Shakespeare and Fear: 2017 conference of the French Shakespeare Society
Paris, France, 12-14 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 25 May 2016
Venue: Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris
In an era fraught with economic violence, environmental anxiety, forced migrations, war and terrorism, it seems particularly relevant to examine the ways in which the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage made use of fear and to consider how these fears continue to reverberate in the present. Such connections are clearly envisaged by Robert Appelbaum, who applies the word “terrorism” to the violence that shook Early Modern Europe, including the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre and countless plots and popular uprisings (Terrorism Before the Letter, Mythography and Political Violence in England, Scotland, and France 1559-1642, OUP, 2015). The re-appropriation of Shakespeare’s plays in the context of the crises we are experiencing is a case in point. How has Shakespeare been used to fend off fear, or deconstruct the workings of terror, dictatorship or armed intimidation — from Ernst Lubitsch’s To be or not to be to Shakespeare productions recently performed in Syria?
Fear is present in one form or another in almost all of the dramatic works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. From the ridiculous apprehension of being made a cuckold to the dread felt by Macbeth when confronted to Banquo’s ghost, from the mechanicals’ worry that the “lion” might frighten the ladies to the terror on which Richard III’s tyranny relies, all degrees of fear are to be found in Shakespeare, as well as in Marlowe, Middleton or Webster. Be it in tragedies attempting to instil sacred terror or in comedies making fun of the staging of terrifying events, in historical plays critiquing the Machiavellian uses of political terror or in the new-fangled Jacobean taste for spectacular stage shows, fear is pervasive on the Shakespearean stage, reflecting individual emotions such as “the dread of something after death” mentioned by Hamlet, as much as the ever-present social apprehension of the plague or foreign invasions. Shakespeare, for one, distinguishes fear (which occurs over 800 occurrences in the canon) from dread (50 occurrences) or fright, which is often to be found in ironic contexts, with an underlying suggestion that the events in question are not really worth the fretting they cause.
The notion of fear in connection with Shakespeare goes well beyond the modalities specific to the Early Modern English stage: the fact that the Bard’s works have been canonised and become compulsory reading at school and university has generated a fear of Shakespeare, while the arrival of his plays on the continental stages in the 18th century spawned trepidation among audiences and authors alike: there is certainly a form of fear in Voltaire’s loathing of, as much as in the Romantic playwrights’ desire to emulate, the master. This lasting dread is epitomized today under the alliterative heading of “no fear Shakespeare” and in the various attempts to domesticate the intricacies of Elizabethan writing with the help of reading companions, modernized editions, etc. The fear of Shakespeare can also become a fear for Shakespeare, in view of the endless probes and conspiracy plots around his identity that has arisen since the end of the 19th century.
We look forward to bringing together historians, literary scholars and theatre practitioners, as well as specialists in drama, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, sociology and anthropology to offer contributions on topics including (but not limited to):
- Theories of/about fear in Early Modern England;
- The different degrees of fear in Early Modern England;
- Symptoms of fear on the Early Modern stage (body language, vocal language, masks, costumes, makeup, etc.) / a phenomenology of fear;
- What and who is feared on the Shakespearean stage? (terrifying portents, threats, exemplary sentences, horrible and horrifying shows, mutilations and murders, ghosts, supernatural interventions, etc);
- How and why is fear elicited in audience members? (staging tricks, noises, smoke, visions, etc.);
- The fear of Shakespeare / “No fear Shakespeare”;
- Fear for Shakespeare;
- Updating Shakespeare in the context of war, terror or terrorism;
- Invoking Shakespeare to allay fear.
Please send an abstract (maximum 500 words) and a short biography (maximum 200 words) by 25 May 2016 to email@example.com.
- Yan Brailowsky (Université Paris Ouest, Société Française Shakespeare)
- Mark Burnett (Queen’s University, Belfast)
- Jean-Michel Déprats (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
- Pascale Drouet (Université de Poitiers)
- Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Université de Picardie)
- Sarah Hatchuel (Université du Havre, Société Française Shakespeare)
- Pierre Kapitaniak (Université Paris VIII)
- Harry Keyishian (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
- Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (ENS Lyon)
- Ronan Ludot-Vlasak (Université de Lille III)
- Chantal Schütz (École Polytechnique, Société Française Shakespeare)
- Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (IRCL / Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier III, Société Française Shakespeare).
