want to devote considerable attention to how these phenomena are represented in artistic practices: in literature, film, theatre or visual arts.

We invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: history, politics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, economics, law, literary criticism, theatre studies, film studies, fine arts, memory studies, migration studies, consciousness studies, dream studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, cognitive sciences et al.

Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses.

We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers, as well as doctoral students and undergraduate students. We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.

We hope that due to its interdisciplinary nature, the conference will bring many interesting observations on and discussions about postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism.

Our repertoire of suggested topics includes but is not restricted to

I. Postcolonialism

  • postcolonial politics
  • postcolonial philosophy
  • postcolonial societies
  • history of (post)colonialism
  • postcolonialism and orientalism
  • postcolonialsim and Islampophobia
  • postcolonialism and anti-Semitism
  • postcolonialism and terrorism
  • postcolonialism and racism
  • postcolonialism and political correctness
  • postcolonialism and cosmopolitism
  • postcolonilism and religion

II. Postcommunism

  • postcommunism and democracy
  • postcommunism and liberalism
  • postcommunism and capitalism
  • nostalgia for communism
  • communism and conformism
  • postcommunism and revolution
  • postcommunist countries in the European Union
  • postcommunist generations

III. Postmodernism

  • modernism and postmodernism
  • postmodern philosophy
  • postmodern psychology
  • postmodern identity
  • postmodern lifestyle
  • postmodernism and nationalism
  • postmodernism and human rights
  • postmodernism and authority

IV. Literature and the Arts

  • postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism in literature
  • postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism in film
  • postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism in theatre
  • postcolonialism, postcommunism and postmodernism in fine arts
  • postcolonial narratives
  • postcommunist memoirs
  • postmodern conventions

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, by 10 August 2016 both to prof. Wojciech Owczarski: wowczarski1@tlen.pl and postpostpost@tlen.pl
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 August 2016. The conference language is English.

For further details please visit our website http://postpostpost.ug.edu.pl

(posted 9 April 2016)


Bare Lives: Dispossession and Exposure in 20th and 21st Centuries British Literature and Visual Arts: Annual Conference of SEAC
University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3-EMMA, France, 21-22 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 25 June 2016

Annual Conference of the Société d’Études Anglaises Contemporaines (SEAC)
Keynote speaker: Stephen Ross (University of Victoria, BC, Canada)

In the wake of the 2014 autumn conference of the SEAC (“State of Britain”) and building up on the findings of the 2015 LOL conference and particularly its developments on satire, we aim to extend our reflections on British modernist and contemporary literature and arts, addressing their aesthetics, ethics and politics.
Interrogating bare lives in terms of dispossession and exposure is a way to position our debate at the crossroads of various critical and theoretical approaches. “Bare lives” may well be taken as referring to Giorgio Agamben’s concept of bare life and can orientate our research towards modes of presentation and representation of biopolitics in contemporary production, as apparent in the works of such artists as Jeremy Deller and Mark Wallinger or such novelists as Jon McGregor. The theme of the conference can also be understood as an invitation to think about topics recently brought to the fore by precarity or precariousness studies, illustrated by Judith Butler or, on this side of the Atlantic, by philosopher Guillaume Le Blanc, among others. This might lead us to envisage the shift from precarity, poverty or other forms of exclusion (or blindness to exclusion) once depicted from an insider’s point of view by George Orwell in Down and Out in Paris and London, towards various other forms of dispossession, notoriously defined by Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou and at work in many contemporary productions.
Bare lives, in so far as they may send us back to various forms of exposure — anthropological, social, cultural or economic — may direct the reader’s or spectator’s attention to how norms of visibility are shaped, assigned and implemented, and point to how invisible, voiceless, marginal groups and people, whose very lives are ignored or nearly so, are retrieved from invisibility. This is what British narratives of the 20th and 21st centuries have been doing, from Joyce’s Dubliners, Arnold Bennett’s last novels or Rebecca West’s first ones to Philip Larkin’s poems; from Forster’s Howards End to The Other Hand by Chris Cleave, from Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter to Sarah Kane or Martin Crimp, not to mention the Angry Young Men, whose work stands in need of reappraisal. Cinema, for example the free cinema of the late 1950s and early 1960s and a great part of the documentary tradition, visual arts and literature engage with “small lives” (Le Blanc), interrogate humble genres and forms, such as life narratives or (auto)biographies, bare style, modes of writing that may resort, in their drive for sincerity, to the baring devices defined by the Russian formalists and implemented in metafictional production. Unless dispossession and exposure favour excess and other modes of outrage, or the collaboration of minimalism and excess.

