Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in January 2018

“The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen”: Synaesthetic Border Crossings
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, France, 11-12 January 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017

Since Richard Cytowitc’s 2002 groundbreaking study, Synaesthesia: A Union of the Senses, neuroscience has explored cross-modal associations and simultaneous activations of different areas of the brain which collaborate in the blending and criss-crossing of the senses. Much attention has been paid to the individual nature of synaesthesia, such as grapheme-colour synaesthesia. While a minority of individuals perceive numbers and letters in terms of colours, the actual experience and systematic associations differ according to each subject. Thus synaesthesia, in science or art, provides shimmering displays of singular associations, translations and sensory slippages.

This symposium aims to explore the cross-fertilization of the senses from the personal, but also the more collective, viewpoint of Jacques Rancière’s “re-distribution of the sensible”. As sound, sight, touch, hearing blend or morph into one another in art, not only is the very nature of representation at stake, but modes of relation to and interaction between the other and the world. Reflecting philosophical and medical conceptions of the body, synaesthesia in art seems to thrive at certain key historical moments, as if blending the senses also implied ways of redefining self and other in the light of major cultural shifts or turns. Keats’s luscious depiction of sonorous and “billowy” marble, for instance, also moulds cultural appropriation and bears traces of the legacy of Elgin’s controversial take on the Parthenon. Synaesthesia problematizes conceptions of the purity of art, and may be used to distance the Other (through Orientalism and the discourse of exoticism) or to reclaim the Unspeakable (revisiting historical trauma such as slavery). Daria Martin’s work on shared experience, “mirror-touch”, and empathy (both empathetic ways of experiencing art, and ways in which synaesthetic art engages with social problems) points to the way synaesthesia must be, first, revisited as more than a token metaphor, and, second, allowed to branch out in all kinds of different directions.

We invite papers exploring:

  • speech patterns produced by synesthetes;
  • the fragmentation and fusion of sensory experiences, the border-crossing influence of key figures (Rimbaud, Joyce, Kandinsky, Klee, etc…) and the intrinsic synaesthetic nature of the artistic experience (music in painting, painting as music, reading as sound and orality, etc…);
  • the specificity of translation: engaging with the translation of the senses raises questions of cultural associations, so that synaesthesia as a trope may crystallize what is involved in translation as speech act.
  • synaesthesia and intertextual transposition (Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor defines his performance of Virginia Woolf’s “granite and rainbow” art as “the synaesthetic collision of form and substance”)
  • the theatricality of synaesthesia: from Shakespeare to Beckett or Peter Brooks, ‘sensing-with’ offers stunning or comic effects  which  reflect upon the theatre’s ability to conjure up and create illusion. Besides exploring sensing-with as a model for theatrical phenomenology and performance, synaesthetic tropes may engage with the cultural, philosophical and political context of the time.
  • the periodization of synaesthesia. Marshall MacLuhan connects the exploration of synaesthesia in modern art with electrical technology and media culture. Synaesthesia tropes certain periods (Romanticism, Modernism, contemporary art), raising the question of synaesthesia as a sensory experience, as aesthetic experimentation, but also of the ethics and politics of perception.
  • border-crossing: synaesthesia as ways of modulating distance and empathy, an aesthetic but also a political and ethical tool.

Please send a 150-word abstract to Catherine Lanone, Bruno Poncharal and Line Cottegnies to synesthesie2018@yahoo.fr by 30 June 2017, with a short biographical note.  We welcome papers in French and in English.

(posted 12 June 2017)


Shakespeare Unbound: 2018 Conference of the French Shakespeare Society
Paris, France, 18-20 January 2018
Deadline for proposals: 25 April 2017

The Société Française Shakespeare is dedicating its annual conference to “Shakespeare Unbound”. The topic addresses Shakespeare’s propensity to negotiate with dominant ideologies, his ability to break and renew formal and cultural rules and his long-lasting influence in creating innovative dramatic and poetic forms, new words and thoughts, “And all that faith creates or love desires, / Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous shapes” (Shelley), Prometheus-like.

