The American Short Story: New Horizons
Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany, 5-7 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017
In cooperation with:
– the Society for the Study of the American Short Story,
– the American Literature Association, and the Obama Institute
Program coordinator: Oliver Scheiding
James Nagel, Olivia Edenfield, Elke D’hoker,
Jochen Achilles, Dustin Anderson, Damien Schlarb
Throughout its history, the American short story has been praised either as a highly polished gem or condemned as literary fast food. Despite such rise-and-fall predictions, the short story has always been a demanding form. Its narrative economy in terms of time and space records decisive, intimate moments of life that give the American Short Story a broad social resonance. As such, the short story offers a vibrant field of research. There is a renaissance in progress not only in terms of the short story’s productivity but also in terms of innovative theoretical questions. The current state of research is, however, probably best described as “ripening.”
The conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons” invites both panels and papers that address fresh and original questions relevant to studying the American short story: how the genre works as performance in itself; how it conveys a theory of culture in which aesthetic structures and the presentation of cultural problematics interrelate; how the short story and the practices of text-making are related to the cultures of print in which textual circulation and economic exchange are homologues; how we can read the short story as an expressive form alongside its material dimensions, its vitality of forms (i.e., short-short fiction, flash fiction), and the multiple meanings of such concepts as authorship and genre; how we can reassess the short story as a field to map out exchanges not just among authors, but also among editors, publishers, reviewers, readers, and the physical text, with its advertisements, illustrations, and editorial changes. The conference thus seeks to explore the American short story as a coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature, presently culminating in a digital culture in which brevity rules.
- History of the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Ethnicity
- Gender/Sexuality Studies and the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Literary/Cultural Theory
- American Short Story and Linguistics
- American Short Story and Psychology
- American Short Story and Religion
- Early Short Narratives prior to 1800
- American Short Story and Periodicals
- American Short Story and Graphic Narratives
- American Short Story and Print Culture/Material Culture
- American Short Story and Translation/Translators
- American Short Story and Storytelling
- New and old Forms: Short and Short-Short Stories
- American Short Story Cycles
- The American Short Story and Life Writing
- American Short Stories and Authors
- Flash Fiction and Microfiction
- American Short Story and Visual Arts/Film
- American Short Story and Digital Research
- American Short Story and the Digital Age
- American Short Stories and Globalization
- American Short Stories and Transnationalism
- American Short Stories and Medical Humanities
- American Short Story and Literary Periodization/Movements
- American Short Story and MFA Programs
- American Short Story and Music/Theater
- Editing and Anthologizing the American Short Story
- Publishing and Reception of the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Pedagogy
- American Short Story and Genres (Novel, Novella, Essay etc.)
- New Literary Histories on American Short Stories (1980s to the Present)
Panels and roundtables have three presenters, although some may have more. Proposals for pre-arranged panels should include a 250-300-word description of the topic and full contact information for all members of the group. The person submitting the proposal is the chair of the session. He or she may also be a presenter, but need not be.
All persons wishing to give a paper at the conference, including all members of pre-arranged panels, should give a one-paragraph abstract of the paper to be presented along with a biographical paragraph giving the credentials of the presenter to address this topic. Individual papers should be scheduled for 20 minutes.
The organizing committee screens all proposals and abstracts, issues acceptances, and arranges the presentations on the program. It will form panels to accommodate papers not included in pre-arranged groups.
Please submit all proposals and abstracts to Oliver Scheiding (email@example.com) by June 30, 2017.
(posted 22 November 2016)
The poetics of Woolf through the prism of translation
Paris, France, 7 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2017
Something rich and intensely poetic is at work in Virginia Woolfs writing, arising from her extraordinary ability to recreate moments of fullness of being. These dazzling yet fleeting moments are laden with a multifaceted sensory truth and they act on us like the perfect language that the author praises in a review of The Greek Anthology, a translation of Greek poetry into English by W.R. Paton : In [these moments] we seem not to read so much as to recollect what we have heard in some other life. Something rich and finely chiselled that speaks to us, that we recognize as being true, that sounds and feels deeply familiar. These moments of intense plenitude are set against the backdrop of the stream of consciousness, the subtle racing of thought and time as Virginia Woolf endeavours to capture that perfect language so that the veil lifts in the […] writing to reveal something beautiful, something strong and sincere.
In her essays, in her diary and her correspondence Virginia Woolf reflects upon the translators activity, which she likens to the pirouettes of an acrobat, a thing of beauty, or again an impossible task . The theoretical conclusions that she comes to are rooted in the experiencing of the source text and its translation, and they touch upon a range of issues whether these be social, cultural, linguistic In the process of translation, something else is at stake: the specificities of each language – the genius of the other language -, echoes and memory, the unconscious language brought to light, the hesitant reading and understanding of an elusive text that can only be grasped through the use of a bilingual edition, the emotion that springs from a first impression, the role of rhythm and sounds, the intricate relationship between translation and the imagination.
What do Woolfs essays, book reviews, diary and correspondence tell us about her poetic theory of translation? How do her collaborative translations and perhaps her own writing reflect this critical thinking? Do her insights into translation herald 20th and 21st-century translation theories? Finally how does the poetic quality of Virginia Woolfs writing translate into French?
Abstracts of around 250 words should be sent by May 31st to Jessica Stephens (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Claire Pegon Davison (email@example.com), together with a short biographical note.
(posted 29 March 2017)
Industrial Heritage in the UK: Mutations, Conversions & Representations
University of Rennes, France, 10 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2017
University of Rennes, France – Research team ACE (EA 1796)
Since the mid-1950s, the UK has been experiencing a growing interest in the study, protection and conservation of industrial heritage, and is often considered as a forerunner in the advocacy of this idiosyncratic heritage and of its significance and potentialities. This rise in public awareness started with the development of industrial archaeology as a discipline in its own right, which later led industrial heritage to be seen as a resource for regeneration. In this respect, regeneration through the provision of new uses for derelict buildings also corresponded to a surge in urban renewal policies in the context of deindustrialization and to the current calls for sustainable development.
If the intentional disappearance of industrial vestiges caused popular outrage in the past and if industrial archaeologists and conservationists are sometimes unable to keep up with the quick pace of creative destruction in today’s redeveloping urban areas, the rhetoric of the tabula rasa is nonetheless increasingly contested. This is partly due to the positive contribution that innovative reinterpretations of existing industrial structures can make towards the retention of the palimpsestic quality of the urban fabric, as well as towards the promotion of a sense of place also based on an interconnection between past and present. Last but not least, nowadays the demolition of sound industrial buildings as if they were disposable resources runs counter to the promotion of a rational, cost-efficient – and environmentally friendly – urban revitalization.
The research project will mainly revolve around industrial buildings such as former textile mills, factories, warehouses, industrial infrastructures – whether they are listed or not – as well as on their surroundings when they constitute a landscape and/or are integrated into a conservation area. The scope of objects of study is not limited to sites inherited from the 18th and 19th centuries as it also includes those which came into being throughout the 20th century. The ambition of this one-day conference is to explore changes in the field of industrial heritage, its instrumental role in the provision of spaces for tourism, culture, and urban regeneration in general, and potential conflicts arising from the relationship between those various processes. Yet it will also be crucial to examine representations of industrial society and the tangible traces of industry in order to foreground mutations in terms of how industrial heritage has been depicted and perceived ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Thus it will offer a more comprehensive picture of the contrasting visions of a once neglected heritage.
The chosen perspective for this one-day conference is an inter- and pluri-disciplinary one and it is therefore articulated around a variety of approaches such as cultural geography, cultural history, art history, media studies, urban studies, heritage studies, architecture, etc. Possible subthemes of research may include:
- Industrial ruins and post-industrial landscapes: creative acts inspired by engagements with physical testimonies to the past, their otherness and unstable state.
- Recycling industrial buildings and their immediate environment through culture and heritage.
- Reinterpreting industrial sites for creative uses: questioning the inventiveness, viability and durability of adaptive re-use by the creative industries.
- Assessing the legibility and permanence of the past in the conversion of industrial buildings.
- Conservation and conversions: conflicts arising amidst architectural, cultural, historical, economic and promotional priorities.
- Contemporary architectural interventions on the industrial urban fabric: an act of enhancement, detraction or debasement of heritage?
- The protection and conservation of the industrial built environment: a challenge for urban planners and developers.
- Representations of a vanishing industrial society and its heritage: depicting the industrial past, its people and its physical reminders in urban and rural landscapes.
- The contribution of industrial heritage to tourism in post-industrial areas.
- The birth of environmentalism in an increasingly industrial and urban British society in the late 18th century and its development in the 19th century onwards.
- New functions for vacant industrial buildings: the discourse of sustainable development in cities.
Scientific Committee : Aurore Caignet, Renée Dickason, Tim Edensor, Julian Holder, David Haigron, Guillaume Clément, Nicole Cloarec, Jose-Manuel Lopes-Cordeiro, Laurence Gourievidis, Lesley Lelourec.
Please send your proposals (maximum 500 words) in English with a short biography to Aurore Caignet firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 May 2017.
(posted 21 November 2016)
The Challenges of Cultural Diversity in the Labor Market: Politics, Practices and Representations in the 21st century
MSHS, University of Poitiers, France, 11-13 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2017
Organizing committee: Ariane Le Moing and Christèle Le Bihan (MIMMOC, University of Poitiers), Saïd Ouaked (EHIC, University of Limoges), Christian Papinot (GRESCO, University of Poitiers)
Geographical areas of study: Europe, North and South America
Multi- / Interdisciplinary conference: arts (social sciences), law, administration, management sciences, communication sciences, education, psychology
For several centuries, immigration and cultural diversity have triggered a heated debate on national cohesion and on the meanings of “living-together” and integration in Western societies (Etzioni, Huntington, Taylor, Walzer). In a context of global crisis, the economic impact of immigration, and that linked to the massive arrival of refugees, is at the core of the current and ongoing debates. This is especially the case in Europe where public debate has revolved around questions of insecurity linked to terror and employment and has fuelled a distrust, even a rejection of immigrants and refugees. If some deep concerns remain about the burden of immigration on the budget of the host countries, and in particular on the demand of workforce, a body of research in social sciences has also underlined the positive contribution of immigration on the productivity of these countries. Other studies have also highlighted the professional characteristics of immigrants and their status in the corporate structure of the receiving society while emphasizing at the same time income inequalities between foreign-born and local workers along with multiple aspects of discrimination in the job market.