Organising committee: A. Arniac, S. Belluc, I. Brasme, J-M. Ganteau, A. Haffen, L. Haghshenas, L. Petit, A. Privat, C. Reynier, T. Terradillos.

Proposals in English of about 300 words should be sent to Jean-Michel Ganteau jean-michel.ganteau@univ-montp3.fr and Christine Reynier christine.reynier@univ-montp3.fr by June 25, 2016.
Websites: http://www.laseac.fr/
and http://pays-anglophones.upv.univ-montp3.fr/

(posted 19 January 2016)


Visualizing Consumer Culture, Commodifying Visual Culture in the English-speaking World
Paris, France, 21-22 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2016

Organized by:

  • csti-HDEA, EA 4086 –  Histoire et Dynamique des Espaces Anglophones (Paris-Sorbonne)
  • CREW, EA 4399 – the Centre for Research on the English-speaking World (Sorbonne-Nouvelle)

Venue:

  • Université Paris-Sorbonne (Maison de la Recherche, rue Serpente)
  • Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Maison de la Recherche, rue des Irlandais)

Scientific committee : Claire Dutriaux (Paris-Sorbonne), Clémentine Tholas-Disset (Sorbonne-Nouvelle), Laurent Châtel (Paris-Sorbonne), Catherine Purcell (Paris-Sorbonne), Divina Frau-Meigs (Sorbonne-Nouvelle), Donna Kesselman (UPEC), Jean Kempf (Lyon II), Jennifer Gauthier (Randolph College).

Please send a 250-word proposal before June 1st, 2016  to : visualizingconsumerismp4p3@gmail.com
Presentatione will proferably be in English.

The manufacturing of identities in contemporary society can no longer be explained by focusing solely on the production and consumption of commodities or the prism of market exchanges. Ever since Baudrillard’s reframing of culture theory several decades ago, consumption has acquired a symbolic dimension and has turned into commodity fetishism. Now, more than ever before, this represents a modern, unifying and critical myth: “Consumption is a myth. That is to say, it is a statement of contemporary society about itself, the way our society speaks about itselfˮ (Baudrillard, 1970). Consumption potentially catalyzes social integration by providing a space onto which society may project itself, letting members think that they can get everything they desire for their well-being. This is particularly relevant in a political climate where cultural diversity changes consumer cultures through the influx of migration, and a global community of consumers creates potential buyers (for example the growing middle class in China and Russia). Hence, consumer culture perpetuates an illusion of equality with commodities, which could allow us  access to a superior stage where we can achieve all our desires, no matter our cultural heritage, if we so wish.
This founding myth of consumerism, in which consuming has increasingly defined the human condition since the end of the 19th century, has relied extensively on the tools of visual culture – art, photography, fashion, architecture, advertising, motion pictures, television, the internet and the digital world. Ever since the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, exhibited commodities have pointed to further aesthetic, political, commercial, or class meanings, signaling the beginnings of “the era of the spectacle.” (Richards, 3). Using its own repetitive codes in which the signifier prevails upon the signified, the visual display of commodities encourages contemporary societies to replicate social models that can be readily consumed and traded. According to Guy Debord, spectacle is the flip side of market exchanges (Debord, 1967). In other words, images seduce the consumer by turning commodities into mass desires: for instance, when stars are involved in product placement operations in block-busters, when advertising is based on celebrity-marketing, or when great works of art find their way into the design of industrial goods, thus linking high and low cultures.
As most commodities are now displayed all over the internet, via social media distribution systems and converging media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or television and motion pictures, we may wonder about the relationship between consumer society and visual culture, primarily in the English-speaking world. Participants may wish to address the following issues:
How have the imagery and imaginary of our consumption practices evolved over time? What kinds of displays and representational systems prevail in our consumer society? How does this society reflect on itself through visual culture? What are the national and transnational stakes of such mises-en-scène in the English-speaking world? How did the transformation of mass media beget new codes, power relations and consuming habits? How do industries and companies appropriate the tools of visual culture to promote and display their products?