(posted 18 March 2016)
Cultural Studies and the Challenge of the New Right
Leipzig University, Germany, 13-14 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2016
Europe and North America are currently witnessing dramatic shifts in the existing balance of power. Whether the AfD and Pegida in Germany, the French Front National, the FPÖ in Austria, the Dutch PVV, Fidesz and PiS, which have already come to power in Hungary and Poland respectively, Donald Trump in the US, and similar parties and movements in Switzerland, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and elsewhere – while these groups and developments are by no means identical, it is nevertheless obvious that in many places today, national-conservative forces are on the rise and ever more forcefully – and successfully – making a bid for power. A new ‘international from the right’ (Die Zeit, 25 May) seems to be emerging.
If Cultural Studies is not just an academic discipline but, as Stuart Hall claimed it should be, a political project, and, moreover, one addressing the most pressing problems of a given conjuncture, then the question arises as to what contribution it can make to tackling the contemporary challenge of the new right. In fact, in certain regards, Cultural Studies are today confronted with a situation not unlike the one Hall and others found themselves in in the late 70s and early 80s, when Thatcher (as well as Reagan, Kohl, etc.) came to power: once again, the context for the emergence of a counter-hegemonic project from the right is an organic crisis, i.e. a profound dislocation of the existing social formation; once again, there is a distinct right-wing populism manufacturing consent and attempting to remake the common sense, which opposes the ‘people’ to the ‘power bloc’, and again, this populism is mobilized to win support for the erection of a statist authoritarianism; once again, a number of discourses are being reworked so that various elements are resignified and/or rearticulated into new chains of equivalence; like Thatcher’s, so the contemporary right is successful in part because it manages to address the lived problems, experiences and contradictions particularly of the socially disadvantaged and marginalized in such a way as to articulate their desires and aspirations to its own project; once again, what Hall in 1980 termed the ‘question of democracy’ is today one of the principal sites and stakes of the struggle (cf. e.g. Viktor Orbán’s vision of an ‘illiberal democracy’); and, as in the 80s, the left today seems alarmingly paralyzed in the face of both, the general crisis of hegemony and the problems that urgently need to be addressed and of the challenge presented by the new right in particular.
It seems to us that if Cultural Studies wants to maintain its claim for social relevance, it should intervene in this situation. What contribution, with its various theoretical approaches and methodologies (the theory of hegemony, discourse analysis, semiotics and the study of representations, theories of identity and subjectivation, etc.), and its unique way of addressing questions of the political by always linking culture with power, can Cultural Studies make to the analysis of and struggle against the new international authoritarian movement? This is the topic we want to address with our workshop. It is therefore less intended as an academic conference in the traditional sense (there will, for instance, be no keynote lectures, no expensive dinners and no elaborate social program) than as a rather informal political intervention. In line with this, we invite contributions that need not necessarily be fully ‘rounded’ and ‘finished’ scientific pieces, but can very well be of a fragmentary, ‘work/thought-in-progress’ type. In this vein, besides the traditional 20-minute slots, there will also be room for shorter, 5 to 10-minute ‘impulse talks’.
In this manner, we hope to be able to foster a productive and creative atmosphere for discussions concerning the challenge of the new right and, potentially, the project of Cultural Studies more generally, which, as Lawrence Grossberg has claimed, needs to be woken out of its ‘dogmatic slumber’.
We heartily welcome anyone interested in participating in the debate! To register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 December (there will be no fee). If you want to share your thoughts in the form of a talk, please send a few lines indicating what you will be talking about to the same email-address by 1 October.
There will be the opportunity to publish your intervention in a thematic special issue of the new online-journal Coils of the Serpent: Journal for the Study of Contemporary Power, which will be launched in the fall.
(posted 10 June 2016)
Empire in the English-speaking world, 17th-18th centuries
Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, France, 20-21 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2016
‘Empire’ is a useful, though controversial, point of entry for studying the historical process leading to the formation of our modern, globalized world. Along with mercantile capitalism and colonialism, European imperialism has largely contributed to shaping the world as we know it, fashioning many of its political borders, cultural practices and economic networks. Starting to take form in the early seventeenth century, the British empire began with the English settlement of North America and several islands in the Caribbean, and gradually asserted itself as a major world power with the establishment of private companies – chief among which the East India Company – to administer its colonies and overseas trade. Through their empire, the British disseminated their institutions, culture, and language, so that even the nations that emerged out of the empire had to define themselves through their attitudes to that concept. Such was the case for the United States, conceiving itself from the start as an ‘empire of liberty’, while for many British people the empire was, and still is to some extent, an essential part of their Britishness.