In Canada, an officially bilingual and multicultural country, diversity is dealt with in terms of practical projects and actions aiming at the social and economic integration of immigrants. Among them, many are highly qualified and experienced. They make up a significant workforce which is necessary for the development of Canada, a country characterized by an ageing population and a low birth rate. Nevertheless the institutional or organizational recognition of the diplomas of these mostly non-English and non-French-speaking newcomers is not always systematic and this procedure hinders, among other things, their effective integration into the labour market.
In the United States, numerous incidents (police violence against black suspects, racist statements from a presidential candidate) have led observers to question the American model of integration. Under Georges W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations, some reform projects for the general policy of immigration have failed following strong divisions within Congress. A reform is all the more needed in the business world as in a context of globalized economy, the needs in the fields of services and technology are not covered by local workers. Moreover, the number of visas delivered to highly qualified workers remains insufficient. Some American firms have decided that hiring employees from diverse ethnic and racial communities is an advantage and are adopting policies of diversity management. In order to address the challenges of cultural diversity and equality of opportunities in employment, in 2011 Barack Obama launched an initiative consisting in promoting diversity and inclusion within federal public administrations.
In some Latin American countries, the immigration policies aim at addressing the problems created by the recent arrival of diversified groups of people (coming from poor Latin American countries) and of qualified personnel (coming or returning from Europe) thanks to national and local government measures in the MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market) countries. In order that diversity should contribute to the development of these countries rather than hinder it, questions arise: how should these different groups in multicultural societies be integrated? How should stereotypes, sources of discrimination, particularly in the world of labor, be fought and how should the recognition of the newcomers’diplomas and professional skills be facilitated?
More than ever, the major liberal democracies have to deal with debates about the economic impact of immigration while promoting at the same time the free circulation of goods and workers. This conference aims at discussing the question of cultural diversity in the labor market in its general meaning, and from a comparative and inter-/multidisciplinary approach. Indeed this diversity can be observed in many professional domains such as:
- the corporate world: in a context of economic globalization and intensification of business exchanges, firms frequently face different cultural contexts whose characteristics can have external and internal consequences: what are their influence on business practices but also on the management and the functioning of multicultural workteams within corporations ? ((Davel, Dupuis et Chanlat, 2008)
- the medical field (hospitals, community health services, specialized services…): diversity is a significant social and cultural reality in health institutions (public and private hospitals in particular) which have to deal with challenges raised by secularism (wearing of religious signs by the personnel, patients’ refusal to be treated…) and the fight against discrimination (within medical teams and between health practitioners and patients).
- social work (private and public host centers, associations…): social workers (employees and volunteers) from different associations and public institutions dealing with pluralism, migration and notably exile issues often meet hurdles regarding the perception of the foreigners. The difficulty to reach an equilibrium between the respect of cultural specificities and integration into the national society leads social professionals to conduct a reflection on intercultural interactions in the modern society (Verbunt, 2009).
- teaching and training fields (schools, universities, colleges…): how to address the challenges of cultural diversity at school and university and how to support an effective cohesion? How are the teachers and the future teachers trained to acquire the knowledge regarding the pupils and students’ cultural specificities and to the attitudes and skills required in inclusive education? (Larochelle-Audet, Borri-Anadon, McAndrew et Potvin, 2013).
- in public administrations (local and regional ones…): the representation of ethnocultural groups within public administration is also a major matter of concern. Researchers question the factors of differentiation, especially those linked to ethnic or racial origins, between employees within administration structures and also discuss the relevance of proactive public policies implemented in order to reach a greater equality at work (equity in terms of employment and salaries) (Charest, 2015).
The conference aims at understanding the assets and the limits at stake of economic integration policies implemented in these societies, as well as emphasizing the practices and the representations regarding cultural diversity in the professional field.
Possible themes of discussion:
- -economic integration of immigrants in receiving societies: recognition of foreign degrees and professional experience, employability, discrimination issues (salaries equity issues, systemic inequalities…)
- -voluntary policies supporting immigrants and foreign workers
- -role of supra-national and private organizations in recommending more flexible approaches to diversity and circulation of workers
- -recognition and endorsement of diversity in firms: acculturation processes (judgements and ethnocentric attitudes, cultural shock…), intercultural conflicts in management (reasonable accommodation, mediation measures…)
- -intercultural negotiations abroad (knowledge of the various values systems, of the foreign corporate cultures, specific behaviour when meeting an interlocutor from a different cultural background…)
- -diversity, skills and contributions: stimulation of productivity and innovation, immigrant entrepreneurship, various contributions…
- -intercultural training in firms or business organisations: integration in multicultural teams, intercultural management…
- -training of professionals in front-line social support, especially with refugees (public health personnel, social workers, school personnel…), identity issues, recognition of psychological and social consequences of migration movements, intercultural communication skills…
- -Diversity and professional interaction (management professions, educators, trainers, nursing staff, social workers…), interaction between professionals, and between professionals and clients and/or patients (personal, social, and/or professional identity impact…)
The contribution of academic professionals but also the participation of workers from the business and the administration fields and from other professional structures are actively encouraged in order to contribute to the inter-/multidisciplinary and comparative approaches of this conference.
Submissions of presentations, in French, in English or in Spanish (400 words + 5 keywords) and a short abstract will be sent by April 30 2017 to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
A selection of presentations will be published.
- Charest Éric, «Mise en œuvre des obligations d’accès à l’égalité: un processus de managérialisation du cadre juridique pour combattre la discrimination en milieu de travail», dans S. Arcand et A. Germain (dir.) Travailler et cohabiter: l’immigration au-delà de l’intégration, Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2015.
- Chicha, Marie-Thérèse et Charest, Éric. Le Québec et les programmes d’accès à l’égalité: un rendez-vous manqué? Analyse critique de l’évolution des programmes d’accès à l’égalité depuis 1985. CEETUM. Montréal, 2013.
- Clanet, Claude, L’interculturel : Introduction aux approches interculturelles en éducation et en sciences humaines, Toulouse, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1990.
- Cognet Marguerite et Catherine Montgomery, Éthique de l’Altérité. La question de la culture dans le champ de la santé et des services sociaux, Québec, Presses de l’Université Laval, 2007.
- Cohen-Emerique, Margalit. « L’approche interculturelle dans le processus d’aide », Santé mentale au Québec, vol. XVIII, n°1, Printemps 1993, pp.71-91.
- Davel Eduardo, Jean-Pierre Dupuis et Jean-François Chanlat, Gestion en contexte interculturel : Approches, problématiques, pratiques et plongées, Les Presses de l’Université de Laval, Québec, 2008.
- Demorgon, Jacques et Edmond Marc Lipiansky (dir.). Guide de l’interculturel en formation. Paris: Retz, 1999.
- D’Iribarne Philippe, Cultures et mondialisation : gérer par-delà les frontières, Paris : Édition du Seuil, 2002.
- Etzioni, Amitaï, Rights and the Common Good: the Communautarian Perspective, New York: St Martin’s Press, 1995.
- Hofstede Geert, Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov, Cultures and organizations: software of the mind, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill USA, 2010.
- Huntington, Samuel P., Who Are We? The Challenges to American Identity, Simon & Schuster, 2005.
- Larochelle-Audet Julie, Corina Borri-Anadon, Marie McAndrew, Maryse Potvin, La formation initiale du personnel scolaire sur la diversité ethnoculturelle, religieuse et linguistique dans les universités québécoises : portrait quantitatif et qualitatif. Rapport de recherche, CEETUM/Chaire de recherche du Canada sur l’Éducation et les rapports ethniques, Janvier 2013.
- Legault, Gisèle et Liliane Rachédi (dir.), L’intervention interculturelle, 2e édition, Gaëtan Morin Éditeur, Chenelière Éducation, 2008.
- Livermore, David. Driven by Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity. Amacom, 2016.
- Prieur, Elisabeth, Emmanuel Jovelin, Martine Blanc (dir.), Travail social et immigration: Interculturalité et pratiques professionnelles. L’Harmattan, 2006.
- Rogers, Everett M. and Thomas M.Steinfatt. Intercultural Communication, Waveland Press, 1999.
- Taylor, Charles, Amy Gutmann, Multiculturalism: examining the politics of recognition, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.
- Thésée Gina, Nicole Carignan, Paul R.Carr (dir.), Les faces cachées de l’interculturel, L’Harmattan, 2010.
- Verbunt, Gilles. La question interculturelle dans le travail social: Repères et perspectives. Editions La Découverte, Paris, 2009.
- Walzer, Michael, Spheres Of Justice: A Defense Of Pluralism And Equality , New York: Basic Books, 2003.
(posted 11 April 2017)
And in the end, life laughs at death… Rethinking Laughter in Contemporary Anglophone Theatre
Toulouse, France, 12-13 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 31 mars 2017
Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, laboratoire CAS, Département des Études du Monde Anglophone et Théâtre du Grand Rond
Elisabeth Angel-Perez (Université de Paris-Sorbonne)
Linda Ben-Zvi (Tel Aviv University)
Annette J. Saddik (City University of New York)
“All destruction is finally petty and in the end life laughs at death” Edward Bond, The Sea
To laugh and to relish, as some people, historically, always seem to do, how far the rampant disorder had spread, enjoying enormously the assailability, the frailty, the enfeeblement of supposedly robust things.
Philip Roth, American Pastoral
All those tooth-whitening ads you’ve got on television – sheer mania for showing your bones. I mean no other animal exhibits its skeleton the way we do.
Brian Parker, Tennessee Williams and His Contemporaries
The revival on the contemporary stage of long-established aesthetic categories inherited from the comic tradition and comprising a wide variety of styles, ranging from the burlesque, the slapstick or the farcical to satirical and black comedies, calls for a reexamination of the role and function of laughter in Anglophone theatre since the second half of the twentieth century. In a post-Auschwitz world where, according to Theodor Adorno’s well-known remark, “it has become impossible to write poetry,” the diversity of comic forms seems to have provided playwrights with the means of filling the void of the unspeakable. As early as 1958, Ionesco felt the need for a theatrical medium that had to be violently comical, that had “to push everything to paroxysm, to the point where the sources of the tragic lie.” In this light, the comic voice, as it manifests itself on stage today, could prove to be the catalyst for a new understanding of the tragic. This idea was suggested by Mireille Losco-Lena in 2005, when she wrote that the use of comic forms could breathe new life into theatre and help redefine the tragic. So, if it is still possible for spectators to laugh today, why do they laugh and what makes them laugh? What is the meaning of the “bursting, inarticulate voice” (Descartes) that shakes them? Is it simply the only possible answer to the strangeness of the world, to its radical inhumanity? Or, in that shared space created by laughter, couldn’t there be a desire to go beyond nihilism and an affirmation of humanity? The Rabelaisian experience of laughter as pure outburst or Baudelaire’s description of the intoxicating power of laughter seem indeed to hint at something absolute, “something terrible and irresistible” (Baudelaire) that undermines the relation of the public to the spectacle and renews the comic tradition to expand the potentialities of laughter, making it not just “the only imaginable and definitively terminal result” (Bataille), but also a means of setting thought in motion and continuing to be human in a world that no longer seems to be so.