References:
Jean Baudrillard, Le Système des objets, Paris : Gallimard, 1968.
Jean Baudrillard, La Société de consommation : ses mythes et ses structures, Paris : Denoël, 1970.
Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo Events in America, New York: Vintage Books, 1992 (1962).
Guy Debord, La Société du Spectacle, Paris : Gallimard, 1995 (1967).
Mark Gottdiener, New Forms of Consumption: Consumers, Culture, and Commodification, Latham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000
Daniel Miller, Material Culture and Mass Consumption, Oxford: Blackwell, 1987.
W.J.T. Mitchell, Iconology: Image, Text and Ideology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 1986
W.J.T. Mitchell, What do Pictures want? The Lives and Loves of Images, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Jacques Rancière, Le Destin des images, Paris : La Fabrique, 2003.
Thomas Richards, The Commodity Culture of Victorian England: Advertising and Spectacle, 1851-1914, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990.

(posted 8 March 2016)


Common Room: in Exile
Płock, Poland, 21-22 October 2016
Deadline fore proposals: 25 September 2016

Plock-common-roomThe name of the Common Room conferences organised by the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the State School of Higher Professional Education in Płock refers to the literary salon held in London by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, an extraordinary couple of Polish-born artists and intellectuals, during the years 1957-1959. It hosted numerous scientists, academics, artists and literary figures and was the site of unique lectures, presentations, artistic evenings, concerts and discussions. It is the intention of the organizer to recreate the truly interdisciplinary spirit of what the Themersons defined as a “friendly meeting place and a forum for the exchange of ideas.”

The topic of this year’s fourth annual conference is literature, art and thought created by exiles – historic and contemporary writers, artists and intellectuals moving across borders in multiple directions for reasons ranging from fear for their lives to a self-imposed condition. From Ovid through Victor Hugo to Samuel Beckett, Czesław Miłosz and Salman Rushdie the immigrant experience has always exerted a profound impact on literature and art across the globe. The artists’ experiences are as varied as their reasons for abandoning their homelands and insisting on staying away from them. For some emigration acted as a catalyst for their creative powers that were released from the cage of their compatriots’ habits and expectations while for others it was a cause of solitude and an acute sense of alienation.

Living in exile implies not only living “someplace else” but also facing the cultural and linguistic challenges of an alien environment, which inevitably alters the artists and their works, as well as affecting the societies and cultures of the host countries. The diaspora experience and the ensuing condition of estrangement promote acute perceptions and more incisive inquiries into the habits and prejudices that form the identity of both the artist’s native country and their new homeland.

The concept of exile can also be viewed as an existential or psychological condition. It is, according to Theodor Adorno, a refugee from Nazi Germany, a distance from the “administered world” of modernity that has gone awry, leading to mass destruction and mass society. Even though artists may not be émigrés in the strict sense of the word, they often exist and create in the state of internal exile or in the political or cultural underground.

The Themersons left Poland for Paris in the 1930s to pursue their passion for cinema and avant-garde experiments. After World War II they settled in London but, as a couple of individualists with an aversion to easy judgments and stereotypes, they remained aloof from both the British mainstream and the hermetic confines of the Polish immigrant community. Like many other immigrant writers they became preoccupied with the question of language. Stefan chose to be a bilingual writer, believing that writing in a foreign tongue allows an artist to grasp the true face of reality by breaking away from established associations that are overly emotional and tend to distort real meanings.