The conference topic also points to the ways in which Shakespeare’s work has come down to us: through bound Quartos and Folios, emended, truncated, annotated, as well as through unbound scripts and performances, “faithful” or “adapted”, many of which exceed the place of the stage, flowing down into the audience, out onto the streets, showing up on screens, in anime, graphic novels and narrative recreations and appropriations — contributing to the aesthetic liberation of drama, poetry, the visual arts, music, etc.

This conference will provide an occasion for academics, theatre, performance and arts practitioners to discuss Shakespeare and his contemporaries’ abilities to question and renew the boundaries of art.

We welcome proposals (in English or in French) on topics such as:

  • The publication and editorial history of Shakespeare’s and his contemporaries’ works — in bound and unbound formats;
  • Shakespeare’s and his contemporaries’ reappropriation of classical and early modern culture, Shakespeare’s “borrowed robes”, his contribution to liberating dramatic and poetic aesthetics, and ability to “beguile Nature of her custom”;
  • Shakespeare adaptations and appropriations from the 17th to the 21st century which have contributed to liberating or rediscovering his work and/or influence.

Submission
Selected proceedings will be published in the Société Française Shakespeare’s peer-reviewed online journal: http://shakespeare.revues.org.
Please send proposals by April 25, 2017 to contact@societefrancaiseshakespeare.org.
Proposals should include a title, an abstract (750-word max.), and a short bio.

(posted 22 February 2017)


Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches to Text Structuring (LPTS 2018)
École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, 18-20 January 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2017

Venue: École Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

The aim of the conference, in line with previous editions of the series, is to provide an interdisciplinary forum to present and discuss recent work on discourse structure. From a linguistic viewpoint, the focus is often on discourse markers, such as adverbials, connectives, and discourse particles. How can we categorize them? What kind of relations do they express? Can they combine several functions at the sentence level and/or at the discourse level and, if so, which ones? From a psycholinguistic viewpoint, important questions include what impact discourse structure markers have on comprehension. For instance, are we capable of identifying topic continuity and predicting topic changes on the basis of discourse cues? What does a topic (or theme) of discourse correspond to cognitively? From an acquisitional viewpoint, when and how are discourse markers acquired? From what age are children able to master their use in oral and written discourse?

This edition will focus on the issue of discourse management, and more specifically on topic orientation markers. As noted for example by Schourup (1999), one major issue is the question of the universality of DMs (“To what extent do all languages share a basic set of DMs with the same core pragmatic meaning?”, cf. Fraser, 1990: 395), and a possible degree of universality depending on the type of DM involved: “Fraser suggests it is likely that all languages will have DMs like and, so, and now, but he questions whether this is the case for markers like notwithstanding, well, and anyway.” (Schourup 1999: 261).
In this new edition of the LPTS conference, we thus propose a reflection on the general theme of markers and discourse coherence, and particularly on one type of DM, viz. topic shifters. Papers may for instance address the question of the existence and translatability of digressive markers, a subtype or possibly a use-type of topic shifters (Lenk 1998, Pons Bordería & Estellés Arguedas 2009), or topic orientation markers (a subtype of discourse management markers, cf. Fraser 2009).
We welcome papers using cognitive, functional and psycholinguistic approaches, based on corpora in various languages at different stages of their evolution, as well as papers that report on approaches based on behavioral data. The objective is to encourage discussion and collaboration between the approaches.

TOPICS MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:

  • Topic shifts, Topic orientation, Digression
  • Grammaticalization and evolution of discourse markers
  • Typological approaches to discourse markers
  • Effects of discourse structure on comprehension
  • Acquisition and mastery of discourse production
  • Segmentation and linearization
  • Saliency and Information Structure
  • Role of text structuring devices in acquiring knowledge
  • Disfluency and ‘normal’ vs ‘pathological’ discourse

INVITED SPEAKERS
Elizabeth Traugott (Stanford University)
Fernanda Ferreira (UCDavis)

SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Proposals will be subjected to a double, blind review and should be anonymous. They should
not exceed 1000 words (references excluded; + 3 to 5 keywords) and be submitted online via Easychair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=lpts2018

IMPORTANT DATES
Submission deadline: September 15th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: November 10th, 2017
Early registration deadline: December 8th, 2017
Conference: January 18th-20th, 2018.