The conference invites participants to explore the new potentialities of laughter on the contemporary Anglophone stage through the following themes:
- The object of laughter: What provokes laughter in the text/on the stage? How do contemporary playwrights and directors appropriate the comic tradition?
- The playwright/director’s intentions: How does the comic intention manifest itself in the text/on the stage? How does this intention transpose from page to stage? What are its aesthetic, ethical and/or political implications?
- Laughter in translation: How does the comic intention translate into another language? Surtitling laughter and its challenges.
- Laughter on stage: What happens when a character laughs and her/his voice frees itself from meaning and language? Is laughter a negation of language or an expansion of its potentialities? What is the difference between real and acted laughter?
- The spectator’s laughter: Distance or empathy? Can laughter be considered as a form of catharsis? Does laughter take part in the creation of a shared space between the public and the stage or does it instead imply the idea of a separation, of a critical distance?
Proposals should include a 300-word abstract and a brief bio-bibliography. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by the deadline of 31 March 2017.
(posted 8 March 2017)
Transitio, Transmissio, Translatio: Spaces of Transition in the Modern World: The 16th International Conference “Language, Literature, and Cultural Policies”
Craiova, Romania, 12-14 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2017
- Professor Stephen Prickett, Regius Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Glasgow, Honorary Professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury)
- Professor Patricia Erskine-Hill, Professor of Italian and Medieval Literature at Baylor University, Texas (retired)
- Professor Mihaela Irimia, Director of Studies, British Cultural Studies Centre, Director, Centre of Excellence for the Study of Cultural Identity, University of Bucharest
Transitional spaces are spaces which, by definition, epitomize the uncertainty of an existence caught in-between conditions, stages of development and worlds. Passages, pathways, hallways, and courtyards continuously negotiate cultural identities and meanings. This chapter provides a perfect occasion for a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. The conference hopes to bring together scholars and postgraduate students working in a range of disciplines and departments. Speakers are warmly invited to address the discourse of transition from one of the perspectives sketched out below. Also welcome are papers which look at this topic from other viewpoints concerning the past and present states of transitional space. Possible topics can include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- Geopolitical transitional spaces
- Literature as a transitional space
- (Socio-) linguistic transitional spaces
- Cultural practices in transition
- Transition and spaces of in-between in translation
Proposals (maximum 200 words) for 20-minute papers along with a short autobiographical note (maximum 100 words) can be sent to the organizers, Dr Elena Butoescu, Dr Andreea Bratu, Dr Alina Resceanu and Dr Daniela Rogobete, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 July 2017. The languages of the conference are English and German.
- participants presenting papers: 250 RON / 60 EUR
- attendance without presentation: 70 RON/ 15 EUR
Casa Universitarilor 57, Calea Unirii, 200329, Craiova, Romania
(posted 13 March 2017)
Iasi-Chernowitz Conference: Embracing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity through English
Iaşi, Romania, 12 October 2017, and Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 13-14 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2017
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Letters, Department of English
Yuriy Fedkovici University of Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Faculty of Letters, Department of English
We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry,
and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry
are equal in value no matter what their color.
Discourse on linguistic and cultural diversity is by no means new and the topic has been approached from the most diverse angles of investigation: from cultural studies, anthropology and linguistics to literature, translation studies and foreign language teaching –if we were to mention some of the disciplines that are closest to this area of research. Despite its recurrence, though, the subject is far from losing its high relevance at a time when cultural and linguistic identities are constantly challenged by the powerful – and inevitable – phenomenon of globalization. Moreover, the interdisciplinary potential of the topic makes it still attractive to further multifaceted research and thought-provoking inquiries.
However, the novelty and challenge of this conference are also determined by its cross-border dimension, with two outstanding universities in their respective countries, enjoying well-respected academic traditions, as main organizers. Its unique context of development is marked by geographical vicinity, by the intercultural dialogue of two areas in which distinct, yet occasionally merging cultures and languages have co-existed. In addition, this scientific event is the joint venture of two Departments of English. Consequently, the main general questions that the conference addresses are: how has the study of English foregrounded cultural and linguistic plurality on our planet? How has it encouraged the assertion of linguistic and cultural identities?
In keeping with its topic, the conference also offers a unique opportunity for profitable encounters between participants from the most diverse geographical areas – who are invited to present papers from the perspective of such (inter)disciplines as
- cultural studies
- linguistics and stylistics
- literature, film and the media
- translation studies
to which other fields of interest could be added.
Interested participants are invited to send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio-biblio note to the following email address: ISCEConference@gmail.com
Deadline for proposal submission: 15 June, 2017
Notification of acceptance: 31 July , 2017
The Conference registration fee is 150 EUR (100 EUR for Chernivtsi to be paid by 1 September, 2017 on a bank account that will be published on the conference site), and another 50 EUR to be paid in Iasi upon arrival. The conference fee covers the conference folder, the conference volume, refreshments, 3-day- lunches, a welcome reception, a welcome dinner, and a farewell cocktail. The conference fee does not cover travel expenses and the cost of accommodation. Further information on accommodation [some most convenient possibilities included] will soon become visible on the conference web page at http://isce.linguaculture.ro
(posted 27 March 2017à
Last pages, last shots
Université de Caen Normandie, France, 13-14 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 27 March 2017
This conference continues a sequence of international events exploring the question of closure as well as the question of adaptation. We would like to turn now to the adaptation of the last pages of a novel to the screen.
In this conference, we intend to measure and comment the stakes of adaptation to the screen at the end of a novel. An adaptation is necessarily the product of a specific reading of a text; it is an appropriation that can lead to a change in the end of the source text. The close of a novel, however, is both the moment when literary traditions hold strongest – and when the author may take up the challenge to buck those traditions, to distance the work once and for all from foregone conclusions (Larroux). Can the same be said of film? Does the filmmaker’s vision replace that of the novelist? Does the end of a film also signal its tendency to either follow or challenge tradition? Classic Hollywood films end with a concluding scene, followed by an epilogue (Bordwell), thus imitating the traditional novel, but adaptations are frequently the subject of narrative and structural changes, for various reasons. Hollywood’s love of the happy end is well known, while the transformation of Jane Austen’s novels into simple love stories is a striking example of Hollywood’s need to appeal to a mass audience. In animated adaptations of fairy tales, the trend is even more obvious: Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989) is but one example, born of a desire to not shock children (or their parents). Beyond this, a change to the ending can be a selling point: the producers of the recent adaptation of Gone Girl (2014) actually promoted the film by promising that it rewrote the final act, thus maintaining the suspense that readers felt, or perhaps correcting an ending that was somewhat controversial.
Beyond these transformations made to the storyline, writing for the screen necessarily engenders structural changes, be it the transition from the last images to the credits, or the move from a last chapter to the last act of a film. When the adaptation is to the endless present of television, where the ending (or conversely, the continuation) of a story is often decided not by creative choice but by ratings and network dictate, these structural changes are even more pronounced. Thus we are interested in both the ideological implications of changes made in adapting these final pages to the screen, as well as the aesthetic stance taken in modifying (or on the contrary, maintaining) the ending of the source text.
We could also compare open and closed endings when they are adapted to the screen; if we think of the open endings that Torgovnik referred to as “scenic” that proliferate in the novels of Henry James, and are themselves a testament to the influence of the theater, ending with an ongoing dialogue – can we find a similar technique at work in film, or does the adaptation tend to offer a more definitive ending?
- Bordwell, David. “Happily Ever After, Part 2”. Velvet Light Trap 19 (1982): 2-7.
- —. Narration in the Fiction Film. London: Routledge, 1985.
- Hock, Tobias. “Film endings”. In Last Things: Essays on Ends and Endings. Ed. Gavin Hopps et al. Aachen British and American studies 19. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2014. 65-79.
- Larroux, Guy. Le Mot de la fin. La clôture romanesque en question. Paris : Nathan, 1995.
- Neupert, Richard. The End, Narration and Closure in the Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995.
- Torgovnick, Mariana. Closure in the Novel. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1981.
Proposals are to be sent to Dr Armelle Parey, Université de Caen Normandie (email@example.com) and Pr. Shannon Wells-Lassagne, Université de Bourgogne Franche Comté (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 27th, 2017. Answers will be received in the following month.
 Happy Endings and Films (dir. Armelle Parey, Isabelle Roblin et Dominique Sipière). Paris : Michel Houdiard, 2010; Literary Happy Endings : Closure for Sunny Imaginations. (dir. Armelle Parey and Isabelle Roblin). Aachen : Shaker Verlag, 2012; L’Inachevé ou l’ère des possibles dans la littérature anglophone, Récits ouverts et incomplets. (dir. François Gallix, Armelle Parey et Isabelle Roblin). Caen: Presses Universitaires de Caen, 2014; Character Migration in Anglophone Literature. (dir. Armelle Parey et Isabelle Roblin). E-rea [on-line], 13.1 | 2015. https://erea.revues.org/4546)
L’adaptation cinématographique : première pages, premiers plans. sous la direction de D. Letort et S. Wells-Lassagne, Mare &Martin, 2014.
(posted 7 November 2016)
Translating the Senses in Children’s Literature
TRACT Conference, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France, 13-14 October 2017
and issue 31 of Palimpsestes
New extended deadline for proposals: 17 April 2017
This is both a call for papers for the TRACT Conference and a call for contributions to issuse 31 of Palimpsestes.
Center for Research in Translation and Transcultural Communication
In Orbis Sensualium Pictus (1658), Comenius, established a parallel between the physical pleasure that results from a child’s relationship with the book and his/her connection to the surrounding world. Comenius’s encyclopaedia enabled children to learn new words through the visual representation of objects. The book relied on the movement between languages and modes of representation, in keeping with the maxim beloved of both Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas: “Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses” (“Nihil est in intellectu nisi prius fuerit in sensu”).