The following statement presents Themerson’s viewpoint on emigration:

“Writers are never, writers are nowhere in exile, for they carry within themselves their own kingdom, or republic, or city of refuge, or whatever it is that they carry within themselves. And, at the same time, every writer, ever, everywhere, is in exile, because he is squeezed out of the kingdom, or republic, or city, or whatever it is that squeezes itself dry.”

Drawing our inspiration from Stefan Themerson’s words, we invite contributions from all researchers interested in exploring the phenomenon of migration and/or the lives and works of artists, writers and intellectuals who remain or remained in broadly understood exile. The papers may address the following as well as related topics:

  • the impact of emigration on the Themersons’ oeuvre;
  • transnational, diasporic and bilingual writers, artists and thinkers across different time periods and cultures and the major themes that arise from their lives and works;
  • the poetics and characteristics of immigrant/diasporic art, literature and philosophy;
  • the impact of exile experience on the creative and intellectual process and the perception of the native culture; the influence of diasporic artists and intellectuals on host cultures and societies; search for new national/ transnational spaces;
  • the critical reception of immigrant/diasporic artworks in various cultural and historical contexts;
  • bilingualism in literature and its relation to the theory and practice of translation;
  • the symbolism of journey, exile and “unbelonging” in visual arts, performing arts and literature;
  • portrayals of emigration, immigration, diasporic communities and minority cultures in literature, cinema, theatre and other arts;
  • inner emigration; persecution and censorship of art, artists and intellectuals;
  • sense of alienation from the dominant values of mainstream culture: minority art and literature;
  • major critical approaches to the topic of exile – emigration, immigration and diasporas in new and traditional cultural, political, historical, social and epistemological frameworks;
  • political, cultural and social implications of the phenomenon of exile and immigration.

Since it is our goal to run the conference in the spirit of the Themersonian Common Room, which was so interdisciplinary and versatile that it escaped facile categorization, we cordially invite not only specialists in philology, literature studies and cultural studies but also representatives of other academic disciplines such as sociology, pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, history, ethnography, arts studies, etc. to join the discussion. In addition, the next seminar of the Beckett Research Group in Gdańsk will be held during the conference.

The conference is part of the annual SkArPa Themersons Festival (the festival’s website: http://www.themerson.pl), commemorating and celebrating the creative output of Stefan, who was born in Płock, and his wife Franciszka. All delegates will be able to participate in the numerous events of the festival including workshops, concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances and film screenings.

All the key information concerning Płock, the SkArPa Festival, the Themersons, this year’s Common Room Conference and its previous editions as well as useful travel and accommodation tips can be found on our website: http://www.pwszplock.pl/konferencje/common-room-pl

The conference schedule will consist of plenary lectures and 20-minute presentations of individual papers. The conference languages will be Polish and English. We welcome submissions for papers in English or Polish from experienced researchers as well as graduate students, PhD candidates or anyone with a keen interest in the theme of the conference.

Abstracts in English or Polish (max. 250 words) should be submitted online by 25.09.2016 using the registration form at: http://www.pwszplock.pl/konferencje/common-room-pl

The website can also be used to contact the Conference Organising Committee and send your enquiries. You can also contact us directly at: j.ligor@pwszplock.pl

Notifications of acceptance will be sent in the quickest possible time and the approved participants will be notified by 30.09.2016 at the latest. It is intended that all the papers presented at this conference will be eligible for publication. Information on our previous publications can be found on our website.

The conference fee is as follows:
– early registration (until 05.08.2016): 200 PLN (50 euros) for the speakers presenting their papers and 60 PLN (15 euros) for the non-speakers. The fee must be paid by 05.08.2016.
– regular registration (after 05.08.2016): 280 PLN (70 euros) for the speakers presenting their papers and 80 PLN (20 euros) for the non-speakers. The deadline for paying the fee is 03.10.2016.