The goal of our conference is to take stock of current research on ‘empire’ in history, as well as in literature and art, and to highlight new avenues for research by adopting an interdisciplinary perspective. Suggested areas of reflection could include (but are not limited to) the following :
- The theorization and articulation of the idea of the empire in various philosophical, literary and artistic forms, such as political treatises, court masques, propaganda writings, travel drama and travel narratives ;
- Historical research into the first stirrings of a global market, the triangular trade, as well as the circulation of goods connecting East and West (china, tea, sugar, silk, etc.) ;
- The translation and circulation of non-European texts and other artistic forms and their reception ;
- The development of dissenting voices, in particular abolitionist literature and slave narratives in America.
Proposals in English or French (250-300 words) and a brief biographical statement (100 words) are to be sent by April the 30th, 2016, to the following organizers :
-Professor Ladan Niayesh, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA (UMR 8225) email@example.com
-Professor Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA (UMR 8225) firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacts at the Society level :
-Professor Guyonne Leduc, Université de Lille 3, President of SEAA17-18 email@example.com
-Professor Pierre Degott, Université de Lorraine, Secretary of SEAA17-18 firstname.lastname@example.org
A selection of original papers presented at the conference will be published in the Society’s journal RSEAA XVII-XVIII.
Besides individual papers, the conference will include a plenary talk by Professor Claire Jowitt (University of East Anglia), a round-table on ‘Whither the Empire ?’ chaired by Professor Steve Sarson (University of Lyon 3), and a special afternoon session on ‘Theatre and Colonization’ organized by Professor Bertrand Van Ruymbeke (University of Paris 8) and Dr Armelle Sabatier (University of Paris 2).
The delegates’ travel and accommodation expenses are not covered by the organisers.
(posted 22 January 2016)
Gendering Peace in Europe, 1918-1945
Humanities Research Institute (HRI), University of Sheffield, UK, 20-21 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 23 May 2016
Organised by Dr Julie Gottlieb, together with Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéi and Centre for Peace Studies
During and after the First World War, blueprints for peace and a non-violent reordering of society permeated all countries in Europe. They were political, artistic and practical responses to the experience of total war, based on a wide array of different political and religious values and motives. While many of these ideas and initiatives have been studied in some detail, the gendering of peace in Europe during and between the two world wars has not as yet been systematically analysed. The gendering of initiatives for and debates over peace was a crucial element of European politics from the onset of the Great War to the struggles over appeasement in the run-up to the Second World War, and to the planning for post-war reconstruction. The gendering of peace is more than just the study of women’s pacifist groups – even though this is an important part of it. The notion of a gendering of peace refers to the fact that the different roles, emotions, and forms of agency that are attributed to men and women were crucial parameters for the ways in which a non-violent re-ordering of national polities and international relations was envisaged and legitimised. For example, male conscientious objectors as well as female pacifists were portrayed as ‘effeminate’, thus delineating a gendered space for the debate over non-violent politics. Discourses on nationalism and sovereignty in the wake of the Treaties of Paris in 1919/20 were ripe with gendered metaphors that portrayed the task of peaceful self-determination as a predominantly male endeavour. Debates over maternalism and the role of mothers in society were a crucial site for conceptualising a critique of belligerence.
The organising themes of the conference are as follows:
- gender and non-violent practices, including the reception of Gandhi’s ideas in Europe;
- masculine/feminine values and metaphors in debates over national sovereignty and rearmaments;
- competing spaces and forms of agency for men and women in European pacifism;
- the gendering and politicization of pacifism and peace campaigns across the political spectrum;
- the evolution of pacifist commitment in the face of fascism and war.