Children’s literature emerged as a distinct genre a century after the publication of Comenius’ work. At that time, the notion of the pleasure of the text became more firmly established. From its earliest stages, the central role of the image in children’s literature was consolidated by printing’s technical progress. The importance of the non-verbal dimension of the children’s book has made it the multimodal corpus par excellence. The materiality of the book as object plays with size, form, texture, and graphics, thus allowing for forms of physical interaction which are close to those provided by toys (pop-up books, kamishibaï, fold-out books, tactile books, lift-the-flap books) which have a strong meta-linguistic dimension.
Translating a book for children implies far more than simply translating the written text. The translator is only one of the different mediators involved in the process of recreating the sensorial experience. Both the text and the relationship between text and image need to be translated, as indeed does the non-verbal dimension of the book (graphics, layout, the texture of the paper).
Translation has played a fundamental role in the emergence of young people’s literature from the 18th century, as illustrated by the development and circulation of a European literary corpus for children, via a continuous process of translation, retranslation, rewriting and adaptation. Since children’s literature is the only genre defined by its readership, the translation required in the expansion of children’s literature further complicated the relationship this corpus had to the translated book. As a result of the founding paradox on which children’s literature is based (the adult writing for the child he once was), the notion of reception and the specificity of the corpus is vital. The translation process reproduces the inextricable equilibrium between the adult and the child. Translation also takes account of the sensorial links that characterize this asymetrical relationship, in which the senses occupy an essential place. For the young reader the connection to his/her mother tongue, the physical presence of the adult and the timbre of the adult’s voice when s/he reads aloud to the child are part of the peculiar challenges that this literature represents. Yet, translating orality for older readers is also difficult, implying the transposition into the target language of the musicality of a form of writing ever more resolutely multicultural and diverse.
In the case of the translation of children’s literature the following aspects may be addressed:
- the translation of the relationship between text and image in children’s picture books and graphic novels
- the case of manga, especially the translation of onomatopoeia as expressions of the senses
- the translation of non-verbal elements in children’s books
- the book as object in translation (layout, colours, graphics, materials, textures, format, cut-outs)
- the translation of orality and musicality in children’s books
- the specificities of the translation of e-books for young people
- the senses/meaning and translation of nonsense
Propositions (a half page in English or in French) plus a short CV should be sent, by 17 April 2017 (new extended deadline) at the latest to Clíona Ní Ríordáin (email@example.com) and Virginie Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(posted 2 February 2017, updated 3 April 2017)
Saints and Sanctity in Language, Literature and Culture
Departments of English and German Philology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland, 18-20 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2017
The conference concerns the motifs of sanctity, sacred places and figures of the saints, which have undergone culturally de- termined transformation perceptible on the diachronic and synchronic scales. In contemporary times many texts revert to the ancient genre of hagiography. The motifs of saintly lives de- termine the plot development of multiple dramatic and liter- ary texts, as well as of many films, such as, among others: T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, Thomas Mann’s The Holy Sinner (Der Erwählte), George Mackay Brown’s Magnus, A Man for All Seasons (1966) directed by Fred Zinnemann, The Mission (1986) dir. Roland Joffé, Life for Life: Maximilian Kolbe (1991) dir. Krzysztof Zanussi, The Messen- ger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) dir. Luc Besson. The genre ele- ments of hagiography have also influenced the ways of consti- tuting literary, dramatic and film characters in many works that do not openly deal with the lives of the saints.
The linguistic research conducted into many languages has revealed the rich layers of meaning of the terms sanctity, saintliness, holiness, saint, saintly, holy. One of the purposes of such analyses is reaching the primary semantic core of who is regarded as a saint, what is regarded as saintly, or the primary experience of sanctity. Some interesting conclusions have been reached by Polish historical linguists who have established the primary sense of the lexeme saint and have proved its word-forming activity over the centuries. In old Polish the word meant strong, mighty and enduring and it originated from early Slavonic.
Who or what is understood as saintly in many different texts, works of art, languages and epochs? What are the changes in constituting the motifs of sanctity, and in the meanings of words from the families of the words saint and holy? What changes are perceptible in the linguistic, literary, dramatic, cultural and artistic depiction of a male or female saint or a sacred place? Are there any narratives of sanctity that have not been questioned these days, and, if so, to what extent are they shared by different cultures and world views?
The conference welcomes the participation of English, German and Polish studies specialists, historians, culture studies specialists, film studies specialists, philosophers and specialists in the related disciplines.
We suggests the following research topics:
- etymology and semantics of the words saint, holy, sanctity, holiness in English, German, Polish and other languages,
- phraseology of lexemes saint and holy;• axiolinguistic dimension of sanctity;
- ways of desacralising the lexemes from the families of words saint and holy
- language evolution and conceptualising sanctity;
- realisations of semantic aspects of the lexemes saint, holy, sanctity and holiness in various literary epochs;
- figures of the saints and motifs of sanctity in poetry, fiction and drama;
- depiction and conceptualisation of sanctity in film, old and new media, art;
- topos of a holy place;
- archetypes related to sanctity;
- a saint as a symbolic figure;
- (non)ideal sanctity as a popular motif;
- literary and nonliterary texts authored by the saints;
- a saint as a culture-forming and historiocentric foundation;
- a saint as a new beginning, the vortex of community formation and a model for it;
- martyrdom of the saints in the context of constituting “national spirit” and/or“community spirit”;
- cultural differences in perception of sanctity;
- saints as patrons of the nations;
- images and words of the saints in public
The above list is not exhaustive. We invite other panel papers which come within the thematic scope of the conference.
Our conference will take place in the Humanities Centre at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Kurta Obitza Street 1, 10-725 Olsztyn, Poland. Proposals for twenty-minute papers, with abstracts up to 200 words, should be sent by 30th April 2017. Please use the enclosed Registration Form. Please name the files with your surname and shortened title, using the formula Surname_Shortened title. doc(x). We will inform you about acceptance of the proposals by 15th May 2017.
Proposals should be sent to email@example.com
Languages of the conference: English, German and Polish.
The conference fee will be 100€ (450 PLN for Polish attendees) and it will cover conference materials, coffee breaks, a dinner and a lunch. We inform you that it does not cover the hotel. We recommend Hotel Park which is close to the venue of the conference (address: Warszawska Street 119, Olsztyn), or budget lodgings in the guest rooms of Fundacja Żak UWM, situated within the University campus in Kortowo: DS 1, Kanafojskiego Street 3, tel. +48 89 523 33 29, +48 89 523 34 95, +48 89 522 74 50; DS 3, Oczapowskiego Street 9, tel. +48 89 523 33 42, +48 89 522 74 78, +48 89 523 44 76; DS4, Kanafojskiego Street 2, tel. +48 89 523 44 81.
We plan the publication of a peer-reviewed thematic monograph that will comprise the positively reviewed articles in English, German and Polish.
dr Halszka Leleń
dr Tomasz Żurawlew
dr Dorota Gładkowska
dr Renata Supranowicz
Student Interest and Initiative Group Anglo-Cooltura Juniors
Young Germanist Student Interest Group
(posted 4 March 2017)
The Reformation in Europe and its Echoes: Marking the 500th anniversary of Luther’s theses
Osijek, Croatia, 19-20 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 April 2017
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Osijek, Evangelical Theological Seminary, and the Department of Cultural Studies at the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, together with the Croatian Institute of History, Department for the History of Slavonia, Syrmia and Baranya in Slavonski Brod invite paper proposals for an interdisciplinary conference marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
Venue: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jägerova 9, Osije, Croatia
The sixteenth century saw the beginning of the Reformation, a religious and social movement which, based on the ideas of Renaissance and Humanism, constitutes one of the most significant events in the theological, cultural and political history of Europe, its effects long-lasting and visible to this day. The Reformation challenged the structure, practice, and theology of the Church resulting in its schism, but the Reformation’s consequences greatly transcended the area of theology and religious practice. Religious conflicts instigated wars, altered borders and political structures in Europe, and left a deep mark on European culture and art. The translations of the Bible into national languages, the freedom and the right of an individual to interpret the Bible for themselves, as well as the belief that it is everyone’s individual responsibility to provide for their own salvation increased the interest in and reverence for the written word. This has effected a great change in the perception of national (vernacular) languages which changed the general attitude toward literature, and brought about the development of new literary genres and a new style in art.
Based on the comprehensiveness of the causes, consequences, and effects of the Reformation, the conference organizers invite scholars from various disciplines to reflect on the following topics, or other topics related to the conference theme:
- Pre-Reformation Period: movements and leaders
- Leading figures of the Reformation
- Reformation and Humanism
- Pontificate during the Reformation
- Catholic Revival and Counter-Reformation
- Historical development of Protestant confessions and denominationsReformation and political history
- Reformation and social history
- Reformation and cultural history
- Reformation and source criticism
- Reformation and history of mentality
- Reformation and Protestantism in Croati
- Leading figures of the Reformation in Croatia
- Reformation and historiography
- Reformation and (post)modernisation
- Reformation and social values
- Reformation and secularization
- Reformation and demographic changes
- Reformation and economic development
- Ethics and Reformation
- Philosophy of politics
- Philosophy of religion
- Theoretical precepts of Reformation pedagogy
- Luther’s views on education
- Criticism of scholastic pedagogy from the point of view of Protestantism
- Attitudes to higher education and universities
- Family education in the spirit of Protestantism
- Education in the spirit of the Reformation and its main regional proponents
- Echoes of the Reformation in educational practice in Croatian schools
- Impact of the Reformation on education in Croatian lands
- Cultural and literary echoes of the Reformation
- Sermon as a literary gen
- Reformation and the Bible
- Lollards and adaptations of orthodox texts
- Precursors to the novel
- The Book of Common Prayers and prayer-books
- Echoes of the Reformation in the methodology of literary scholarship
- The character of Martin Luther in the realm of literary fiction
- Reformation, drama, and theatre
- Reformation and the German language
- Echoes of the Reformation in Croatian linguistic and literary traditio
- National and European frameworks of Croatian Protestant literature during the Reformation
- Croatian Protestant translators in Urach and Regensburg
- Reformation movement in the realm of Croatian Glagolitic literary and linguistic history
- Dissemination of Reformation teaching in Croatian religious literature for common people
- The working languages of the conference are Croatian, English, and German.