REGISTRATION
Details about the registration procedure will be posted on the conference website shortly.

REGISTRATION FEES
Regular fee (participants/audience): 80 euros / late registration 100 euros (after December 10th, 2017).
Students: 30 euros Students / late registration 50 euros (after December 10th, 2017).

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: English, French

CONFERENCE WEBSITE: http://lattice.cnrs.fr/lpts

For further information, please contact us at lpts2018@ens.fr

(posted 12 June 2017)


Beyond Crisis – Reassessing Raymond Williams’ Cultural Materialism
University of Potsdam, Germany, 19-21 January 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017

During the last decade a series of political crises has deeply unsettled parliamentary democracies in the Global North – from the banking crisis in 2008 followed by the collapse of several European economies to the rise of right wing political movements across Europe which culminated in the UK leaving the EU and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States in 2016. 2017 will be another decisive year for Europe, with national elections taking place in France and Germany. Within a couple of years, or so it seems, the post-war democratic and social consensus has crumbled, leading some commentators to diagnose a ‘democracy fatigue’. But this picture is incomplete. The last decade has also seen the emergence of democratic protests at a scale unknown since the 1970s, a ‘return to the streets’ by movements demanding a socially and economically just democratic politics – many of them connected transnationally, adding up to what might be called a “global justice movement” (Steger). Following the Arab spring, large political protests formed in Europe and North-America including, for example, the Spanish anti-austerity movement 15-M, Occupy Wall Street and its international pendants, organised protests against police racism in the UK and US, large student demonstrations against tuition fees in England and, most recently, nationwide protest ralleys in the US like the Women’s March on Washington.

Raymond Williams’ cultural materialism has been foundational for Cultural Studies as a cross-disciplinary field. In the current climate of crisis, his work has much to offer, because it stresses the historical openness of social processes and the agency of citizens. Influenced by the humanist literary tradition of F.R. Leavis and various strands of Marxist theory (from Benjamin to Gramsci) Williams became a leading figure of literary and cultural sociology in Britain. In his historical studies Culture and Society (1958) and The Long Revolution (1961) which gained him international recognition he traced the profound cultural changes and social progress brought about by collective democratic struggles. In these books he popularised a descriptive, sociological concept of culture that abandoned hierarchical definitions of high versus popular culture. Recognizing the need within cultural analysis to acknowledge the possibility of social agency and change from below, Williams updated the traditional notion of the role of culture in society and developed what he termed a ‘cultural materialism’. Foreshadowing contemporary debates in affect studies, Williams drew attention to the social and political dimension of emotions. Against other, more sceptical or determinist cultural theory positions, he stressed the emancipatory dimension of art, holding throughout his life a deep interest in drama and fiction as well as in new, emerging cultural practices, subjectivities and identities vis à vis dominant and residual forms.

This conference asks what Raymond Williams’ critical legacy has to offer for cultural and literary analysis today. We invite contributions from scholars within the humanities and social sciences that make use of cultural materialist concepts and methods in the tradition of Williams or critically investigate his work to set it in dialogue with other theory traditions and build on it. Contributions may touch upon one or more of the following topics (but can also exceed this preliminary list):

  • The dominant, the residual and the emergent in the 21st century
  • Williams’ ”structure of feeling” and affect theory
  • Keywords: Historical semantics and keywords of the present
  • Williams’ cultural materialism and recent cultural, social and political theory
  • Contemporary crises and the (modern) tragic
  • Raymond Williams and the Global South
  • Communication, media and the digital

We welcome papers from a diverse range of fields, including for example:

  • Cultural History and Memory Studies
  • Drama, Film and Media Studies
  • Ecocriticism
  • Gender Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Utopian and Science Fiction Studies

Please send proposals of about 300 words for 20-minute papers to michael.krause@uni- potsdam.de and harald.pittel@uni-potsdam.de by 30 June 2017.

For more information please visit the conference website: http://www.uni- potsdam.de/beyondcrisis

Organising team: Michael Krause, Harald Pittel (Department of English and American Studies)

(posted 16 May 2017)