We will discuss these issues in a two-day conference, to be held at the HRI on 20-21 January, 2017. We are now inviting abstracts for 20-minute papers to be presented in parallel sessions. We welcome proposals for individual papers or for panels consisting of three papers and a chair/commentator. Papers can cover any European country, take international or transnational viewpoints, or offer comparative case studies, and come from interdisciplinary perspectives. We especially encourage the submission of proposals from postgraduates and early career researchers. Please submit your proposal with title, abstract of 250-300 words, and a short bio to email@example.com by 23 May, 2016. It is the intention that a selection of the best conference papers will be published – in revised form – in a peer-reviewed journal or as an edited collection. We are grateful for the funding for this event to the Batley Legacy to the University of Sheffield, and we do not anticipate having to charge a conference fee.
Confirmed plenary speakers: Emily Baughan, Caitrona Beaumont, Laura Beers, Clarisse Berthezene, Charlotte Bill (filmmaker) with Helen Kay, Akos Farkas, Julie Gottlieb, Susan Grayzel, Richard Overy, Senia Paseta, Ingrid Sharp, Matthew Stibbe, Judith Szapor, Sonja Tiernan.
(posted 21 March 2016)
FASP and beyond: fictional and non-fictional narratives related to professional communities and specialized groups
Université Grenoble Alpes, France, 26-27 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 30 September 2016
Situated in the socio-discoursal and socio-cultural approaches to LSP studies (Belcher 2004), this international conference engages with the dual objective of pursuing enquiry related to studies in FASP (fiction à substrat professionnel), a genre of fiction identified and codified by Michel Petit (1999) and Shaeda Isani (2004), on the one hand and, on the other, exploring new avenues of reflection regarding other narrative forms, both fictional and non-fictional of potential interest to ESP studies. The point of departure resides in the notion of “narrative” as presented by Roland Barthes:
There are countless forms of narrative in the world. First of all, there is a prodigious variety of genres, each of which branches out into a variety of media, as if all substances could be relied upon to accommodate man’s stories. Among the vehicles of narrative are articulated language, whether oral or written, pictures, still or moving, gestures, and an ordered mixture of all those substances; narrative is present in myth, legend, fables, tales, short stories, epics, history, tragedy, drame (suspense drama), comedy, pantomime, paintings […], stained-glass windows, movies, local news, conversation. (1975: 237. Translation Lionel Duisit)
In this wide-ranging acceptance of what narrative is, we welcome proposals both on fictional narrative – FASP novels, plays, films, TV series, graphic novels, video games, etc. – and non-fictional narrative – (auto)biographies, ethnographies, scenarios, storylines, blogs, interviews, and other forms of “creative non-fiction” – relevant to the discipline of languages and cultures for specialised purposes.
The conference proposes three main thematic axes:
- A theoretical perspective in which papers are invited to explore the generic specificity of different narrative forms in relation to specialised language, discourse and culture.
- In the framework of the socio-cultural and ethnographic approach, proposals are invited with regard to what may be qualified as “professional life narratives” in the sense borrowed from Danvers for whom “it is not a question of talking about one’s job but of engaging professional identity through the experience of professional life” (2009: 472. Our translation). In this respect, we are particularly interested in research showing relevance between (auto)biographies, ethnographies, documentaries, blogs, etc., as related to LSP studies.
- In a teaching/learning perspective, we invite proposals on critical analyses regarding fictional and non-fictional narratives and their potential as pedagogic supports with regard to the different sub-domains of LSP (translation studies, ICT, linguistics, corpus studies or specialised cultures, etc.).
Proposals relating to other angles of approach connected to the narrative/LSP axe are also welcome.
Barthes, Roland. Trs. Lionel Duisit. 1966. An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative. New Literary History, 6/2, (Winter 1975), 237-272.
Belcher, Diane. 2004. Trends in Teaching English for Specific Purposes. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 165-186.
Danvers, Francis. 2009. S’orienter dans la vie : une valeur suprême. Dictionnaire des sciences humaines. Villeneuve d’Ascq : Presses universitaires du Septentrion.
Isani, Shaeda. 2004. FASP and the Genres within the Genre. In Petit, Michel & Isani Shaeda (ed.). Aspects de la fiction à substrat professionnel. Bordeaux : Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, collection Travaux 2025, 25-38.
Petit, Michel. 1999. La fiction à substrat professionnel : une autre voie d’accès à l’anglais de spécialité. ASp, 23-26, 57-81.