Please e-mail your 300-word abstracts by 1 April 2017 to the official address of the conference: firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference fee is 300 HRK or 50,00 EUR (student fee: 100 HRK or 15,00 EUR) and is due by 10 September 2017.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Osijek, Croatia
Reference: Reformation Conference
The deadline for submission of papers to be published will be announced at a later date. All papers will undergo peer-review. The accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings.
Conference secretary: Luka Pejić, mag. educ. philol. angl. et mag. educ. hist.
Organizational board: Assistant professor Dubravka Božić Bogović, Ph.D., Full professor Peter Kuzmič, Ph.D., Stanko Andrić, Ph.D., Full professor Ružica Pšihistal, Ph.D., Full professor Milica Lukić, Ph.D., Associate professor Zoran Velagić, Ph.D., Associate professor Jelena Lakuš, Ph.D., Assistant professor Željko Pavić, Ph.D., Assistant professor Ljubica Matek, Ph.D., Assistant professor Mirko Lukaš, Ph.D., Sonja Novak, Ph.D., Zdravko Perić, Ph.D., Gabriela Dobsai, mag. philol. hung. et mag. educ. hist.
(posted 21 November 2016)
Landscape / cityscape : Writing / Painting / Imagining Situational Identity in British Literature and Visual Arts (18th – 21st centuries)
Senate House, London, UK, 19-20 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2017
Joint conference of the SEAC (Société d’Etudes Anglaises Contemporaines) and the SAIT (Société Angliciste – Arts, Images et Textes)
The very etymology of the word “landscape,” derived from the Dutch “skip”—view—from the start underlines the constructedness of our relation to space. The space we inhabit is a lived space inscribed with the cultural traces of a collective imaginary itself informed by the art of landscape painting and writing. This conference organized jointly by The Société d’Études Anglaises Contemporaines (SEAC) and the Société Angliciste – Arts, Images et Textes (SAIT) aims at exploring the complex relation of identity to site and the way this relation may have been transformed across the centuries.
Several studies have, since the late 70s, stressed the tight correlation between the fashioning of collective identity in Britain, the rise of a specific sensibility to landscape and the underlying political and economic agenda of nature engineering, from Raymond Williams’ famed The Country and the City (1973) to David Matless’ Landcape and Englishness (1998). In 2012, the British Library’s contribution to the Olympic’s festivities took the form of an exhibition focusing on Britain’s spatial imaginary: Writing Britain. Wastelands to Wonderlands (see Christina Hardyment, Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands, London: The British Library, 2012), although, at the same time, Iain Sinclair lamented the depletion of that same collective imaginary at the hands of urban speculators. More recently, such explorations have also turned to the weather imagination and the way it informs English literature and visual arts (see Alexandra Harris’ Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies ), as well as to the affective impact of site and space (see Christine Berberich, Neil Campbell and Robert Hudson [eds.], Affective Landscapes in Literature, Art and Everyday Life, London, Ashgate ).
From Gainsborough’s early insights into the discursive potential of landscape painting to Turner’s modern take on landscape and seascape painting under the double injunction of myth and modernity (see The Fighting Temeraire, 1839) or L.S. Lowry’s industrial scapes, landscape painting has captured the mutations of English identity in its relation to space and vision. Similarly, from Romantic poetry to Thomas Hardy’s or D. H. Lawrence’s mytho-poetic visions and Simon Armitage’s reappropriation of that tradition, English literature has invented itself in an organic embrace with landscape, i.e. nature always already culturally inscribed.
Although specific emphasis may be placed on the 20th and the 21st centuries, papers may also address the longue durée of such imaginary and the specific intertextuality and inter-iconicity produced by the landscape and cityscape aesthetic tradition. One may choose to turn to turn-of-the-century morphing visions of landscape as it was harnessed to nascent metroland modernity, or to the lasting pastoral model as explored and deflated both by Virginia Woolf in Between the Acts (1941) and Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited (1945). Intermedial treatments of landscape and cityscape are also crucial to the understanding of the fashioning of identity in relation to site-specificity. Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet (1979), as well as Hamish Fulton’s blend of poetry and site-specificity art are examples of the way writing, images, and site-specific works allow art to reinvent England’s relation to its own situational memory. Such intermediality has also been of key importance to the exploration of England’s conflicted urban imagination: from Dickens’s foundational definition of urban city-writing, to Zadie Smith’s new take on urban identity fashioning or Howard Jacobson’s recent dystopian vision of a world that may no longer be mapped in J (2014).
The conference will also be the occasion to explore the epistemological distinctions between landscape and nature-writing and between landscape and nature-studies or Green studies as defined by Jonathan Bate or Lawrence Buell.
Proposals will be examined by a scientific committee.
Selected papers will eventually be submitted to two peer-reviewed academic journals (Etudes britanniques contemporaines and Polysèmes), both available on the revues.org platform (www.revues.org).
Abstracts (300 words + selected bibliography and short biographical note) should be sent to Isabelle Gadoin (email@example.com), Catherine Lanone (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Catherine Bernard (email@example.com) by May 31st 2017.
(posed 16 January 2017)
2nd International Conference Atlantic Communities: Translation | Conflict | Belief | Ideology
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal, 19-21 October 2017
New extended deadline for proposals: 8 May 2017
CETAPS – Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies
Co-org. University of Porto | University of Vigo | Queen’s University Belfast
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Ástráður Eysteinsson (Univ. of Iceland)
- Hephzibah Israel (The Univ. of Edinburgh)
- Jorge Vaz de Carvalho (Univ. Católica, Lisboa)
This conference is the second in a series designed to explore the connections between notions of translation (as practice and object of inquiry, but also as concept and master trope for intercultural dynamics) and the networks of identity that have historically developed around and across the Atlantic. It derives its pretext and rationale from a set of (ostensibly disparate) commemorative opportunities afforded by the year 2017.
- the fifth centenary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses (1517);
- the centenary of the October Revolution (1917);
- the centenary of the US decision to enter the Great War (1917).
Suggested topics. These are some of the general topics that we believe may arise from the above:
- Wars and words around the Atlantic: translation and emergency/ies
- Conflicts and alliances, Europe and America: translation and (trans)Atlantic geopolitics
- Versions of tomorrow: ideology and utopias in the Atlantic world
- Religion across the Atlantic: verbal transit and human mobility
- Belief and selfhood: translation, contemplation and the Atlantic world
- Public causes: political action, ethics and rewriting in the Atlantic world
- Ideology crises and new beliefs across the Atlantic: Post-human and Post-truth narratives
The organisers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to these or other topics prompted by the conference’s rationale
Submissions should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following information with your proposal:
- the full title of your paper;
- a 250-300-word abstract;
- name, postal address and e-mail address;
- institutional affiliation and position;
- a short bionote;
- AV requirements (if any)
Deadline for proposals: 8 May 2017
Notification of acceptance: 31 May 2017
Deadline for Registration: 30 September 2017
Registration Fee: 80 Euros
Student fee: 65 Euros
Registration details will be posted online in September 2017
All delegates are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation. Additional relevant information can be found on the conference website: https://cetaps.wixsite.com/atlantic-communities
Host and venue:
The conference will take place at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, http://www.letras.up.pt. It will be organised and hosted by CETAPS – the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies, www.cetaps.com – and, within it, by the research group Relational Forms: Intertextual and Interart Dynamics in the Cultures of Ireland and Britain.
This initiative reflects the awareness of a shared space (the Atlantic) and a common interest (translation, both as practice and trope) developed by a group of academics from three universities: Universidade de Vigo, Universidade do Porto, Queen’s University Belfast. Their commitment to a set of common goals includes jointly organised conferences and publications.
Rui Carvalho Homem (convenor; Univ. Porto)
Teresa Caneda (Univ. Vigo)
David Johnston (Queen’s Univ. Belfast)
Local executive committee:
Rui Carvalho Homem | Jorge Bastos da Silva | Miguel Ramalhete Gomes | Jorge Almeida Pinho
For queries please contact:
CETAPS – Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
+351 22 0427659
(posted 18 April 2017)
Activist discourses and debates: political commitment on Facebook
ERIAC, Rouen University, France, 20 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2017
This day conference aims at exploring activist and committed practices on Facebook, whether on personal pages or in Facebook groups.
Facebook is not only used to share personal information and link up with people close to us or with other acquaintances. It serves also to gather users around common interests, among which political interests are not uncommon. There has been a huge rise in antiracist pages, pages belonging to political parties or LGBT organizations etc. Facebook represents a place for discussion where users can oppose arguments and ideologies, share information, test out their contacts on difficult political questions, maintain the morale of activists in many different ways, and organize and promote offline activist processes (demonstrations, meetings, boycotts or petitions, for example).
Debate on Facebook is moulded by the ecology of the platform. Users may block individuals who do not follow the tacit rules of debate, or who put forward arguments which are not appreciated or are beyond the pale (though there can be a risk of not being able to follow a group discussion when one has blocked one user, whose comments, then, are not visible). By distributing « likes » or, since 2016 other reactions (I love it/ that’s funny/ that’s sad/ wow !/ that makes me angry), one can reinforce someone else’s contribution without saying any more. The new possibility to reply to replies, in a hierarchically structured conversation, allow more scope for debate.
Other features are available for activists or sympathizers of a cause or organization. Creating a page is simple and free of cost ; the originator receives regular information about numbers of visitors and likes, and for a few euros or more can promote a page and ensure that it is visible to people with similar interests.
We particularly welcome proposals for papers from a discourse analysis or from a social sciences perspective. Themes for papers could include :
- The meaning of sharing articles, and what comments accompany articles shared from outside sources
- Satirical discourse in political memes and the sarcastic vocabulary it has generated (mansplaining, #firstworldproblems etc.)
- The use of pages and of Facebook events by official and unofficial organizations and by individuals.
- The use of the platform in ways which were not intended by the software developers
- The different ways of arguing on personal and on group pages
- Attitudes praising or denouncing online activism
- Unwritten, negotiated and compulsory rules in debate, and their effects (threatening to block people, declarations such as “you can’t say that.”, proprietary feelings about one’s “own” page, conceptions of etiquette, and so on.