Money transfers in Poland (PKO BP SA):
Account Number: 46 1020 3974 0000 5102 0084 8077

International money transfers:
Account Holder: PWSZ Płock,
International Bank Account Number (IBAN):
PL 46 1020 3974 0000 5102 0084 8077
Code Bic (SWIFT address): BPKOPLPW

Please make sure that your name and the name of the conference: “Common Room” are included in the transfer description section. Should you require an invoice, please fill in the “Invoicing address” section in the Registration Form.

(posted 24 June 2016)


Between Literal Language and Figurative Meaning: Various Dimensions of Contrastive Studies (V-DOCS 2016)
Institute of English, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland, 24-25 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2016

Institute of English at the University of Silesia, has the pleasure to announce the 3rd international conference titled Various Dimensions of Contrastive Studies (V-DOCS 2016). The conference aims at focusing on a variety of possible approaches to contrasting languages. We want to welcome academics who represent various methodologies and perspectives on linguistic analysis: formal, functional, cognitive-semantic, pragmatic, and anthropological.

This year’s leading theme is: Between Literal Language and Figurative Meaning

In recent decades linguistic research has experienced a revival of interest in figurative thought and language. Scholars have emphasized the significance of such phenomena as metaphor, metonymy, analogy, personification, or synesthesia in different types of specialized discourse, as well as in everyday communication. However, there are numerous questions that remain open: How much of our language is figurative in fact? Is it possible to communicate successfully with literal language only? Do we need figures of speech at all? Is figurative meaning the matter of thoughts or rather of linguistic forms? What are the contexts in which figurative language is used in different languages? Do people speaking various languages use figurative language in similar ways? At what levels of linguistic structure is figurative meaning created in different languages: phonetics, morphology, word play, syntax, discourse?

The list of suggested topics for conference presentations may include, although will not be limited to, the problems of both literal language, as well as figurative meaning, in such areas of linguistics as:

  • contrastive phonetics and phonology
  • contrastive morphology
  • contrastive syntax
  • contrastive semantics and lexicology
  • contrastive pragmatics
  • contrastive discourse studies
  • contrastive cognitive-linguistic studies
  • contrastive cultural-linguistic studies
  • bi- and multilingual lexicography
  • language contact, borrowing and code-switching
  • contrastive perspective on diachronic studies
  • teaching contrastive grammar at the university level: the place of contrastive studies in the curriculum, course syllabus, teaching materials, methodology, students’ expectations, assessment of the course, etc.

Each presenter will be given 30 minutes (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion). The conference language is English.

We are pleased to announce that the following speakers have expressed their agreement to present plenary lectures during the conference:

Important dates:
Abstract submission: 31 May 2016
Confirmation of acceptance: 30 June 2016
Early bird payment: 31 July 2016
Regular payment: 15 September 2016
Conference: 24-25 October 2016

Abstract submission:
Abstracts describing the topic of a presentation in up to 300 words, attached as a doc/docx file should be sent to vdocs2016@gmail.com no later than 31 May 2016.

Conference venue:
The conference will be held in the new building of CINiBA (The Scientific Information Centre and Academic Library), located in the University of Silesia campus, at 11A Bankowa Street in Katowice: http://www.ciniba.edu.pl/

Conference fee:
The fee will cover the participation costs, conference materials, coffee breaks during the conference, the conference dinner (optional), the visit to the Museum of Silesia, and the costs of publishing a post-conference monograph. Accommodation and meals are not included in the fee (except for the optional conference dinner).

Fee options:

Early bird payment (paid by 31 July 2016):-

  • with the conference dinner included: 350 PLN / 90 Euros
  • without the conference dinner: 300 PLN / 80 Euros

Regular payment (paid by 15 September 2016):

  • with the conference dinner included: 400 PLN / 100 Euros
  • without the conference dinner: 350 PLN / 90 Euros

Conference dinner:
The conference dinner is planned for Monday, 24 October, at 7 pm in a restaurant located in the vicinity of the university campus (details to be announced soon).

Social event:
On Tuesday (25.10) afternoon the organizers are planning a tour of the newly opened Museum of Silesia in Katowice, with a visit to the top of the hoist tower of the former pit shaft (http://www.muzeumslaskie.pl/en/index.php).

