Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in March 2018

American Dramaturgies for the 21st Century: Engaging with the new millennium on stage
Université Paris-Sorbonne, France, 15-16 March 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017

This international conference aims to offer a dynamic snapshot and overview of 21st-century dramaturgies in the United States.

The end of the American theatrical avant-garde was heralded by Richard Schechner who, as soon as 1981, saw artists as left ‘picking up seeds in the dust’ – yet the new millennium has been ripe with artistic and political events mirroring one another, calling for a reevaluation of such pessimistic assessments. From the new world order brought on by the fall of the Twin Towers to Donald Trump’s intention to scrap funding to the NEA and NEH, the theater community in the United States has been confronted, on a local and on a global scale, with social and political evolutions that make their way into their work in more or less obvious fashions. A hundred years after the initial ascension of American drama to world prominence, it is worth pausing to consider the current weight of its legacy, the cultural influence of its evolving models, and the persistence of its capacity for innovation.

Investigating theatrical theory as well as theatrical practice, this conference aims to evaluate the impact of 21st-century mutations in shaping the most contemporary dramaturgies across the United States, retracing the lines of friction, fracture and continuity. Taken in a broad sense, the term ‘dramaturgy’ may include strands of performance work in the mold of the ‘theatre of images’ or musical theater as well as more conventional text-based approaches – for in an age of formal innovation and general blurring of boundaries, the place of the ‘straight play’ begs inquiry. The primary focus of the conference will be on the aesthetic production of theatrical work, all the while foregrounding the collaborative, economic and political factors or constraints that lie behind dramaturgical choices.

Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • American identity, within and across the United States and the Americas
  • defining features of ‘the American play’ today
  • who are the new playwrights (institutionalization of playwriting courses, connection/tension with screenwriting)
  • the development process and the genetics of a play
  • close readings of plays and overviews of individual playwrights’ work
  • institutional support for dramatic creation (public, private, academic)
  • 21st-century reception and new ways to interact with audiences
  • dramatic criticism in the age of social media
  • production spaces: geographical and dramatic evolutions and their interactions
  • interpretations, appropriations and productions of American work in a global context
  • modes of analysis and methodologies for new dramaturgies

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to and by June 30th, 2017.

(posted 29 May 2017

A diachronic approach to Ian McEwan’s fiction: from sensationalism to ethical writing
Université de Caen Normandie, France, 17-19 March 2018
Deadline for proposals: 18 September 2017

We are pleased to announce a CFP for submissions to a two-day conference dedicated to the work of Ian McEwan, in the presence of the author.

Ian McEwan is a prolific writer with a diversified oeuvre (short-stories, novels, screenplays ….). From the enfant terrible’s early works that earned him the nickname of Ian Macabre to the author of the daring Nutshell via the respected recipient of the Booker Prize in 1998 for Amsterdam and many others for Atonement, he has repeatedly reinvented himself and experimented with narrative codes.
This symposium will focus on McEwan’s fiction (early and more recent, novels and short-stories, studied individually or together). It proposes to examine, for example,

  • McEwan’s engagement with memory, trauma and the past (Atonement, Black Dogs…) as well as with contemporary issues (such as euthanasia in Amsterdam, the Iraq war in Saturday….) and his engagement with the sciences,
  • the varied narrative strategies he has adopted,
  • the ways in which he has depicted individuals facing difficult choices and dilemmas (as in Enduring Love…),
  • how he has been influenced by particular writers or genres (Sweet Tooth and the spy novel for example) and has reappropriated and rewritten them,
  • the reception of his work,
  • how his work has influenced the younger generation of writers.

Proposals on screen adaptations of Ian McEwan’s work will be considered too.

Proposals (200 words) and a short biography to be sent by September 18th, 2017 to AND Notification will be sent by mid-October.

(posted 11 April 2017)

British Jewish Contemporary Cultures: An International Conference
Bangor University, Wales, UK, 26-27 March 2018
Deadline for proposals: to be announced

We invite proposals for the first international British Academy funded conference on British Jewish Contemporary Cultures. Any topic which explores the study of contemporary British Jewish culture, widely defined, is welcomed. We are particularly interested in locating British Jewish contemporary cultures in global and comparative settings, as well as in terms of imperial, postcolonial and transnational narratives. The aim of the conference is to tease out the tension between a transcultural British Jewish Studies and the specificity of the Jewish experience in Britain with increasing theoretical and methodological complexity.

We welcome proposals for panel discussions as well as individual papers of 20 minutes. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief biography to Jennifer Griffiths ( by 1st December 2017.

Suggested topics include but are by no means limited to:

  • Writing British Jewishness
  • Images of British Jewishness in film and television
  • Gender, sexuality and Jewishness in contemporary culture
  • Visual images (art, cartoons, graphic novels)
  • British Jews and the media
  • Shifting Identities: Transcultural contexts
  • Performing Jewishness
  • British Jewishness and the Holocaust
  • Politics and Jewishness in contemporary Britain
  • Locating British Jewishness: space and place
  • The Jewish Gothic
  • British Jews and Israel/Palestine
  • Black and British Jewish Intersections
  • Antisemitism
  • Brexit and Contemporary British Jewish culture

Conference organisers: Professor Nathan Abrams (Bangor) and Dr. Ruth Gilbert (Winchester). The conference has been generously supported by the British Academy.

For more information on the British Jewish Contemporary Cultures Network, please visit: or contact

 (posted 29 May 2017)

Resisting Tragedy: 32nd International D.H.Lawrence Conference
Centre de recherches Anglophones, Université Paris-Nanterre, France, 29-31 March 2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 November 2017

The theme of this conference has been prompted by the first line of Lady Chatterley’s Lover: “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.” The statement invites reflection on the literary means and devices that were adopted by Lawrence in order to resist tragedy, both here and elsewhere in his writings. The strategies of resistance include various arts of distanciation through which the tragic can be warded off. They can be linguistic, poetic, rhetorical, or can involve the interplay between a variety of perspectives, humour, satire, romance, poetic licence, the refusal of seriousness etc. The focus of the 2018 Conference should not be too explicitly on WW1 and its consequences. If the opening to Lady Chatterley’s Lover offers an explicit reference to the war and, in the second sentence, an explanation of its origin and a hypothesis regarding the responses that it arouses, “the cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes”, the focus of the conference is to be less on the specific nature of the “cataclysms” than on the nature and the substance of these “little habitats” and “little hopes”. The resistance to tragedy thus appears to be the condition or cost exacted of a society or of a social agent who is to survive or outlive the “cataclysm”, a “cataclysm” which is both historical, epochal, but also, perhaps, existential or anthropological. Lawrence asserts “Tragedy looks to me like man/ in love with his own defeat” (Pansies). We may then suggest further lines of reflection on the following themes: resistance or non-resistance to tragedy whether personal, social or political, heroism or escapism, the denunciation of Hamletizing, the temptation of oblivion, the refusal of sacrifice or self-annihilation, resilience and creative destruction. This list is of course not exhaustive.

Organizers: Cornelius Crowley, Ginette Roy

The deadline for proposals is 1 November 2017.
Please send a 200 word abstract to Ginette Roy or

(posted 24 May 2017)