Biography & Verity
Maison de la Recherche – Aix-Marseille Université, France, 20-21 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1st February, 2017
Interdisciplinary Colloquium of Federation CRISIS
Biography Society http://biographysociety.org
LERMA (EA 853) – CAER (EA 854) – IrASIA (UMR 7306)
Biography entertains a peculiar relationship to the notion of verity, by aiming far less at the Truth than at the fluctuating truths of unique individual lives. Indeed, in science and in the humanities alike, truth appears to us today as a construction, always conveyed by a discourse ; indeed, verity is an unattainable horizon, an object of desire that keeps receding on and on as we strive to get closer to it, but the very quest ceaselessly modifies the landscape of our knowledge. The recent development of ‘biofiction’ can be interpreted as a ‘biographisation’ of contemporary fiction, which characterises our time, and is comparable to the ‘novelisation’ of genres one century ago. This phenomenon is what Hans Renders, Binne de Haan et Jonne Harmsma investigate in The Biographical Turn : Lives in History (Routledge, 2016). In historiography and philosophy of history, Hayden White’s theses, especially in The Fiction of Narrative (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), like Ivan Jablonka’s in L’histoire est une littérature contemporaine (Seuil, 2014), clearly pose the problem of the partly fictional, and in any case literary nature of historiography. Biography, commonly described as a hybrid genre, between history and literature (see Michael Benton, Toward a Poetics of Literary Biography, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), is distinguished by a peculiar aesthetics; it is assessed (by readers, critics, and the juries of literary awards) by the double standard of the verity of the knowledge it conveys, and the quality of the style in which it is expresses it.
A biographer is expected, on the one hand, to administrate the proof of what she writes in her texts and paratexts, and, on the other hand, to do so while producing a text where the pleasure to read must satisfy the desire to know: where scientific quest and aesthetic experience cross-fertilize one another. The most interesting biographers are those for whom literary writing is not a mere form but their very method, the very path of their thinking towards a better understanding of their subject. Some are fascinated by the gradual metamorphoses their characters goes through, others keep swinging backward and forward in the chronological unravelling of a life, unwilling to wrench their eyes from the accomplished historical personage. Mixing memory and desire, scientific truth and literary verity, biography is a peculiar field, a crossroads of humanities, where a significant turn is taking place. The biographic turn partakes of a reprise, a new start, a reorientation of writing and reading towards this verity, always surprising, of which we cannot but see that it is the text that our lives are made of.
Contributions can propose theoretical reflexions on the notion of verity in biography, or case studies, interrogating for instance the political uses of biography to inflect the “truth” about a person in the eyes of the public, addressing methods of investigation and verification of the facts, or analysing literary, rhetorical, strategies of administration of the proof. They also be studies of the paratexts (footnote, prefaces, postfaces, documentary appendixes, etc.), or of the iconographic illustrations, taking especially into account the impact of photography. Considerations on the cinema are also expected, investigating the special relationship of biographical films to historical truth. In the field of digital humanities, the truth effect of on-line biographical notices and dictionaries of biography, as well as the impact of digital tools on biographical research are a case in point. Papers should also address fictionalisation as a method of investigative construction to fill in the gaps of documentation.
Proposals, in French or in English, with a provisional title, an abstract no longer than 100 words, and 5 key-words, should be sent before February 1st, 2017, to Pr Joanny Moulin email@example.com & Pr Yannick Gouchan firstname.lastname@example.org.
(posted 5 November 2017)
The experience and representation of the disabled body in literature and the arts
Lyon and Saint-Étienne, France, 20-21 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2017
A two-day interdisciplinary conference organised by Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne (CELEC) & Université Jean Moulin-Lyon 3 (IETT), France, 20-21 October 2017
Venue: Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne (20 October) and University Jean Moulin-Lyon 3 (21 October)
This international conference will explore the experience and representation of disability in literature and the arts. Whether we think of paralyzed or amputated limbs, visual or mental impairments, war cripples or traffic accident victims, the disabled body has always been an object of fascination in the arts and in the popular imagination. Since it is outside the norm and literally extraordinary, it seems to resist both representation and interpretation. Consequently, what is stake in the disabled body has often been ignored, for it has been perceived as a diminished or dysfunctional version of the “normal body”. Besides, since the ideal of a “sound mind in a sound body” has long prevailed, the disabled body has often been presented as a symptom of a moral wrong or the physical manifestation of an ontological failure, an approach which has confined it to a metaphorical or allegorical reading.
It is only with the emergence of disability studies as an autonomous disciplinary field in the 1980s, essentially in North America, that the question experienced a renewed interest. In France, it has gained momentum only recently. Intersecting with notions of gender, race and class, disability studies became fully engaged in an interdisciplinary dialogue on identity. This newly acquired visibility has led artists and critics to change our perception of the impaired body as they stopped considering it only in terms of deficiency, incapacity or lack.
Disability studies have indeed put the disabled body at the center and helped it discard the stigma it had long been bearing. The relationship between normalcy and pathology was thus radically challenged as some other ways of relating to the world and the self were exposed. Focus has particularly been put on the enabling strategies allowing the disabled subject to transcend the limitations imposed by his/her afflicted body, whether in daily life or artistic practice. In that perspective, the conference invites contributors to reflect on this recent shift and welcomes papers that explore the disabled body in literary productions, movies and the arts.
First, disability is an experience which is intimately connected to storytelling and the narrative forms it adopts and adapts should be carefully examined. Disability demands a story: a missing limb, a paralyzed body or a cognitive impairment must be accounted for. This implies the repeated production of a narrative that is constantly refashioned over one’s life and depends upon context. Reciprocally, the self is reshaped by the performative potential of the narrative and liberated from clinical or institutionalized discourses. Through its repetition, the narrative produced allows the disabled subject to go beyond the experience of trauma and forge his/her own identity.
The experience and representation of disability have initiated a new reflection on genres (from comedy to tragedy) and narrative forms. Consequently, the narrative role of disabled characters must be examined as well as the strategies and structures at stake in such literary productions. Indeed, disability poses a challenge to space (limits, immobility, confinement), time (duration, repetition, projection), the self (acceptation, rejection) and others (dependence, perception), as well as language and the creative process.
Besides, the experience of disability implies a renewal of artistic practices that explore the potentialities of hesitant gestures, faltering speech and vulnerable bodies Disability is not only inducing a wide range of strategies that are meant to address the failures of the disabled body. Prosthesis, for instance, may not just be considered as some substitution/imitation of the missing limb or organ: the use of technology can lead to fruitful cognitive adaptation, unexpected deterritorializing of the human body and enhanced performance. The disabled body can thus channel unprecedented practices and forms of expression.
If a poetics of disability cannot merely feed on the dysfunctions and failures of the impaired body, can it escape the persistent dialectics of lack and excess, powerlessness and superpower? Similarly, can it offer any alternative to the binary opposition between exhibition and concealment, repulsion and sublimation, stigmatization and idealization? Since the disabled body does not conform to aesthetic canons, how do poets, artists, photographers, filmmakers and novelists who work with/on disability transform aesthetic codes and reconfigure notions like beauty and ugliness, attraction and repulsion? We wish to pay particular attention to the disruptive potential of disability, the singular affects it implies, and the irreducible difference that disability represents. The cognitive potentials of disability inaugurate a whole series of uncharted aesthetic experiences and the power of fiction helps the construction of an identity that is often built on a different relationship to time, space and the body. Mapping those forms and potentialities may prove crucial in understanding and transforming collective representations of disability.
Couser, Thomas G. and Thomas Griffith, Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contemporary Life Writing, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.
Davis, Lennard J., Bending over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism and Other Difficult Positions, New York: New York University Press, 2002.
Eco, Umberto (dir.), Histoire de la laideur, Flammarion, 2007.
Garland-Thompson, Rosemarie, Extraordinary Bodies, Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
Hall, Alice, Literature and Disability, London: Routledge, 2016.
Mitchell, David T., and Sharon L. Snyder. Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourses, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
Sandhal, Carrie and Philip Auslander (ed.), Bodies in Commotion, Disability and Performance, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.
We welcome papers focused on any region or period and will privilege contributions addressing the following topics:
- the disabled body and technology
- motor / mental disability and the limitations of perception
- disability and tragedy / comedy
- narratives of disability and (re)construction of identity
- the disabled character as a hero or minor character
- disability and artistic practices
- disability in body arts / visual arts
- the reception of disability studies and the question of terminology
- the relationship between the abled body and the disabled body
- disability and old age
- disability and sexual/gender/queer identities
(posted 18 March 2017)
Common Room: from WORDS to WORLDS.
Płock, Poland, 20-21 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 25 September 2017
The name of the annual Common Room conferences organised by the State University of Applied Sciences in Płock, Poland 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.
This year’s fifth edition of the Common Room conference is devoted to WORDS that can be perceived as both seductively fascinating and overly threatening. The agency and potency of words allows authors to actualize their creative, artistic intentions by constructing immersive, fictional worlds, exploring the potential of language to express what seems to be inexpressible or inconceivable as well as making us aware of the implications of the constraints inherent in interpersonal communication. However, what raises understandable suspicion is employing WORDS as the tools of social or political manipulation to exert influence or propagate ideologies. The two contradictory perceptions of WORDS permeate Stefan Themerson’s oeuvre – driven by his sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms and rhymes behind words, he displayed overt resentment towards demagoguery: “POETRY as well as POLITICS may be morally vicious,and intellectually dishonest.”
Themerson’s intention was to get back to the heart or the root of words entangled in networks of associations, propaganda techniques, ubiquitous advertising messages or intellectual literary strategies. To that end, he created Semantic Poetry whose aim was to rekindle our awareness of the world around us and make us see it almost anew. He unmasked and demystified words by skinning them of “every associational aureola” imposed by conventions or traditions and referring to their original meanings “supplied by the common dictionary.”
Drawing our inspiration from the Themersons’ works, we invite contributions from all researchers interested in exploring the phenomenon of a broadly understood relationship between WORDS and WORLDS. The papers may address the following as well as related topics:
- the creative and/or destructive power of words,
- the seductive power of words,
- inadequacy of language and words,
- conveying ideologies through words,
- the relationship between words and particular discursive worldviews,
- cultural semantics,
- words as a tool of power and oppression/ the subversive potential of words
- conventionalization of meanings/ new words and neologisms
- words versus silence/ logorrhea in contemporary culture,
- inexpressibility in (post)modernism,
- language games and experiments in poetry, prose, drama and other cultural texts,
- “language” poetry and prose,
- language and words in the Themersons’ oeuvre,
- the role of linguistics in the theory of literature,
- significance of words in cinematic works, theatrical performances, music and comic books,
- text in the visual arts: paintings, graphics, installation art, video art, etc.,
- using words to exert influence in advertising, marketing, social media, traditional media and/or political messages,
- truth/ post-truth/ lie(s),
- the ethics and aesthetics of words,
- the role of words and language in interpersonal communication, building social relations, education, psychology, psychotherapy, religion, philosophy,
- words from the point of view of a linguist or a translator.