Organizing committee:
Dr Paulina Biały, Dr Marcin Kuczok, Dr Konrad Szcześniak, Dr Marcin Zabawa

Scientific committee:
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Łyda, Dr hab. Bożena Cetnarowska, Dr hab. Andrzej Porzuczek, Dr hab. Adam Wojtaszek

Contact e-mail: vdocs2016@gmail.com
More information can be found on the conference website: http://ija.us.edu.pl/sub/vdocs/

(posted 9 February 2016)


Progress. A blessing or a curse?: Victorians Like Us III International Conference
University of Lisbon, Portugal, 26-27 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 July 2016

‘Progress. A blessing or a curse?’ will be the third of a series of international conferences at the School of Arts and Humanities (University of Lisbon), promoted by the Research Group 2 (English Culture) of ULICES which have brought together Victorianist and Neovictorianist researchers, among others.
The first event, (Victorians Like Us. Memories, dialogues and trends) in 2012, aimed at underlining the features of a complex and often contradictory period, where matrices of modernity and postmodernity could be found, a cultural influence still discernible today. Victorians Like Us II, with the subtitle The Victorian household. Power, policies, practices, in 2014, drew attention to a unique platform for the assertion of the British middle classes and one of their values, the home.

In 2016, we will challenge participants to inquire into the concept of progress in the same period. J. S. Mill approaches the issue from a socio-political angle in On Liberty (1859). He believed that society progresses through stages towards its ultimate achievement, a system of representative democracy. However, ordinary Victorians, less acquainted with intellectual debates than with the palpable effects of techno-scientific developments, had mixed feelings about progress and improvement and their benefits. Although advancements in technology and science, as well as in society, were generally believed to contribute to the improvement of human living conditions, they also had negative side effects, to be first felt by the working class. ‘Progress’ and related aspects also fueled controversy in public debates about religious matters, as new acquisitions and ideas challenged religious beliefs and the prevalent understanding of the Bible. Contemporary literature and the written press amply reflected the main debates about progress and its implications.
As the ambiguous attitudes of some Victorian towards ‘progress’ go to show, the concept is not a linear one, and its positive understanding, inherited from the Enlightenment, has been challenged from the moment it entered public awareness. According to an enlightened perspective, each successive stage in human history represented an improvement on the previous one. Mankind developed from savagery and ignorance to civilization and enlightenment, peace and prosperity, all because of its faculty of reason and the ability to make choices.
Whether taken for granted, rationalized as positive, or faced with uneasy feelings, ‘progress’ was an ever present concept in an era that had to come to terms with the consequences of the Industrial Revolution. The concept became entangled in public debates with other key concepts, such as the British Empire, the evolution of the species and social reform. Its influence can also be traced in less obvious areas were new developments were favoured by artistically inclined Victorians: in art, architecture, design and literature.
A closer look at ‘progress’ thus invites an interdisciplinary approach, and participants at the conference are expected to come from very different research areas. This is all the more likely if you take into account that Victorian thoughts on progress have influenced how we think about it today.
This conference will reveal both the dynamics set in motion when the concept of progress became popular with the Victorians and its implications for us today.

Papers are welcome on topics that encompass, though not exclusively, subtopics such as:

  • Origins. The Enlightenment ideal of progress and how Victorians challenged it
  • Spencer and Comte. The process of social growth
  • Theorising progress. Progressivism
  • Utilitarianism. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, a legacy
  • Social progress and doubts about the human progression towards perfection
  • Progress as a motor of History and Culture
  • Darwin, The Origin of Species and human evolution
  • Victorian culture and the ability to make choices
  • Literature, Architecture, print, design and art. Exploring new paths
  • Gender issues, labour conditions and legislation
  • The environment debate. The human hand and the transformation of Nature
  • Human progress and conflict. Suffragism
  • Challenging progress in factories. The luddites. All against the machine
  • Museums and commodity culture in the Victorian Era. New things and uses
  • Challenging the idea of progress today. Migrants and Europe, the aim to live “in a better place”

Language of communication: English
The Organising and Scientific Committees expect to publish a selected collection of essays in a peer reviewed book or journal.