Proposals in French or in English are to be sent before 30th September, 2016 to both addresses:
Authors will receive official notification of acceptance by 30th October, 2016.
A selection of papers will be published in #18 of the online journal ILCEA (March 2018).
(posted 6 September 2016)
Australia–South Asia: Contestations and Remonstrances
University of Liège, Belgium, 26-28 January 2017
New extended deadline for proposals: 15 May 2016
This literary and cultural studies conference, to be held at the University of Liège under the auspices of the European Association for Studies of Australia (EASA) and the local post-colonial studies centre CEREP, will seek to draw attention to the multifarious encounters which have occurred between South Asia and Australia from the nineteenth century to modern times. We are particularly interested in papers that tackle aspects of the epistemological differend that may have informed these encounters and their various manifestations, as well as the possibly unsettling impact which specific South Asian perspectives may have had, or still have, on the delineation of an alternative historical narrative for Australia, also in terms of the narrativisation of Aboriginal oppression since European settlement.
We are proud to announce that the distinguished novelist Chandani Lokuge has confirmed her participation as a plenary guest speaker.
Possible questions pertaining to the conference theme that participants may wish to consider could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- What are the tensions, discontents and challenges, both old and new, that characterize the relationship between the two regions?
- How do cultural texts (including literature, film, music, and sporting practices, among other discourses or activities) grapple with the changing relationship between South Asia and Australia in the context of global capitalism?
- How do cultural texts imagine (or reimagine) the historicity of the ties between the two regions as well as their future?
- In what ways have Australian and South Asian (mis)readings of each other been encouraged (or, conversely, mitigated) by a common (or not so common) experience of imperialism?
- How have specific instances of oppression and resistance been contextualized and represented, possibly with reference to Aboriginal histories?
- How are South Asia and its citizens currently represented by Australia’s white settler culture, notably in today’s contexts of large-scale immigration and the so-called refugee crisis?
- What are the linguistic dilemmas or difficulties besetting South Asian–Australian cultural intersections, as represented in diasporic and/or in white settler corpuses?
We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers on literature, film, popular culture, Aboriginal studies and sociology as well as other related fields of inquiry. Note that, while the ‘South Asian’ region is usually limited (as by the Encyclopedia Britannica) to ‘the Indo-Gangetic plain, peninsular India, and Sri Lanka’, abstracts relating to South East Asia will also be expected.
Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words and a 100-word bio-note to the following conference email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – by 15 May 2016 (new extended deadline). Notification of acceptance/rejection of abstracts will be sent by 1 June 2016.
All accepted participants will be expected to become members of EASA. Details of EASA membership are available on the association’s website at this address: http://www.easa-australianstudies.net/
The conference registration fee is EUR 80,00 (and EUR 40,00 for postgraduate students). Postgraduate participation is encouraged and a competition for the best postgraduate paper will be organized. Delegates will be invited to register separately for an optional conference dinner and/or a cultural group outing (to be determined).
Selections of the conference papers will be published as a special issue of EASA’s in-house peer-reviewed international journal JEASA or as a volume of essays to be released by the academic press of the University of Liège.
Please check the conference webpage at https://easaliegeconference2017.wordpress.com/ for regular updates about the event.
The Convenors: Maryam Mirza, Marc Delrez, Marie Herbillon, Valérie-Anne Belleflamme
(posted 1 March 2016, updated 18 April 2016)
Trash: a Graduate Symposium
University of Vienna, Austria, 28-29 January 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2016
Chair ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Monika Seidl
Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna, Austria
Symposium website: http://www.univie.ac.at/trash
Trash is everywhere: the superfluous, the unwanted, that which is too much, that which remains. Although there has been some interest in this subject particularly in recent years, artefacts, discourses, and practices on trash / rubbish / waste / garbage / junk / detritus have not yet been systematically approached on an academic level. The 2017 symposium – which anticipates an international conference to take place in 2018 – seeks to explore the range of themes covered under the heading of ‘trash’ and the multiplicity of theoretical perspectives and methodological tools that can be applied in its analysis.
All theoretical and methodological approaches from the Arts and Humanities are welcome. Potential themes may include but are not limited to:
- cultures of trash and trashy culture(s)
- social trash
- political trash
- material trash
- histories of trash
- language(s) of trash
- trashy genders and sexualities
- bodily trash.
(posted 18 September 2016)