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, cultural studies, linguistics and translation studies but also representatives of other academic disciplines such as sociology, pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, history, ethnography, arts studies, etc. to join the discussion.
The conference is part of the annual 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 Themersons Festival, 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-en
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) along with the title of the proposed paper, keywords and short information about the author should be submitted online by 25.09.2017 using the registration form at: http://www.pwszplock.pl/konferencje/common-room-en The website can also be used to contact the Conference Organising Committee and send your enquiries. You can also contact us directly at: email@example.com
Notifications of acceptance will be sent in the quickest possible time and the approved participants will be notified by 30.09.2017 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 05.08.2017): 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 05.08.2017.
- regular registration (after 05.08.2017): 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 03.10.2017.
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 13 April 2017)
Spaced Out: Spatiality in Comics
Cagliari, Italy, 26-27 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2017
26 October / Aula Magna / Department of Humanities
27 October / Conference Hall/ MEM
Keynote speaker: Michael A. Chaney (Dartmouth College)
with the participation of Sara Colaone / Manuele Fior
Scientific project and organisation: Andrea Cannas, University of Cagliari; Claudia Cao, University of Cagliari; Giovanni Vito Distefano, University of Cagliari; Marina Guglielmi, University of Cagliari; Fiorenzo Iuliano, University of Cagliari; Lucia Quaquarelli, Paris Nanterre University
Scientific committee: Giuliana Benvenuti, University of Bologna; Tatiana Cossu, University of Cagliari; Enrico Fornaroli, Academy of Fine Arts Bologna; Donatella Izzo, University of Naples “L’Orientale”; Mauro Pala, University of Cagliari; Bepi Vigna, International Centre of Comics – Cagliari
Space does for comics what time does for film.
How is space thematised and transformed, strengthened or weakened in the narrative comic? To what extent do comics rewrite and reinvent space by offering a place where spatial coordinates can be reconfigured in a utopian or fantastic manner? How does this reconfiguration affect perception devices? And again, how can the representation of spatiality in comics be modified within the network of the ongoing transmedia transformations?
Comics writers have long shown a preference for setting their works in the city and have implicitly tailored their works for readers, whose lifestyle and way of consuming comics as ‘products’ of the cultural industry single them out as a completely urbanised audience. Alongside this representation, interest has also been growing in internal or domestic space, from houses to artists’ studios, from apartment buildings to nursing homes, from hospitals to prisons. Such spaces are anything but neutral settings and, just like urban spaces, play a decisive role in shaping the narrative and the characters that move therein. Last but not least, space must be considered as a semiotic phenomenon: the language of comics manages to produce its own spatiality on the flat surface of the page, a spatiality that defines the coordinates of perception and the representation of space.
The Spaced Out. Spatiality in Comics Conference calls on scholars to tackle the issue of space in the narration of comics, against the background of the broader contemporary narrative and transmedia landscape, adopting various theoretical and critical approaches. There are two ways to participate:
- submitting a proposal for a paper to be presented at the general sessions coordinated by the respondent appointed by the Scientific Committee;
- submitting a workshop proposal for the two roundtable sessions that will focus on how the City and House are represented in the following works:
Andrea Pazienza, Le straordinarie avventure di Pentothal (1982)
Art Spiegelman, In the Shadow of No Towers (2004)
Richard McGuire, Here (2014)
Paco Roca, La casa (2015)
Paper proposals should be around 500 words long. A short bio-bibliography of the author and an essential annotated bibliography must also be submitted. Two papers can be presented if one of these concerns the workshop sessions.
Proposals must be submitted by May 31, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors will be notified of paper acceptance by June 30, 2017. Papers presented at the conference will be peer-reviewed and considered for publication. The deadline for sending the final version of the articles is December 30, 2017.
- Michael A. Chaney is Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College, Chair of African and African American Studies. He specialises in nineteenth-century American literature and African American literature, visual culture studies and mixed race representation, comics and graphic novels. He has published Reading Lessons in Seeing: Mirrors, Masks, and Mazes in the Autobiographical Graphic Novel (University Press of Mississippi, 2017) and edited Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2011).
- Sara Colaone is a comics writer, illustrator and animator of short films. She teaches Illustration at Bologna’s Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been published by Kappa, Dargaud, Coconino, Norma, Schreiber&Leser, Centrala, Stripburger, Giunti, Zanichelli, Pearson and in several journals: Internazionale, Le Monde Diplomatique DE, Rivista Il Mulino, Ventiquattro Magazine. Her latest graphic novel is Leda.Che solo amore e luce ha per confine (Coconino, 2016).
- Manuele Fior is a comics writer and illustrator. His work has been published by Coconino, Atrabile, Futuropolis, Delcourt and in several newspapers and magazines: The New Yorker, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, La Repubblica, Sole 24 Ore, Internazionale, Il Manifesto, RollingStone Magazine. His latest book is entitled I giorni della merla (Coconino, 2016); his latest graphic novels are L’Intervista (Coconino, 2013) and Cinquemila Chilometri al Secondo (Coconino, 2010), which won the Fauve d’Or (Golden Wildcat) at the 2011 Angoulême Festival.
(posted 21 February 2017)
Adaptation in the Age of Sterne
Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland, 26-28 October 2017
Deadline for poroposals: end of May 2017
the International Laurence Sterne Foundation
the Department of English, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland
invite paper proposals for
The Second International Laurence Sterne Foundation Conference
on the theme of Adaptation in the Age of Sterne
Although the primary concern of the conference will be the work of Laurence Sterne and its afterlife, we are also interested in papers shedding light on the broader context of the Age of Sterne.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent at the beginning of June 2017. For more information, see http://www.sterne2017.pl
Delegates wishing to present a paper must be members of the Foundation, the online membership form can be found here.
(posted 23 December 2016)
Is economic inequality also a literary problem? An international conference on culture, society and economy
Uppsala, Sweden, 26-28 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2017
‘We wish, in a word, equality.’ – Mikhail Bakunin
To call economic inequality a ‘problem’ is probably to say too little about it. Equality is not just a function of modern life, which may fail to work under certain conditions. Equality is a horizon of expectation. What then makes advanced contemporary society, especially in nations like the US and UK, so economically unequal? Certainly there are conditions of the market since the Second World War, despite all its successes, that have operated against equality – not as a failure of capitalism but as an expression of its nature. This was observed as early as 1958 by John Kenneth Galbraith and 1970 by Jean Baudrillard. It has recently become a dominant theoretical postulate since the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2013).
Does literature have anything to do with this? Does it have something to so with creating a culture where inequality has been increasingly tolerated, or even promoted? Does it have something to do with the effacement of that horizon of expectation of an equality to come? Or has literature been a force of resistance or a zone of neutral alterity? Is it fair even to ask of literature and literary studies that they address the problem of economic inequality? We know about reformers like Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. But where are the reformers now? Is anybody listening? Does it matter? ‘The entire U.S. school system, from pre-K up’, wrote Walter Benn Michaels a decade ago’ ‘is structured from the very start to enable the rich to out-compete the poor, which is to say, the race is fixed’. Since then the gap between the rich and everyone else has only grown in most of the developed world, even in Sweden, and we critics and teachers find ourselves complicit in one of the main institutions of economic and cultural division. Our interest in this conference is manifold: first, in the representation of economic relations in literature, and what it may or may not have to tell us; second, in the institutions of literary production, and how they work in relation to economic inequality; third, in the institutions of higher education, which promote cultural aspiration at the expense of inequality; fourth, in the history of all this, going back to the origins of capitalism.
We invite proposals for presentations of up to 20 minutes on literature and theory in any language. The conference language is English. Proposals about any period since 1550 are welcome. We are especially interested in inequality in the context of modern economies, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, and seeing how literature has adapted to changes in productive powers and the distributions of income. We also welcome contributions on subjects related to literature – from film and TV to Internet writing. A limited amount of funding is available for all participants to help cover travel and accommodation costs.
Subtopics may include:
- The Drives and Drivers of Inequality in the Literary Domain
- Race and Class in Popular Culture
- The Forms of Inequality
- Shakespeare and Inequality
- Literature and Unremunerated Labour
- Gender and Economic Inequality
- Narratives of Success and Their Discontents
- Queer Inequality
- Economic Inequality and the Circulation of Objects
- After Social Democracy
- Beyond North and South?
- Extreme Poverty: Literary Representations
- The Literary Commons and Parallel Economies
- Literature and Social Reform in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
- Epic Theatre and Its Social Horizons
- Literary Reviews and the Problem of Inequality
- Not Everyone is Getting Poorer: Developing Countries and Their Literature
Submissions of up to 500 words including biographical information should be sent by
1 May 2017 to the conference organisers:
Robert Appelbaum: email@example.com
Roberto del Valle Alcalá: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the conference, please go to: https://reg.akademikonferens.se/app/netattm/attendee/page/55841
(posted 21 February 2017)
Staging the Truce in Early Modern Literature and History
Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France, 27 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2017
Timothy Hampton reprises Grotius’ definition of truce as “the slumber of war” to show how early modern European playwrights staged that moment of negotiation as a paradox, as “an action that spends action, and by that very gesture reinstates power as potentiality” (Early Modern Diplomacy, Theatre and Soft Power, Palgrave, 2016, 28). A truce is thus a true moment of action, but an action that runs in parallel to a continuing state of war. However, it seems even nowadays to be confused with or taken as a form of static procrastination. If its outcome can prove sterile, the concept of truce and its performance should not be dismissed as fruitless. On the contrary, truce should be seen, as later suggested by Carl von Clausewitz, as an opportunity to be seized. This conference wishes to examine truce, its distinctive nature, and to see beyond its mere use as a delaying tactic.
If moments of truce are often recounted, their operational dynamic is often overlooked. Hence, this conference wishes to investigate the form, the assets and the challenges of truce in early modern political and religious conflicts. It intends to test the viability of this fundamental concept by confronting historical instances and literary representations of truce. The conference will thus focus on the form and on the agents of truce during historical conflicts as well as the way literature and especially theatre represented and even tested this moment of the “suspension of the actions of war”. The conference will emphasise not only the temporal nature of truce, but its practical and concrete aspects. The conference will also focus on the shortcomings of the concept and the practice of truce, and forensic papers on the failure of episodes of truce are sought.