Keynote speakers:
John van Wyhe, founder of Darwin online, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences and a Fellow of Tembusu College, National University of Singapore.
Keynote speaker from Portugal (TBA)

We expect abstracts of about 300 words in English for 15-20 minute presentations, and a brief bionote to be submitted until July, 30. A notification will be sent within two weeks maximum after reception.
Fees: 150 euros
Early bird (if registration is completed until 16 April 2016) 120 euros
Student: 75 euros

Organising committee (CO): Ana Mendes, Carla Gomes, Cristina Baptista, Elisabete Silva, Mariana Pires, Marília Gil, Teresa Malafaia
Scientific and Screening Committee: Adelaide Serras, Ana Mendes, Carla Gomes, Cristina Baptista, Júlio Carlos Viana Ferreira, Iolanda Ramos, Isabel Simões-Ferreira, Luisa Leal de Faria, Teresa Malafaia
Contact email: victorians.lx.2014conference@gmail.com
Follow us on our Facebook page.

(posted 20 January 2016)


2016 International Symposium on Verbs, Clauses and Constructions
University of La Rioja, Spain, 26-28 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2016

The Nerthus Project Research Group (Department of Modern Languages, University of La Rioja) invites the submission of papers on substantial, original, and unpublished research to the 2016 International Symposium on Verbs, Clauses and Constructions, which will be held on October 26-28, 2016 at the University of La Rioja. The topics of interest for submission can be grouped under three headings: constructional approaches to grammar, projectionist approaches to grammar and diachrony. Papers dealing with the category of the verb and historical languages are most welcome. Overall, the recommended topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Constructional approaches to grammar
  • Usage-based approaches to the development of structure
  • Cross-linguistic variation of constructions
  • Constructions, subconstructions and families of constructions
  • Verbal and non-verbal constructions
  • Alternations vs. constructions
  • The interaction of verbal projections and constructions
  • Computational modeling of projections and constuctions
  • The syntax of clauses and sentences
  • Linking and interfaces
  • Head marking and dependent marking
  • The functional motivation of structural development
  • Layered models of clause structure
  • Events vs. states of affairs and predications
  • Verbs at the representational and interpersonal level
  • Verbal typologies
  • Nominalizations
  • Topic and focus constructions
  • Raising, existentials and clefts
  • Diachronic Construction Grammar
  • Constructionalization
  • Diatopic, diachronic and textual variation
  • Morpho-syntactic and semantic change
  • The role of constructions in grammaticalization
  • Degrammaticalization and deflection
  • Grammaticalization and lexicalization
  • The interaction of information structure and verbal constructions
  • The role of information structure in syntactic change

Please submit your proposal following the guidelines below:
1. Presentations will last 20 minutes, followed by a ten minute discussion.
2. Abstracts should be 150-200 words long (without any subheadings) and clearly present a research question/aim, critical review of the literature, methodology, results and conclusions.
3. Please avoid footnotes and any unusual symbols (such as phonetic transcription) that might be changed in electronic communication. If you cannot avoid such symbols, submit your paper both in DOC and PDF format.
4. Please send each abstract both in anonymized and unanonymized forms (with author(s) and affiliation) to the following address: vccsymposium2016@gmail.com.
5. Decisions about acceptance will be based on relevance to the above topic list, originality, potential significance, topicality and clarity. Since all accepted papers will be presented at the symposium, we require that at least one of the submitting authors must be a registered participant.

Key dates

  • Abstract submission: February 1- September 15, 2016.
  • Notification of reviewers’ decision: Approximately 2 weeks after submission.
  • Registration: March 1 – October 28, 2016.
  • Symposium: October 26-28, 2016.

Further information: VCC2016.nerthusproject.com

(posted 5 February 2016)


Agatha Christie and Her Work: 23rd METU British Novelists Conference
METU, Ankara, Turkey, 27-28 October 2016
New extended deadline for proposals: 11 July 2016

23rd METU British Novelists Conference: Agatha Christie and Her Work”, originally scheduled to be hosted by the Department of Foreign Language Education at Middle East Technical University, 5-6 April 2016 has been postponed to 27-28 October 2016.

Keynote: Dr. JOHN CURRAN (Trinity College, Dublin)
http://www.johncurran.info/index.html

-Guest Speaker: CELİL OKER (Turkish crime fiction novelist & lecturer at İstanbul Bilgi University
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celil_Oker
http://www.bilgi.edu.tr/en/directory/people/celil-oker

New extended deadline for abstracy submission is July 11, 2016

An updated call for papers and further details will be published shortly on the conference website: http://www.britishnovelists.metu.edu.tr/

(posted 14 January 2016, updated 5 February 2016, updated 6 July 2016)


Politics and Poetics of Friendship
Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, 27-29 October 2016
Deadline for proposals : 31 May 2016
The goal of our conference, organised by the Institute of English Studies (Jagiellonian University in Krakow), is to explore representations of friendship in literary fiction and non-fiction, film, and other visual narratives. We are particularly looking forward to receiving proposals addressing the issue of friendship in life narratives (autobiographies, memoirs, autofiction, [auto]biographical graphic novels, biographies, biofiction, biopics, letters, diaries, journals, etc.), as well as those focusing on friendship between writers
Suggested themes include but are not limited to:
      • fe/male-fe/male friendship,
      • friendship vs family,
      • friendship vs love,
      • erotic friendship / friends with benefits,
      • intimate friendship / bromance,
      • “friendship” as a euphemism,
      • spiritual friendship,
      • professional / artistic / literary friendship,
      • false and/or forced friendship,
      • from friends to foes,
      • wo/man’s best friend: friendship with animals,
      • friendship in the digital world.

Proposals for 20-minute presentations should consist of a brief biographical note (including academic title and institutional affiliation) and a 150-word abstract. They should be sent to friendship.conference@gmail.com by 31 May 2016. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 June 2016. The conference will be held at the Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland on 27-29 October 2016.
Conference fee: 120 EURO (or 480 PLN).
Following the conference we plan to publish selected papers (between 4000-6000 words in length) in book form.

The conference will be held during The Conrad Festival, the largest international literary event in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, which offers a great opportunity to meet world-renowned writers. http://www.conradfestival.pl

Organisers:
– Dr Ewa Kowal, Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University
-Dr Robert Kusek, Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University
Visit the conference website at http://www.friendshipconference.wordpress.com

(posted 11 January 2016)


Shakespeare Lives: Re-Reading, Re-Rewriting, Re-Contextualizing Shakespeare
Iasi, Romania, 27-29 October 2016
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2016

Organizers Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Department of English & LINGUACULTURE Research Centre, and British Council

Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualizing Shakespeare is one of the many international conferences that celebrates Shakespeare’s 400-year afterlife. However, we would also like to regard it as a unique academic event, and the city of Iaşi, together with its old university, as privileged places to host it.

The title of this conference refers to the very diverse ways in which Shakespeare’s works and reputation have travelled cross-culturally, being transposed into different cultures, geographical locations and historical moments; it encourages further research on how the Bard has been appropriated throughout the centuries so as to strengthen different cultural and political agendas; it invites participants to continue investigations of all those mechanisms which have ultimately made Shakespeare a unique cultural phenomenon as well as an “institution”.

Shakespeare’s afterlife has been ensured through the continuous examination and interpretation of his work in different contexts, at different times, spanning over such diverse disciplinary fields as

  • critical studies
  • performance
  • linguistics and stylistics
  • translation studies
  • film and the new media
  • the visual arts and music
  • education

Participants are invited to present papers focusing on Shakespeare’s re-contextualisation from the perspective of the (inter)disciplines suggested above, to which others could also be added. Interested participants are invited to send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio-biblio note to the following address: shakespeare400iasi@gmail.com by 15 May 2016.

(posted 11 April 2016)