We welcome papers examining early modern European and non-European literature and/or history and dealing with the following issues (non-exhaustive list):
- the legal forms and languages of truce: how the Roman, canon and feudal laws considered truce
- historical episodes of truce: the conclusion of truce and treaties, and the viability of a truce
- the use of art as a form of truce, as a moment of suspension which gives the opportunity of a debate, a dialogue or a resistance
- material methods of truce: art, printing, editorial projects, literature, gift-giving etc
- the role of truce in literature, in specific genres such as the epic, the tragic and the tragicomic genres
- the agents of truce: official and non-official agents, ambassadors, traders, marginal political figures…
- the specificity of truce in religious conflicts: do the form and the method of truce change in the context of religious conflicts?
- truce and “perpetual negotiation”: Richelieu’s concept and the truce
- peace and truce: difference or synonymy in terms of action and representation
Please send 300-500-word abstracts and a short bio to email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 1st June 2017. Confirmation of acceptance by 15th June 2017.
More information at the following address: http://blogs.univ-tlse2.fr/ambassadeurs/?page_id=31&lang=en
(posted 13 April 2017)
Food and Drink as Symbols: historical perspectives
Pedagogical University of Krakow, Poland, 27-28 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2017
Food and Drink as Symbols: historical perspectives. The 2nd International Conference, organized by the Department of History and Material Culture of English Speaking CountriesPedagogical University of Krakow, Poland
Eating and drinking have always been a part of socialisation. Humans have eaten together and mealtimes are events when the whole family or community comes together. Eating food can also be an occasion for sharing, for giving to others, for example, parents give food to their children, a mother gives her milk to her infant, thus making food a symbol of love and security. Two thousand years ago Jesus taught us to share food with others. He used food for both instruction and revelation, and food items bear a religious symbolism in the way they are made or the way they are eaten. For instance, in Christianity bread and wine have a symbolic meaning. Indeed, many dietary habits are derived from religious laws with certain foods chosen or avoided according to religious beliefs. In Greek mythology, food plays a role in defining the hierarchy of being: there is food for gods, food for men, and food for animals. In modern societies food indicates the status, power and wealth of individuals, and humans often symbolically interact when eating, for example, sitting at the head of the table symbolizes head of the house. Additionally, certain foods symbolize wealth and social class, and foods are symbolic or act as metaphors for body parts involved in sexual relations. In fact, any particular item of food might carry a system of symbolic meaning. Moreover, foods have been an important theme in the arts and various artists have employed them, for instance, to underline social issues.
This conference invites papers to be submitted that explore the meaning of food and drink as symbols, with focus on historical perspectives in different contexts. Although potential areas of interest might include the symbolism of food and drink in life and sensuality, its relation to political consciousness, honour and status, ethnicity, lifestyle, religions or art may also be addressed. The conference is not restricted to any specific historical period.
Keynote Lecture: Prof. Fabio Parasecoli (Associate Professor at The New School, New York; co-editor of Cultural History of Food)
The conference organisers: Andrzej K. Kuropatnicki, Paweł Hamera, Artur Piskorz
Abstract submission: All submissions should include:
- Title of the presentation
- Abstract of no more than 200 words
- A brief biography of the presenter or presenters
- Contact details
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for submissions is 15 May 2017.
The conference language is English. The conference fee is 200 PLN or 50€ (130 PLN or 30€ for students and PhD candidates) which will include the conference dinner, tea and coffee, the conference materials and the publication of a monograph (selected papers will be published in a peer-reviewed monograph).
Please visit the conference website at http://foodassymbol.weebly.com for details regarding the venue, conference programme, suggested accommodation, transportation and otherpracticalities.
(posted 14 February 2017)
Experiment in Drama, Theatre, Film and Media
Department of Studies in Drama and Pre-1800 English Literature, University of Łódź, Poland, 27-28 Oct 2017
Deadline for proposals 30 May 2017
The conference poses the question about the value and outcome of experiment in literary, theatrical, dramatic and cinematographic representations. Centuries of experiments in these disciplines culminated in the 20th century, with the rise of a number of alternatives to traditional modes of expression: realism and naturalism gave way to symbolism, Epic Theatre, Theatre of Cruelty, Theatre of the Absurd, Third Theatre, in-yer-face theatre, immersive theatre and other avant-garde movements. Most of these movements in the course of time have been accommodated into the mainstream or eventually institutionalised. Many experiments have also been stimulated by political conviction or produced, in their turn, a certain policy in the given area of the arts, creating an intersection between aesthetics and social concerns.
The advent of new and accessible technologies has forwarded most recent experiments in film and media. The blurring of borders between genres and types of the arts in question, disintegration and fragmentation of categories, also generate the question about the definition of experiment and art as such, especially in the digital age of popular culture where everyone can become a film maker or media artist.
Suggested themes of conference papers (other topics are also welcome):
- Experiment and intermediality
- The politics of aesthetic experimentation
- Experiment and audience reception
- Experiment and conventional forms
- Crypto-experimental spirit of older drama
- Experiment and criticism
- British experiments and the continental avant-garde
- Failed experiments
- Minority voices
The names of keynote speakers will be announced soon.
Papers should be presented in English although the conference is open also to themes pertaining to other cultures than Anglophone ones.
Topics and abstracts (250 words) should be submitted by 30 May 2017.
Conference fee: 100 euro (70 euro for doctoral students). It includes conference materials, coffee breaks and the banquet.
For submissions and enquiries please contact dr Joanna Kruczkowska – secretary (email@example.com).
Conference information will be gradually updated at
(posted 29 March 2017)
Constructions of Identity: new world – new ideas
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 27-28 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 September 2017
We would like to invite you to the international conference Constructions of Identity: new world – new ideas on October 27-28, 2017, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. This event is organized every two years by the English Department of Babes-Bolyai University. In its 20-year long history this conference has contributed significantly to research in literature and linguistics under its overarching main theme of how language, literature and philology research itself shape people’s perception of the world, of otherness, and ultimately, of themselves. This year we welcome contributions that are not shy of experimenting with new and fresh perspectives, as we hope that our workshops will prove successful in providing the opportunity for lively exchange of new ideas and building future research partnerships. A selection of peer-reviewed papers will be published in an ISSN Conference Proceedings volume (in pdf format) at Presa Universitară Clujeană publishing house which has national CNCSIS accreditation.
Dame Marina Warner, Birkbeck College, University of London; All Souls College, University of Oxford
Codrin Liviu Cuţitaru, Al.I. Cuza Univeristy of Iaşi
Adina Dragomirescu, University of Bucharest (Faculty of Letters), “Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics
For further details, please check the conference website http://confid9.wordpress.com
Deadline for registration: 1 October 2017
1. Gendered Identities in Anglophone Literature
This workshop will focus on the intersection between gender and identity in a variety of contexts where English is the writers’ favourite linguistic medium. Participants are invited to propose papers on the tradition of women’s writing, masculinity and its literary expression, the LGBT literary discourses in Anglophone cultures of all times. Experienced or emerging scholars working on any aspect related to these topics are invited to attend. Papers dealing with both theoretical and methodological issues, as well as case studies from any historical period and any Anglophone culture are welcome.
2. Otherness and Identity in Victorian Literature
The Victorian Age was basically a period of straightforward representation, of unmarked discourse where, at least in the case of the novel, plots and characters were introduced to the reader with an apparent neutral attitude. However, in the case of many novelists and predominantly in the case of poets, the image conveyed to the readers was a literary product reshaped and often hidden between the lines, and, as such, it went beyond what was literally implied and acceptably packed to go with the standards of the time. It is the aim of this workshop to examine how such double meanings were constructed and how the reader was often involved in a process of discovery and reconstruction of the self and the other, of the here and beyond when assimilating, appropriating and impersonating a text of Victorian provenance.
3. The Syntax- Semantics- Pragmatics Interface
This workshop assumes the theoretical perspective on natural language phenomena that treat syntax, semantics and pragmatics as separate computational models whose interactions are mediated by interface mechanisms. We invite contributions that explore linguistic phenomena whose understanding arises from such points of cross-modular contact and interplay, as well as phenomena that are shaped by a conjunction of separate modules effects. Our invitation is not restricted to generativists alone, who traditionally embrace this perspective. On the contrary, we look forward to bringing together researches based on various frameworks in the hope of sparking new insights and providing an inspirational experience to all participants.
4. Internet Linguistics
In the relentless swirl of today’s new media world, language varieties evolve and users’ creativity is prodded on by the multimodality of the online environment (text, images, videos). Hence, both new literacies and corresponding updated, accurate descriptions are needed. Internet Linguistics, a branch of linguistics introduced by the English linguist David Crystal, investigates the twofold needs prompted by the digitization of the contemporary world. It covers the panachronic (diachronic and synchronic) analysis of language in all areas of Internet activity, focusing on the digital communication through the Internet and other New Media. Internet Linguistics encompasses four perspectives: Sociolinguistics, Education, Stylistics, and Applied Internet Linguistics.
Possible investigation topics:
Online identity construction in various online spaces
Online representation of languages and linguistic versatility (new varieties of language)
Language creativity of Netizens
The blogosphere, the vlogosphere, online social networks
Stylistic features of online spaces
Online corpus collection
5. Language Contact Phenomena
The multilingual context we live in leads to constant interaction between languages. As a result, there are various language contact phenomena that have become common practice among speakers and that are constantly shaping the individual’s language use and identity. This section of the conference aims at bringing together scholars so as to share their insights on topics related to micro-sociolinguistics (borrowing, code-switching, translanguaging, polylingual languaging, metrolingualism, translingual
practices), macro-sociolinguistics (language shift, language maintenance), and how these phenomena influence the speakers’ linguistic practices and identity.
6. CEFR in Language Teaching and Assessment
We invite contributions that describe and explain the effects of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) on language teaching and assessment, with focus on changes in procedures and design of curriculum, lessons, tests, tasks and items, as well as building and maintaining motivation. Ultimately, the main interest is to reveal the benefits or shortcomings of the CEFR scales and descriptors in this respect, as well as how CEFR has changed the understanding of what it means to learn or use a foreign language for both language teaching/assessment professionals and students/ language certificate candidates.
(posted 25 April 2017)